Comparison of insect abundance and biomass in two Dutch wetland areas

Comparison of insect abundance and biomass in two Dutch wetland areas

Vacature
Aquatic Ecology

Contact Pers:

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

Comparison of insect abundance and biomass in two Dutch wetland areas: the Oostvaardersplassen & Marker Wadden

Wetlands are very productive ecosystems that can harbour great amounts and a wide diversity of species. However this high productivity can decline over time and turn from the boom phase into the bust phase. This is often characterised by a decline in bird numbers, however it is yet unknown what exactly drives this decline. One of the drivers seems to be water level, which influences vegetation succession and thereby food and habitat availability. In this study we will focus on insects as food for birds and how these relate to successional stage.

The study sites will consist of a recently created wetland area, the Marker-Wadden, and an older wetland area, the Oostvaardersplassen. The Oostvaardersplassen is now undergoing a water drawdown in part of the wetland to reset the vegetation succession. This allows for comparisons between study areas (old and young) and within a study area (old and reset).

In this project, you will look into insect species, abundance and biomass in both study areas and relate this to food availability for birds. You will visit the field locations (at least the Oostvaardersplassen) to collect insect samples and afterwards analyse these samples in the lab. In the end this will help us determine more precisely how these systems function and how vegetation succession drives boom-bust cycles.

If you are interested in this project or want more information, please contact Kerstin Bouma, PhD candidate at the Aquatic Ecology group from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) - k.bouma@nioo.knaw.nl

  • Type of work: Fieldwork and labwork
  • Level: MSc
  • Duration: 4-6 months (starting July 2022)
  • Location: NIOO-KNAW, Wageningen