Flying insect biomass and community assembly across a land-use gradient in the Dutch Flower Bulb Region

Flying insect biomass and community assembly across a land-use gradient in the Dutch Flower Bulb Region

Aquatic Ecology

Where biodiversity loss has on average been halted in nature reserves, biodiversity of rural areas keeps declining. The larger aim of this project (Living Lab B7 is to enhance biodiversity in the rural part of The Flower Bulb Region.

Flying insects

The Flower Bulb Region in the Netherlands is a region where agricultural land is expected to currently sustain a low biodiversity when compared to surrounding land use. Pesticide use, excess nutrient runoff and a lack of small-scale landscape elements appear unfavourable for biodiversity in this landscape. However, concerning biodiversity, only the presence of breeding birds is studied to some extent in the region. Knowledge on the occurrence of insect species within the agricultural landscape is absent. Recent studies have reported a 75% decline in flying insect biomass in Germany and The Netherlands over the past decades. Do we observe a similar low biomass in The Flower Bulb Region and does this differ along a gradient of land-use intensity (ranging from agriculture to nature)? If so, which groups are absent where in the landscape and how do we restore biodiversity? On these questions you will be working.

We are looking for someone to help with fieldwork, analyse insect communities caught with malaise traps and emergence traps and analyse the collected data. Monitoring will continue for 3 consecutive years after this student project.


If you are interested in this project, please contact Hugo Langezaal, PhD-candidate at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.

  • Type of work: Field work, taxonomy and data analysis
  • Level: MSc & University of applied sciences
  • Location(s): Wageningen and field work in the Flower Bulb Region (west of The Netherlands)
  • Duration: 4-6 months, starting in spring (Roughly from March – December). Suitable for a thesis and/or internship.
  • Having a Dutch driver’s license (B) is preferred.