Fresh water research

Freshwater Ecosystems

This knowledge group develops scientific knowledge that underpins both sustainable aquatic and wetland ecology theories and management practices with special focus on the fields of stream, lake and wetland restoration ecology, ecological catchment system analysis, bioremediation, smart monitoring and assessment, and management applications.

The group is focusing on seven themes:

MANAGING BITING INSECT NUISANCE
Preventing insect nuisance in wetlands, amongst others mosquitoes (Culicidae), biting midges (Ceratopogonidae ) and horse flies (Tabanidae), can be facilitated by applying ecological knowledge. We develop prevention schemes and study the autoecology of biting insects.
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CLOSING CYCLES
Mirroring self-purification in nature (ecomimicry), our innovative Aquafarm concept, uses chains of organisms to polish effluent and produce high added value components.
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ECOLOGICAL CATCHMENT SYSTEM ANALYSIS
Our nature-based transdisciplinary analysis integrates ecology-based water management and spatial land use planning. We use novel tools to bridge disciplines and integrate knowledge.
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ECOLOGICAL WATER MANAGEMENT APPLICATIONS
Improving biodiversity, reducing management costs and preventing insect nuisance in wetlands can be facilitated by applying ecological knowledge. We develop smart mowing regimes, floating helophyte mats and nuisance insects prevention schemes to attain these goals.
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SMART MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT
We develop new cost-effective techniques, such as Quick Scan sampling (e.g. activity traps, eDNA), that are applicable in effective monitoring schemes in space and time. Water quality assessment is innovated using trait-based diagnostic tools (e.g. Multimetric Amoebe), passive sampling and effect-directed analysis.
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STREAM RESTORATION: NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS
Understanding key determinants of stream ecosystem functioning is crucial to biodiversity and to mitigate global and climate change. Our field and laboratory experimental research quantifies the effects of e.g., wood and sand addition, role of buffer strips, dispersal barriers, and re-introduction of ecosystem engineers in stream restoration.
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WETLAND RESTORATION ECOLOGY
Guided by ecological theory, we develop knowledge on novel restoration measure–effect relations. Examples include building new islands (MarkerWadden) in lake Markermeer and rehabilitating stream valley marshes.
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