Ecology Laboratory

Ecology Laboratory

The mission of the ecology lab is to gain deeper insight into the workings of ecosystems all over the world. One crucial part of this mission is to unravel and determine the interactions between climate and vegetation.

At the same time, the ecology lab is committed to enhancing the understanding of the biodiversity of ecosystems: between different species of plants, but also between genotypes of one and the same species. It hopes to be able to realise this ambition in the near future by applying molecular analyses based on advanced DNA technology.

Sphere of activity

The researchers measure nitrogen concentrations in plants and soil. Wageningen University & Research has built a reputation worldwide for its work on nitrogen deposition on heath and peatland. The lab plays a vital role in the development of EU and NWO research projects on ecosystem processes and on the response of vegetation to climate change. It is also used intensively by undergraduates for teaching practicals, and by PhD students and post-docs for performing measurements and analyses.

The analysis lab is used primarily for inorganic chemical analyses in soil, crops, and soil solutions, especially for different types of extractions and destructions, followed by spectrophotometric measurements. Different cell components, such as NDR, ADR, tannin, lignin and polyphenols, are also analysed and there are facilities for measuring in-vitro digestibility.