Effects of artificial light at night on nature
Natural night-time darkness has disappeared across large parts of the world as a result of light pollution. This increase in sky brightness can have severe effects on human health as well as detrimental impacts on nature. Within the Light on Nature project, we’ve set up a large-scale field experiment in which formerly dark, natural habitat is illuminated with white, green or red LED light to study the effects of night-time illumination on several species groups. Specific focus is on physiology, behaviour, life-history traits and fitness in common songbirds and changes in species abundance over time.
Conservation and restoration of afromontane rainforest
Ntchisi Forest Reserve is situated in central Malawi and contains one of the last remaining patches of afromontane evergreen rainforest in southern Africa. Within Future Forest Malawi we work together with the local community to conserve and restore the different ecosystems of Ntchisi Forest Reserve. Studies focus on inventory and monitoring of bird and mammal species in different vegetation types, on changes in vegetation composition and animal species abundance along a human disturbance gradient in the forest and on effectiveness of different reforestation approaches.
Long-term bird population trends across Europe
While common forest bird populations are more or less stable over the last 10-15 years, Europe’s farmland birds show a stunning decline of 55% since 1980. Intensification of agriculture and loss of grassland habitat are some of the driving forces behind this negative trend. Within the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme species data from 28 countries is available and we work on relating e.g. changes in land use, anthropogenic disturbances and diet types to bird population trends in (different regions of) Europe.
Strategic Partnership ABBEE (Accelerating the transition towards the Bio-Based Economy via Education)
The overall objective of this Strategic Partnership is to inspire and train a new generation of (bio-based economy) students and help accelerating the transition towards a bio-based economy via education of future professionals. New innovative educational approaches can inspire students, professionals and entrepreneurs to become more active in the bio-based society. The focus of the Strategic Partnership, ABBEE, is on developing, transferring and implementing innovative practices in the field of bio-based economy and to exchange experiences at a European level.