Living Planet Report – Salty and brackish nature in the Netherlands

Foto: ©Bert Ooms/WWF

WWF – The Netherlands (WNF) has published a nice report showing the recent trends in species richness in amongst others the Dutch North Sea, Wadden Sea and Delta waters. Ecoauthor also made a modest contribution to the interpretation of findings here.

The entire report:‘Wereld Natuur Fonds. 2017. Living Planet Report. Zoute en zilte natuur in Nederland. WNF, Zeist.’ (written in Dutch) can be found here.

Additional information can be found on the website of WNF (www.wnf.nl).

Benthic Indicator Species Index to evaluate quality status North Sea

To evaluate habitat quality, sea floor integrity and ecological functioning of the Dutch North Sea the Benthic Indicator Species Index (BISI) has been dev eloped. The BISI is specifically developed to deliver to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) reporting, evaluate the effectivity of management measures and provide information for Habitat Directive-habitat evaluations. The BISI compares temporal patterns (absence/presence, or densities) of combinations of specific indicator species with predefined reference levels of these species that represent a good status. BISI can be used at different spatial scales (e.g. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Natura 2000 areas, specific ecotopes and habitats) and additionally provides evidence for possible causes and effects of observed patterns in quality status (developments).

The BISI is developed by Ecoauthor in cooperation with Wageningen Marine Research (WMR) commissioned by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs (EZ) and of Infrastructure and Environment (IenM)).

The BISI is potentially applicable in other regions than the Dutch North Sea as well. At present Ecoauthor is amongst others working on the T2015 evaluation of the Dutch North Sea on basis of BISI and the adjustment of BISI for wider application.

The indicator is presented in:

Wijnhoven, S. & Bos, O.G. (2017). Benthische Indicator Soorten Index (BISI): Ontwikkelingsproces en beschrijving van de Nationale Benthos Indicator Noordzee inclusief protocol voor toepassing. Ecoauthor Report Series 2017-02, Heinkenszand, the Netherlands (written in Dutch).

With a protocol of application (written in English):

Wijnhoven, S. (2017). Protocol Benthic Indicator Species Index (BISI). Annex 1 of Wijnhoven & Bos (2017).

Myosotella denticulata not that rare in the Western Scheldt

At the moment Ecoauthor is monitoring the presence of non-indigenous species in the intertidal zone along the Western Scheldt (‘Westerschelde’). Besides valuable information on the distribution of exotic species (results will follow later this year), the monitoring also gives insights in populations of indigenous species. For the second year in row Myosotella denticulata (‘Meertandig muizenoortje’ in Dutch) is found to be common in the high intertidal parts near Bath. Myosotella denticulata is specifically found in the spaces between the blocks that pave the dikes. The ecological atlas (De Bruyne et al., 2013) records the species for just one 10×10 km gridcell in the entire South-western Dutch delta, although it is already mentioned that the species might be more common than suggested. We did also observe the species near Breskens and Hansweert in a similar habitat before (Wijnhoven et al., 2015).

Research is part of the Transect Monitoring project commissioned by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).

  • De Bruyne, R., van Leeuwen, S., Gmelig Meyling, A., Daan, R. (2013). Schelpdieren van het Nederlandse Noordzeegebied. Ecologische atlas van de mariene weekdieren (Mollusca). Uitgeverij Tirion, Utrecht en Stichting ANEMOON, Lisse, 414 p.

  • Wijnhoven, S., Engelberts, A., Dekker, A. et al. (2015). Non-indigenous species inventory of estuarine intertidal areas; a comparison of estuaries and habitats using a hard substrte transect methodology. Pilot study wthin the frame of the INTERREG IV A 2 Seas project SEFINS commissioned by the NVWA. Monitor Taskforce Publication Series 2015-07, NIOZ-Yerseke, the Netherlands.

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Celebrated the one-year anniversary of Ecoauthor

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Celebrating the one-year anniversary of Ecoauthor

Celebrated the one-year anniversary of Ecoauthor with my dearest ones.

I would like to thank all clients and colleagues working with Ecoauthor, for the nice cooperation and making it a succesful first year. I am looking forward to continue the collaborations and to the new projects to come.

Best wishes, Sander Wijnhoven (owner of Ecoauthor)

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Ecoauthor participated in trinational workshop Doggerbank

Last February the 8th, a trinational workshop on joint monitoring, evaluation and knowledge exchange concerning the Doggerbank was held in Hamburg. With several participants from Germany and the UK, Ecoauthor represented the Dutch government. Although monitoring programmes in the three countries are quite different, it is clear that cooperation will have benefits for each of the countries. As a first step, benthic monitoring data will be exchanged, and the various indicators in use will be applied on each others datasets. The tuning of evaluations should lead to a joint evaluation of the international Doggerbank region in the near future. Also joint monitoring activities are foreseen. doggerbank-monitoring-nl-v060217

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Attention for Ecoauthor work in Newsletter ‘Informatiehuis Marien’

Since several months we are developing a Benthos-based Indicator system for the evaluation of the Dutch North Sea for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ) and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (I&M). The evaluation tool will specifically be used to report on the quality developments towards the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and evaluation of management regulations (i.e. fisheries restrictions) in Natura 2000 areas and other areas of special interest. The latest newsletter of the Marine Information and Data Centre (Informatiehuis Marien) has some attention for our work: ‘Measuring with benthic macrofauna‘. (The article is in Dutch).ihm-article

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Ecoauthor has signed Framework Agreement with Rijkswaterstaat

Western Scheldt 2016Ecoauthor is happy that the Framework Agreement Biology concerning Specialist Advice and Methodology Development was awarded to us by Rijkswaterstaat (RWS-CIV, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) for a range of competences in the field of Hydrobiology, Ecological Monitoring of Flora & Fauna, and Ecological Mapping. The Agreement is signed for three years. We are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation and are ready to put it in practice.

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Developing the Benthos Indicator for the Dutch North Sea

At present Ecoauthor is working on the development of the National Benthos Indicator for evaluation of the Dutch North Sea for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in cooperation with Wageningen Marine Research. designing-a-national-benthos-indicatorThe challenge is to develop a transparant indicator that will be used for various evaluations and reportings (e.g. MSFD, Habitat Directive, evaluation of Nature 2000 management and evaluation of effectivity of taken measures) that can act on the various spatial and temporal scales involved and will be indicative for causes of potentially observed changes as well. Yesterday we had some good discussions and valuable information exchange during an expert workshop as organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ) and the Ministry of Infrastucture and the Environment (I&M) for which I like to thank all participants and the organizers.

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Geographic patterns of biodiversity in European coastal marine benthos

Trends with latitude are primarily indirect and so can be overcome by local variation of environmental factors.

This is the conclusion of a recent study investigating geographic patterns in European coastal marine macrobenthic communities, based on a pan-European harmonized monitoring by EMBOS partners (European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System). Latitudinal trends and regional differences in diversity and densities appear to be merely the result of particular sets and ranges of environmental factors and location characteristics specific to certain areas. The diversity and densities of benthos were mostly positively correlated with environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, mud and organic matter content in sediment, or wave height, and related with location characteristics such as system type (lagoons, estuaries, open coast) or stratum (intertidal, subtidal).

The study with ‘Ecoauthor involvement‘ is published online in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK and available since september 14th, 2016. You can contact me for more information by using the contact form.

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Lugworm burrows in the Oosterschelde

Lugworm burrows in the Oosterschelde

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Monitoring of exotic species in the Westerschelde

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This gallery contains 4 photos.

As a follow-up on the last years monitoring of hard substrate related macrofauna and macro-algae communities in the intertidal zone of a selection of estuaries with the focus on exotic species within the frame of SEFINS (Safeguarding the Environment from … Continue reading