Promotie: dhr. C. Kraan, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Proefschrift: Spatial ecology of intertidal macrobenthic fauna in changing Wadden Sea
Promotor(s): prof.dr. T. Piersma, prof.dr. J. van der Meer
Faculteit: Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen
Spatial ecology of intertidal macrobenthic fauna in changing Wadden Sea
The distribution and abundance of animals in space and time are central to ecology. Insight in species’ distributions, however, not only poses methodological and analytical challenges, but also necessitates that we incorporate spatial autocorrelation as a functional element of a species’ ecology. From an ecological point of view, spatial autocorrelation reflects life-history factors, competition, predation, feeding- and mobility-modes and species-environment relationships. The presence of positive spatial autocorrelation or spatial patterning implies that near abundances are more related than distant abundances (or inversely related in case of negative spatial autocorrelation), which affects statistical analysis, potentially leading to flawed conclusions. The work presented in this thesis focuses on landscape-scale communities of bivalves, worms and crustaceans, living hidden just beneath or at the surface of marine mudflats and sandflats in the Dutch Wadden Sea. As a case study we took a bird’s eye view of benthos and linked changing benthic resources to carrying capacity and survival of a mollusc-eating shorebird, the red knot (Calidris canutus).
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