I.B.C. van der Ouderaa
In my research, the concept of facilitation cascades is key.
I am currently working on two projects that are taking place at the mudflats of Schiermonnikoog, The Netherlands. A third project will take place in Sydney, Australia.
1) Mussel beds and their effect on community structures on the mudflats. To unravel the positive indirect interactions that are taking place on and around the mussel beds, experiments are carried out that focus on both the long-range and the short-range scale. Mussel beds facilitate cockle settlement in their wake, and cockles on their turn facilitate the adjacent infauna. This facilitation cascade spans over more than 100 meters, whereas mussel beds may also facilitate Fucus vesiculosus growth on a short-range scale, with F. vesiculosus facilitating epifauna. Mussel beds play an important role as foundation species in both cascades. Figuring out how facilitation cascades affect community structures is important for more efficient conservation measures.
2) Mussel beds enhance habitat complexity. On a mussel bed, one can see pools of water that do not drain during low tide. These pools have different abiotic characteristics than the semi-pools on the side of the mussel bed and the mudflat itself. By manipulating pools and studying their development, their possible contribution to niche/habitat complexity on the mudflat will be analysed.
|Last modified:||29 October 2018 1.28 p.m.|