NCP-22303 Ecology of Communities, Ecosystems and Landscapes: Field Excursions


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
One day excursion60
Course coordinator(s)dr. J van Ruijven
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. F Berendse
dr. J Limpens
dr. D van der Hoek
prof. dr. MGC Schouten
prof. dr. JHJ Schaminée
dr. ir. AP Schaffers
dr. ir. MMPD Heijmans
F Geiger
JM Gleichman
prof. dr. KV Sykora
Examiner(s)prof. dr. KV Sykora
dr. J Limpens

Language of instruction:

Dutch and/or English

Assumed knowledge on:

NCP-21803 Ecology of Communities, Ecosystems and Landscapes: Theory

Continuation courses:

NCP-30306 Plant Vegetation and Systems Ecology


The field excursions in May-June are set up to show how 6 Dutch landscapes and their characteristic plant communities are determined by ecological processes and human management and planning. Excursions will focus on the influence of salt water on vegetation composition in the coastal landscape (site = Kwade Hoek), the formation and diversity of coastal dunes (site = Meijendel) the importance of groundwater type on vegetation in Pleistocene sandy areas (site = Drenthse Aa), (im)possibilities of raised bog restoration (site = Haaksbergerveen), factors affecting forest diversity (Dal vd Hohn) and the complexity of contrasting demands of agricultural use, nature development and prevention of soil subsidence in the western part of the Netherlands (site = Westbroek). Most excursions will focus on nature reserves where the coupling between abiotic processes and resulting vegetation is still mostly intact. Where appropriate, we will pay attention to nature management, the planning process as well as current and former human use. During the excursions verbal explanations by experts are supported by simple measurements on abiotic conditions and the use of indicator plant species. Besides being interesting the excursions offer the unique opportunity to visit areas that are otherwise closed to the public

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course the student is expected to be able to:
- demonstrate detailed understanding of the interrelationship between abiotic and biotic processes at different spatial scales;
- demonstrate detailed understanding of species adaptations to environmental conditions and the role of species characteristics on ecosystem functioning;
- relate indicative plant species and traits to distinct environmental conditions;
- relate vegetation composition to predominant landscape processes.


Lectures, field excursions, simple measurements.


Written exam.


Made available at start course through WUR-shop

Compulsory for: BBNForest and Nature ConservationBSc6WD
BESEnvironmental SciencesBScB: Environmental Quality and Systems Analysis6WD
Compulsory for: WUBDVBSc Minor Biodiversity: from Micro to Macro and from Cause to Consequence6WD
WUFNCBSc Minor Forest and Nature Conservation6WD