Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting
9 &10 February 2010
Conference Centre "De Werelt", Lunteren
The Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting is a two-day event organised by NERN and NECOV  (Dutch - Flemish Ecological Society) and supported by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
The set-up of the 2010 meeting is in accordance with previous years, which were a great success with over 300 participants. Each day starts with a plenary session in which a Dutch and an international world leader present their view on a specific topic in ecology. Accordingly, parallel sessions will be held covering the wide field of ecology. The session topics listed this year have been selected by an organising committee (Jacintha Ellers (VU), Rampal Ettienne (RUG), Lourens Poorter (WU, Martijn Egas (UVA), Wolf Mooij (NIOO), Nicole van Dam (NIOO/RU, Chair) and Jaap van der Meer (NIOZ)), who also approached the conveners of the sessions. The programme below lists the session topics, the conveners and the highlights indicating the focal area of the session.
Besides oral presentations, time will be reserved for poster sessions and discussion.
Like 2009, various prizes will be awarded at the end of the meeting: the Poster Prize, the Best MSc Project Proposal (both awarded by NECOV) and the NERN Best Paper Award. Call for these awards will follow soon. 
 (Note: given the submissions of the parallel sessions, programme is updated on a regular basis) 
Tuesday 9 February
Main Entrance Hall
Registration and coffee in the Lounge and setting up posters
Europe Hall
Word of Welcome (Louise Vet, Chair NERN, Director Netherlands Institute for Ecology)
Plenary 1: "Stability and transitions in ecological systems"
1.       Structure and robustness of mutualistic networks (Jordi Bascompte, Doñana Biological Station, Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)) Webpage
2.       Early warning Signals for Critical Transitions (Marten Scheffer, Wageningen University) Webpage
Lunch in the restaurant
America Hall
Europe Hall
Asia Hall
Africa Hall
Parallel 1a: Plant-animal interactions
Parallel 1b: Conservation and Restoration Ecology
Parallel 1c: Fresh-water and marine Food webs
Parallel 1d: Free session
Plants and animals are involved in a wide range of antagonistic and synergistic interactions including pollination, seed dispersal and herbivory. Although once the domain of distinct disciplines - ecology, molecular biology and phytochemistry - the omics era has merged these fields. However, as in any relationship, learning to communicate is a continuous effort. In this session, speakers that bridged these research fields will explain how it has enriched our understanding of plant-animal interactions.
Environmental changes caused by human disturbance and climate change pose increasing challenges to the conservation of biotic communities and their functions. Habitat loss and fragmentation, for instance, means that conventional conservation efforts must be complemented by restoration of habitat quality, size or connectivity. A changing environment also means that conserving or restoring historical assemblages may no longer be the most sustainable management strategy. The focus of this session is on the integration of conservation and restoration ecology in the light of contemporary and future ecosystems.
What processes determine the structure of aquatic food webs? With the increasingly holistic view taken on studying ecosystems, it is important to understand the structuring of food webs and how external impacts propagate through and change them. Both theoretical and empirical studies can give insight into the processes involved in structuring food webs (e.g. assembly, complexity, multitrophic interactions, spatial processes) and are thus welcomed.
For those ecologists that feel that they do not fit in another session. Please specify why
1.       Merijn Kant (University of Amsterdam)
2.       Kirsten Leiss (Leiden University)
1.     Raf Aerts (K.U.Leuven)
2.     Verena Cordlandwehr (University of Groningen)
1.       Andrea Downing (Wageningen University)
2.       Kristina Raab (IMARES)
3.       Reinier Hille Ris Lambers (IMARES)
1.       Rampal Etienne (University of Groningen)
Variation in flea beetle resistance to plant defense
(Kim Vermeer, Wageningen Universty)
The effect of multiple global environmental changes on the performance of forest herbs: a review with Anemone nemorosa
(Lander Baeten, Ghent University)
Coupled predator-prey oscillations in a chaotic food web.
(Elisa Benincà, University of Amsterdam / Wageningen University)
Quantifying Stochastic Introgression Processes
(A. Ghosh, Leiden University)
Whiteflies interfere with indirect plant defense against spider mites in Lima bean
(Roland Mumm, Wageningen University)
The response of shoreline vegetation in fens to nutrient enrichment of either the bank soil or the surface water
(Judith Sarneel, Utrecht University)
Impacts of omnivorous fishes on submerged macrophytes: prey stoichiometry and food web structure
(Martijn Dorenbosch, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
Migration, who cares?
(Rudy Jonker, Wageningen University)
A herbivore that manipulates plant defence
(Arne Janssen, University of Amsterdam)
Abundance and demography of large mammals across conservation boundaries in the Mara region of Kenya
(Nina Bhola, University of Groningen)
Collapse and reorganisation of Lake Victoria’s food web
(Andrea Downing, Wageningen University)
Species in fragmented landscape: How policy scenarios change species distributions
(Luc de Bruyn, Reserach Institute for Nature and Forest, Belgium)
Establishing an effective test method for thrips resistance in pepper
(Awang Maharijaya, Wageningen UR)
Restoration ecology of lichen-rich inland dunes in the Netherlands
(Laurens Sparrius, University of Amsterdam)
Trophic impact of increased anchovy in the North Sea
(Kristina Raab, Wageningen-IMARES)
The role of body size in communities: Food web of the Serengeti
(Sanne de Visser, Groningen University)
Tomato Thrips Resistance: Glycolipids, Methylketones, Phenolics or Sesquiterpenes?
(Roman R. Romero-González, Leiden University)
Early indicators of atmospheric nitrogen deposition impact on lichen-rich coastal dune grasslands
(Eva Remke, Radboud University Nijmegen)
Getting into hot water? Aquatic food webs under climate climate warming
(Lisette de Senerpont Domis, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
Interactions among mast-eating rodents and ticks
(Wesley Tack, Ghent University)
Metabolomic responses to herbivory in GM potato
(Andreas Plischke, Leiden University)
Restoration of soft water lakes: water and sediment quality effects on isoetid vegetation
(Christina Pulido, Radboud University Nijmegen / University of Copenhagen)
Habitat segregation and complex life cycles; managing fish populations exhibiting ontogenetic habitat shifts
(Karen van de Wolfshaar, Wageningen University)
Spring migration strategy and reproductive success in the Svalbard Barnacle goose Branta leucopsis.
(Thomas Oudman, University of Amsterdam)
Time to stretch the legs and have a cup of tea in the Lounge
America Hall
Europe Hall
Asia Hall
Africa Hall
Parallel 2a: Multitrophic interactions
Parallel 2b: Spatial Ecology
Parallel 2c: Community Ecology
Parallel 2d: Evolutionary Ecology
A major theme in ecological research is to understand the interactions between organisms occurring at different trophic levels. This session discusses new findings on the functioning and importance of multitrophic interactions and the underlying chemical and molecular mechanisms in natural communities. Multitrophic interactions including organisms from different ecosystem compartments (e.g. above- and belowground) and/ or (plant- and animal-) symbionts and mutualists will receive special emphasis
Movement of plants and animals, and of their competitors, predators, diseases or resources, plays an important role in defining spatial patterns. We will explore how these movements affect local ecosystems and how movement is determined by the spatio-temporal structure of these ecosystems.
The session will focus on the determinants of species diversity and species interactions within communities, where we consider both trophic and non-trophic interactions. The aim is to combine insights from theoretical and empirical work.
Co-evolution is defined as reciprocal evolutionary change between interacting species, e.g. between predator and prey, host and parasite or between resource competitors. The outcome of co-evolution is that species become specialized in their interaction with relevant species only. As such, co-evolution is the evolutionary force behind much of what is studied in community-ecology. The session on Evolutionary Ecology will explore to what extend the study of co-evolution and community ecology are intertwined.
1.       Marjolein Kruidhof (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
2.       Eduardo de la Pena (University of Gent)
1.       Judy Shamoun-Baranes (University of Amsterdam)
2.       Frank van Langevelde (Wageningen University)
1.       Elisa Thebault (Wageningenn University)
2.       Maarten Schrama (University of Groningen)
1.       Bas Ibelings (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
2.       Ken Kraaijeveld (Leiden University)
Both soil organisms and plant intra-specific variation affect aboveground multitrophic interactions.
(Patrick Kabouw, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
The seasonal and circadian rhythms of terrain-use by African elephants
(Henjo de Knegt, Wageningen University)
Disentangling drivers of Jacobaea vulgaris population dynamics during secondary succession
(Tess van de Voorde, Netherlands Institute of Ecology / Wageningen University)
Daphnia-parasite interactions in a dynamic environment
(Ellen Decaestecker, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
Tri-trophic effects of inter- and intra-population variation in defence chemistry of wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea)
(Rieta Gols, Wageningen University)
Visited sites revisited - site fidelity in African elephants
(Frank van Langevelde, Wageningen University)
Food web succession on the salt marsh
(Maarten Schrama, University of Groningen)
Evolutionary Community Ecology of host-parasite-parasitoid systems: associations between community structure and evolutionary traits
(Saleta Perez Vila, University of Groningen)
Differential covariation of above- and belowground invertebrate species across genotypes of the dune grass Ammophila arenaria
(Martijn Vandegehuchte, Ghent University)
Can we predict tipping points from spatial patterns?
(Ellen Weerman, Netherlands Institure of Ecology)
Different patterns of within-community trait similarity between co-occurring grasses and grasshoppers
(Fons van der Plas, University of Groningen)
Lack of lipogenesis: the evolutionary consequence of a parasitoid life style?
(Bertanne Visser, Vrije Universiteit )
Effect of soil conditions on plant-pollinator interactions in natural and restored heathlands
(Eduardo de la Peña, Ghent University)
Spatio-temporal dynamics of global H5N1 outbreaks match bird migration patterns
(Si Yali, International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation)
Structure and stability of interaction webs: what are the differences between mutualistic and trophic networks?
(Elisa Thébault, Imperial College / Wageningen University)
Reproductive strategies of Amazonian poison frogs
(Erik Poelman, Wageningen University)
Litter utilization by soil animals and cascading effects on aboveground generalist predators in arthropod food webs
(Klaus Birkhofer, Justus Liebig University Giessen)
Using a flexible GPS tracking system to study gull movement at different scales
(Judy Shamoun-Baranes, University of Amsterdam)
A simple generalisation of neutral biodiversity theory resolves many of its problems
(James Rosindell, University of Groningen)
Local adaptation of bacteriophages to their bacterial hosts in soil
(Michiel Vos, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
Macro-detritivore identity drives leaf litter diversity effects
(Veronique Vos, Wageningen University)
Oystercatchers on Schiermonnikoog: social prisoners forever?
(Bruno J. Ens, SOVON)
Linking habitat associations and spatial scales to the spatial patterns in tropical trees
(Carol Ximena Garzo, University of Groningen)
Herbivorous insects on introduced plants, a review of the enemy release hypothesis
(Kim Meijer, University of Groningen)
Drinks in the Lounge and at 18:45 dinner in the restaurant
Poster sessions / Coffee
'Jaarvergadering NECOV' (Africa Hall)
Europe Hall
Evening Programme
-           Darwin: Het Onthutsend Ontwerp  (Alaska Unlimited) (60 minutes)
-           Reality Revisited (Marten Scheffer and Jordi Bascompte) 30-45 minutes
Wednesday 10 February
Breakfast in the restaurant
Registration for those coming on Day 2 only
Europe Hall
Plenary 2: “Using functional traits to predict ecosystem functions in a changing world”
Since the days of the ‘Rio Summit’ in 1992, the big biodiversity debate has partly shifted from species diversity to /functional /diversity. An exciting new research field addresses the consequences of (changes in) functional diversity, through species traits, for ecosystem functions and processes, and ultimately for ecosystem services to people. This research recognises that species are not merely numbers but community members with specific qualities and roles in biogeochemical and watercycling involving for instance carbon capture, trophic transfer, decomposition, fire regimes and water purification and storage. We will show through concepts and empirical examples how (climate-driven) changes in the functional trait composition of organisms in ecosystems have knock-on effects on ecosystem services and climate itself.
-           Using functional diversity to predict ecosystem services (Sandra Diaz, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina)
-           How plant traits drive soil processes and climate (Hans Cornelissen, Vrije Universiteit, Webpage)
Coffee in the lounge
America Hall
Europe Hall
Asia Hall
Africa Hall
Parallel 3a: Global biogeochemical cycles
Parallel 3b: Free Session
Parallel 3c: Genetics of stress tolerance
Parallel 3d: Invasion Ecology
In the domain of biogeochemical cycles, both marine and terrestrial ecologists are active. The importance of the study of global change and its effect on biochemical cycles becomes evident, if we want to predict future trends as well as understand the past. Currently ecologists are working hard to quantify processes in terrestrial and aquatic systems at regional and global scales that will feed into the next generation of earth system models. In our session we will take stock of current progress and new developments in both tropical and temperate ecosystems in this exciting field
In this session, presentations will be held that are of high quality but could not be placed in already full sessions.
Environmental stresses impair the fitness of populations when first presented. The genetic architectures of organisms have evolved to cope with various stresses with both inducible, plastic responses and by fixation of adapted phenotypes. The session will explore the evolution of animal and plant stress-responses and the genomic approaches used to identify their underlying genetic basis (e.g. inducible signal transduction cascades, divergent gene expression patterns, selection on specific genomic sequences, and/or epigenetic modifications and maternal effects).
The increasing rate of biological invasions due to globalization calls for adequate management measures. This is a major challenge since general rules in invasion ecology, needed for predictions on invasiveness of species and invasibility of ecosystems, are difficult to find. This session will present work that aims to find general rules in invasion ecology, such as characteristics of invaders explaining their invasiveness, ecosystems attributes facilitating alien success, as well as work aiming to produce robust predictions on the potential invasiveness of species in different ecosystems
1.       Claire Evans (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
2.       Elmar Veenendaal (Wageningen University) (
1.       Claudius van de Vijver (Wageningen University)
1.       Eric Schranz (University of Amsterdam)
2.       Thierry Janssens (Vrije Universiteit)
1.       Alejandro Ordonez (University of Groningen)
2.       Karin Troost (IMARES)
Linking Hydrology and Biogeochemistry at Multiple Spatial and Temporal Scales
(Karin Rebel, Utrecht University)
Evidence of the ‘plant economics spectrum’ in a subarctic flora
(Grégoire Freschet, Vrije Universiteit)
Submergence Tolerance in Arabidopsis and the Related Genus Rorippa (Yellow cress)
(Melis Akman, University of Amsterdam)
The arrival, development and impact of exotic species in the brackish and marine waters of Zeeland
(Sander Wijnhoven, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
The North Sea Carbonate System in Summer
(Lesley Salt, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Photoacclimation in marine picophytoplankton: growth and primary production under constant and dynamic irradiance conditions
(Gemma Kulk, Groningen University)
Transcriptional regulation and the microevolution Orchesella cincta cadmium tolerance
(Thierry Janssens, Vrije Universiteit)
Causes and effects of a highly successful marine invasion: Case-study of the introduced Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in continental NW European estuaries
(Karin Troost, IMARES)
Carbon fluxes in natural plankton communities under elevated CO2 levels: a stable isotope labeling study
(Anna de Kluijver, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
Contemporary pollen dispersal in wild carrot (Daucus carota L.ssp.carota) population
(Jun Rong, Leiden University)
Developmental plasticity in Bicyclus butterflies as a response to alternating seasons of low of high environmental stress
(Paul Brakefield, Leiden University)
Ecosystem Engineering By Native and Exotic Shellfish: Feedback Mechanisms On Primary Production
(Luca van Duren, Deltares)
Shrub expansion may reduce summer permafrost thaw in Siberian tundra
(Daan Blok, Wageningen University)
Cascading effect of elephants on bird species richness in Southern Africa
(Fred de Boer, Wageningen University)
DNA methylation and transgenerational effects of exposure in Daphnia magna
(Michiel Vandegehuchte, Ghent University)
Bioinvasions in the river Rhine: the battle of species
(Rob Leuven, Radboud University)
Dissolved organic matter uptake by temperate macrophytes
(Tom Van Engeland, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
The impact of different termites on soil fertility and vegetation in an African savanna
(Cleo Graf, Groningen University)
Epigenetic inheritance in asexual dandelions
(Koen Verhoeven, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
Comparison of exotic range-expanding and related native plants on plant nutrient acquisition and soil nutrient mineralization (Annelein Meisner, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
Marine viruses: biogeochemically significant?
(Claire Evans, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Early-life drought tolerance codetermines distribution patterns in vascular epiphytes (Maaike Bader, University of Oldenburg)
Invasion success of infectious diseases and the use of elasticity analysis in disease ecology
(Nienke Hartemink, Utrecht University)
Lunch in the restaurant
Poster Session Day 2 / Coffee
America Hall
Europe Hall
Asia Hall
Africa Hall
Parallel 4a: Microbial Ecology
Parallel 4b: Movement Ecology: migration and dispersal
Parallel 4c: Physiological Ecology
Parallel 4d: Global change and biodiversity
Microscopic organisms, bacteria, archaea, unicellular eukaryotes and viruses, far exceed macroscopic organisms in number, biomass and diversity and are crucial to ecosystem functioning and human health. However, knowledge on the ecology of most types of microbes is extremely limited compared to their macroscopic counterparts. This session will highlight original studies in microbial ecology.
Movement ecology seeks to understand the four basic mechanistic components of organismal movement: the initial state (why move?), motion process (how to move?), and navigation (when and where to move?), which are all a combination of the characteristics of the organism and its environment. As we understand plant (seed) and animal movements, we can unravel in more detail the complex role that dispersal and migration play in ecological interactions, spatial patterns and species distributions.
In this session, we aim to present studies of physiological processes that link to the ecological traits of the individual organism, or that connect to ecological processes influencing population dynamics. Emphasis is placed on understanding how animals and plants cope with environmental variation at the physiological level, and on the influence of habitat conditions on growth, metabolism and reproduction of individuals within and among populations, along environmental gradients, and across different communities and ecosystems
Under continual pressure of global changes, biodiversity, encompassing both species richness and functional diversity, acts as a buffer for the loss of ecosystem functions and services. Global changes, including climate or land-use changes, are currently affecting biodiversity in both terrestrial and aquatic systems by disrupting long evolved interactions. Rapid changes occurring throughout the biosphere affect biological interactions at all scales of organization. Here we explore all kind of relations existing between biodiversity and global changes.
1.       Michiel Vos (Netherlands Institute of Ecology) (
2.       Joana Salles (University of Groningen)
1.       Merel Soons (Utrecht University)
2.       Silke Bauer (Netherlands Institute of Ecology
1.     Eric Visser (Radboud University)
2.     Joanna Cardoso (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
1.      Tim Engelkes (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
2.     Gregoire Freschet (Vrije Universiteit)
Multi-genome comparative analysis of Enterococcus faecium: from harmless commensal to opportunistic pathogen
(Willem van Schaik, University Medical Centre Utrecht)
Coral reef fish orientation by use of habitat-specific cues
(Chantal Huijbers, Radboud University)
The regulation of cell wall extensibility during shade avoidance: a study of two ecotypes of Stellaria longipes
(Rashmi Sasidharan, Utrecht University)
How allometric scaling relates to soil abiotics and land-use changes
(Christian Mulder, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment)
Microbial diversity determines the invasion of soil by a bacterial pathogen 
(Joana Falcão Salles, University of Groningen)
The importance of personality when individuals are on the move
(Ralf Kurvers, Wageningen University)
Spatial and temporal root activity patterns of trees and grasses: two approaches to test the two-layer hypothesis in a subtropical savanna
(Richard Verweij, University of Cape Town)
Sub-Arctic Vegetation Composition Resistant to Climate Change?
(Frida Keuper, Vrije Universiteit)
COLIWAVE a simulation model for survival of E. coli O157:H7 in dairy manure and manure-amended soil
Alexander Semenov, University of Groningen)
Speedy ticks as result of Borrelia tricks
(Fedor Gassner, Wageningen University)
Inorganic carbon uptake by Southern Ocean phytoplankton in response to ambient CO2: from physiology to ecology
(Ika Neven, University of Groningen)
Mass-mortality of insular vertebrates during megadrought 4200 years ago: will insular vertebrates cope with future climatic extremes?
(Kenneth Rijsdijk, Naturalis / University of Amsterdam)
The ecology of Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia isolates in the Leek rhizosphere
(Ulisses Nunes da Rocha, University of Groningen / Plant Research International)
The dispersal-competition relationship: do the best take the dispersal risk or are the poorest kicked-out?
(Dries Bonte, Ghent University)
Differential reproductive strategies of two bivalves in the Dutch Wadden Sea
(Joana Cardoso, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Effects of rising CO2 on stoichiometry and competition in phytoplankton
(Jolanda Verspagen, University of Amsterdam)
Effects of different potato genotypes on soil fungal community structure and function
(Emilia Hannula, Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
Migration and dispersal modelling: techniques and applications for river conservation and restoration management (Peter Goethals, Ghent University)
Reproductive investment of Scrobicularia plana along a latitudinal gradient
(Sílvia Santos, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Beyond climate envelopes: new views on climate change effects from butterfly population dynamics
(Michiel WallisdeVries, Wageningen University / Dutch Butterfly Conservation)
Positive effects of organic farming on belowground mutualists: large scale comparison of mycorrhizal fungal communities in agricultural and natural soils
(Erik Verbruggen, Vrije Universiteit)
Dispersal of tropical megafaunal seeds by rodents
(Patrick Jansen, Wagningen University / University of Groningen)
Effects of different time-variable exposure regimes of the insecticide chlorpyrifos on freshwater invertebrate communities in outdoor microcosms
(Mazhar Iqbal Zafar, Wageningen University)
Modelling climate impacts on genetic diversity in metapopulations
(Marleen Cobben, Wageningen University and Research)
Europe Hall
Closing Session (Hans de Kroon)
·          Awards ceremony
o         Best PhD research paper Award (Han Olff)
o         Best Poster Award (Roland Bobbink)
·          Synthesis (Louise Vet)
Fare-well drinks and Dinner
Call for presentations
As can be seen in the programme each parallel session (a, b, c, and d) consists of six 20-minute presentations (15-minute presentation and 5-minute discussion).
Those wanting to contribute to one of the parallel sessions, please contact one of the conveners of that session by sending a mail with the title and abstract of your presentation as well as a possible other session in which your presentation would fit when the session you applied to is full. Deadline for submission is the 10'th of January 2010
After this date, conveners select the six best abstracts of submitted presentations (quality and focus of the session) foe their session. Accordingly, they inform all who have submitted a request to present. Those that cannot present in first instance may be able to present in another session where the presentation would also be able to fit in. All other will be asked to present their work in a poster.
Poster Sessions
As can be seen in the programme, poster session will be organised. Those that want to present a poster, please mention this in your application giving the title of your poster as well as the session it should belong to.
During the closing session on Wednesday afternoon, the NECOV Best Poster Prize(s) will also be awarded. Posters will be evaluated on scientific quality, clarity and attractiveness. First, second and third prizes are € 300, € 200, and € 100 resp.
Fees (Fees must be paid cash when registering at De Wereld in Lunteren).

PhD and MSc (with Bed and Breakfast)
€ 150.-
Others (with Bed and Breakfast)
€ 200.-
PhD and MSc (without Bed and Breakfast)
€ 100.-
Others (without Bed and Breakfast)
Day Visitors (PhD and MSc)
€ 50,-
Day Visitor (Others)
€ 70,-

To register, please fill in the Resgistration form (to download the form click HERE) and send it to