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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Effects of interaction between eutrophication and major environmental factors on the ecosystem stability of reed vegetation in European landwaterecotones


To investigate the effect of continued eutrophication on the ecosystem stability of reed stands under different water table regimes and temperature conditions.

The project will examine the effects of interactions between eutrophication, water table management and temperature on ecophysiological processes in reed plants and biogeochemical processes in the rhizosphere of reed. Changes in these processes are supposed to be involved in the die-back of reed stands. Variability within and between reed populations will be studied to prove (or disprove) that populations with limited genetic variability will be more susceptible to environmental stress than populations which are highly variable, or which are already adapted to high nutrient loads.

The following tasks will be addressed:

A) Determination of growth and productivity of reed populations at contrasting European localities.

B) Field investigation of carbon and nutrient (especially nitrogen) cycles within reed stands in relation to the trophy status and the water table management of the sites.

C) Determination of the effects of eutrophication, water table fluctuations and oxygen demand in the sediment on oxygen transport within the reed plants, architectural and anatomical structures related to O2 transport, and viability and growth of rhizomes and roots.

D) Examination of the impacts of nutrient enrichment, temperature, and water table fluctuations on biogeochemical fluxes of C and N compounds, and on the characteristics of dominant nitrate-reducing bacteria.

E) Determination of the genetic variability within and between European reed populations in relation to the trophic status of the site, hydrological situation, and the performance of the reed to progress or to be subject to die-back.

The expected results of these investigations are intended to provide the scientific basis for the conservation and/or a more rational management of this important component of wetlands.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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22,Boterhoeksestraat 48

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Total cost
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Participants (6)