Mini-seminar on sustainable management and restoration of water-related ecosystems - 7 november 2017

Mini-seminar organised by the Chair Integrated Water Management of the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Global Change Ecology Centre (GCE)

Predicting the provision of ecosystem services in coastal landscapes

Prof. Michael Kleyer (Landscape Ecology Group, University of Oldenburg, Germany)

I will present a systems-based approach to predict the provision of ecosystem services in coastal landscapes, addressing structural and functional relationships between environmental drivers of change, ecosystem properties and corresponding service outputs. Due to climate change, coastal sites may be threatened primarily through accelerated sea-level rise, increasing storm surges, and increasing winter rainwater discharge. Accelerating sea-level rise and changes in hydrological cycles are likely to affect coastal ecosystems and may restrict the efficiency of coastal protection measures in the future. I will present an inter- and transdisciplinary investigation of four land management scenarios, applied to a North Sea and a Baltic Sea coastal region. These scenarios aimed at an increased rainwater retention and storage. I will show and discuss the chain of models to quantify and evaluate the performance of multiple ecosystem functions and services in each scenario for the next 100 years. Modelling included process-based hydrological models and statistical species distributions models. We then modelled the provision of ecosystem services based on the traits of the predicted species with yearly time steps until 2100.

Prof. Karen Esler (Conservation Ecology & Entomology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa)

Prof. Karen Esler (Conservation Ecology & Entomology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa)

In South Africa, the primary focus on ecological restoration is associated with the control of invasive alien woody plants, driven by an ecosystem services approach, and/or the restoration of native biodiversity to threatened habitats.  Initially, it was assumed that, if given time, sufficient alien control follow-up and no further actions applied, communities would passively self-repair after alien control. The realization that invasive species often alter conditions, and that these changes may persist as legacy effects, led to an understanding that restoration trajectories may be inhibited by such legacies, even promoting secondary invasion after alien control. Efforts to achieve such restoration outcomes are therefore more challenging as biotic and abiotic thresholds are passed.  In the Western Cape, our focus has been on attempting to understand these thresholds for best-practice management (including restoration) of native ecosystems following invasive alien control. 


7 November 2017,  2 - 3.40 pm.


University of Antwerp, Campus Groenenborger, Building V, Room V008