Project properties

Title MSc thesis: Stimulating flower-rich grassland on clay dikes
Group Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Jos� van Paassen
Examiner(s) dr. Jos� van Paassen, dr. Philippine Vergeer
Contact info jose.vanpaassen@wur.nl
Begin date 2021/03/01
End date 2022/09/30
Description Dikes are often very varied, relatively nutrient-poor habitats, and can be home to typical grassland vegetation types (In Dutch for instance stroomdalgralsand or glanshaverhooiland) and can be great habitats for insects. Because of their primary function regarding water safety, dike vegetation is cut regularly, and a tight grass mat is traditionally preferred. Herbaceous species have different rooting structures, which could affect the erosion susceptibility of the dike, but could also affect water availability and thereby drought resistance. Furthermore, more diverse vegetation on dikes could increase flower availability for pollinators. More herb-rich grassland can be stimulated through re-seeding stretches of dike or changing the mowing management, to allow for herbaceous species to flower.This MSc project will assess the relationship between the management of dikes and species richness, flower abundance and erosion resistance of dike vegetation at the water board �Hollandse Delta�, south of Rotterdam. In 2021 the mowing strategy will be adjusted, therefore this project is a great opportunity to study which factors influence the success of adjusting this management. The start of the project is preferably in spring 2021 (March/April, before management starts).
Used skills Field work, plant identification, data analysis
Requirements Driving license
(Interest in acquiring) plant identification skills