Scientific 'WoeMiBo' VIII: Clarisse Kraamwinkel, Marie Stessens & Eunbi Kwon


The Scientific Sessions are bi-weekly scientific get-togethers. An open stage to discuss scientific topics and to ask for feedback from a dedicated audience.

Mar 6 2024 (15:00-17:00)

BirdEyes (Zaailand 110 Leeuwarden)

The members of the Godwit Landscapes Project are close associates of BirdEyes. During this scientific session two of them will present their work: Clarisse Kraamwinkel (PhD researcher, Campus Fryslân) and Marie Stessens (PhD researcher, BirdEyes/ConsEco). We also welcome Eunbi Kwon (postdoctoral researcher, Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence), who will give a talk about her exciting study on long-billed dowitchers. Through European eyes, we may think that dowitchers look like our godwits, but Eunbi will show us that looks are deceiving and that dowitchers actually behave very differently!

Description of Clarisse Kraamwinkel’s talk:
In the face of human-induced climate changes and biodiversity decline, societies look at the soil for more than just food production. In the Frisian peat meadow area, so-called demands on the soil include water storage to mitigate droughts, above and belowground habitat provision to help bend the curve on biodiversity loss, carbon storage to mitigate climate change, a balanced nutrient cycle to reduce losses to the environment, and sufficiently high primary productivity to enable thriving farms. During this presentation, we will explore how well different types of Frisian peat, with and without a mineral cover, under different forms of (water) management can provide these soil-based ecosystem services. In addition, we will briefly touch upon our plans for a follow-up study to determine the structure, functioning, and resilience of the soil food web in Frisian peat soils under different (water) management practices. This is an important next step as the soil fauna is responsible for the provision of most of the aforementioned services.

Description of Marie Stessen’s talk:
Designing conservation plans for declining species requires detailed knowledge about vulnerability in all life stages. In black-tailed godwits, we know that a too low recruitment is causing the current decline. However, recruitment is still a very extensive phase; nests need to hatch, juveniles need to survive their flightless days, they need to undertake their first ever migration and spend year(s) in the non-breeding grounds before finally returning to the Netherlands as breeding adults themselves. So if we want to protect godwits, where in the recruitment process do we need to focus conservation efforts? Where can we gain the most? We are currently exploring these questions, but invite you all to think along!

Description of Eunbi Kwon’s talk:
The criteria migratory birds use to make settlement decisions likely vary depending on their life-history and the annual cycle. Measures of dispersal or site fidelity at different stages can inform about the drivers behind those settlement decisions. Since 2019, we tracked the migratory movements of 48 long-billed dowitchers (Limnodromus scolopaceus) that breed along the arctic coasts of north America and Russia and winter in the southern US and Mexico, using a 2 g satellite transmitter. In this presentation, we will follow dowitchers on their migration and show their exceptionally low breeding site fidelity and mate fidelity. Explorative spring movement of dowitchers contrasts with high wintering site fidelity and at the same time highlights their navigational skills. Based on our findings, we will infer the potential drivers of season-specific site fidelity in long-billed dowitchers.


In addition, we are currently organizing targeted work meetings, building on the traditions that we have developed during the Wadvogelwerk (Metawad-Waddenfonds), Kening fan ‘e Greide for many years, and the black-tailed godwit research in southwest Fryslân.

Centre for global ecological change at the University of Groningen

Birdeyes is a science and creative centre that views the world - almost literally - through the eyes of birds. More and more birds are flying around with tiny transmitters, loggers and other high technology on their backs and legs. This generates an unimaginable amount of information. By cleverly combining such data with other sources of information, and by using new ways to tell stories and share the insights with, BirdEyes strives to open up a new knowledge network. The centre aims to be an innovative part of the University of Groningen and is linked to the Rudolph Agricola School for Sustainable Development. BirdEyes, with empirical and inspirational roots in the farthest corners of the world.

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