Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)113 57 7322
Location
Yerseke
Function
Postdoc
University
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Expertise
  • Stability and resilience of self-organised adaptive systems
  • Scientific modelling & computation
  • Experimental ecology
  • Scale-bridging in ecology
  • Coastal ecosystems (focus on tidal marshes)

MSc. Jim van Belzen

Postdoc

Stability and Resilience of Coastal Systems

Understanding how coastal systems will respond to change as the result of climate change and sea level rise is paramount in the current age of global change. Especially because coastal societies are often strongly contingent upon their functioning and the services they provide. The stability and resilience of these ecosystems is often underpinned by ecosystem-engineering species that modify and attenuate the physical conditions that force them. This can lead to positive feedback and a rich set of possible responses that shape the stability and resilience of these coastal systems.

Developing new insights that can help us understand what ecosystem responses can be expected is the main focus of my research. Therefore, I combine experimental, observational and modelling approaches. Most of the time I work on tidal marshes, but I also have a keen interest in reef building organisms.
HellegatDrone.jpg

Personal motivation

At the core the science I do is driven by my childish curiosity to better understand the natural world around me. Yet, I strongly believe that my research -and that of my college’s- is highly needed and contributes to a fact-based understanding of our blue planet. Thereby providing the much needed information to help decision-making into a responsible and sustainable use of our coasts and oceans.

Introducing Jim van Belzen @ NIOZ

Watch the above short video to get an introduction into my work as an ecologist and modeller.

Linked news

Friday 09 June 2017
Langzamer herstel kondigt kantelpunten aan in kustecosystemen
~ ENGLISH version below Dutch version ~ Ecosystemen kunnen plotseling verloren gaan wanneer de druk te groot wordt. Het voorspellen van het kantelpunt is dan ook van groot belang. Wiskundige modellen lieten al mogelijke waarschuwingssignalen zien.…
Wednesday 17 May 2017
Klimaatverandering maakt schorren kwetsbaarder voor zeespiegelstijging
Schorren langs de Middellandse Zee kust zijn belangrijk om de nadelige effecten op de kust van hogere golven bij zeespiegelstijging tegen te gaan. De schorrenplanten zorgen ervoor dat zand en slib makkelijker bezinkt waardoor deze schorren kunnen…
Tuesday 18 October 2016
Ragworms sprout cached seeds to get a more nutritious meal
Ragworms that live in the seabed of tidal flats and marshes are opportunistic feeders and known to eat practically anything. Nevertheless, it was a big surprise to researchers from the NIOZ, Deltares and the Japanese company TechnoSuruga Laboratory…

NIOZ publications

  • 2022
    Cheng, C.H.; van Belzen, J.; de Smit, J.; Suykerbuyk, W.; Grandjean, T.; Stoorvogel, M.; van Dalen, J.; de Vet, L.; Bouma, T.J.; Ysebaert, T. (2022). T0-monitoring Natuurimpuls Oosterschelde. Wageningen Marine Research Report, C047/22. IMARES: Yerseke. 60 pp. https://dx.doi.org/10.18174/576025
    Schoutens, K.; Luys, P.; Heuner, M.; Fuchs, E.; Minden, V.; Schulte-Ostermann, T.; Bouma, T.J.; van Belzen, J.; Temmerman, S. (2022). Traits of tidal marsh plants determine survival and growth response to hydrodynamic forcing: implications for nature-based shoreline protection. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 693: 107-124. https://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps14091
    Weisscher, S.; Baar, A.W.; van Belzen, J.; Bouma, T.J.; Kleinhans, M.G. (2022). Transitional polders along estuaries: driving land-level rise and reducing flood propagation. Nature-Based Solutions 2: 100022. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbsj.2022.100022
    Gourgue, O.; van Belzen, J.; Schwarz, C.; Vandenbruwaene, W.; Vanlede, J.; Belliard, J.-P.; Fagherazzi, S.; Bouma, T.J.; van de Koppel, J.; Temmerman, S. (2022). Biogeomorphic modeling to assess the resilience of tidal-marsh restoration to sea level rise and sediment supply. Earth Surface Dynamics 10(3): 531-553. https://dx.doi.org/10.5194/esurf-10-531-2022
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    Hamer, A.; Walles, B.; van Belzen, J.; Bouma, T.J.; de Louw, P.; van Dalen, J.; Bax, V.; van de Langewege, W. (2022). Progress report: Rammegors tidal restoration: Phase 2. Wageningen Marine Research: Yerseke. 93 pp. https://doi.org/10.18174/562499
    van Belzen, J.; Fivash, G.S.; Hu, Z.; Bouma, T.J.; Herman, P.M.J. (2022). A probabilistic framework for windows of opportunity: the role of temporal variability in critical transitions. J. R. Soc. Interface 19(190): 0220041. https://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2022.0041
    Fivash, G.S.; van Belzen, J.; Temmink, R.J.M.; Didderen, K.; Lengkeek, W.; van der Heide, T.; Bouma, T.J. (2022). Increasing spatial dispersion in ecosystem restoration mitigates risk in disturbance‐driven environments. J. Appl. Ecol. 59(4): 1050-1059. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.14116
  • 2021
    van Belzen, J.; Bouma, T.J. (2022). Beschermen van de getijdennatuur in het Verdronken Land van Zuid-Beveland door middel van erosieremmende maatregelen: Een theoretische verkenning naar gebruik van natuurlijke ruimtelijke structuren en materialen. NIOZ-rapport, 2022(01). NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Yerseke. 80 pp.
    Hu, Z.; Borsje, B.W.; van Belzen, J.; Willemsen, P.W.J.M.; Wang, H.; Peng, Y.; Yuan, L.; De Dominicis, M.; Wolf, J.; Temmerman, S.; Bouma, T.J. (2021). Mechanistic modeling of marsh seedling establishment provides a positive outlook for coastal wetland restoration under global climate change. Geophys. Res. Lett. 48(22): e2021GL095596. https://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2021gl095596
    van de Vijsel, R.C.; van Belzen, J.; Bouma, T.J.; van der Wal, D.; van de Koppel, J. (2021). Algal‐induced biogeomorphic feedbacks lay the groundwork for coastal wetland development. JGR: Biogeosciences 126(10): e2021JG006515. https://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2021jg006515
    Cao, H.; Zhu, Z.; van Belzen, J.; Gourgue, O.; van de Koppel, J.; Temmerman, S.; Herman, P.M.J.; Zhang, L.; Yuan, L.; Bouma, T.J. (2021). Salt marsh establishment in poorly consolidated muddy systems: effects of surface drainage, elevation, and plant age. Ecosphere 12(9): e03755. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3755
    Marín Díaz, B.; Fivash, G.S.; Nauta, J.; Temmink, R.J.M.; Hijner, N.; Reijers, V.C; Cruijsen, P.M.J.M.; Didderen, K.; Heusinkveld, J.H.T.; Penning, E.; Maldonado-Garcia, G.; van Belzen, J.; de Smit, J.C.; Christianen, M.J.A.; van der Heide, T.; van der Wal, D.; Olff, H.; Bouma, T.J.; Govers, L.L. (2021). On the use of large-scale biodegradable artificial reefs for intertidal foreshore stabilization. Ecol. Eng. 170: 106354. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2021.106354
    Fivash, G.S.; Stüben, D.; Bachmann, M.; Walles, B.; van Belzen, J.; Didderen, K.; Temmink, R.J.M.; Lengkeek, W.; van der Heide, T.; Bouma, T.J. (2021). Can we enhance ecosystem-based coastal defense by connecting oysters to marsh edges? Analyzing the limits of oyster reef establishment. Ecol. Eng. 165: 106221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2021.106221
    van Belzen, J.; Rienstra, G.; Bouma, T.J. (2021). Dubbele dijken als robuuste waterkerende landschappen voor een welvarende Zuidwestelijke Delta. NIOZ-rapport, 2021(01). NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Yerseke. 108 pp. https://doi.org/10.25850/nioz/7b.b.kb
    Reijers, V.C; Hoeks, S.; van Belzen, J.; Siteur, K.; de Rond, A.J.A.; van de Ven, C.N.; Lammers, C.; van de Koppel, J.; van der Heide, T. (2021). Sediment availability provokes a shift from Brownian to Lévy‐like clonal expansion in a dune building grass. Ecol. Lett. 24(2): 258-268. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13638
    Gourgue, O.; van Belzen, J.; Schwarz, C.; Bouma, T.J.; van de Koppel, J.; Temmerman, S. (2021). A convolution method to assess subgrid‐scale interactions between flow and patchy vegetation in biogeomorphic models. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst. 13(2): e2020MS002116. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020MS002116
  • 2020
    van Belzen, J.; Bouma, T.J.; Ysebaert, T. (2020). Blue Carbon in het Verdronken Land van Zuid-Beveland. NIOZ-rapport, 2020(03). NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Yerseke. 63 pp. https://doi.org/10.25850/nioz/7b.b.z
    Schotanus, J.; Walles, B.; Capelle, J.J.; van Belzen, J.; van de Koppel, J.; Bouma, T.J. (2020). Promoting self‐facilitating feedback processes in coastal ecosystem engineers to increase restoration success: Testing engineering measures. J. Appl. Ecol. 57(10): 1958-1968. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13709
    Wang, C.; Smolders, S.; Callaghan, D.P.; van Belzen, J.; Bouma, T.J.; Hu, Z.; Wen, Q.; Temmerman, S. (2020). Identifying hydro-geomorphological conditions for state shifts from bare tidal flats to vegetated tidal marshes. Remote Sens. 12(14): 2316. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rs12142316
    van de Vijsel, R.C.; van Belzen, J.; Bouma, T.J.; van der Wal, D.; Cusseddu, V.; Purkis, S.J.; Rietkerk, M.; van de Koppel, J. (2020). Estuarine biofilm patterns: modern analogues for Precambrian self‐organization. Earth Surf. Process. Landforms 45(5): 1141-1154. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/esp.4783
    Zhu, Z.; van Belzen, J.; Zhu, Q.; van de Koppel, J.; Bouma, T.J. (2020). Vegetation recovery on neighboring tidal flats forms an Achilles' heel of saltmarsh resilience to sea level rise. Limnol. Oceanogr. 65(1): 51-62. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lno.11249
    Fivash, G.S.; van Belzen, J.; Temmink, R.J.M.; Didderen, K.; Lengkeek, W.; van der Heide, T.; Bouma, T.J. (2020). Elevated micro-topography boosts growth rates in Salicornia procumbens by amplifying a tidally-driven oxygen pump: implications for natural recruitment and restoration. Ann. Bot. 125(2): 277-290. https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcz137
  • 2019
    Reijers, V.C.; Siteur, K.; Hoeks, S.; van Belzen, J.; Borst, A.C.W.; Heusinkveld, J.H.T.; Govers, L.; Bouma, T.J.; Lamers, L.P.M.; van de Koppel, J.; van der Heide, T. (2019). A Lévy expansion strategy optimizes early dune building by beach grasses. Nature Comm. 10: 2656. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10699-8
    Gourgue, O.; van Belzen, J.; Schwarz, C.; Bouma, T.J.; van de Koppel, J.; Temmerman, S. (2019). A new bio-geomorphic model approach accounting for subgrid-scale heterogeneity of biogenic structures, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) Book of abstracts – VLIZ Marine Science Day. Bredene, Belgium, 13 March 2019. VLIZ Special Publication, 83: pp. 40
  • 2018
    de Fouw, J; van der Heide, T.; van Belzen, J.; Govers, L.; Cheikh, M.A.S.; Olff, H.; van de Koppel, J.; van Gils, J.A. (2018). A facultative mutualistic feedback enhances the stability of tropical intertidal seagrass beds. NPG Scientific Reports 8(1): 10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31060-x
    Schwarz, C.; Gourgue, O.; van Belzen, J.; Zhu, Z.; Bouma, T.J.; van de Koppel, J.; Ruessink, G.; Claude, N.; Temmerman, S. (2018). Self-organization of a biogeomorphic landscape controlled by plant life-history traits. Nature Geoscience 11(7): 672-677. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-018-0180-y
    van Belzen, J. (2018). Qualitative growth potential test for brackish Vaucheria species. Protocol Exchange april 2018. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/protex.2018.041
    Hu, Z.; van der Wal, D.; Cai, H.; van Belzen, J.; Bouma, T.J. (2018). Dynamic equilibrium behaviour observed on two contrasting tidal flats from daily monitoring of bed-level changes. Geomorphology (Amst.) 311: 114-126. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2018.03.025
    Nieuwhof, S.; van Belzen, J.; Oteman, B.; van de Koppel, J.; Herman, P.M.J.; van der Wal, D. (2018). Shellfish reefs increase water storage capacity on intertidal flats over extensive spatial scales. Ecosystems 21(2): 360-372. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10021-017-0153-9
  • 2017
    van Belzen, J.; van de Koppel, J.; Kirwan, M.L.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Bouma, T.J. (2017). Disturbance-recovery experiments to assess resilience of ecosystems along a stress gradient . Protocol Exchange June 2017. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/protex.2017.028
    van Belzen, J.; van de Koppel, J.; van der Wal, D.; Herman, P.M.J.; Dakos, V.; Kéfi, S.; Scheffer, M.; Bouma, T.J. (2017). Timing recovery of ecosystems in sequential remotely sensed and simulated data . Protocol Exchange June 2017. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/protex.2017.038
    Schwarz, C.; Cox, T.; van Engeland, T.; van Oevelen, D.; van Belzen, J.; van de Koppel, J.; Soetaert, K.; Bouma, T.J.; Meire, P.; Temmerman, S. (2017). Field estimates of floc dynamics and settling velocities in a tidal creek with significant along-channel gradients in velocity and SPM. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 197: 221-235. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2017.08.041
    Lo, V.B.; Bouma, T.J.; van Belzen, J.; Van Colen, C.; Airoldi, L. (2017). Interactive effects of vegetation and sediment properties on erosion of salt marshes in the Northern Adriatic Sea. Mar. Environ. Res. 131: 32-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.09.006
    Wang, H.; van der Wal, D.; Li, X.; van Belzen, J.; Herman, P.M.J.; Hu, Z.; Ge, Z.; Zhang, L.; Bouma, T.J. (2017). Zooming in and out: scale dependence of extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting salt marsh erosion. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface 122(7): 1455-1470. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016JF004193
    van Belzen, J.; van de Koppel, J.; Kirwan, M.L.; van der Wal, D.; Herman, P.M.J.; Dakos, V.; Kéfi, S.; Scheffer, M.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Bouma, T.J. (2017). Vegetation recovery in tidal marshes reveals critical slowing down under increased inundation. Nature Comm. 8: 15811. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15811
    Strain, E.M.A.; van Belzen, J.; Comandini, P.; Wong, J.; Bouma, T.J.; Airoldi, L. (2017). The role of changing climate in driving the shift from perennial grasses to annual succulents in a Mediterranean saltmarsh. J. Ecol. 105(5): 1374-1385. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12799
  • 2016
    Zhu, Z.; van Belzen, J.; Hong, T; Kunihiro, T.; Ysebaert, T.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bouma, T.J. (2016). Sprouting as a gardening strategy to obtain superior supplementary food: evidence from a seed-caching marine worm. Ecology 97(12): 3278–3284. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecy.1613
    Silinski, A.; van Belzen, J.; Fransen, E.; Bouma, T.J.; Troch, P.; Meire, P.; Temmerman, S. (2016). Quantifying critical conditions for seaward expansion of tidal marshes: a transplantation experiment. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 169: 227-237. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2015.12.012
    de Fouw, J.; Govers, L.; van de Koppel, J.; van Belzen, J.; Dorigo, W.; Sidi Cheikh, M.A.; Christianen, M.J.A.; van der Reijden, K.J.; van der Geest, M.; Piersma, T.; Smolders, A.J.P.; Olff, H.; Lamers, L.P.M.; van Gils, J.A.; van der Heide, T. (2016). Drought, mutualism breakdown, and landscape-scale degradation of seagrass beds. Curr. Biol. 26(8): 1051-1056. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.02.023
    Bouma, T.J.; van Belzen, J.; Balke, T.; van Dalen, J.; KLaassen, P.; Hartog, A.M.; Callaghan, D.P.; Hu, Z.; Stive, M.J.F.; Temmerman, S.; Herman, P.M.J. (2016). Short-term mudflat dynamics drive long-term cyclic salt marsh dynamics. Limnol. Oceanogr. 61(6): 2261-2275. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lno.10374
  • 2015
    Hu, Zhan; van Belzen, J.; Van der Wal, D.; Balke, T.; Wang, Z.B.; Stive, M.; Bouma, T. (2015). Windows of opportunity for salt marsh vegetation establishment on bare tidal flats: The importance of temporal and spatial variability in hydrodynamic forcing. J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosciences: 120(7): 1450-1469. dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014JG002870
    Monbaliu, J.; Bi, Q.; Bouma, T.J.; Toorman, E.A.; van Belzen, J.; Willems, P. (2015). Extreme estuarine water levels and channel morphology, effect on flood extents and habitat resilience: the Scheldt Estuary, Belgium and the Netherlands, in: Coastal Risk Management in a Changing Climate. pp. 332-357. dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-397310-8.00007-5
    Strain, E.M.A.; van Belzen, J.; van Dalen, J.; Bouma, T.J.; Airoldi, L. (2015). Management of Local Stressors Can Improve the Resilience of Marine Canopy Algae toGlobal Stressors. PLoS One 10(3): e0120837. dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0120837
    de Paoli, H.; van de Koppel, J.; van der Zee, E.; Kangeri, A.; van Belzen, J.; Holthuijsen, S.; van den Berg, A.; Herman, P.M.J.; Olff, H.; van der Heide, T. (2015). Processes limiting mussel bed restoration in the Wadden-Sea. J. Sea Res. 103: 42-49. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2015.05.008
  • 2014
    Sanders, D.; Jones, C.G.; Thébault, E.; Bouma, T.J.; van der Heide, T.; van Belzen, J.; Barot, S. (2014). Integrating ecosystem engineering and food webs. Oikos (Kbh.) 123(5): 513–524. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.01011.x
    Hoggart, S.; Hawkins, S.J.; Bohn, K.; Airoldi, L.; van Belzen, J.; Bichot, A.; Bilton, D.T.; Bouma, T.J.; Colangelo, M.A.; Davies, A.J.; Ferrario, F.; Firth, L.; Galvan, C.; Hanley, M.; Heurtefeux, H.; Lara, J.L.; Rodriquez, I.L.; Maza, M.; Ondiviela-Eizaguirre, B.; Rundle, S.D.; Skov, M.W.; Strain, E.M.; White, A.; Zhang, L.; Zhu, Z.; Thompson, R.C. (2014). Ecological Approaches to Coastal Risk Mitigation, in: Zanuttigh, B. et al. Coastal Risk Management in a Changing Climate. pp. 171-236. dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-397310-8.00004-X
    Ondiviela, B.; Losada, I.J.; Lara, J.L.; Maza, M.; Galván, C.; Bouma, T.J.; van Belzen, J. (2014). The role of seagrasses in coastal protection in a changing climate. Coast. Eng. 87: 158-168. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2013.11.005
    Firth, L.B.; Thompson, R.C.; Bohn, K.; Abbiati, M.; Airoldi, L.; Bouma, T.J.; Bozzeda, F.; Ceccherelli, V.U.; Colangelo, M.A.; Evans, A.; Ferrario, F.; Hanley, M.E.; Hinz, H.; Hoggart, S.P.G.; Jackson, J.E.; Moore, P.; Morgan, E.H.; Perkol-Finkel, S.; Skov, M.W.; Strain, E.M.; van Belzen, J.; Hawkins, S.J. (2014). Between a rock and a hard place: Environmental and engineering considerations when designing coastal defence structures. Coast. Eng. 87: 122-135. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2013.10.015
    Bouma, T.J.; van Belzen, J.; Balke, T.; Zhu, Z.; Airoldi, L.; Blight, A.J.; Davies, A.J.; Galván, C.; Hawkins, S.J.; Hoggart, S.P.G.; Lara, J.L.; Losada, I.J.; Maza, M.; Ondiviela, B.; Skov, M.W.; Strain, E.M.; Thompson, R.C.; Yang, S.L.; Zanuttigh, B.; Zhang, L.; Herman, P.M.J. (2014). Identifying knowledge gaps hampering application of intertidal habitats in coastal protection: Opportunities & steps to take. Coast. Eng. 87: 147-157. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2013.11.014
  • 2013
    Christianen, M.J.A.; van Belzen, J.; Herman, P.M.J.; van Katwijk, M.M.; Lamers, L.P.M.; Bouma, T.J. (2013). Low-canopy seagrass beds still provide important coastal protection services. PLoS One 8(5): e62413. hdl.handle.net/10.1371/journal.pone.0062413
  • 2012
    van Belzen, J.; Van de Koppel, J.; Herman, P.; Bouma, T. (2012). Disturbing signs: do real ecosystems slow down towards the verge of collapse? Poster presented at the Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 7 & 8 February, 2012 (NAEM). Department of Spatial Ecology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Yerseke.
    Weerman, E.J.; Van Belzen, J.; Rietkerk, M.; Temmerman, S.; Kéfi, S.; Herman, P.M.J.; Van de Koppel, J. (2012). Changes in diatom patch-size distribution and degradation in a spatially self-organized intertidal mudflat ecosystem. Ecology 93(3): 608-618. dx.doi.org/10.1890/11-0625.1
  • 2011
    van Belzen, J.; van der Wal, D.; Bouma, T.; Herman, P.; Van de Koppel, J. (2011). Chess at the mudflat: Disturbance and recovery at salt-marsh pioneer zones. Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Centre for Estuarine and Marine Ecology: Yerseke. 1 poster pp.