Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research

UUNIOZ_Builders on the beach

How do establishing dune grasses survive flooding and drought?

Coastal ecosystems are under increasing stress from sea-level rise and drought and rapidly declining worldwide. Recent findings reveal that, similar to other stressed ecosystems like drylands, the restoration of coastal ecosystems is only successful when key biophysical feedbacks and spatial processes are targeted. Seagrass and marsh grasses for instance form large patches that generate self-facilitation, and mimicking such patches improves restoration. This approach, however, proved insufficient for dune grasses. We propose to test the hypothesis that dune grasses self-organize to rapidly form high freshwater-storing dunes to survive flooding and drought, hinting towards new trait-based improved restoration designs.

Building coastal landscapes with spatially organizing plants. De Hors Texel. Photo: Carlijn Lammers

Joint research

This project is part of the joint research of Utrecht University and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research concerning the functioning of (coastal) seas and oceans.  Pairs of scienists will carry out interdisciplinary research into pressing scientific and societal issues that tie in with the strategic themes of both organisations. In addition to the Faculties of Science and Geosciences, also the Faculties of Law, Economics and Governance, and Veterinary Medicine of the UU are involved. The projects are part of the agreement to intensify the collaboration UU-NIOZ (2016-2025), funded by UU.

Project information

Research leaders 
Prof. Dr. Ir. Tjisse van der Heide (NIOZ)
Dr. Angeles Garcia Mayor (Utrecht University)

Theme 
Our Dynamic Coasts
Sustainable functioning of Coastal and Shelf Seas

UU-NIOZ project page
For more information on this project and other UU-NIOZ projects, visit the joint UU-NIOZ project page 

Meet the team
Below you find the NIOZ employee(s) working in this team. For a complete overview including Utrecht University team members visit the joint UU-NIOZ project page 

Project information
Linked department:
Linked centre of expertise:
Funder:
Utrecht University
Duration:
1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2025
Partner
  • Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Meet the team

 
Heide van der, Tjisse
Research Leader
 
Koppel van de, Johan
Research Leader
 
Berghuis, Paul
PhD student

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