Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2018 – day 1

Today the Dutch ecological community has convened at the Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NEAM) in the forest near Lunteren. The meeting was kicked off by plenary lectures by Trisha Atwood and Han Olff who talked to the theme of “Ecosystem functioning in a changing world”. Trisha highlighted the importance of animals in modifying plant communities and their consequent importance for understanding changes in carbon storage. Han illustrated the complexity of ecological networks and posed the significant challenge of understanding changes in competing networks. Following the plenaries I chose two sessions to follow. The first on “Plant Ecology” and the second on “Ecosystem Resilience”. There were many exciting talks in both sessions, two of which grabbed my attention. Mara Baudena (Utrecht University) highlighted the complexity of modelling forest-grassland interactions in Africa, while Sofia Gomes (Naturalis Biodiversity Centre) showed surprising (to me) variation in mychorizal fungi across the globe.Furthermore four talks were presented by researchs at my home, the Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics (University of Amsterdam):

  • Crystal McMichael “Ancient human disturbances may be skewing our understanding of Amazonian ecology”
  • Milan Teunissen van Manan “Species specific responses in leaf wax n-alkane composition from six tropical tree species”
  • Kenneth Rijsdijk “Assessing the resiliance of insular species to past climate change”
  • Seringe Huisman “Characterization of phytoliths in premontance western Amazonian forests”

So an exciting day, now for food and beer, and back on it tomorrow! Follow live on Twitter 

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