My name is Sven and I work at the NIOO in Wageningen as a PhD student. Normally I primarily work on aquatic biodiversity patterns on a regional scale level. Much of my work takes place in drainage ditch systems that are quite numerous in the Netherlands. Here I examine the effects of land use on regional scale diversity of both (aquatic) plants and zooplankton (meta-)communities. These ditch systems serve as very nice model systems to study regional scale patterns and processes as they are relatively isolated systems that can serve as a type of replicate landscapes. This allows us to study diversity at the meta-community scale level rather than at the level of single water bodies or communities.
When talking about community dynamics, competition for resources is something that quickly comes up. In our case, zooplankton communities consist of different species with varying grazing traits. They can all feed on phytoplankton (algae), though there is a difference between selective and non-selective feeders. Also, some species may feed on other food sources such as bacteria. To examine this difference in feeding behaviour under different fertilization pressure we recently ran an outside cattle tank (200L) experiment. This experiment got me thinking about consumer resource interactions and I hope this course will give me new ideas and insights.