Monitoring of browsing damage to forests surrounding the Oostvaardersplassen

Red Deer in the Oostvaardersplassen nature area ©Y.G. Klomberg

The past few months during my internship I have also been active with a research in the Oostvaardersplassen (OVP) area. Together with 100 students from the university of Utrecht we set out to measure trees and seedlings in the forests around the OVP (Kotterbos/Oostvaardersbos) which were opened for browsing in 2010/2011. This was a re-measurement from a research set up by the University of Groningen. After some nice days in the field cutting through stinging nettle to find the plots and seedlings we managed to complete the fieldwork at the beginning of July. Afterwards the data was put on a shelf only to be dusted off again when I decided at the end of august to write a report about it to show my supervisor at Wageningen University my statistical skills. With the comments and help of Jasper Kuipers (Staatsbosbeheer), Mariet Hefting (University of Utrecht) and Jasja Dekker (Jasja Dekker Dierecologie/ SBB) I managed to write a report about the fieldwork. Where with a nice mixed linear model and some Mann-Whitney U tests we showed signficant differences in browsing over the areas, year and species found. In the coming years the University of Utrecht will continue to measure the plots in these forests, creating a more accurate datasset which will help in the decision making regarding the OVP management.

Another interesting experience at my internship!

Yannick

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