Besides the obvious complications of coronavirus, the inability to travel to conduct research has led for the need for researchers to get creative over the past year. Typically, researchers are able to visit Bonaire, bringing international expertise right to the source. Unfortunately, travel restrictions have made this nearly impossible. This was the perfect opportunity for researchers to get creative, building their own tropical nursery in the Netherlands.
If you can’t go to the tropics, why not bring the tropics to you?
This is exactly what a team of researchers did from the Wageningen University & Research have done. By creating a tropical plant nursery back in the Netherlands, scientists from the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management group at WUR and Netherlands Earth System Science Centre (NESSC) can continue their research even in these uncertain times.
These scientists are hoping to learn more about the affects of climate change and urbanization has had on these mangroves and seagrass beds. Typically this includes field studies which allow researchers the ability to see the situation first hand. Due to travel restrictions, this is no longer possible. Setting up a tropical nursery, although not a complete replacement for the real deal, does allow for something in between.
The fully functioning nursery uses material collected from the mangroves forest of Lac Bay on Bonaire and plants provided by the Burger’s Zoo in Arnhem. Within just a few months, the nursery is now filled with flourishing mangrove and seagrass species. This should give researchers the ability to continue their research even when traveling abroad is not possible.
For more information, read the press releases for Wageningen University & Research and NESSC
To read more about similar tropical nursery research, on the Mangrove Maniacs Research page