As flooding events increase in frequency and severity, how will managed grasslands weather the storm? Can we use the traits or ‘strategies’ of the plants that make up these grasslands to predict their resilience? Natalie Oram and colleagues address this issue in their new Journal of Applied Ecology article. Here they discuss their work further. Long story short: in flooded conditions, resource-conservative plant communities are … Continue reading Weathering the storm: plant community flood resilience in intensively managed grasslands and the role of the plant economic spectrum
In their recently published article, Alistair Auffret and Evelina Lindgren show how historical maps can be a useful tool to identify which road verges can best support grassland habitats. Here the authors provide a summary of their work Road verges are by now quite well known to provide valuable habitat for grassland species if they are managed appropriately (Phillips et al., 2019; Vanneste et al., … Continue reading Age is a better indicator of biodiversity for road verges than surrounding landscape
An English version of this post is available here. La mayoría de los esfuerzos para promover la conservación de polinizadores están enfocados en mantener o incrementar el rango de plantas con flores disponibles para ellos. La razón es simple: las plantas con flores proveen néctar y polen, recursos esenciales para su subsistencia. Sin embargo, los polinizadores dependen de otros recursos que probablemente también determinan su … Continue reading Conservando flores conservamos polinizadores?
Research from Buckles and Harmon-Threatt explores how prairie management strategies can affect pollinator communities both directly and indirectly, highlighting why we shouldn’t ignore what’s happening below ground. Associate Editor, Guadalupe Peralta elaborates. A Spanish version of this post is available here. Most efforts to preserve pollinators are focused on maintaining or increasing the range of flowering plants available. The reason behind this is clear: flowers … Continue reading Are flowers enough for preserving pollinators?
New research from Sperry et al. provides insights into prairie restoration practice. Associate Editor, Lars Brudvig explains more. Grasslands, including North American prairies, are widely restored through seed sowing onto abandoned agricultural lands. This approach to restoration holds great promise for promoting grassland biodiversity, yet restored prairies typically harbor fewer plant species than remnants without a history of agriculture, and plant diversity tends to decline … Continue reading The context dependencies of how spillover from remnant grasslands enhances plant diversity in restorations
Our August cover image by Guiyao Zhou (East China Normal University) shows how livestock grazing activities potentially alter many ecosystem functions such as carbon sequestration. But these effects can be markedly regulated by the associated global change factors (e.g., warming, nitrogen addition and drought). Here Guiyao shares the story behind the cover image and the grassland ecosystem work it represents. These photos were taken in Wayan mountain, a very beautiful alpine meadow … Continue reading Cover stories: recovering beauty
Using results from a long-term experiment at Glen Finglas in Scotland, Robin Pakeman and colleagues show that even substantial changes in grazing management take many years to play out, so forecasting change in the uplands is difficult. Here Robin explains more about their work. We set up the Glen Finglas experiment in 2002 to look at how changes to the European Common Agricultural Policy, specifically … Continue reading Vegetation change in the uplands is slow, slow, slow
Meredith Root-Bernstein raises the question of how we define overgrazing and highlights the recent findings of Oliva et al. in their article, Remotely sensed primary productivity shows that domestic and native herbivores combined are overgrazing Patagonia. Can large wild herbivores live together with domestic livestock? This question is important to answer if we are going to reconcile the conservation of herbivore populations across large areas … Continue reading Guanacos can coexist with commercial livestock in Patagonia
Following a recently published Research Article, Jennifer Smart explores this question and considers ways we can continue to work with the farming community to achieve conservation goals. Jennifer worked on this post with the British Ecological Society Policy team. In contemporary landscapes, grazing by domesticated cattle and sheep has become an increasingly important aspect of grassland management. This is largely because natural processes such as … Continue reading Conservation grazing on saltmarsh: are agri-environment schemes helping?
Our latest cover photo, taken by Marcus Meißner shows a red deer stag amidst an area of common broom the Grafenwöhr military training area (GTA), Germany. Besides disturbances caused by military training activities and mechanical land management, grazing by wild red deer contributes to maintaining open habitats on GTA. Friederike Riesch, lead author of the corresponding article, Grazing by wild red deer: Management options for … Continue reading Cover stories: red deer for grassland conservation