Evaluating the success of upland hay meadow restoration using green hay transfer

Ruth Starr-Keddle describes her latest research with the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership to further the knowledge base on upland hay meadows and investigate the success of seed addition of key indicator species for restoring the landscape. Over the last 50 years there have been substantial declines in botanical diversity of traditionally managed species-rich upland hay meadows (conforming to the UK National … Continue reading Evaluating the success of upland hay meadow restoration using green hay transfer

Behind the cover 3:2 – Fire protects grasslands from woody species and benefits the birds that call this landscape home

Biodiversity is most rapidly declining on grasslands of all the terrestrial biomes, and large-scale interventions are much needed to restore these landscapes. In their latest Practice Insights, Caleb Roberts and colleagues showcase long-term efforts in successfully restoring the Loess Canyons, USA, using fire as tool. Find out more about the story behind the cover of our latest issue. Imagining the Great Plains of the United … Continue reading Behind the cover 3:2 – Fire protects grasslands from woody species and benefits the birds that call this landscape home

The response of sub-adult savanna trees to six successive annual fires in the Guinean savannas of West Africa.

In a six year experimental field study, N’Dri and colleagues demonstrate how burning during the annual long dry season can be managed to maintain a target density of trees, with implications for use in the other humid savannas. Fires in humid savannas are set by humans for different management purposes. In the Guinean savannas of West Africa, successive annual fires are common, with stakeholders generally … Continue reading The response of sub-adult savanna trees to six successive annual fires in the Guinean savannas of West Africa.

Community-level responses of African carnivores to prescribed burning

Fires are common in many ecosystems world-wide, and are frequently used as a management tool. Using South African carnivores as their focal community, Laura C. Gigliotti and colleagues explore the relative changes in carnivore intensity of use in post-fire landscapes associated with hypothesized changes in prey availability and top-down suppression. Prescribed burning is a common form of habitat management and assessing wildlife responses to burning is … Continue reading Community-level responses of African carnivores to prescribed burning

Twenty years of tallgrass prairie restoration in northern Illinois, USA

Elizabeth Bach and Bill Kleiman share their latest findings from monitoring long-term ecosystem restoration on The Nature Conservancy’s Nachusa Grassland preserve. The challenges facing our planet can feel overwhelming and paralyzing. Climate is changing, biodiversity is declining, people are struggling to be in community with one another. However, there are signs of hope. The United Nations declared 2021-2030 as the Decade on Restoration, upholding ecosystem … Continue reading Twenty years of tallgrass prairie restoration in northern Illinois, USA

Protecting an iconic desert one pixel at a time

When dealing with highly invasive plants in fragile ecosystems, managers need effective management tools to prioritize their time and efforts. In their recently published Data Article, Gerst and colleagues describe a new tool by the USA National Phenology Network to help invasive buffelgrass managers efficiently schedule herbicide treatment efforts. The Sonoran Desert, which covers the southern half of the Arizona, southeastern California, and large portions … Continue reading Protecting an iconic desert one pixel at a time

Reintroducing Grazing in California’s Vernal Pools—Can we reverse the effects of past management?

In disturbance-adapted ecosystems, the removal of disturbance can lead to losses of diversity and sometimes irreversible changes in community composition. In their latest research, Michaels and colleagues identify the thresholds at which changes occur and explore the reversibility of these shifts in a vernal pool ecosystem in Northern California. If you head out in search of one of California’s famous vernal pools, you’ll have to … Continue reading Reintroducing Grazing in California’s Vernal Pools—Can we reverse the effects of past management?

Diversifying plant communities in vineyards to increase natural pest control services

Léa Beaumelle and Adrien Rusch introduce their team’s latest research exploring different landscape contexts to identify ways to best foster natural pest control on agricultural lands. Insects and arthropods play key roles in agricultural systems. Arthropods comprise pests, such as aphids or caterpillars, but also beneficial organisms: predators such as spiders and ground beetles (natural enemies) prey upon insect pests and limit pest populations. As … Continue reading Diversifying plant communities in vineyards to increase natural pest control services

A deep learning model for pollinator plant surveys

Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) feeding on the nectar of Creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense) flowers © Damien Hicks Authors Damien Hicks and Christoph Kratz introduce their team’s latest research demonstrating the use of machine learning for quadrat surveys to improve accessibility and resource efficiency of current methods for floral vegetation monitoring. The nectar sugar contained in flowers is a key driver of pollinator abundance and diversity. … Continue reading A deep learning model for pollinator plant surveys

Rewilding old fields: why additional effort is needed to restore wildflowers

Why has restoring old fields been a challenge for practitioners for decades? In their latest research, Tina Parkhurst, Suzanne Prober and Rachel Standish explore the efficacy of intervention efforts to understand limitations in current practices. Globally, there is a trend towards widespread abandonment of marginal agricultural land. Land abandonment is often associated with land degradation following long-term unsustainable agricultural practices, resulting in low productivity. Whilst … Continue reading Rewilding old fields: why additional effort is needed to restore wildflowers