The context dependencies of how spillover from remnant grasslands enhances plant diversity in restorations

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

Cover stories: recovering beauty

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

Vegetation change in the uplands is slow, slow, slow

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

Guanacos can coexist with commercial livestock in Patagonia

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

Conservation grazing on saltmarsh: are agri-environment schemes helping?

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?

Cover stories: red deer for grassland conservation

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

Einsatz von Rotwild zur Erhaltung ökologisch wertvollen Grasslands

Kommentare zu einem neuen Artikel von Frederike Riesch et al. Von Jana Eccard und Annabel Smith. An version of this post is available in English here. Ökologisch wertvolles Offenland ist in Mitteleuropa oft durch historisch gewachsene Landnutzungsformen entstanden. Offene und Halboffene Flächen beinhalten zahlreiche seltene, streng geschützte Lebensraumtypen und sind Rückzugsräume für viele gefährdete Arten. Durch den Verlust solcher Landnutzungsformen wird heutzutage ein aktives Management zum … Continue reading Einsatz von Rotwild zur Erhaltung ökologisch wertvollen Grasslands

Editor’s Choice 56:6 -Wild and free: red deer grazing for conservation

Issue 56:6’s Editor’s Choice article demonstrates how a ‘hands-off’ approach and grazing by wild ungulates can be just as effective as livestock when it comes to managing grassland biomass – given the specific contexts are considered. Annabel Smith and Jana Eccard share highlights from the research by Friederike Riesch and colleagues, Grazing by wild red deer: Management options for the conservation of semi‐natural open habitats. … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 56:6 -Wild and free: red deer grazing for conservation

Traditional management systems maintain phylogenetically distinct rare species in semi-natural grasslands

Based on their research in Japan, Kei Uchida and colleagues, highlight why traditional land-use practices need to be upheld if we are to support biodiversity and rare species in semi-natural grasslands. We live in an era of rapidly changing land use. Semi-natural grasslands on the margins of agricultural lands were previously maintained by traditional extensive management practices. But, more recently, a decline in traditional land-use … Continue reading Traditional management systems maintain phylogenetically distinct rare species in semi-natural grasslands