Conservation optimism: applied ecologists lead the way

Linking to their upcoming summit in Oxford, UK, Conservation Optimism’s E.J. Milner-Gulland brings together a selection of recent research papers that celebrate conservation success and look for solutions. These are both difficult and hopeful times for applied ecologists. On the one hand, the scale and severity of the strain that our ecological systems are under is becoming more and more apparent; a look through the … Continue reading Conservation optimism: applied ecologists lead the way

Busy practitioner? Think carefully before choosing which academic conference to attend

With conference season upon us, Errol Douwes (Environmental Planning and Climate Protection, Durban) shares advice on how to make the most of the academic conference circuit from a practitioner’s perspective. What tips do you have? Leave a comment below or Tweet us @JAppliedEcology. I’ve often wondered if and how other practitioners decide on which conferences they will attend. It’s very seldom that I’ve been invited … Continue reading Busy practitioner? Think carefully before choosing which academic conference to attend

Can living shorelines survive the rising seas?

Take a sneak preview into our new issue, which publishes this Friday and turns the Spotlight on conservation in marine habitats. The feature includes a Practitioner’s Perspective on designing climate‐resilient living shorelines, which Molly Mitchell and Donna Marie Bilkovic discuss here. Look out for an additional post bringing together all the papers in the Spotlight soon. Living shorelines are a form of shoreline protection that mimics … Continue reading Can living shorelines survive the rising seas?

How will climate change impact rangelands in the next few decades?

Philip Thornton (CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)) contributed a chapter to Grasslands and Climate Change, the latest volume of the Ecological Reviews series. In this post Philip tells us more about the chapter, which explains the impacts of climate change on open grasslands used for livestock grazing. There is considerable uncertainty regarding the effects of climate change on rangelands, not … Continue reading How will climate change impact rangelands in the next few decades?

On the horizon: omega-3 fatty acids in oil crops – saving fish or threatening insects?

An emerging genetic technology that makes oilseed crops produce omega-3 fatty acids promises health and sustainability benefits, but there’s a potential adverse impact on insects that hardly anyone is talking about. Lynn Dicks and Xavier Le Roux round off our ‘On the horizon’ series. Polyunsaturated, long chain omega-3 fatty acids are the reason why healthy diet recommendations usually include seafood and oily fish like salmon, … Continue reading On the horizon: omega-3 fatty acids in oil crops – saving fish or threatening insects?

Creating platforms for community participation in the design of multifunctional landscapes

Integrating social and ecological science to develop landscape-focused solutions to environmental problems, Osiman Mabhachi shares the story of a project supported by the British Ecological Society’s Ecologists in Africa grant. Rural communities across Africa connect to landscapes in diverse and complex ways, and communities’ dependence on natural resources found in landscapes is well-documented. As with other continents, African landscapes are undergoing transformations primarily driven by … Continue reading Creating platforms for community participation in the design of multifunctional landscapes

On the horizon: Food for the future – regulating gene-edited plants

Could gene-edited plants provide better food security? And what are the risks and potential consequences presented by this process? Helen Doran (Senior Specialist, Futures, Natural England) explores these questions in the latest instalment to our ‘On the horizon’ series. ‘Imagine that a cheap, easy-to-use, and rapidly deployable technology could make crops more fertile and strengthen their resistance to threats such as climate change and disease’ … Continue reading On the horizon: Food for the future – regulating gene-edited plants

Cross-journal Virtual Issue: Lianas and Global Environmental Change

Together with Functional Ecology and Journal of Ecology, we’re showcasing  some of the top research recently published in the journals on the topic of lianas and global environmental change. Here Ainhoa Magrach brings the papers together and highlights the important roles lianas play in tropical forests. Lianas are a common feature of tropical forests, contributing up to 25% of woody stems. However, these important tropical … Continue reading Cross-journal Virtual Issue: Lianas and Global Environmental Change

Integrating ecosystem services into environmental decision making

How can institutions and decision makers better work with practitioners to deliver an effective ecosystem services approach in a world of competing priorities? Read the questions posed by Alina Congreve and Iain Cross, and share your thoughts in the comments below. The related challenges of climate change and biodiversity conservation require decision makers to develop an effective range of policy solutions. One approach is to … Continue reading Integrating ecosystem services into environmental decision making

On the horizon: mercury rising

For our latest ‘On the horizon’ post, Colleen Seymour explains how climate change could release vast amounts of mercury into the environment as permafrost melts. Hat making was a particularly hazardous occupation in the 17th century.  Mercuric nitrate was used to soften pelts, and its use in poorly-ventilated rooms almost inevitably led to mercury (Hg) poisoning (‘mecurialism’), which manifested as a combination of psychoses, physical … Continue reading On the horizon: mercury rising