De Frenne & Vangansbeke: How dogs fertilize nature reserves and woodlands close to cities

Research by De Frenne et al. published earlier this year revealed that dogs excrements contribute a significant amount of nutrients to nature reserves and warned of their potential negative impact on local biodiversity. Here, the authors respond to the international media coverage and the subsequent questions and comments they have received since their study went global. We recently published an article in Ecological Solutions and … Continue reading De Frenne & Vangansbeke: How dogs fertilize nature reserves and woodlands close to cities

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

Cutting non-native trees helps, but may not be enough to restore coastal scrub invaded by pines

Invasive non-native trees can cause structural and functional changes in plant communities, but how do their impact change over time? Michele de Sá Dechoum and colleagues explore this in their latest research on a coastal ecosystems in southern Brazil. We learn, since growing up, that we should plant trees. There is no doubt that trees have very important environmental and social roles, especially in the … Continue reading Cutting non-native trees helps, but may not be enough to restore coastal scrub invaded by pines

How do you solve a problem like Molinia?

The increasing dominance of the invasive purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea) on blanket bogs is a growing threat to diversity and carbon storage. In this post, practitioners from Moors for the Future Partnership give their account of the team’s latest research attempting to reverse these effects. Reducing the domination of Molinia caerulea on blanket bogs to a more Sphagnum-rich, characteristically boggy landscape has been a … Continue reading How do you solve a problem like Molinia?

Cryptic floral colouration: beyond human vision.

This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. In this post, Caroline Dong of Tulane University unearths the diverse world of floral colouration and what we have yet to discover in these decorative but mysterious plants. Floral colouration can be a useful and predictable trait. The colouration of flowers is … Continue reading Cryptic floral colouration: beyond human vision.

Predicting future invaders in Europe

As our climate warms non-native plant species, introduced for their aesthetic appeal, have the potential to naturalize. Associate Editor, Rafael Zenni discusses research by Emily Haeuser and colleagues that aims to manage this risk. European ornamental garden flora as an invasion debt under climate change is published in Journal of Applied Ecology. A Portuguese version of this post is available here. Thousands of plant species have been … Continue reading Predicting future invaders in Europe

Microclimate determines transplantation success

Associate Editor, Pieter De Frenne (Ghent University, Belgium) discusses assisted migration, climate change and the recent article by Brooker et al. Tiny niches and translocations: the challenge of identifying suitable recipient sites for small and immobile species. One of the key outstanding issues in applied ecology is to better inform land managers and policy makers how to adapt to climate change. Many species are currently shifting their … Continue reading Microclimate determines transplantation success

Putting belowground biota in the Spotlight

The latest issue of Journal of Applied Ecology features as Spotlight on Soil Biota. Here, Martín A. Nuñez (Senior Editor for the journal) and Nahuel Policelli discuss the merits of these papers, specially chosen and grouped together by our Editors. ‘Managing soil health’, ‘considering hidden herbivores’, ‘restoring mycorrhizal fungal diversity’, are just some of the examples that highlight an increase interest on recognizing belowground aspects … Continue reading Putting belowground biota in the Spotlight

More than just a pretty cover – enhancing plant conservation on green roofs

Following Walker and Lundholm’s recent Journal of Applied Ecology paper, Designed habitat heterogeneity on green roofs increases seedling survival but not plant species diversity, Associate Editor Cate Macinnis-Ng discusses enhancing the ecological benefits of the green roof. Famed for their spectacular and lush green terraces of trees, shrubs and vines, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were perhaps amongst the first green roofs. Modern-day green roofs are … Continue reading More than just a pretty cover – enhancing plant conservation on green roofs