Can pasture-fed livestock farming practices improve the ecological condition of grasslands?

Innovative farmers are adopting agro-ecological approaches to producing beef which they believe are better for biodiversity and soils. Lisa Norton (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and colleagues investigated the validity of these claims by comparing their grassland to those across the wider countryside surveyed as part of the national GB Countryside Survey.  Public concerns about the environmental impacts of meat production add to the … Continue reading Can pasture-fed livestock farming practices improve the ecological condition of grasslands?

Editor’s Choice 60:1 Weed communities are more diverse, but not more abundant, in dense and complex bocage landscapes

Associate Editor Pieter De Frenne talks us through a new research article by Boinot et al which found that the weed communities in bocage landscapes were functionally more diverse, creating important implications for the management of agricultural bocage landscapes. One of the cornerstones of many national and international agricultural policies, such as the EU Green Deal, is to transition to a sustainable food system and … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 60:1 Weed communities are more diverse, but not more abundant, in dense and complex bocage landscapes

For the sake of diversity: An alternative approach to tree planting that prioritizes conservation goals

Lead author Olivia St-Laurent explains why she and her co-authors of the new article ‘Safeguarding eucalypt diversity through conservation-focused tree planting’ advocate for a novel approach to environmental tree planting, benefitting people and nature by prioritizing biodiversity conservation. Everywhere, governments are making commitments to stop or slow the loss of local biological diversity and to restore degraded ecosystems. In megadiverse Australia, endemic species represent 85% … Continue reading For the sake of diversity: An alternative approach to tree planting that prioritizes conservation goals

How much agri-environment provision is required to reverse farmland bird declines?

Dr Robert Hawkes, RSPB Conservation Scientist, explains the findings of a recently published article. Here, RSPB and BTO scientists, in partnership with Natural England, explore how much bird-friendly agri-environment management is needed to stabilise or reverse farmland bird declines. The UK government has recently committed to halting species abundance declines in England by 2030, with similar timebound EU targets currently under discussion. With many species … Continue reading How much agri-environment provision is required to reverse farmland bird declines?

Research stories: How to (almost) double woodland carbon overnight

How much carbon is stored in the aboveground biomass (AGB) of Wytham Woods aka the ‘most studied forest in the world’? Professors Mat Disney and Kim Calders thought this would be very well-known but were surprised to find this perhaps wasn’t the case after all. They discuss how their team approached their latest research. Over the years, a number of studies have estimated the carbon … Continue reading Research stories: How to (almost) double woodland carbon overnight

De relatie tussen oogstvermindering en begrazingsdruk door ganzen – implicaties voor beheer

Nelleke Buitendijk bespreekt het nieuwste onderzoek van haar team uit het nieuw verschenen artikel. Hoogtepunten zijn onder meer dat het verminderen van de overvloed aan herbivoren zich mogelijk niet direct vertaalt in een verminderd opbrengstverlies en dat beheersinstrumenten met zorg moeten worden gebruikt. Continue reading De relatie tussen oogstvermindering en begrazingsdruk door ganzen – implicaties voor beheer

The relationship between yield loss and goose grazing pressure – implications for management of wild herbivores

This post is also available in Dutch here. Nelleke Buitendijk discusses a newly published study from her and her colleagues on the impact of grazing on agricultural grasslands. Highlights include that decreasing herbivore abundance may not directly translate to a decreased yield loss, and that management tools should be used with care. Grazing by geese can cause a lot of damage to agricultural crops. Goose … Continue reading The relationship between yield loss and goose grazing pressure – implications for management of wild herbivores

Farmstead modernization affects farmland birds

Martin Mayer and Martin Šálek take us through their latest research into how old ‘messy’ farmsteads may actually be bird hotspots and how modernization changes this. Old cow sheds are a great place for farmland birds. There are many cracks, corners and beams in these old brick buildings where birds can build their nests. The bedding material for the cows is straw or hay, and … Continue reading Farmstead modernization affects farmland birds

Research stories: Strava, GBIF and Citizen Science

Lead author Caitlin Mandeville recalls how she and her co-authors kept their focus close to home in their latest research that explores connections between citizen science and recreation in natural areas. Just about every community has some small, unassuming natural areas that are mainly known to locals: a neighbourhood park, a small wildlife preserve, a field on the edge of town. These places might not … Continue reading Research stories: Strava, GBIF and Citizen Science

Making optimal adaptive management accessible to everyone

Author Sam Nicol describes his team’s latest research developing a new model to help managers easily identify and employ adaptive management interventions to protect threatened species. Adaptive management—what’s the problem? Adaptive management has been the coolest thing in conservation for almost 40 years – everyone wants to do it. Way back in the ‘80s, the elegant seminal formulations by Hollings and Walters proposed that conservation … Continue reading Making optimal adaptive management accessible to everyone