Improving soil fertility in cocoa agroforests using the most suitable shade tree species

Can leaf quality explain the influence of shade tree species on the fertility of cocoa farms? Marie Sauvadet and colleagues summarise their recent research. Cocoa, a major commodity worldwide, is largely produced by smallholder farms in developing countries. With limited access to synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, smallhold farmers traditionally lean on cocoa ecology to ensure their harvest thorough the years. Cocoa naturally grows under the … Continue reading Improving soil fertility in cocoa agroforests using the most suitable shade tree species

Let’s not turn big horns into little horns

In their new research, Testing the importance of harvest refuges for phenotypic rescue of trophy‐hunted populations, Poisson and colleagues explain why closing hunting seasons earlier could be vital to the future of bighorn sheep. This illustration by Benoît Leblanc summarises the key implications of their work. Read the full article, Testing the importance of harvest refuges for phenotypic rescue of trophy‐hunted populations in Journal of … Continue reading Let’s not turn big horns into little horns

A new approach for understanding the role of human-made structures in the North Sea

Hannah Tidbury and colleagues at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science recently used social network analysis to aid marine spatial planning. Here Hannah explains a little more about the approach behind their work and what it means for oil and gas infrastructure. Connectivity between communities of organisms that live within marine environment is important because isolated communities are more vulnerable to extinction. Therefore, … Continue reading A new approach for understanding the role of human-made structures in the North Sea

Identifying hotspots of threats to marine megafauna

In newly published research, A framework for mapping the distribution of seabirds by integrating tracking, demography and phenology, Ana P. B. Carneiro et al. present a new framework aiming to tackle challenges of tracking seabird movement and ultimately improve bycatch mitigation measures. There is increased global awareness that our oceans are under threat. Marine megafauna such as seabirds, marine turtles, marine mammals, sharks and rays … Continue reading Identifying hotspots of threats to marine megafauna

Showcasing developments in biologging and related methods in applied ecology

Following the recent Journal of Animal Ecology Special Feature on biologging, Associate Editor, Steph Januchowski-Hartley takes a look at how research in this and similar methods are affecting the field of applied ecology today. Advances in technology have allowed for small electronic loggers and transmitters to be developed not only for biomedical monitoring for humans (think of the tech we can use for monitoring hearts, … Continue reading Showcasing developments in biologging and related methods in applied ecology

Loss of bumblebees is a loss to farmers 

New research by Néstor Pérez‐Méndez et al. highlights the economic implications of declining pollinator species. Here the authors summarise their work. Recent expansion and intensification of agriculture to meet growing food demands is among the main drivers of the alarming loss of insect diversity worldwide. This decline can lead to a marked degradation of the ecosystem services that insects provide, such as pollination or regulation of crop … Continue reading Loss of bumblebees is a loss to farmers 

Predator and scavenger movements as opportunities for pathogen spread among endangered seabirds

Infectious diseases have recently been acknowledged as an important threat for wild populations, notably seabirds. In order to implement efficient surveillance and management programmes, it is critical to look beyond the sick individuals to identify the individuals or species involved in cryptic epidemiological processes, such as pathogen spread. Amandine Gamble et al. summarise their recent research on the potential role of predators and scavengers in … Continue reading Predator and scavenger movements as opportunities for pathogen spread among endangered seabirds

Comportement alimentaire des prédateurs et charognards et opportunités pour la dissémination d’agents pathogènes

Les maladies infectieuses sont depuis peu reconnues comme une menace importante pour les populations sauvages, notamment les oiseaux marins. Afin de mettre en place des mesures de surveillance et de gestion efficaces, il est essentiel de regarder au-delà de l’animal malade pour pouvoir identifier les individus ou espèces impliqués dans les processus épidémiologiques cryptiques, tels que la dissémination d’agents pathogènes. Amandine Gamble et collaborateurs résument … Continue reading Comportement alimentaire des prédateurs et charognards et opportunités pour la dissémination d’agents pathogènes

Wildlife conservation modelling and Payment for Ecosystem Services schemes

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes are a way of bringing potential ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers’ of ecosystem services together for a mutually beneficial exchange. In their recently published work, Kragt and colleagues present an ecological model in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic that predicts how community-based patrolling can protect critically endangered species from poaching. Here they show how this model could benefit PES schemes. Laos … Continue reading Wildlife conservation modelling and Payment for Ecosystem Services schemes

Prevention vs cure for nature

Using the UK as an example, Joseph W. Bull and  E.J. Milner‐Gulland join the BES Policy team and present their new model, designed to simulate prevention and cure tactics for decision makers.  The UK Government’s Environment Bill sets out a decision to legally require most new economic development projects to achieve ‘Biodiversity Net Gain’ – that is, to leave the natural environment better off than … Continue reading Prevention vs cure for nature