Southwood Prize 2019: early career researcher winner announced

We’re excited to announce Ségolène Humann‐Guilleminot as the winner of this year’s Southwood Prize, celebrating the best paper by an early career researcher in the 2019 (56th) volume of Journal of Applied Ecology. Ségolène’s winning paper is ‘A nation‐wide survey of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural land with implications for agri‐environment schemes’. About the research From ten years of being marketed in the mid-1990s, neonicotinoid insecticides … Continue reading Southwood Prize 2019: early career researcher winner announced

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 

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

Do wildlife-friendly farming subsidy schemes deliver their expected benefits?

Recently Michael MacDonald examined the impact agri-environmental schemes have had in the UK and, in particular, Wales. Now Associate Editor Peter Manning highlights the need to focus on evidence of these schemes’ effects when considering agricultural policy reform. There is now overwhelming evidence that agricultural intensification has proven disastrous for wildlife, and that policies encouraging intensification are a key driver in this process. In Europe … Continue reading Do wildlife-friendly farming subsidy schemes deliver their expected benefits?

Spotlight: Managing biodiversity and ecosystem services in farmland landscapes

Issue 56:1 of Journal of Applied Ecology turns its focus to innovative developments in sustainable food production with the Spotlight, Landscape‐level design for managing biodiversity in agroecosystems. Associate Editor, Tomas Pärt and colleagues from The Landscape Ecology Network group at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences summarize the importance of this new collection of work. How should we use and manage agricultural landscapes for sustainable … Continue reading Spotlight: Managing biodiversity and ecosystem services in farmland landscapes

Functional traits in agroecology: advancing description and prediction in agroecosystems

Our series of posts on the Special Feature, Functional traits in agroecology rounds up with a post from one of the series’ editors, Adam Martin. We’ve always thought “commentary” articles – particularly those that outline a vision for a future field of research – to be an interesting enigma in science. On one hand, many commentary-type articles have been undoubtedly influential and can be pointed … Continue reading Functional traits in agroecology: advancing description and prediction in agroecosystems

Functional traits represent a key nexus between scientific and local knowledge

Continuing our Special Feature series, Functional traits in agroecology, Marney Isaac comments on her paper, Farmer perception and utilization of leaf functional traits in managing agroecosystems. Using leaf functional traits to understand plant response to environmental change is well-established for research in a wide number of natural ecosystems, and now being more widely applied to agroecosystems. Yet, little is known about if, or how, farm managers … Continue reading Functional traits represent a key nexus between scientific and local knowledge

Ecological diversity metrics can teach us how to feed the world well

For the latest post in our Functional traits in agroecology series, Stephen Wood (The Nature Conservancy, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies) highlights the importance of considering social and human, as well as ecological traits in agricultural systems. The full article, Nutritional functional trait diversity of crops in south-eastern Senegal is a part of a Special Feature in Journal of Applied Ecology. Crop yields have … Continue reading Ecological diversity metrics can teach us how to feed the world well

Finding evidence for land restoration strategies

Restoration has never been more important, with almost a third of the world’s land surface degraded. But what exactly is restoration? And how do we know if it works? Madelon Lohbeck continues our Special Feature series on Functional traits in agroecology. Read the full article, Trait-based approaches for guiding the restoration of degraded agricultural landscapes in East Africa. More than 1.5 billion of the world’s poorest … Continue reading Finding evidence for land restoration strategies

Leveraging functional diversity in farm fields for sustainability

The latest issue of Journal of Applied Ecology includes a Special Feature, Functional traits in agroecology. To accompany the feature, we’re introducing a series of blog posts from the authors themselves. The first of these comes from Jennifer Blesh and discusses her article, Functional traits in cover crop mixtures: Biological nitrogen fixation and multifunctionality. Global climate, energy, and water crises pose immense challenges for agricultural systems. … Continue reading Leveraging functional diversity in farm fields for sustainability