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

Meet our new Blog Associate Editor: Catherine Waite

We are delighted to announce two new Blog Associate Editors who have joined The Applied Ecologist team! Valentine introduced herself earlier this month so in this post, find out more our other new recruit – Catherine Waite. Hi everyone, I’m Catherine, one of the new Associate Editors for The Applied Ecologist. It’s great to be writing this first post to introduce myself! I am originally … Continue reading Meet our new Blog Associate Editor: Catherine Waite

Editor’s Choice 59:6: Tree species mixing amplify forest microclimate offsets in European forests

Associate Editor, Sharif Mukul, introduces this month’s Editor’s Choice article by Zhang and colleagues, which shows that microclimate offsetting depends on tree species identity and diversity, and that buffered forest microclimates can be achieved rapidly in young plantations, depending on the species being planted.  Tree canopies can significantly buffer temperature fluctuations and enhance water availability, which has the potential to mitigate the effects of macroclimate … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 59:6: Tree species mixing amplify forest microclimate offsets in European forests

Editor’s Choice 59:5: Rolling composite wildflower blocks as an alternative to wildflower strips to improve farmland biodiversity

Associate Editor, Erik Öckinger, introduces this month’s Editor’s Choice paper by Jana Eccard, which suggests that rotational wildflower blocks, where successional stages exist in parallel, could represent a novel improvement to the commonly used wildflower strips. Strips with sown wildflowers along the margins of crop fields have become a common measure to counteract the ongoing loss of farmland biodiversity in many European countries. These wildflower … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 59:5: Rolling composite wildflower blocks as an alternative to wildflower strips to improve farmland biodiversity

Riparian reserves protect butterfly communities in selectively logged tropical forest

In their new study, Gabriela Montejo-Kovacevich and colleagues consider whether riparian zones provide biodiversity conservation benefits for Butterflies. Selectively logged tropical forest is now more widespread than old-growth primary forest, except in the Amazon and Papua New Guinea. Logging forests for timber is less devastating for biodiversity than other types of land-use change that are ravaging through tropical regions, such as conversion to agriculture or … Continue reading Riparian reserves protect butterfly communities in selectively logged tropical forest

Apakah upaya restorasi lahan gambut untuk mengatasi kebakaran dan kabut asap di Indonesia mempengaruhi keanekaragaman hayati dan hasil kelapa sawit di perkebunan rakyat?

Posting ini juga tersedia dalam bahasa Inggris di sini. Drainase lahan gambut untuk memungkinkan budidaya tanaman perkebunan, termasuk kelapa sawit, sebelumnya telah dikaitkan dengan bencana kebakaran dan kabut asap, yang menyebabkan kematian, penyakit, dan kerugian finansial. Dalam penelitian terbaru mereka, Warren-Thomas dan rekan mencari tahu apakah inisiatif restorasi gambut mempengaruhi hubungan timbal-balik antara keanekaragaman hayati dan hasil kelapa sawit di perkebunan rakyat. Lahan gambut tropis … Continue reading Apakah upaya restorasi lahan gambut untuk mengatasi kebakaran dan kabut asap di Indonesia mempengaruhi keanekaragaman hayati dan hasil kelapa sawit di perkebunan rakyat?

Do peatland restoration efforts to tackle fires and haze in Indonesia affect biodiversity and oil palm yields on smallholder farms?

This post is also available in Indonesian here. Drainage of peatlands in Indonesia to enable cultivation of plantation crops, including oil palm, has previously been linked to catastrophic fires and toxic haze, causing deaths, illness, and financial losses. In their latest research, Warren-Thomas and colleagues find out whether peat restoration initiatives affect trade-offs between biodiversity and oil palm yields on smallholder farms. Tropical peatlands – … Continue reading Do peatland restoration efforts to tackle fires and haze in Indonesia affect biodiversity and oil palm yields on smallholder farms?

The Disproportionate Value of ‘Weeds’ to Pollinators and Biodiversity

In their latest research, Nicholas Balfour and Francis Ratnieks use multiple datasets to compare the biodiversity value of the plant species classified as ‘injurious weeds’ by the UK’s 1959 Weeds Act, with those species stipulated by DEFRA for pollinator targeted agri-environmental options. In the UK, five species of native wildflowers are classified as “injurious weeds” in the 1959 Weeds Act. Three of them are frequently … Continue reading The Disproportionate Value of ‘Weeds’ to Pollinators and Biodiversity