Can forest remnants in oil palm act as microclimate oases for biodiversity?

There is growing interest in the ecological value of set‐aside habitats around rivers in tropical agriculture. In their latest research, Williamson and colleagues investigate the capacity for riparian buffers to act as microclimatic refugia across an oil palm dominated landscape in Borneo. In many ways, oil palm is a miracle crop – it is vastly more productive than its temperate and tropical counterparts and is … Continue reading Can forest remnants in oil palm act as microclimate oases for biodiversity?

The importance of wetland margin microhabitat mosaics

The use of microhabitats for thermoregulation in wetland species is poorly studied. In their latest research, Ryeland and colleagues conduct field observations of nine species of shorebird to test whether birds selectively use microhabitats across temperatures. Wetlands, and the species that rely upon them, are under significant threat world‐wide, and managing habitat for migratory wetland species, such as shorebirds, is particularly challenging because it requires … Continue reading The importance of wetland margin microhabitat mosaics

Editor’s choice 57:07 – An urgent need for standardised monitoring of Arctic freshwaters

Heino et al.’s recent Policy Direction provides an approach to freshwater biomonitoring that could equip us to manage the effects of climate change in the Arctic. Associate Editor, Robert Britton highlights the work as our latest Journal of Applied Ecology Editor’s Choice. Anthropogenic climate change is not resulting in uniform warming rates across the world, with some regions increasing in temperature faster than others. This … Continue reading Editor’s choice 57:07 – An urgent need for standardised monitoring of Arctic freshwaters

A novel view of salvage logging in Europe’s spruce forests

In their recently published research, Laura Dobor, Tomáš Hlásny and colleagues investigate how different levels of intensity in salvage logging affect both bark beetle outbreaks and  landscape-scale carbon storage. Salvage logging – the removal of trees killed by wind, insects and other agents – is one of the most frequently applied management responses to forest disturbances worldwide. In European Norway spruce forests, salvaging of windfelled … Continue reading A novel view of salvage logging in Europe’s spruce forests

Editor’s Choice: 56:9 – Understanding the sensitivity of seabird populations to development pressure

As renewable energy becomes more prevalent in coastal environments, research by Julie Miller and colleagues provides important insights into the effects of anthropogenic influences on bird populations; both the risks and how these can be mitigated. Associate Editor Des Thompson and Scottish Natural Heritage ornithologist Andy Douse discuss issue 56:9‘s Editor’s Choice article. Of the globe’s birds, seabird populations are arguably among the most sensitive … Continue reading Editor’s Choice: 56:9 – Understanding the sensitivity of seabird populations to development pressure

Does harvest dampen or amplify the effects of climate change on natural populations?

Gamelon et al. aim to answer this question in their recently published Commentary. The harvest-interaction hypothesis Natural populations in marine to terrestrial ecosystems are experiencing a climate that is rapidly changing. These changes can induce marked fluctuations in population size over years and lead to higher extinction risk. In addition to human-induced changes in climate, many natural populations are affected by harvest, with removal of … Continue reading Does harvest dampen or amplify the effects of climate change on natural populations?

Integrating ecosystem services into environmental decision making

How can institutions and decision makers better work with practitioners to deliver an effective ecosystem services approach in a world of competing priorities? Read the questions posed by Alina Congreve and Iain Cross, and share your thoughts in the comments below. The related challenges of climate change and biodiversity conservation require decision makers to develop an effective range of policy solutions. One approach is to … Continue reading Integrating ecosystem services into environmental decision making

On the horizon: mercury rising

For our latest ‘On the horizon’ post, Colleen Seymour explains how climate change could release vast amounts of mercury into the environment as permafrost melts. Hat making was a particularly hazardous occupation in the 17th century.  Mercuric nitrate was used to soften pelts, and its use in poorly-ventilated rooms almost inevitably led to mercury (Hg) poisoning (‘mecurialism’), which manifested as a combination of psychoses, physical … Continue reading On the horizon: mercury rising

On the horizon: Options for cultivating rice as climate changes and salinity increases

For the latest post in our series looking at developing issues in the world of conservation, Erica Fleishman explores food security and the production of rice in a changing climate. Rising sea levels, drought, and agricultural irrigation have increased the salinity of soils in both coastal and inland areas. Mineral deficiencies and toxicity may accompany local increases in salinity. As a result, scientists aim to … Continue reading On the horizon: Options for cultivating rice as climate changes and salinity increases

On the horizon: Climate change and the capacity of Antarctic benthos to store carbon

Kicking off our On the horizon series of posts about emerging issues in conservation and applied ecology, Nathalie Pettorelli explores how climate change and melting ice in the Antarctic could affect carbon storage on a global scale. Just a few days ago, news outlets around the world were reporting on the findings from a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences … Continue reading On the horizon: Climate change and the capacity of Antarctic benthos to store carbon