A new method for assessing the age of old-growth forests

In this post, Associate Editor Nathalie Butt discusses a recent paper ‘Tree-ring based metrics for assessing the functional naturalness of forests‘ by Alfredo Di Filippo, Franco Biondi, Gianluca Piovesan and Emanuele Ziaco. Valuable ecosystems Primeval forest, or ancient woodland in the UK, is an integral part of many epic stories and myths throughout human history, especially in Europe:  just think of all those old tales … Continue reading A new method for assessing the age of old-growth forests

Getting people working on ecosystem functions connected

There’s news for people working on ecosystem functions and their monitoring: the Ecosystem Function Working Group has been recently launched by the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), and the group is looking for its members. You may wonder what GEO BON is: GEO BON is an international networking platform part of GEO, the Group on Earth Observations. Within the GEO family, … Continue reading Getting people working on ecosystem functions connected

More accurate mapping of coastal wetlands is vital for their management and conservation

In this post, Associate Editor Nathalie Butt discusses a recent paper ‘Habitat mapping of coastal wetlands using expert knowledge and Earth Observation data’ by Maria Adamo, Cristina Tarantino, Valeria Tomaselli, Guiseppe Veronico, Harini Nagendra and Palma Blonda. Habitats at risk What do we usually think of when we hear ‘wetland’ or ‘coastal wetland’? A flat marshy area by the sea somewhere, perhaps with a bird … Continue reading More accurate mapping of coastal wetlands is vital for their management and conservation

Seals find a quiet place to phone home

In this post Debbie Russell discusses her paper ‘Avoidance of windfarms by harbour seals is limited to pile driving activities‘ published today in Journal of Applied Ecology. Marine renewables in the fight against climate change To fight climate change we have to cut our carbon emissions. One of the main sources of carbon emissions results from burning coal to make electricity. Thus a key weapon … Continue reading Seals find a quiet place to phone home

Understanding the distribution of a terrestrial mammal community

Associate Editor Matt Hayward discussed the importance of the recent paper from Lindsey Rich and colleagues ‘Using camera trapping and hierarchical occupancy modelling to evaluate the spatial ecology of an African mammal community’ with his PhD student, Lilian Sales (supervised by Rafael Loyola of the Conservation Biogeography Lab at the Federal University of Goias, Brazil) and below are her views on this paper. Monitoring wildlife … Continue reading Understanding the distribution of a terrestrial mammal community

Are models useful? – Predicting intertidal seagrass habitats

In this post Associate Editor Yolanda Wiersma discusses a paper she recently handled by Eelke Folmer and colleagues ‘Consensus forecasting of intertidal seagrass habitat in the Wadden Sea‘ “All models are wrong, but some are useful” The above quote, from British statistician George E.P. Box, has become something of an aphorism in modelling. Upon discovery of the quote, graduate students immediately take comfort from it, … Continue reading Are models useful? – Predicting intertidal seagrass habitats

Jazz-band ecosystem monitoring

In this post Adel Heenan and Kelvin Gorospe discuss their recent Practitioner’s Perspective article ‘Ecosystem monitoring for ecosystem-based management: using a polycentric approach to balance information trade-offs‘ Long-term ecosystem monitoring can be used to take the pulse of an ecosystem, much like a routine check-up with your doctor. Medical analogies like this are common in our field, as we work for the Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) … Continue reading Jazz-band ecosystem monitoring

Environmental DNA and crayfish management

In this post Matthew Dougherty discusses his recent paper ‘Environmental DNA (eDNA) detects the invasive rusty crayfish Orconectes rusticus at low abundances‘ Tangled buoy strings, lost traps, pinched fingers, sweaty brows, and boats smeared with beef liver: these images define the experiences of countless managers and scientists who use baited trapping to monitor crayfish invasions, especially in lakes of the upper Midwest, USA. While these … Continue reading Environmental DNA and crayfish management

The evolutionary canary in the coal mine

In this post Executive Editor Marc Cadotte discusses a paper he recently handled by François Keck and colleagues ‘Linking phylogenetic similarity and pollution sensitivity to develop ecological assessment methods: a test with river diatoms‘ Like canaries in coal mines, species can provide important information about deteriorating environmental conditions. A whole sub-discipline of environmental biomonitoring has emerged to provide the necessary tools to evaluate biological responses … Continue reading The evolutionary canary in the coal mine

Using maths to guide conservation law enforcement

In this post Kiran Dhanjal-Adams discusses her recent paper ‘Optimizing disturbance management for wildlife protection: the enforcement allocation problem’ For International Women’s Day, we asked Kiran about her career in science and the challenges and improvements she is seeing in STEM. You can read all of our posts for International Women’s Day here. Determining where and when to carry out enforcement patrols can be a … Continue reading Using maths to guide conservation law enforcement