On the horizon: Food for the future – regulating gene-edited plants

Could gene-edited plants provide better food security? And what are the risks and potential consequences presented by this process? Helen Doran (Senior Specialist, Futures, Natural England) explores these questions in the latest instalment to our ‘On the horizon’ series. ‘Imagine that a cheap, easy-to-use, and rapidly deployable technology could make crops more fertile and strengthen their resistance to threats such as climate change and disease’ … Continue reading On the horizon: Food for the future – regulating gene-edited plants

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

The map matters: crop-dominated landscapes have higher vector-borne plant virus prevalence

In this post Suzi Claflin discusses her paper ‘Crop-dominated landscapes have higher vector-borne plant virus prevalence‘ It’s been clear for some time that landscape composition—that is, land-use types and the connections between them—strongly affects the community of creatures living in a given area. When it comes to insects, the landscape has been shown to shape the communities of both the ones we like, such as … Continue reading The map matters: crop-dominated landscapes have higher vector-borne plant virus prevalence

Climate change and food security

In this post, Adam Frew discusses his paper ‘Increased root herbivory under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is reversed by silicon-based plant defences‘ As the global climate changes the global population continues to rise, we are faced with the daunting challenge of achieving sustainable crop production to meet the increasing demand for food. Professor John Beddington in 2009, UK chief scientist at the time, highlighted … Continue reading Climate change and food security

Fine-scale salmon diversity sustains fisheries and supports food security of indigenous communities

A new study from Holly Nesbitt and Jonatahn Moore at Simon Fraser University shows that high biodiversity in salmon fisheries supports the food security of indigenous people. Salmon-folios Instead of analyzing market returns of different financial portfolios, this study examined indigenous fisheries with different “salmon-folios”. Like a well-balanced financial portfolio that can smooth market fluctuations, fisheries that caught a more diverse portfolio of salmon populations … Continue reading Fine-scale salmon diversity sustains fisheries and supports food security of indigenous communities