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

eDNA snapshots of invasion, infection and extinction from a freshwater crayfish tragedy

For the first time, a devastating crayfish plague outbreak has been monitored from the onset to crayfish extinction using eDNA methodology. David A. Strand and colleagues surveyed a watercourse over three years and discovered a remarkable correlation between eDNA fluctuations and host-pathogen dynamics. Noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) are macroinvertebrates that can be found in both lotic and lentic freshwater systems across most of Europe. Previously … Continue reading eDNA snapshots of invasion, infection and extinction from a freshwater crayfish tragedy

On the horizon: Plastic alternatives – the ecological impact is not always clear

Plastic and plastic pollution have been receiving a lot of attention in the media of late. But, as we explore alternative materials, how do we know what their long-term ecological impacts will be? Becky LeAnstey asks this question in our latest ‘On the horizon’ post.  A world without plastic is difficult to imagine, despite it having only been around for just over a century. Cheap manufacturing costs combined … Continue reading On the horizon: Plastic alternatives – the ecological impact is not always clear

Video: Riverine ecosystem service quantification

Dalal Hanna et. al.’s paper, A review of riverine ecosystem service quantification: Research gaps and recommendations features in issue 55:3 of Journal of Applied Ecology. Watch this video to find out more. ‘Rivers provide numerous ecosystem services, including drinking water and irrigation. They also provide habitat to some our favourite food sources like fish, and places to go for fun recreational activities like swimming. To ensure … Continue reading Video: Riverine ecosystem service quantification

Editor’s choice 54:4 – The identification of critical catchments for freshwater conservation

Issue 54:4’s Editor’s Choice post is written by Shelley Arnott. The article chosen is Critical catchments for freshwater biodiversity conservation in Europe: identification, prioritisation and gap-analysis by Savrina F. Carrizo and colleagues. Aquatic ecosystems around the world are threatened with environmental changes resulting in critical loss of biodiversity; 81% of freshwater populations monitored for the Living Planet Index have declined in abundance between 1970 and … Continue reading Editor’s choice 54:4 – The identification of critical catchments for freshwater conservation

Comparing the responses of functional redundancy and functional diversity indices to stress

In this post Daniel Bruno discusses his paper ‘Impacts of environmental filters on functional redundancy in riparian vegetation’ The world’s ecosystems are experiencing an unprecedented increase in the amount and variety of impacts (global change) which is leading to an unprecedented biodiversity loss and modification of ecosystem functioning (e.g. changes in primary production, pollination, nutrient cycling and organic matter decomposition). Accordingly, there is a long-standing … Continue reading Comparing the responses of functional redundancy and functional diversity indices to stress

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

Defining a successful river restoration project

In this post Associate Editor Tadeu Siqueira discusses a paper he recently handled by Daniel Hering and colleagues ‘Contrasting the roles of section length and instream habitat enhancement for river restoration success: a field study of 20 European restoration projects’ Streams and rivers are among the most degraded ecosystems in the world. In comparison to oceans, these ecosystems contain a tiny portion of the total … Continue reading Defining a successful river restoration project

Managing native fish with environmental flows

Flow alteration is one of the most common threats to rivers and streams around the world. Alterations such as weirs, dams and water withdrawal for human uses tend to suppress natural flow variation causing a disconnection between rivers and floodplain wetlands. These changes to the natural hydrology of rivers can have detrimental effects for fish communities because many species of fish rely on periodic access to … Continue reading Managing native fish with environmental flows