Land use change and the interplay between functional and phylogenetic diversity in tropical forest birds

Philip Chapman comments on recent article, Contrasting impacts of land-use change on phylogenetic and functional diversity of tropical forest birds. It is increasingly recognised that biodiversity conservation needs to look beyond the goal of preserving species richness, to maintaining healthy functioning ecosystems and their evolutionary resilience in the face of environmental change. Species vary in evolutionary distinctness and the uniqueness of traits contributing to key ecological … Continue reading Land use change and the interplay between functional and phylogenetic diversity in tropical forest birds

Gone with the wind: canopies of next generation tropical forests will function differently based on today’s understory recruitment

In this post Jarrah Wills discusses his recent paper ‘Next-generation tropical forests: reforestation type affects recruitment of species and functional diversity in a human-dominated landscape‘ Diverse understory development within forest plantations can provide conservation value in highly modified tropical landscapes, but how many species should be used to establish a framework to encourage recruitment: one species, two species, more? And how does the quality of … Continue reading Gone with the wind: canopies of next generation tropical forests will function differently based on today’s understory recruitment

Avian pest control in vineyards

In this post Michelle Harrison and Cristina Banks-Leite discuss a recent paper by Luc Barbaro and colleagues ‘Avian pest control in vineyards is driven by interactions between bird functional diversity and landscape heterogeneity‘. The global wine industry currently contributes roughly US$303 billion to the world’s economy (Plant and Food Research, 2013). Wine is a key export for many European countries such as Italy, France and … Continue reading Avian pest control in vineyards

Measuring the success of reforestation for restoring biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

This blog post discusses a recent paper by Mia Derhé, ‘Measuring the success of reforestation for restoring biodiversity and ecosystem functioning‘. Restoring rainforests: Recovering both biodiversity and ecosystem functioning Rapid anthropogenic forest change means that many countries are now running out of large areas of primary forest and so the future of tropical forest biodiversity depends more than ever on the effective management and restoration … Continue reading Measuring the success of reforestation for restoring biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

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

Pastures new for pollinators?

In this post Associate Editor Peter Manning discusses the paper he recently handled from Katherine Orford and colleagues ‘Modest enhancements to conventional grassland diversity improve the provision of pollination services‘ You can also read a blog post from Katherine here: Managing ecosystem services: a grassland experiment Pollinator insects have undergone a global decline, and there is evidence that this may be placing both crop production … Continue reading Pastures new for pollinators?

Managing ecosystem services: a grassland experiment

In this post Katherine Orford discusses her recent paper ‘Modest enhancements to conventional grassland diversity improve the provision of pollination services‘ You can also read a blog post from the Associate Editor who handled this paper, Peter Manning here: Pastures new for pollinators? Grassland diversity Species-rich grasslands were once widespread across Western Europe. However, post-war agricultural intensification has resulted in wide-scale conversion of these diverse grasslands … Continue reading Managing ecosystem services: a grassland experiment

Flower strips support ecosystem services only when they have the right flowers

In this post Paul van Rijn discusses his recent paper ‘Nectar accessibility determines fitness, flower choice and abundance of hoverflies that provide natural pest control’ The industrialization of agriculture has strongly impoverished our countryside. The amount and quality of non-crop habitats have declined, and the biodiversity within and among crops has dropped even more. In recent years it has become clear that this not only … Continue reading Flower strips support ecosystem services only when they have the right flowers

The science of healthy ecosystems

This blog post is part of the blog series ‘Authors in Asia’, to accompany the recent Virtual Issue in Journal of Applied Ecology. You can read other posts in this series here.  This post features two manuscripts which look at the science of healthy ecosystems. First, Fei-Hai Yu discusses his paper ‘Understanding the effects of a new grazing policy: the impact of seasonal grazing on … Continue reading The science of healthy ecosystems

Using phylogenetics to guide local management

In this post Associate Editor Akira Mori discusses a paper he recently handled by Daniel Larkin and colleagues ‘Phylogenetic measures of plant communities show long-term change and impacts of fire management in tallgrass prairie remnants’ Evaluating biological diversity is now often one of the major issues for local and regional environmental management. Numerous efforts have been made to record, monitor, and evaluate the state of … Continue reading Using phylogenetics to guide local management