Grazers and fire management: conservation from a ‘systems’ perspective

How do grazing herbivores like hippos affect the influence of fire? Following a recently published article, Izak Smit demonstrates the need for interdependence between herbivore and fire management. Grazing animals and fire are in direct competition – both of them consume grass. Previous continental-scale studies suggest that grazing animals have the competitive advantage in drier and more nutritious landscapes, whilst fires dominate in wetter and … Continue reading Grazers and fire management: conservation from a ‘systems’ perspective

Deer prevent severe canopy fires, save oak trees and contribute to ecosystem carbon storage

While deer may impact tree regeneration, they can also help prevent the spread of severe wildfires. Given increased likelihood of extreme climatic events, such as droughts, Miguel Bugalho explains how we need to consider both the positive and negative effects of wild ungulate grazing.  Deer mitigate severe wildfires Wild ungulate herbivores, namely deer, may negatively affect tree regeneration through consumption and damage of young seedlings … Continue reading Deer prevent severe canopy fires, save oak trees and contribute to ecosystem carbon storage

Issue 55:2

Issue 55:2 includes a Spotlight on Decision making under uncertainty. Other topics include urban ecology, population monitoring, tropical forest restoration and more. Here we take a look at some of the articles published in this issue. Decision making under uncertainty Senior Editor, Michael Bode on this issue’s selection of Spotlight papers How does grazing by wild ungulates and livestock affect plant richness? This issue’s Editor’s Choice Jaguar … Continue reading Issue 55:2

For the love of trees: the benefits of vegetation and paddock management for reptiles in grazing landscapes

Following her recent paper in the Journal of Applied Ecology, ‘Remnant vegetation, plantings and fences are beneficial for reptiles in agricultural landscapes’, Stephanie Pulsford explores the balancing act of supporting both agriculture and biodiversity conservation. In a recent study of reptiles in grazing landscapes we demonstrated the importance of maintaining and promoting native vegetation within agricultural land for improved biodiversity conservation outcomes. We also showed that … Continue reading For the love of trees: the benefits of vegetation and paddock management for reptiles in grazing landscapes

Forests in 3D

In this post Markus Eichhorn discusses his new article ‘Effects of deer on woodland structure revealed through terrestrial laser scanning‘ About the video: Three-dimensional reconstruction of a transect from Wyre Forest, an area of high deer density. The central 10 X 50 m plot is surrounded by a large number of points which were not used in the analyses. Survey apparatus is still visible. Points … Continue reading Forests in 3D

One year on: a Q&A with 2015 Southwood Prize winner Dustin Ranglack

Today sees the announcement of this year’s winners of the BES Early Career Researcher Awards. Journal of Applied Ecology awards the Southwood Prize each year to the best paper in the Journal by an early career author at the start of their career. Dustin Ranglack won last year’s Southwood Prize for his paper ‘Competition on the range: science vs. perception in a bison–cattle conflict in … Continue reading One year on: a Q&A with 2015 Southwood Prize winner Dustin Ranglack

Northern mixed-grass prairie bounces back, but slowly: reflections on a 33 year long grazing experiment

In this post Julie Kray, Agricultural Science Research Technician, USDA-ARS & Lauren Porensky, Ecologist, USDA-ARS discuss the recent paper ‘Thresholds and gradients in a semi-arid grassland: long-term grazing treatments induce slow, continuous and reversible vegetation change’ How do we strike a balance between an economically sustainable amount of grazing, and an ecologically sustainable amount? This is the central challenge in managing grazed landscapes around the … Continue reading Northern mixed-grass prairie bounces back, but slowly: reflections on a 33 year long grazing experiment