From the ground up: Understanding coffee agroforestry systems

Sarah Archibald describes her team’s latest research seeking to better understand emergent herbaceous communities in organic coffee agroforestry systems by identifying their taxonomic and functional diversity as well as their management by interviewing farmers in Costa Rica. Coffee agroecosystems range in management and diversity, from monocultures with chemical inputs to biologically complex multi-strata agroforestry systems. With the demand for organic coffee expected to increase by … Continue reading From the ground up: Understanding coffee agroforestry systems

Cover stories: Indigenous and local knowledge

Journal of Applied Ecology’s September 2020 cover highlights an international Malagasy-Finnish project trying to reforest some of the damaged Malagasy forests. In the photo, a project worker shows a shoot that will be planted in one of the areas under reforestation process. Here photographer, Joan de la Malla shares some more of her work and tells the story behind the photos. The corresponding research contributes … Continue reading Cover stories: Indigenous and local knowledge

How ecological assessments can benefit from engagement with Indigenous and local knowledge

Part of a new Special Feature, Informing decision‐making with Indigenous and local knowledge and science, Pamela McElwee and colleagues look at the important role of Indigenous and local knowledge in initiatives such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Global Assessment. Interest in Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) has been growing, but not everyone knows what ILK is or how it can … Continue reading How ecological assessments can benefit from engagement with Indigenous and local knowledge

Creating platforms for community participation in the design of multifunctional landscapes

Integrating social and ecological science to develop landscape-focused solutions to environmental problems, Osiman Mabhachi shares the story of a project supported by the British Ecological Society’s Ecologists in Africa grant. Rural communities across Africa connect to landscapes in diverse and complex ways, and communities’ dependence on natural resources found in landscapes is well-documented. As with other continents, African landscapes are undergoing transformations primarily driven by … Continue reading Creating platforms for community participation in the design of multifunctional landscapes

Functional traits represent a key nexus between scientific and local knowledge

Continuing our Special Feature series, Functional traits in agroecology, Marney Isaac comments on her paper, Farmer perception and utilization of leaf functional traits in managing agroecosystems. Using leaf functional traits to understand plant response to environmental change is well-established for research in a wide number of natural ecosystems, and now being more widely applied to agroecosystems. Yet, little is known about if, or how, farm managers … Continue reading Functional traits represent a key nexus between scientific and local knowledge

Editor’s Choice 55:1 – Integrating local knowledge and ecological research

The Editor’s Choice for issue 55:1 is written by Associate Editor, Paul Kardol. The article chosen is Integrating local knowledge and research to refine the management of an invasive non-native grass in critically endangered grassy woodlands by Firn et al. Elucidating patterns of species invasions and the underlying mechanisms are key challenges for present-day ecologists. They are also of utmost importance in developing effective management strategies. … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 55:1 – Integrating local knowledge and ecological research

Jaguar habitat use outside protected areas in Central America: accounting for the detection process generates new insights

We’re turning our attention to wide-ranging animals, specifically jaguars of Central America. Lisanne Petracca discusses her recent article, Robust inference on large-scale species habitat use with interview data: The status of jaguars outside protected areas in Central America. The team also share video summaries of their work in English and Spanish.  For wide-ranging animals such as our focal species, the jaguar (Panthera onca), it is … Continue reading Jaguar habitat use outside protected areas in Central America: accounting for the detection process generates new insights

Research, management and local knowledge: an innovative approach to invasive species control

Executive Editor, Marc Cadotte shares his thoughts on Jennifer Firn and colleagues’ new article, Integrating local knowledge and research to refine the management of an invasive non-native grass in critically endangered grassy woodlands and why utilising local knowledge is vital if we’re to provide successful solutions to environmental issues.  While many hurdles hamper the successful application of ecological concepts and theories to developing solutions to environmental … Continue reading Research, management and local knowledge: an innovative approach to invasive species control