An emerging genetic technology that makes oilseed crops produce omega-3 fatty acids promises health and sustainability benefits, but there’s a potential adverse impact on insects that hardly anyone is talking about. Lynn Dicks and Xavier Le Roux round off our ‘On the horizon’ series. Polyunsaturated, long chain omega-3 fatty acids are the reason why healthy diet recommendations usually include seafood and oily fish like salmon, … Continue reading On the horizon: omega-3 fatty acids in oil crops – saving fish or threatening insects?
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
For our latest ‘On the horizon’ post, Colleen Seymour explains how climate change could release vast amounts of mercury into the environment as permafrost melts. Hat making was a particularly hazardous occupation in the 17th century. Mercuric nitrate was used to soften pelts, and its use in poorly-ventilated rooms almost inevitably led to mercury (Hg) poisoning (‘mecurialism’), which manifested as a combination of psychoses, physical … Continue reading On the horizon: mercury rising
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
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 latest post in our ‘On the horizon’ series sees Nafeesa Esmail and Alice Hughes highlight the potential effects of a developing palm oil industry on Southeast Asisa’s forests. Southeast Asia’s forests are some of the most diverse on Earth, representing a number of global biodiversity hotspots. Yet this region is also undergoing an unparalleled rate of deforestation. Given the small ranges of many species … Continue reading On the horizon: Deforestation expansion of plantations and infrastructure threaten Indo-Malay island species
Kicking off our On the horizon series of posts about emerging issues in conservation and applied ecology, Nathalie Pettorelli explores how climate change and melting ice in the Antarctic could affect carbon storage on a global scale. Just a few days ago, news outlets around the world were reporting on the findings from a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences … Continue reading On the horizon: Climate change and the capacity of Antarctic benthos to store carbon
Following the recent publication of Sutherland et al.’s A Horizon Scan of Emerging Issues for Global Conservation in 2019, a selection of the authors have come together to produce a series of posts on key issues emerging within conservation and applied ecology. Over the coming few weeks, we will be sharing ‘On the horizon’ commentaries on the future of conservation and management related to climate … Continue reading Conservation issues on the horizon