Why neonicotinoids? Interview with Southwood Prize winner, Ségolène Humann‐Guilleminot

Senior Editor, Romina Rader, recently spoke to Ségolène Humann‐Guilleminot, winner of our Southwood Prize early career researcher award, to find out more about her work on neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural land.

Ségolène’s research has also been beautifully illustrated (above) by Rob Lang at Underdone Comics. Continue reading Why neonicotinoids? Interview with Southwood Prize winner, Ségolène Humann‐Guilleminot

Southwood Prize 2019: early career researcher winner announced

We’re excited to announce Ségolène Humann‐Guilleminot as the winner of this year’s Southwood Prize, celebrating the best paper by an early career researcher in the 2019 (56th) volume of Journal of Applied Ecology. Ségolène’s winning paper is ‘A nation‐wide survey of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural land with implications for agri‐environment schemes’. About the research From ten years of being marketed in the mid-1990s, neonicotinoid insecticides … Continue reading Southwood Prize 2019: early career researcher winner announced

Bee pollen reveals how multiple threats could contribute to bee decline

Recent research from Centrella et al. shows the effects agriculture and associated pesticides are having on bees in terms of both their diets and the offspring they produce. Here they discuss their findings. Threats to bee pollinators such as land use change, high pesticide use, and reduced floral diet diversity are usually assessed independently, even though we know that bees face these threats simultaneously in … Continue reading Bee pollen reveals how multiple threats could contribute to bee decline

春の日本の水田

片山直樹氏らの日本での研究によると、有機稲作は従来の農業よりも多くの植物、クモ、トンボ、カエル、水鳥を支えている。 A version of this post in English is available here. 20世紀半ば以降の農業の集約化と、より近年の耕作放棄は、農地の生物多様性に対する大きな脅威となっている。有機農法と低投入型農法(化学合成農薬および肥料の削減)は、農地の生物多様性を、進行中の生息地の損失と劣化から守る手段として期待されている。それにもかかわらず、有機農法や低投入型農法が生物多様性にもたらす利益についての知見は、主要な米の生産地であるアジアでは非常に少ない。 著者らの研究では、有機農法や低投入型農法で増える可能性のある様々な生物群(植物、クモ、トンボ、カエル、魚、および鳥)を、有機農法または低投入農法の水田で調査し、近隣の慣行農法の水田と比較した。1000以上の日本の圃場で現地調査を行った。日本では、主に地球温暖化防止や生物多様性保全のために、有機農法や低投入型農法を実施している農家に対して、国や自治体が支援を行っている(0.1 ha当たり最大8,000円=2019年5月21日時点で約72.6 USDまたは65.1 EURに相当)。 著者らは、有機農法の水田において、多くの生物群(在来およびレッドリスト植物、アシナガグモ属、アカネ属、およびトノサマガエル属)の種数・個体数が最も多くなることを実証した。水鳥の種数と個体数は、地域内の有機農法の実施面積に比例して増加し、これは広範囲で食物量を高めることの重要性を示唆した。また低投入型農法の水田は、慣行農法の水田よりも植物の種数とアシナガグモ属・アカネ属の個体数が多かった。さらに著者らは、農業者へのインタビューを通じて収集した農地管理に関するデータを用いて、化学合成農薬の低減や回避だけでなく、輪作の非実施、畦畔植生の維持および空間的にまとまった有機農業の実施によって、生物多用性に配慮した稲作が可能になることを示した。 これらの結果から、慣行農法と比較して、有機および低投入型稲作が農地の生物多様性が豊かであることが明らかになった。これにより、日本で実施されている農業環境政策(有機・特別栽培等に対する交付金制度)の効果について、科学的な評価基盤を提供することができた。さらに、輪作を回避すること、畦畔植生を適当な高さに維持すること、および有機栽培を行う水田を空間的にまとめることも、特定の分類群の保全に有効であることがわかり、こうした取組の推進が望まれる。 全文を参照, 有機農法およびそれに関連する管理手法が複数の生物群に利益をもたらす:水田景観における大規模な野外調査, in Journal of Applied Ecology. Continue reading 春の日本の水田

On the benefits of organic farming: Japanese rice fields in spring

Based on their research in Japan, Naoki Katayama and colleagues highlight how organic rice farming supports more plants, spiders, dragonflies, frogs and waterbirds than conventional farming. A version of this post in Japanese is available here. The intensification of agriculture since the mid-20th century, and the more recent abandonment of farmlands, have presented major threats to farmland biodiversity. Organic farming and less strict low-input farming … Continue reading On the benefits of organic farming: Japanese rice fields in spring

Is it possible to manage pests and pesticide resistance in heterogeneous landscapes?

Associate Editor Juan Corley explores the challenge of creating environmentally friendly pest management solutions. Does the recent work of Zhou et al. on self-limiting transgenic insects point us in the right direction? Food production is strongly dependent on successful pest management. Since the 1970s, and partly as a consequence of increasing problems with the mass use of pesticides, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has become the … Continue reading Is it possible to manage pests and pesticide resistance in heterogeneous landscapes?

Editor’s Choice 56:4 – A worm in the apple

Issue 56:4’s Editor’s Choice, Management trade-offs on ecosystem services in apple orchards across Europe: Direct and indirect effects of organic production highlights the need for more environmentally friendly pest control approaches in order to keep up with increasing production demands and avoid damage to pollination services. Associate Editor, Juan Corley, comments on the article. Strategy to minimize the negative effects of pests and weeds is … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 56:4 – A worm in the apple

Issue 55:6

Here are some of the highlights from our last issue of 2018 and our last issue to be published in print. You can also read issue 55:6 online here. Disentangling natural vs anthropogenic influences on predation: reducing impacts on sensitive prey Our latest Editor’s Choice article Cover stories: Cheetah chase Take a look at this selection of images telling the story behind our latest cover … Continue reading Issue 55:6

What’s the meta with bees? Pesticides influence bee learning and memory

Harry Siviter’s article, Quantifying the impact of pesticides on learning and memory, was published yesterday (Wednesday 11th July 2018). Here he explains why policy makers need to consider the effects of agrochemicals on pollinators. Foraging bees have a tough time of it. In social bees, such as bumblebees and honeybees, workers have to forage across large landscapes, collecting nectar and pollen from flowers as they … Continue reading What’s the meta with bees? Pesticides influence bee learning and memory

Strawberry fields forever – with Spanish translation

In this post, Associate Editor, Cristina Garcia comments on the effects of pesticides on pollinators and the recent article by Horth & Campbell, Supplementing small farms with native mason bees increases strawberry size and growth rate. Cristina has also provided a Spanish translation of this post. Most plant species, including crops, require mutualistic interactions with animals to pollinate their flowers and fulfill their demographic cycle. The … Continue reading Strawberry fields forever – with Spanish translation