Editor’s Choice 56:2 – A trait-based approach for forest ecosystem management

The Editor’s Choice for issue 56:2 is written by Associate Editor, Alex Fajardo.  The selected article, Maintaining ecosystem properties after loss of ash in Great Britain by Louise Hill et al, focuses on the importance of using plant functional traits to predict potential changes to an ecosystem, following the loss of a key species. In their study, Maintaining ecosystem properties after loss of ash in Great … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 56:2 – A trait-based approach for forest ecosystem management

How to manage city trees in a changing climate?

Without sufficient water, urban trees are susceptible to other stressors, including insect pests. Associate Editor, Pieter De Frenne (Ghent University, Belgium) explains how Meineke and Frank’s recent paper, Water availability drives urban tree growth responses to herbivory and warming, provides key research into the management of a vital ecosystem service. Cities are hot. Not only to taste the best latte macchiato in the fanciest coffee … Continue reading How to manage city trees in a changing climate?

Warming, insect pests and water stress combine to reduce tree growth in the city

Emily Meineke comments on new research, Water availability drives urban tree growth responses to herbivory and warming  published today in Journal of Applied Ecology. Cities are getting warmer. This is due in part to global climate change. The more important factor for now, though, is the urban heat island effect; local warming in cities caused by sidewalks, asphalt, and reduced tree cover. In short, areas with less … Continue reading Warming, insect pests and water stress combine to reduce tree growth in the city

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

Traditional forest management practices stop forest succession and bring back rare plant species

In this post Jan Douda discusses his recent paper ‘Traditional forest management practices stop forest succession and bring back rare plant species‘ The past management practices may continue to influence ecosystem functions and processes for decades, centuries or even longer after they have been abandoned. Until now, few authors have attempted experiments which test the effects of restoring some of these past management practices on long-term forest … Continue reading Traditional forest management practices stop forest succession and bring back rare plant species

High Intensity Fires – do they reverse bush encroachment or speed up the loss of tall trees?

In this post Izak Smit discusses his recent paper ‘An examination of the efficacy of high-intensity fires for reversing woody encroachment in savannas‘. Woody densification in savannas Many studies have documented how grasslands and open savannas are being invaded by woody plants. This phenomenon is predicted to increase as atmospheric CO2 levels increase, favouring woody plants at the expense of grasses. Woody encroachment can have … Continue reading High Intensity Fires – do they reverse bush encroachment or speed up the loss of tall trees?