Age is a better indicator of biodiversity for road verges than surrounding landscape

In their recently published article, Alistair Auffret and Evelina Lindgren show how historical maps can be a useful tool to identify which road verges can best support grassland habitats. Here the authors provide a summary of their work Road verges are by now quite well known to provide valuable habitat for grassland species if they are managed appropriately (Phillips et al., 2019; Vanneste et al., … Continue reading Age is a better indicator of biodiversity for road verges than surrounding landscape

Urban wetland conservation may unintentionally benefit mosquitoes

As urban wetlands become more prevalent, Jayne Hanford and colleagues look into how other species, not just those of conservation focus, might benefit from our management efforts. What happens when those additional species could be problematic for nearby human populations? Wetlands are one of the world’s most valuable but also most threatened ecosystems. The services they provide include biodiversity conservation, flood mitigation, water purification, and … Continue reading Urban wetland conservation may unintentionally benefit mosquitoes

Conservation optimism: applied ecologists lead the way

Linking to their upcoming summit in Oxford, UK, Conservation Optimism’s E.J. Milner-Gulland brings together a selection of recent research papers that celebrate conservation success and look for solutions. These are both difficult and hopeful times for applied ecologists. On the one hand, the scale and severity of the strain that our ecological systems are under is becoming more and more apparent; a look through the … Continue reading Conservation optimism: applied ecologists lead the way

Issue 55:4

From stressed trees in cities to the recovery of coral in the deep ocean, here are some highlights from our latest issue: Applying ecology to inform plant disease management policy and avoid regulator-grower conflict Our Editor’s Choice for this issue How could the EU’s LIFE funds enhance conservation in Natura 2000? Prioritisation exercises to better-distribute funds in the EU Warming, insect pests and water stress … Continue reading Issue 55:4

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

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

Editor’s Choice 54:6 – Managing urban green spaces to accommodate growth without sacrificing ecosystem services

The final Editor’s Choice of 2017 is written by Associate Editor, Joseph Bennett. The article chosen is Urban development, land sharing and land sparing: the importance of considering restoration by Collas et al. The land sparing versus land sharing debate is one of the best known and most controversial topics in conservation biology. Advocates for land sparing argue that ecological and human needs are best balanced … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 54:6 – Managing urban green spaces to accommodate growth without sacrificing ecosystem services

More than just a pretty cover – enhancing plant conservation on green roofs

Following Walker and Lundholm’s recent Journal of Applied Ecology paper, Designed habitat heterogeneity on green roofs increases seedling survival but not plant species diversity, Associate Editor Cate Macinnis-Ng discusses enhancing the ecological benefits of the green roof. Famed for their spectacular and lush green terraces of trees, shrubs and vines, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were perhaps amongst the first green roofs. Modern-day green roofs are … Continue reading More than just a pretty cover – enhancing plant conservation on green roofs

Landscape structure influences urban vegetation vertical structure

In this post Matthew Mitchell discusses his recent paper ‘Landscape structure influences urban vegetation vertical structure‘. The importance of urban vegetation Odds are that you’re reading this in a city. More than half of humanity today lives in cities, and this is expected to increase to two-thirds by 2050. Living in a city, you almost certainly rely on urban vegetation for key ecosystem services like … Continue reading Landscape structure influences urban vegetation vertical structure