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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission

Balanced approach to restoring farmland biodiversity shares and separates land
It is possible to balance agricultural production with improved biodiversity on farmland, according to researchers. A new study suggests using a combination of land sharing techniques, which enhance biodiversity on existing farmland, with land separation techniques, which designate separate areas for conservation and farmland production.
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'Blue carbon' stored in vegetated coastal systems could be underestimated
Vegetated coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, marshes and seagrasses, are an important carbon sink and their destruction increases greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A new study estimates that 0.15-1.02 Pg (petagrams) of CO2 are being released annually from degradation of these valuable ecosystems, resulting in economic losses of US$6-42 billion (EUR4.68 to 32.81 billion) per year.
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Bird monitoring methods have potential to be improved
The first ever European-wide study of bird monitoring practices reveals a wide range of monitoring protocols. The researchers provide recommendations for improving bird monitoring programmes, in particular, for those involving large numbers of volunteers.
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Increased fishing depths puts pressure on vulnerable deep-sea species
A new study reports that fishing depths in the EU have increased, with more deep-sea fish species being harvested. Deep-sea fish populations are often more vulnerable to effects of fishing, and the ecological impact of overfishing may therefore be greater than for shallow-water species.
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Native and non-native pine trees show contrasting response to pests and disease
A recent study has assessed how the choice and cultivation of native and introduced pine tree species affects the impact of insect pests and fungal diseases in Spanish plantations. Native maritime pine trees appeared to be more susceptible to insect attack, whilst non-native Monterey pines were more likely to suffer from fungal attacks. Thinning trees also had differing effects on reducing the effects of pests, depending on the tree species.
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Potentially harmful effects of nanomaterials on soybean crops
A new study has examined contamination of fully grown soybean plants by two nanomaterials - nano-cerium oxide and nano-zinc oxide. The results could be concerning, as they indicate that the nanomaterials are absorbed by plants, possibly affecting growth, yield, and the fixation of nitrogen in soil, an important ecosytem service.
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Rewilding as an option for abandoned farmland
Leaving land to return to its wild state could be beneficial for abandoned farmland, according to a new study. The researchers argue that 'rewilding' provides valuable ecosystem benefits and in certain cases could be a more achievable goal than maintaining traditional agriculture in areas of Europe where rural populations are declining.
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