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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

31.03.2014
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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission...

Loss of wild pollinators could substantially reduce soybean yields
Pollination by wild insects and honey bees improves soybean yield by 18%, new research has indicated. This equates to an extra 331.6 kg of seeds per hectare, boosting the value of the global crop by EUR12.74 billion. Encouraging insect pollination could therefore reduce the destruction of natural ecosystems to make way for soybean cultivation, the researchers say.
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Urban planning could change driving behaviour
Car use could be reduced through careful urban planning, according to the results of a new German study. By combining data on driving behaviour and high-resolution satellite imagery, the researchers show how patterns of land and car use are connected.
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Birds could provide a simple means of identifying high nature value farmland
New research from central Italy shows that high nature value farmland in the region can be accurately identified by the presence of just four bird species. Once such groups of species have been identified for different regions, they can provide a quick and inexpensive tool for assessing the ecological value of farmland, the researchers say.
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Indoor pollution modelled to inform policy on home insulation
Increased insulation in homes could reduce ventilation and lead to greater exposure to indoor air pollution, a new study suggests. This, in turn, could affect health. The researchers modelled exposure to fine particles, which indicated that insulating half the homes in Greece by 2020 could lead to a 6% increase in adverse health effects. Sources of indoor air pollution should be reduced as far as possible and, failing that, sufficient airing is key, they recommend.
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The effects of climate change on seafloor ecosystems
Ocean warming driven by climate change will reduce the amount of food reaching marine life on the seafloor, a recent study suggests. This would result in a 5.2% global reduction in seafloor biomass by the end of the 21st century and biodiversity hotspots, such as cold-water coral reefs, will be particularly badly affected, say the researchers.
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