Tagged: europe




Biodiversity and conservation of heathlands (Invited Review)

Biodiversity and conservation of heathlands (Invited Review)

Heathlands are human-shaped habitats that have a strong cultural and natural value, adding substantially to many ecosystem services such as food and water supply, carbon sequestration, recreation and biodiversity conservation. Fagúndez reviews the specific response of heathland ecosystems to the main drivers of biodiversity loss, which include land-use changes, pollution, climate change, natural succession and human management, as well as the presence of invasive exotic species. These drivers have generally been treated separately, but their complex interactions demand a more integrated approach in order to predict habitat response to future scenarios.

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Mixed bird and wasp pollination systems in Scrophularia

Mixed bird and wasp pollination systems in Scrophularia

It has generally been considered that the flowers of Scrophularia are mainly pollinated by wasps. Ortega-Olivencia et al. study the four species with the largest and most striking flowers in Europe and Macaronesia (S. sambucifolia, S. grandiflora, S. trifoliata and S. calliantha) and demonstrate the existence of a mixed pollination system between Hymenoptera and passerine birds. A lizard, Gallotia stehlini, is also found to interact in the pollination system of S. calliantha.

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A meadow in Austria with high biodiversity; the importance of biodiversity is emphasized in the EU report

EU biodiversity strategy to 2020: Our life insurance, our natural capital

Deterioration of biodiversity jeopardises the wealth and employment we derive from nature, and endangers our wellbeing. In the EU, only 17% of habitats and species and 11% of ecosystems protected under EU legislation are in a favourable state. The targets for 2020 include; improvement in 100% more habitat assessments and 50% more species assessments under the Habitats and Birds Directives better connectivity between ecosystems, at least 15% of degraded ecosystems are restored and an improvement in the conservation status of species and habitats that depend on or are affected by agriculture. This post is a summary of the report ‘Our...

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