November 2018
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Photos & text

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Photos & texts by Sabina Burrascano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Italy License.
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Looking for easier (and cheaper) forest monitoring

The success of any initiative to conserve biodiversity relies on the availability of objective and timely information on its distribution, which is extremely complex and expensive. Counting the number of species in a forest can be overwhelming if one considers several groups of organisms (e.g. insects, spiders, birds, lichens, fungi), also because some of these […]

How to assess the conservation status of semi-natural habitats?

The conservation status assessment is one of the most controversial processes that derive from the Habitats Directive and this strongly hampers monitoring and conservation actions.

For a habitat, favourable conservation status should mean that:

natural range and areas within that range are stable or increasing;
the specific structure and functions which are necessary for its long-term maintenance exist and are likely […]

Plant diversity changes as we walk up European mountains

At this link a nice post from a dear colleague on a study he led that was recently published on the journal Ecography.

He provides original hints on patterns of plant diversity along altitudinal gradients and gives an idea of how complex it can be to soundly address ecological questions the answers to which often looks intuitively simple. Ecologists […]

Do current European policies jointly foster carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation?

The common assumption behind current environmental policies is that increasing forest area, besides providing climate benefits through carbon sequestration, will also support biodiversity, thus making afforestation a “win-win scenario”.

However, recent evidence suggests that joined climate and biodiversity benefits are strongly context-dependent and the outcome of afforestation is often highly questionable.

The increase in forest extent is […]

Dynamic is the world!

Whoever had the chance to study some ecology, or to catch a glimpse of how natural systems work knows as a commonplace that everything natural is constantly changing, every single cell as well as the most complex ecosystems is dynamic.

Despite this is undoubtfully a commonplace it is not always easy to keep this concept in […]

The wettest and wildest Spain

Far away from the collective imagination of Spain, made of Flamenco and Paella, lies the Atlantic region of Asturias more similar to southern Ireland or England than to Andalusia…in botanical terms at least.

Besides the imagine of barren dusty landscapes, the word ‘Spain’ often recalls, a long history of human activities and land exploitation, as it […]

Autumn creatures

When the temperature drops leaves become of several different colors but green. Then green beings are no longer green and other creatures catch the eyes in the woods.



Mushrooms are so variable in shapes and colors that they resemble the diversity of my favourite taxonomic group.

Some of them look like […]

Down through the Samariá Gorge

In the middle of the Mediterranean Sea there is an island where rocks have been shaped by wind and water in numerous sculptures that are unique just as much as the plants that grow on them. One of the many ways to witness what the four elements have been able to create, and the great […]

Patience is a virtue!

It seems that is never too late to bloom…ages in a cold environment could not stop a tiny and fragile flowering plant.

Its name is Silene stenophylla, and was brought out of the ice from Russian scientists after 30000 years.

Read more on this good news here!


Guess where?

Sometimes the things plant can tell us are more than we think.

Knowing plants can allow for an interesting trip every time we cross a green patch. We can try to read the condition of the site, the amount of rain the plant gets, the soil within its roots develop, and the main events happened there…from […]