April 2020
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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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Are we valuing what is really unique in temperate forest?

Besides hosting most terrestrial plants and animals, forests provide a wide range of services to human societies, ranging from the provision of timber and other forest products, protection from landslides and avalanches in mountain areas, clean water and clean air. Forest also sink and store large amounts of carbon, mostly in wood and soils, contributing […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why are tropical rainforests so diverse?

This title is shared with one paragraph of one of my favourite readings, perfect for friday late afternoon: The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. I report here some of the concepts recalled in that paragraph by I.M. Turner since I found them definitely interesting.

Tropical rainforests are the most species rich terrestrial ecosystems especially in terms of vascular […]

Response and effect

Among plant functional traits it is now widely accepted to distinguish response and effect traits.

Response traits are those associated to plant response to environmental factors.

Effect traits are those related to the plant effects on ecosystem functioning.

The first group of traits affect the resilience of an ecosystem; the second determine the effects of plants on ecosystem […]

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Scientific literature started far before .pdf files.

Nowadays the less recent “paper” publications are perceived as more difficult to access even if they didn’t move at all, only because the newest publications are much easier to find. This is leading to pay less attention to the literature legacy.

This process is particularly worrying in relation […]

Forests are not only carbon sinks...what about biodiversity?

Harnessing Carbon Payments to Protect Biodiversity

In the linked paper Verter et al. calculated that if REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) “…focuses solely on reducing carbon emissions, its benefits for biodiversity are low… if the same REDD funds were targeted to protect biodiversity, almost four times the number of […]