Tuesday taster: 27/06/2017

Today’s post is largely focused on sustainability and conservation, but first two papers that caught my eye last week:

Functional Ecology published a very interesting paper describing the use of drones to record turtle demography and breeding behaviour.

In Nature Ecology & Evolution, Lars Gamfeld and Fabian Roger (University of Göteborg), published a perspective paper that counters current consensus on biodiversity-multifunctionality relationships. A very interesting read!

I was further really interested by an opinion piece in naturejobs. Academic travelling (e.g. fieldwork, symposia, conferences) is a very high burden on our carbon footprint. Not so surprising, but very embarrassing when you actually see the numbers.


Finally, two conservation related issues. First, last week I visited Finland for a PhD defence at the University of Eastern Finland. While travelling there, I learned (again) about the Saimaa ringed seal, an endemic to Lake Saimaa. It is closely related to the ringed seal, from which it became isolated after the land rise following the retreat of Finland’s glacier. The Saimaa seal is highly threatened by climate change and net fishing; only just over 350 remain. In an attempt to raise awareness about this interesting species, the WWF has devoted a website to the Saimaa ringed seal which also shows footage from a live cam that was in place last year.

Second, the Białowieża forest in Poland and Belarus is the last significant area of the primeval forests that once dominated lowland Europe, and a UNESCO world heritage site. It is also one of last refuges for the European Bison. Over a year ago, the Polish government decided to recommence logging. The official reason: bark beetle. Now, last weekend thousands have demonstrated in the streets of Warschau to protect this valuable last stretch of pristine forest.

Bjorn Robroek.

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