Yann Arthus-Bertrand has made a film 'Of forests and men' with his production company Good Planet for the launch of the United Nations International year of the forests.
What first appeared on the earth 380 million years ago? What is home to more than half the planet's species? What still covers almost one third of the planet's total land area? Forests and woodland, in 2011.
Landscape ecologists are focusing on ecosystems. What could be more topical? The UK International Association for Landscape Ecologists (IALE) is holding a conference in September and asking for submissions before 25th February 2011.
Landscape ecology, ecosystems and how to preserve them in industrial nations, is in the limelight. The IALE was set up in 1982 but never been so important as today.
This year, in Wolverhampton, their conference topic is all about how to measure the health of the ecosystem and how to put an economic value on it.
They are looking for 'new evidence, plans or cross-sectoral projects on the ground that relate to landscape ecology and ecosystem services' . Anyone working in that area should get in touch.
Not sure what to plant in your back garden? Well why not get some ideas from looking up the native plants in your area on the Natural History museum's Postcode plants database? Writes Carol Miers.
This website is part of the flora and fauna section and has lists of all the native plant and tree species covering the UK in 10km square blocks.
The lists refer to plants that were found at some point since records began. They say that these plants are therefore adapted to the locale, however I am not convinced that all those listed for inner city London would now thrive, like water violet for example. But what if I am wrong and it would? There can be no harm in trying.
Chives, mint and borage can be found whilst walking around the local woodlands.
However other plants like sea beet, wild cabbage and turnip or particular wild grasses are harder to find. These are the ancient relatives of modern food crops such as sugar beet, oil seed rape, and forage crops and they are very important.
According to Natural England these ancient plants are essential for future food supplies.
Has the British Beekeeping Association (BBKA) lost credibility as a body that protects bee welfare?
Apparently so, according to an open letter sent this January by British beekeeping in which the BBKA are accused not so much of accepting hush money as being paid by pesticide manufacturers including Bayer for 'the BBKA's endorsement of several insecticides as 'bee-friendly'.
The pale and swirling oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon, which is polluting the Gulf of Mexico, captured by a satellite in late May 2010. The oil smooths the ocean surface, making the sun’s reflection brighter than the surrounding water. The bird’s-foot-like land extending into the sea is the tip of the Mississippi Delta. Image: NASA.
Here’s a question for you: what does the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (still underway as I write this*) have to do with your garden? And while you’re pondering that, try this: how much of the materials, equipment and gadgetry that make your kitchen gardening possible is made from a dark liquid just like that gushing from 1,500m (5,000ft) down on the ocean floor? Here’s a clue to get you started, whether you’re of an organic disposition or not: rather a lot.
The International Association for Landscape Ecology held its annual conference in Brighton 13-16 September 2010.
This year's focus was 'Future Landscape Ecology' with sessions on species responses to landscapes; assessing vulnerability and resilience; future scenarios; problem-solving; workshop sessions; landscape-scale adaptation and management.
Landscape ecology is the study of interactions, across space and time, between the structure and function of physical, biological and cultural components of landscapes; marine, freshwater, and on land. The conference brought together scientists from the many fields in landscape ecology with policy makers, planners and practitioners interested in developing future landscapes that function for both biodiversity and people.