Cities are wrestling with the practical challenges of transitioning urban water services to become water sensitive; capable of enhancing liveability, sustainability, resilience and productivity in the face of climate change, rapid urbanisation, degraded ecosystems and ageing infrastructure. Indicators can be valuable for guiding actions for improvement, but there is not yet an established index that measures the full suite of attributes that constitute water sensitive performance.
Elsevier, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Volume 149, October 2020
Fire is an ecological disturbance that alters soil microbiomes and the functions they mediate in terrestrial ecosystems. Soil microbial diversity in Mediterranean Basin ecosystems shows resilience to fire following the restoration of plant-soil feedbacks. We hypothesised that microbial functions related to organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling might show similar patterns of recovery.
Non-target effects of deliberately released organisms into a new environment are of great concern due to their potential impact on the biodiversity and functioning of ecosystems. Whereas these studies often focus on invasive species of macro-organisms, the use of microbial inoculants is often expected to have specific effects on particular functions but negligible overall effects on resident microbial communities. Here, we posit that such introductions often impact native microbial communities, which might influence ecosystem processes.
Soil organic matter (OM) stratification and macro and micro fauna are both good indicators for the evaluation of soil ecological functioning, which is interrelated with nutrient cycles. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, responses of the degree of OM stratification with soil depth expressed as a ratio, and belowground biota to forest degradation and land cover changes have received little attention, particularly in northern Iran.
Elsevier, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Volume 162, April 2020
Mountains provide essential ecosystem services to billions of people and are home to a majority of the global biodiversity hotspots. However, mountain ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate and environmental changes. The protection and sustainable management of mountain ecosystems are thus of great importance and are listed as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 15.4) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
In the face of the growing challenges brought about by human activities, effective planning and decision-making in biodiversity and ecosystem conservation, restoration, and sustainable development are urgently needed. Ecological models can play a key role in supporting this need and helping to safeguard the natural assets that underpin human wellbeing and support life on land and below water (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; SDG 15 & 14).
The natural world has multiple, sometimes conflicting, sometimes synergistic, values to society when viewed through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Spatial mapping of nature's contributions to the SDGs has the potential to support the implementation of SDG strategies through sustainable land management and conservation of ecosystem services. Such mapping requires a range of spatial data.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 15.1.1 proposes to quantify “Forest area as a proportion of total land area” in order to achieve SDG target 15.1. While area under forest cover can provide useful information regarding discrete changes in forest cover, it does not provide any insight on subtle changes within the broad vegetation class, e.g. forest degradation. Continental or national-level studies, mostly utilizing coarse-scale satellite data, are likely to fail in capturing these changes due to the fine spatial and long temporal characteristics of forest degradation.
Elsevier, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Volume 136, September 2019
Soils host the vast majority of life on Earth including microorganisms and animals, and supporting all terrestrial vegetation. While soil organisms are pivotal for ecosystem functioning, the assemblages of different biota from a taxonomic and functional perspective, as well as how these different organisms interact, remains poorly known. We provide a brief overview of the taxonomic and functional diversity of all major groups of soil biota across different scales and organism sizes, ranging from viruses to prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
This paper relates to remote sensing of water use and water stress in the African savanna ecosystem at a local scale, as well as the development and validation of a monitoring tool.