Biological Conservation, Volume 291, March 2024

This paper evaluates the negative impacts of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) on Indian biodiversity and highlights an urgent necessity to continue building management programs and develop government policies to protect the aquatic environment from it.

Biological Conservation, Volume 291, March 2024

This paper highlights the importance of Indigenous burning for maintaining and promoting plant diversity in fire-prone ecosystems.
This paper supports SDG 15 by highlighting that the effects of loss of biodiversity due to climate change and associated changes in the distribution of venomous snakes will be most pronounced in tropical regions, where extensive land is devoted to agriculture and rearing livestock.
The paper elucidates the importance of monitoring and integrating conserved areas into area-based conservation efforts to effectively achieve the 30% protection goal by 2030, emphasizing transparency and accountability in tracking changes to protected and conserved areas for maximizing benefits to biodiversity.

Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 39, March 2024

Coral atolls are at risk from rising sea level, what can be done to enhance island buidling processes
Areas prone to drought and land degradation need effective water management plans to secure food production. Methods such as hydrological modelling and digital soil mapping can aid in evaluating water availability (water content and water stress). A study by Horta et al., 2023 examined the use of a global and local soil hydraulic properties (SHP) dataset to simulate soil-water balance at a regional scale in Portugal and found that the SHP dataset is a key factor to consider. The results showed that the choice between global and local SHP datasets significantly impacts the accuracy of soil-water balance simulations, influencing irrigation schedules and potentially jeopardizing crop production and soil quality, particularly in Mediterranean conditions.
Soil systems play a key role in the fight against climate change. A paper, produced by Rubio et al., 2024, highlights the importance of soil management and land conservation for sustainable use of resources. It calls for a comprehensive vision recognizing soil's socio-economic benefits and ecological functions, urging for radical environmental, social, and economic shifts to address climate change responsibly for present and future generations, in alignment with initiatives like the European Green Deal and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
A study by Snoussi et al., 2024 proposes a methodology for evaluating excavated material's environmental, geotechnical, and agronomical properties to determine its ecological reuse potential, particularly for constructing soil in urban green infrastructure. Through the SWOFI framework (Safety, Workability, Fertility, Infiltrability), the authors characterised a non-cohesive sedimentary parent rock with a sandy loam texture from Bou Argoub in Tunisia. The method successfully assessed the material’s pollution hazard, compaction sensitivity, and fertility showcasing a novel integrated approach for sustainable soil construction in urban landscapes.
Ginzky 2024 discusses the ongoing legislative process in Germany to amend the soil protection act, addressing climate change, biodiversity maintenance, and other challenges, with the support of the current government. The paper outlines the societal importance of soils, challenges, current legislation shortfalls, proposed regulatory approaches including ongoing EU deliberations, and strategies for gaining political support considering ecological and social services, as well as competing interests.
Grazing pressure in savannah rangelands increases the possibility of desertification and woody plant encroachment under different land management. As such, early warning shift indicators of degraded rangelands are required. Zimmer et al., 2024 conducted a study on the arid savanna rangelands on Arenosols in Namibia and focussed on soil organic carbon (SOC) and carbon isotopes (δ13C) as indicators. Results show lower SOC stocks on communal rangelands compared to freehold farms, with correlations between SOC stocks and vegetation cover types. The findings emphasize the importance of considering soil properties such as SOC in land management practices to assess and mitigate soil degradation risks in savanna ecosystems