BESS Connect – the newsletter of the NERC BESS Directorate

Latest news from the NERC BESS programme

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Our landscapes need to be managed appropriately to ensure the sustainable delivery of benefits to society such as clean water, food production and flood protection. Currently we do not truly understand the linkages between biodiversity within landscapes and services flows. Without this knowledge we are managing our landscapes under great uncertainty.

Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) is a six-year (2011-2017) NERC research programme, designed to reduce that uncertainty. It will answer fundamental questions about the functional role of biodiversity in key ecosystem processes at the landscape scale and how these are likely to change in an uncertain future.

Our aim is to provide an improved evidence base for those managing our landscapes so they are in a much better position to make decisions about the inevitable trade-offs required to ensure our sustainable futures.


** Upcoming BESS Events

Martin Solan (http://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes/about/staff/ms2f10.page) , Cristina Wood (http://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes/about/staff/clw3d12.page) andJasmin Godbold (http://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes/about/staff/jag1e11.page?) from University of (http://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes/index.page?) Southampton (http://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes/index.page?) will be representing the consortium at the forthcoming World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in China (http://www.marine-biodiversity.org/wcmb2014/) , along with members from St Andrews and Belfast. They will be presenting CBESS data in both a talk and a poster.

** Welcome to BESS-Connect!

** The latest updates from the NERC Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Sustainability programme
Latest BESS video highlighting the http://www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/home land use scenario workshop

** Does biodiversity matter for enjoyment of landscapes?
The BESS consortia have been investigating this question for different locations.
Helen King (http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/about/people-and-resources/academic-profiles/sas-ac-profile/dr-helen-hp-king.html) has been trying to define exactly what we mean by’cultural ecosystem services’ (http://www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/node/30) for the http://www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/Wessex_landscape landscapes (http://www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/Wessex_landscape) and how this links to biodiversity.

http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/ have been running stakeholder workshops (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/science/progress-report/morecambe-bay-socioeconomic-workshop/) to investigate the relationship between biodiversity and recreation in salt-marshes and mudflats in Morecambe Bay.
Meanwhile http://bess-urban.group.shef.ac.uk/ researchers have been identifying linkages between wellbeing and biodiversity by looking at the impacts of garden birds on children’s experiences of nature. Read morehere… (http://bess-urban.group.shef.ac.uk/birds-up-close/)

** marking their territory
Ed Burnett, Senior Greenspace officer with Bedford Council with one of the newly installed signs.
Ed Burnett, Senior Greenspace officer with Bedford Council stands with one of the new interpretation boards for the http://bess-urban.group.shef.ac.uk/ meadow plots. Read more here (http://bess-urban.group.shef.ac.uk/talking-about-meadows-luton-friends-of-parks-and-greenspaces/) about what the team are doing in their urban study sites.

** BESS in the Media
Steve Ormerod (http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/biosi/contactsandpeople/stafflist/m-p/ormerod-steve-prof-overview_new.html) from http://nerc-duress.org/ appeared on BBC Countryfile (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006t0bv) to discuss dippers as urban
pollutant indicators. Steve’s findings are available in a paper he co-authored available for download here (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/etc.2555/abstract) …
Meanwhile your can download (http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/multimedia/story.aspx?id=1720&cookieConsent=A) a NERC podcast on the http://bess-urban.group.shef.ac.uk/podcasting-from-the-meadows/ meadow experiments from Jim Harris (http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/about/people-and-resources/academic-profiles/sas-ac-profile/professor-jim-ja-harris.html) and Helen Hoyle (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/landscape/2.7223/2.5725/hhoyle) .

** Artificial streams assessing climate change impacts
The newly completed http://nerc-duress.org/ artificial cascade experiment (http://nerc-duress.org/?p=2181) are up and running investigating the impacts climate and landuse change might have on our streams bacteria, algae and protozoa. Read more here (http://nerc-duress.org/?p=2247) or to find out more news on all things upland rivers have a look at the http://nerc-duress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Duress-summer-gazette-June-2014.pdf Summer Gazette (http://nerc-duress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Duress-summer-gazette-June-2014.pdf) .

** Natural England Utilize BESS Evidence

Information (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/2014/07/25/summer-update/#more-1460) from http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/ has been used by Natural England and the RSPB in new guidance for conservation managers on how to respond to climate change. You can download the guidance here… (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us/news/2014/030614.aspx)

** BESS early career researchers bring ecosystem services to life for the Grand Depart
When the Tour de France came to Yorkshire, visitors at the York Grand Dèpart (http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/indepth/tourdefrance/) also saved coastal ‘villages’ from flooding and collected enough ‘nectar’ to see three ‘bee hives’ through the winter. The estimated 2000 visitors to the University of York (http://www.york.ac.uk/) marquee were taking part in the activities ‘love your salt marsh’, about sea defence management options and ‘be a bee’, which highlighted the importance of pollinators.

The activities were designed and run by NRG BESS members (BESS’s early career network) (http://www.nrgbess.net/) . Further activities related to water quality and urban ecosystem services are also being developed. Activity instructions will be available to download from http://www.nerc-bess.net/ and http://www.nrgbess.net/ or for further information about BESS related school curriculum resources and NRG BESS please contact Laura Harrison (http://www.nrgbess.net/about-us-2/member-profiles/member-profile-laura-harrison/) .

** Eye’s in the sky…?
University of York researchers are investigating the use of low-cost quadcopters for environmental monitoring – read morehere… (http://www.york.ac.uk/sei/news-and-events/news/2014/tree-surveying-at-yorkshire-arboretum/)

** Next Issue
First results from the Summer field season…

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