01May/15

BESS Connect Subscription – 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 Events
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Are ecosystem services academic? 7-8th July, 2015 at the University of Southampton.
This two-day conference (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/are-ecosystem-services-academic-tickets-16215794879) aims to offer a dialogue between academic ecologists, economists and end-users of ecosystem service assessments.

BESS Workshop on Resilience 18-19 June 2015 at Charles Darwin House, London
2 day workshop (http://www.nerc-bess.net/documents/Resilience_BESS_workshop.pdf) will explore ways of rigorously defining and measuring resilience in systems and establish to produce collaborative publications in this area. The workshop is open to individuals working on a BESS project.

Stormy geomorphology: geomorphic contributions in an age of extremes – an international scientific meeting Monday 11 May 2015 (9.00am-5.30pm) at RGS, London
Global state-of-the-art understanding of geomorphic contributions to extreme events will be presented as a one-day conference (http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Advocacy+and+Policy/Environment+and+Society+Forum/Stormy+geomorphology) .

** Welcome to BESS-Connect!
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** The latest updates from the NERC Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Sustainability programme
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** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrAReYh9328&feature=youtu.be
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Dr Alison Dyke (http://www.york.ac.uk/sei/staff/alison-dyke/) from the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) (http://www.opalexplorenature.org/aboutopal) programme talks about how to utilise citizen science approaches to investigate bio-security.

** Inspiring, informing and educating!
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BESS researchers have been getting their research to new audiences through a variety of national and international events.

Hundreds of children and their families enjoyed learning about the benefits we get from nature during the BESS ‘love your saltmarsh’ and ‘be a bee’ activities as part of British Science Week, read more here… (http://www.nerc-bess.net/index.php/news-and-events/211-impact-bess-buzzing-and-making-waves-at-british-science-week)

delivered their second NERC funded training course (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/2015/02/27/besa-2015-post-graduate-training-in-morecambe-bay/) on biodiversity and ecosystem assessment in the coastal margin. They have also been talking all things mudflats at science festivals in Bangor (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/2015/03/16/bangor-university-hidden-worlds/) and St. Andrews (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/2015/03/09/university-of-st-andrews-science-discovery-day-2015-2/) and with the BBC’s Science Cafe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00848zw) .

organised a session at the ASLO Aquatic Sciences (http://sgmeet.com/aslo/granada2015/) conference in Granada on “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Freshwater Ecosystems, a south north perspective” (http://nerc-duress.org/news)

** New insights on food webs…
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have been investigating the diversity of food webs in streams crossing different intensities of land use. Their methods and initial findings are described here… (http://www.nerc-bess.net/index.php/bess-blog/post/29-investigating-freshwater-food-webs)
have been undertaking comparable research – but for mudflats. Read how food dynamics in these landscapes change across seasons here… (http://www.nerc-bess.net/index.php/bess-blog/post/13-changing-mudflat-foodwebs)

** BESS research providing evidence on the ecosystem approach
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Natural England have recently published nine evidence summaries about the ‘Natural Environment’ naming BESS research as a key source for evidence. You can find out more on the summaries here… (http://www.nerc-bess.net/index.php/news-and-events/207-bess-research-contributing-to-evidence-about-the-ecosystem-approach)

Elsewhere have been participating in a series of four workshops to develop a methodology for producing robust indicators of the resilience of ecosystem functions to address decision making needs. Find out more here… (http://www.nerc-bess.net/index.php/bess-blog/post/18-developing-indicators-of-resilience-for-ecosystem-functions-provided-by-species)

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Does Open Source software offer ecosystem service scientists new opportunities?
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Innovative new software packages developed using open source are enabling cheaper ways of analyzing scientific datasets. In a recent blog a PhD student reflects on how this access to software is changing how they undertake their research…. (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/managment/phd-blogs/anecdotes/)

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** It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it (in 140 characters or less)
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The directorate has put together a set of useful hints and tips (http://www.nerc-bess.net/index.php/bess-blog/post/37-bess-twitter-tips) from the BESS engagement advisors and BESS researchers on how to get the most from twitter.

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Have you put natural capital at the heart of decision making…?
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Organisers of the second World Forum on Natural Capital (http://www.naturalcapitalforum.com/) , which will take place in Edinburgh, United Kingdom on
23–24 November 2015, have issued a call for case studies (http://www.naturalcapitalforum.com/blog/blog/258/Call-for-ground-breaking-case-studies) that demonstrate how putting natural capital at the heart of decision-making can benefit the bottom line, as well as the natural environment.

** Nexus thinking…
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How can we bring together our Ecosystem Service approaches to the major challenges of ensuring sustainable food, water and energy supplies and a healthy environment? The Nexus Network (http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/) has published the first thinkpieces (http://www.thenexusnetwork.org/thinkpieces-published/) from their commissioned series that aims to consider these problems from a fresh perspective.

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** Next Issue
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Summer will start to see the major outputs from BESS research emerging… stay Connected to get all the latest news.

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