30Jul/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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CBESS is organising a BESS funded workshop (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/2015/07/01/cbess-statistical-approaches-to-the-biodiversity-function-service-chain/#more-2264) ‘Form to function: statistical approaches to the Biodiversity-Function-Service Chain‘. 24-25 September, York.

Dr Martin Skov is giving a keynote presentation at Wetland Futures 2015 (http://www.wwt.org.uk/conservation/saving-wetlands-and-wildlife/wetland-futures/wetland-futures-2015/) ; bridging the conservation gap between freshwater, saltwater and transitional wetlands. 14-15 October 2015, Birmingham.

** Welcome to
BESS-Connect!
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** The latest updates from the NERC Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Sustainability programme
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Ecosystem resilience concepts… what do they offer BESS research? This was one of the issues addressed at a workshop in June – read the meeting findings and outcomes here… (http://www.nerc-bess.net/index.php/news-and-events/220-report-bess-resilience-workshop-2015)
The workshop findings have links to a recent paper (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534714002456) from ‘Trends in Evolution Ecology’ (http://www.cell.com/trends/ecology-evolution/home) that highlighted fifteen distinct biodiversity trends and summarized critical key knowledge gaps.

** Artists Interpretations of BESS Science
CBESS researchers have been collaborating with artists to explore alternative ways of communicating BESS findings. Iris Möller (http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/salt-marsh-plants-key-to-reducing-coastal-erosion-and-flooding) (Cambridge Coastal Research Unit) talked about ‘living on the edge’ alongside artist Sue Rapley (http://www.suerapley.co.uk/blog/pint-of-science-creative-reactions-2015.html) . Meanwhile Lydia Bach (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/managment/phd-students/lydia-bach/) has been working with artists (http://the-paper-makers.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html) to explore the links between her work on coastal ecology and communicating climate change stories.
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** PhD Update
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University of York PhD student Sian de Bell has been describing her ongoing work
riverine ecological restoration (http://www.nerc-bess.net/index.php/bess-blog/post/76-assessing-the-multiple-benefits-of-river-restoration) .

** BESS research highlighting the importance of invertebrates
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and researchers have been investigating the role of invertebrates on pollination and pest control for their two target landscapes; multi-functional lowlands (http://www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/node/28) and urban areas (http://bess-urban.group.shef.ac.uk/one-small-millipede-for-milton-keynes/) . This has included looking at the impact changing planting has on winter survival rates (http://bess-urban.group.shef.ac.uk/where-do-the-bugs-go-in-winter/) of these mini-beasts.

** Volunteers Needed!!
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The BESS Committee are looking for volunteers! Are you interested in outreach, communications or event planning?If so visit the NRG BESS website for more details (http://www.nrgbess.net/nrg-bess-committee-are-looking-for-volunteers/) .

** Ongoing Salt March Sampling
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researchers are
continuing to sample salt marshes (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/2015/07/24/bangor-university-inter-project-fieldwork/) . Importantly they are also transferring their field research skills to a new cohort of PhD students to ensure a BESS skills legacy.

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** Next Issue
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Autumn will be with us one more and BESS will concentrate on synthesizing key findings… Stay Connected to get all the latest news.

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