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 BESS Events


** Socio-Economic Workshop
Interactive socio-economic workshop with recreational stakeholders from the Morecambe bay region. Dr Tim Stojanovic is leading the workshop – follow this link (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/news/morecambe-bay-recreational-stakeholder-workshop-may-8th/) for the flyer and distribute to anyone who may be interested in attending.

** Welcome to BESS-Connect!

** The latest updates from the NERC Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Sustainability programme
In April the BESS Science Forum was held in York. The event was attended by over 100 participants representing 33 organisations involved in the programme highlighting the expanding BESS network. Exciting preliminary findings from the consortia and small grants were discussed. Read more here… (http://www.nerc-bess.net/)

** Sign Up for BESSBESS-connect-Newsletter
If you have been forwarded this newsletter – subscribe for future editions by registering at the BESS website (http://www.nerc-bess.net/)
The http://www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/ team have been developing participatory scenario maps (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1474706511001550) of future land use to discuss how these might affect biodiversity and ecosystem services. To read about the next steps of evaluating the possible outcomes using the InVEST (http://www.naturalcapitalproject.org/InVEST.html) model click here… (http://www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/News)

Urban Meadow Benefits…
have been promoting their meadow experiments to local and national stakeholders including Natural England’s Joint National Outdoors for All Working Group (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/enjoying/linkingpeople/outdoorsforall/default.aspx) . Read more here (http://bess-urban.group.shef.ac.uk/category/news-and-updates/) about the meadows and how they link to health and well-being (http://www.openspace.eca.ac.uk/pdf/RoeandAspinall_HealthandPlace_2011.pdf) .

partners, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (https://www.rspb.org.uk/) and British Trust for O (http://www.bto.org/) rnithology, (http://www.bto.org/) have been explaining (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/the-benefits-of-birds/) how they hope to gain an understanding of the value of the cultural services that birds provide plus improve the science underpinning their own land management and advice through their involvement in BESS.

The latest news on the http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/ activities including all their ongoing sampling are reported on here (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/2014/04/25/and-the-sample-processing-continues/#more-1354) including a link to all the PhD blogs (http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/cbess/outreach-and-education/phd-blogs/)

Invertebrate Biodiversity & Crop Yield
This is the topic being investigated as part of the http://www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/home crop production research team including Dr Ros Shaw (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/esi/people/shaw/) . The first years work highlighted the importance of interactions with invertebrates and crop variety on yield. The Wessex-BESS team will be controlling for this in their second season by planting their own crops. Find more here (http://www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/node/28) …

** Urban Bug Hunting!
researchers have been busy assessing the biodiversity of invertebrates in urban greenspaces in more detail than ever before.

Read about their painstaking analysis here… (http://bess-urban.group.shef.ac.uk/a-new-level-of-detail/)

Meanwhile to learn more about a project actively protecting invertebrates visit the Buglife (http://www.buglife.org.uk/) website.

** Is this a world first?
The http://nerc-duress.org/ team have built cascading artificial stream channels. Find out why – and whether this is globally unique – here… (http://nerc-duress.org/?p=2181)

Do landscape scale conservation schemes enhance ecosystem service provision?
This is the question addressed in a new paper (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21513732.2014.883430#.U14YmvldV8E) published in the ‘International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management’ (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tbsm21/current#.U14oqvldV8E) from Kathy Hodder (http://staffprofiles.bournemouth.ac.uk/display/khodder) and a team from Bournemouth University.

The paper highlights that whilst landscape-scale approaches lead to overall service provision increases there were often trade-offs between services (particularly between provisioning and other services). The five case studies examined also showed marked differences highlighting the importance of local factors.
Dr Isabelle Durance PI at has been elected to the steering group of the international Ecosystem Services Partnership (http://www.es-partnership.org/esp) , and appointed to the editorial board of the leading International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tbsm21/current#.U15eYPldV8E) .

To find out all the latest news from Duress click here… (http://nerc-duress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Duress-Winter-gazette-Feb-2014.pdf)

** Next Issue
All the latest from the new field season…

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