Climate change risk for half of plant and animal species in biodiversity hot-spots

Up to half of plant and animal species in the world’s most naturally rich areas, such as the Amazon and the Galapagos, could face local extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change if carbon emissions continue to rise unchecked.

The Amazon, Miombo Woodlands in Southern Africa, and south-west Australia are among the most affected places in the world, according to new research.

Payments to protect carbon stored in forests must increase

Efforts to protect tropical forests in Southeast Asia for the carbon they store may fail because protection payments are too low – according to University of East Anglia research.

A study published today in Nature Communications finds that schemes designed to protect tropical forests from clearance based on the carbon they store do not pay enough to compete financially with potential profits from rubber plantations.

A sunscreen for biopesticides

Scientists have taken a step forward in their efforts to tackle serious crop pests by reducing the sensitivity of biopesticides to sunlight

Insect pests consume around a third of all the crops we grow, sometimes threatening food security. The main way of controlling these pests is by spraying chemical pesticides but these can be damaging to the environment and so safer alternatives are urgently required including more effective biological pesticides.

The Battle of Resistance

By Dion Garrett (Waitrose CTP Student)

A consent battle for dominance is being fought between grower and agricultural pest every growing season. This fight has been waged ever since civilisations required food to feed the masses. It was inevitable that various pests would take advantage of this veritable feast. To fully understand how the pieces fit together, a brief introduction to the laws that underpin this conflict is necessary:

Once ridiculed and subject to much controversy, evolution is now regarded as fact due to the overwhelming evidence in its favour. It was once thought that evolution was a very slow process, taking thousands of years for changes to visibly occur. This made it extremely difficult to provide any substantial evidence to support the initial theory.

NIAB EMR-China research unlocks strawberry disease resistance

NIAB EMR, in a joint UK–China research programme, has discovered several strains of the strawberry disease Verticillium wilt (Verticillium dahliae), belonging to two different groups, that act in very different ways. The results are already being used by plant breeders in the development of a new generation of wilt resistant varieties.

Say it with British flowers

A passion for sustainable supply chains and the desire to do something useful, brought Becky Swinn to Lancaster University.

Now her research project comparing the carbon footprint of British, Dutch and Kenyan cut flowers has won the prize for the Best Collaborative Project at the Lancaster Environment Centre. But, like many others, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she finished her first degree. After spending two years doing a series of jobs she got asked to work on a project encouraging people to reduce the amount of food they throw away.