Evolution leads to an increasing number of species, and that's why it is so difficult for us to know how many of them inhabit the Earth. Should we spend efforts to conserve all of them or would it be enough with just a few?
Afforestation is a type of land use change project primarily designated for wood production, soil and water conservation, increasing carbon storage and mitigating climate change. This study shows that afforestation changes, moreover, soil pH, that is a key soil variable.
According to a study Josep Peñuelas has published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, the size of herbivorous megafauna was crucial to their survival in a cold, dry, largely barren environment. The study's data were obtained by incorporating the hugely significant effect of herbivores into innovative mathematical models capable of simulating landscape evolution.
Two CREAF researchers have taken part in the study, which shows that small, irregularly shaped fields on farmland boost the number and abundance of species. This is because pollinators use crop borders as highways or corridors for movement and protection. The trend of ever larger crop fields is endangering insect pollinator populations and their ability to pollinate crops
Plants' annual growing season has lengthened, exposing them to frost more often at a time when they are particularly sensitive. That can be detrimental to their activity and lead to substantial crop yield losses.
CREAF and the companies Altran and Starlab have led the design of RitmeNatura.cat, a citizen observatory that encourages members of the public to ‘adopt’ a plant, record the changes it undergoes and provide data that can be used to study the effects of climate change.
Once rehydrated, holm oaks have a large capacity for recovery thanks to their high adaptation to the Mediterranean climate. The release of organic compounds into the soil represents a considerable loss of carbon for the holm oak and also modifies the microbial community, which may lead to additional effects on the tree.