Research led by two French institutions shows that farmland comprising small fields sown with different types of crops is conducive to plant and animal diversity. Promoting such landscapes would help make up for the loss of natural and semi-natural habitats between crops.
A CREAF-led European study published in the journal Global Change Biology warns that the drought associated with climate change could reduce soil fauna diversity and slow the decomposition of leaf litter (fallen leaves, twigs, bark, etc.), potentially hindering the recycling of nutrients for plants throughout Europe.
The observatory is the first of its kind in Spain and CREAF is coordinating the team of scientists behind it. They will be working with volunteers to monitor the evolution of butterfly populations in 54 parks and gardens in Barcelona and Madrid.
CREAF and ICO (Catalan Ornithological Institute) researchers Sergi Herrando and Lluís Brotons have participated in a study that shows populations of birds described as “mountain specialists” to have fallen by 10% in a decade in Europe. The situation is even more alarming in the Pyrenees and elsewhere in the Iberian Peninsula, where mountain bird populations fell by 21%.
A study led by CREAF researcher Judit Lecina Díaz has mapped Spain's carbon and biodiversity hotspots, which are located in the Pyrenees and their foothills, Madrid, Cuenca, La Rioja and Andalusia, and along the coast of the Cantabrian Sea.
At the end of the 19th century, the border region between Italy and Slovenia had mountains with no trees. A massive reforestation ordered by the Austro-Hungarian Empire allowed to recover forests and revitalize the region. Now, however, those pines planted a century ago are in danger.
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?
A study led by Daniel Sol, CISC researcher based at CREAF, shows that cities preserve 450 million years less evolutionary history compared to natural environments. Birds capable of surviving in highly urbanized environments have undergone recent evolution. The arrival of exotic species does not compensate for poor urban evolutionary diversity.
In many ecosystems, fire promotes a greater variety of species of plants and animals since it creates a more diverse set of environments. The positive effects of fire cannot be generalized to all aspects of an ecosystem; profound knowledge about the local species and fire regime is crucial. Insights from the study are useful for planning management of forest biomass fuel, controlled burnings, and forest fire suppression.
The Catalonian Government and CREAF define the Catalonian program for comprehensive biodiversity monitoring24 de February 2017Verónica Couto Antelo
Raúl Bonal (Madrid, 1974) is a researcher at the University of Extremadura and is associated researcher at CREAF since 2009. In the Western world, what Raúl has achieved has become quite rare: describe a new species. The species discovered by Raúl is known as the “holm oak spider” and was given the Latin name Cheiracanthium ilicis. More such discoveries may be in store in the not-too-distant future.
The data base of the research project EXOCAT, commissioned by the Catalonian government and coordinated by CREAF, has more than 1,100 exotic species registered in Catalonia, 111 of which are considered as invasive. This data base is a benchmark tool for improving policy on biological invasions and their control.
Created by CREAF and GBIF.ES, Natusfera consists of a web portal and application for mobile devices which will host information about living beings observed in nature including photo sharing and location. The European Citizen Science Association considers Natusfera to be a benchmark model for initiatives of this type, and has proposed that it be translated into as many languages as possible.
Today, May 25, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) publishes the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas, first-ever of this topic. It’s a European Comission iniciative, available and free for everyone who is interested in. This atlas maps the soil biodiversity of the entire planet by providing an exhaustive analysis of soil organisms and the threats it has to face. Soil management could help the mitigation of the effects of climate change.
ECOPOTENTIAL Project is going Online! ECOPOTENTIAL is a large European-funded H2020 project that focuses its activities on a targeted set of internationally recognised Protected Areas, blending Earth Observations from remote sensing and field measurements, data analysis and modelling of current and future ecosystem conditions and services.
An international study with participation of CREAF has concluded that singing in higher pitches is no guarantee of success for city birds. This was after observing city-dwelling birds in around 20 cities worldwide, Barcelona being one of them. The researchers compared around 400 species and analyzed whether these were more abundant in their natural habitat or in urban areas. What is certain is that species which sing at higher pitches are heard better against the low tones of the city, but there are other abilities which are more important when adapting to urban life, such as finding food and avoiding urban dangers.
A CEED (Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions) Research Fellow has been recently awarded one of the five Victorian Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. He will travell to Spain to study the threat of fires to biodiversity at the CTFC (Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia) and CREAF (Centre of Ecological Research and Forestry Applications).
This study, in which the CREAF participated, determined that relationships between species follow a few common patterns, and, therefore, with little data a lot of detail can be understood regarding the ecological networks of ecosystems and predict a species’ evolution in the face of perturbations.