Navigation Links
European biodiversity and ecosystem scientists merge and gear up for long-term research

Measures to tackle the human impact on biodiversity require long term research and collaboration between many countries working with common goals and frameworks. This emerged from a recent workshop organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF), which moved towards establishing an ESF Research Networking Programme (RNP) for ecosystem and biodiversity analysis on the back of existing initiatives.

Before finding conservation solutions, the big challenge is to understand how human activities and their possible consequences, such as climate and land use change, interact with ecosystems and alter biodiversity, according to Markus Fischer, convenor of the ESF workshop. The big first step will be to bring key researchers within Europe into a single "big tent" focusing on the whole field of biodiversity and associated ecosystem processes, from the molecular to the ecosystem level and across all groups of organisms. Until now, research into biodiversity and research into ecosystems have tended to be conducted separately even though the issues and underlying science are closely related. Thus, "the most important result of the workshop was the rapid consensus that the two previously separated fields - biodiversity and ecosystem research - should team up and integrate their results more intensively," said Fischer. "The best way to arrive at a better integration is by harmonising methodological protocols and agreeing on a sampling design for joint investigations on diversity and ecosystem processes." The workshop has laid the ground for such harmonisation.

The workshop identified the need to understand what features enable some species to benefit from changes and others to be driven out following various kinds of human activities, over both the short and long term."We can learn a lot about functional consequences of changes in biodiversity by comparing ecological traits of rare and endangered species with those from increasing or invasive species, or by comparing how these two groups of species respond to changes in the environment," said Fischer. "However, biodiversity research cannot be successful if it limits itself to the species level. Clearly, evolutionary biology must be integrated within innovative biodiversity research. Moreover, biological interactions need to be considered, including pollination, seed dispersal, predation, and decomposition, all constituting integral elements of ecosystem functioning."

All these objectives can only be met through a common approach linking suitable local projects on the ground across the whole of Europe. "It was generally agreed that functional biodiversity research requires a network of field sites distributed across Europe to cover different types of habitats, landscapes and land-uses," said Fischer. "Furthermore it was recognised that all facilities must allow the conduction of long-term research because of the non-linear, slow and often delayed response of ecological systems." In the long run, an integration of the network into currently emerging European research initiatives such as ANAAE and LIFEWATCH will allow the full potential for synergy to be realised.


Contact: Markus Fischer
European Science Foundation

Related biology news :

1. The MDS foundation supports vidazas recommendation for European approval
2. Vidaza receives positve opinion from European CHMP
3. European researchers harness unique properties of boron to develop new drugs and diagnostics
4. IronKey Opens New European Office
5. IOF calls on European citizens to stand tall and speak out for their bones
6. Major European program for the environment under the spotlight in Lille, France
7. Study helps pinpoint genetic variations in European Americans
8. European Science Foundation aims to strengthen regenerative medicine
9. European light research opens door for optical storage and computing
10. European membrane expertise to focus on new treatments for human diseases
11. ESFs European ice core project EPICA receives prestigious Descartes Prize
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)... new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of how cancer ... challenges in better using that knowledge to guide treatment ... children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that counseling may ... John M. Maris, M.D ., a pediatric oncologist ... --> John M. Maris, M.D ., ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... EASTON, Mass. , Nov. 17, 2015 ... a leader in the development and sale of broadly ... the worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it has ... of its $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing ... to $4,025,000.  One or more additional closings are expected ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology company ... to announce that it will be a Sponsor of the ... be held November 17-19 in Hamburg , ... iMedNet , MedNet,s easy-to-use, proven and affordable ... been able to deliver time and cost savings of up ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS; ... and prospects remain fundamentally strong and highlights the ... recently received DSMB recommendation to continue the ZoptEC ... of the final interim efficacy and safety data ... in men with heavily pretreated castration- and Taxane-resistant ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: OREX ) ... chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th Annual Healthcare ... discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, at 8:00 ... replay will be available for 14 days after the ... NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development , BrewLife(858) 875-8629 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... genomics company uBiome, were featured on AngelList early in their initial angel funding ... an AngelList syndicate for individuals looking to make early stage investments in the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States Golf ... the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section ... her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension ...
Breaking Biology Technology: