Definitions of Native Species

Native Tree Species:

The UK Native trees definition is given by The Woodland trust (woodlandtrust.org.uk). The term native is used for any species that has made its way to the UK naturally, not intentionally or accidentally introduced by humans. In terms of trees and plants, these are species that recolonised the land when the glaciers melted after the last ice age and before the UK was disconnected from mainland Europe.

During the ice age itself, areas of the UK were completely covered by a huge ice sheet. This prevented many trees and plants from growing and many species retreated south to survive the freeze. The ice sheets that covered large areas of the planet locked up lots of water from the Earth’s system. This made sea levels much lower than today and exposed a strip of land (now submerged beneath the Channel Sea) that connected the UK to mainland Europe.

As the Earth warmed and ice began to melt and retreat (over 10,000 years ago), species began to recolonise the once frozen land from the warmer south. However, trapped water released back into the system from the melting ice caused sea levels to rise again. Gradually the rising sea flooded the land bridge from the UK to Europe and prevented any more species (unless they could fly) from colonising the UK.

Non-native Tree Species:
Any species that has been brought to the UK by humans is non-native. This means species which were not naturalised here if it were not for humans intentionally or accidentally bringing them to UK.
About 8,000 years ago, Neolithic man first arrived in Britain and brought new species, such as plant crops and livestock, and a few stowaways like the house mouse.There are many non-native species living in the UK. Some, like Douglas fir and Sitka spruce, are used in forestry; and others, such as copper beech and London plane, were brought here for their beauty.

British tree pages feature​ some of the most common non-native trees that have naturalised in the ​the landscape.

The triangular seed mass-leaf area relationship holds for annual plants and is determined by habitat productivity

Functional Ecology: Plain Language Summaries

Bianca A Santini, John G Hodgson, Ken Thompson, Peter J Wilson, Stuart R Band, Glynis Jones, Mike Charles, Amy Bogaard, Carol Palmer & Mark Rees

The relationships between plant traits tells us about the amount of resources species invest on a given trait. For example, thicker leaves are long-lived, but their construction is expensive for the plant and have lower photosynthetic rates than thin leaves. Another example, related to our study, is the triangular relationship found between seed mass and leaf area in woody species. This relationship tells us that small-seeded species can have either small or large leaves, whereas big-seeded species have large leaves. However, the combination of big seeds with small leaves does not occur. Again, this give us insights into resource allocation, in this case of the photosythates in a leaf and how are they distributed, either into small seeds or big seeds.

Indeed, resource allocation changes…

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Journal ranks 2015

ConservationBytes.com

graduate_barsBack in February I wrote about our new bibliometric paper describing a new way to rank journals, which I still contend is a fairer representation of relative citation-based rankings. Given that the technique requires ISI, Google Scholar and Scopus data to calculate the composite ranks, I had to wait for the last straggler (Google) to publish the 2015 values before I could present this year’s rankings to you. Google has finally done that.

So in what has become a bit of an annual tradition, I’m publishing the ranks of a mixed list of ecology, conservation and multidisciplinary disciplines that probably cover most of the journals you might be interested in comparing. Like for last year, I make no claims that this list is comprehensive or representative. For previous lists based on ISI Impact Factors (except 2014), see the following links (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 

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International Women’s Day 2016

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8th March.  A lot of work is needed, more than one billion people still remain hungry today, in addition millions of women and children are malnourished.The vast reservoir of nature`s biological wealth can provide for all and it needs to accord reognition to women and their silent contributions in conserving,saving, maintaining genes and life in diverse ecosystems and towards sustainable development.I wish and hope  scientific advances can address this issue. The current deliberations of Food and Agriculture Organisation; Biodiversity International;Future Earth;International Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services;Biodiversity Monitoring Assessments  will take note of this important issue through  their  scientific programme developments.
Promila Kapoor-Vijay

https://canwefeedtheworld.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/international-womens-day-2016/

http://www.internationalwomensday.com

 

 

 

WHO organised a Global Conference on Climate Change in August 2014

An important conference is timely convened by the World Health Organisation(WHO),some experts hope that the biggest global health threat of the millenium will be biggest opportunity for good health, it though carries responsibility , enthusiasm and promise.

Serious health conditions like Asthma, autoimune syndromes, and heart troubles get worse with increasing threat of climate change,building of toxins, and toxic gases in earths atmosphere, reducing gas emmissions is a must: If we could reduce the severity of autoimmune disorders and other diseases by tackling issues linked with climate change and extreme weather conditions, It will be a victory for all humans.Ecological resilient systems of life are already in nature providing to millions support and relief. Unfortunalely these systems are species, their populations and habitats all part of a unique ecosystem eg coastal ecosystem, to desert ecosystem

My great hope and urge to all involved in the conference is to develop such strong policies that we can reduce the trauma of living in urban polluted air, in cities, and in rural habitats too, or other open areas which are constantly exposed to natural disasters linked to climate change such as melting of artic ice,landslides,typhoons, floods. Everywhere air and water is loaded with unhealthy chemicals; while air is polluted with toxic gases.
As an ecologist, a biodiversity expert for thirty years, my concern and hope will be that during the conference, experts both from health, meteorology, and other expertise discuss and agree to encourage greening of urban environments, including offices, and public places to enable everyone to have access to not just clean air, clean water, but also to green corridors;nutritious, healthy foods ensuring access to leafy green nutritious diets, foods on regular basis preferably grown locally in the regions(enhancing love for natural green covers in kitchen gardens, community gardens. Restorations and regenerations of lost habitats in landslides, breaking of mountains is a different scale of work and takes many decades.

Nations of the world are always debating and wanting to reduce Green house gas emissions- innumerable dialogues held till now, have made the subject easy to understand, but still debates are continuing indefinitely.Agreements are not coming forward which are unanimous, enforceable.

Difference is this, time the topic will be handled in the Global Climate conference organised by WHO from 25-29August 2014.
It will be a great success tif it moves few steps further and start developing policies and guidelines which are health-promoting , biodiversity friendly, providing resilience building, nature rooted solutions. Protecting and providing good health to all- especially the young mothers and their children, pregnant mothers, and to all children, adolescents who may be still not fully exposed to severity and uncertainity of climate change related severe negative impacts on their health like Asthma, Heart trouble, allergies.
Vulnerable people in very poor countries, living with catastrophes such as drought, floods, cyclones, tsunamis, volcanoes need to be equally given highest attention.They are the ones who need not just medicines,but health support and solutions through nutritious diets, clean water and warm,clean homes.A tall order but we are one human family on earth – and each one is importantand whose well being,happiness and continuity is most important goal.
I send my best wishes to Dr M. Chan DG WHO, and all her colleagues and experts,organisers and participants for the success of this important conference
Dr Promila Kapoor-Vijay FLS
Director PBK2100-A platform for probioknowledge in Switzerland, Geneva and UK,London

Access and Benefit Sharing of Bioresources

An International agreement in 2010 was adopted in by the Convention on Biodiversity COP-10 on 29th October,in Nagoya,Japan. The agreement aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources in a fair and equitable manner, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over resources and technologies. The agreement ensures that by appropriate funding  it will be contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and its components. 

From 24-28th February 2014 third meeting of the Open ended AdHoc Intergovernmental committee for the Nagoya protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their utilisation (ICNP-3) is being held in Pyeonchang,Republic of Korea. A  capacity building workshop on the access and benefit-sharing(ABS) is being held on  on 23rd February 2014. The importance of this meeting is because it will be dealing with the need for and modalities of a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanisms; modalities of operation of the Access and Benefit Sharing clearing house, capacity building, and development.

It is one of the key areas of concern to both the  poor  and rich people in developing and developed countries, as both known and unknown part of the disappearing plant ,animal, microbial biological diversity , genetic resources in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is of value to human survival on the planet earth. Lack of proper modalities and systems for access and benefit sharing (ABS) has been a big disadvantage to humanity, to disappearing local cultures-traditional knowledge, especially  to those  suffering from poverty, hunger, malnutrition, disease, and ecological /man made environmental disasters.

It is timely the scientific community is joining hands through the Nagoya protocol , and new developments such as International Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).  It is necessary to have integrated  working approach, to  build modalities, protocols  for ensuring greater understanding of knowledge and value  embedded in the biological diversity and its components for preservation of our earths ecosystems.

I believe that the  universal sustainable development goals when  established in 2015 will become worthwhile  only new developments are  integrated with principles of   fair access and equitable sharing of benefits of biological resources and ecosystem services associated with biological diversity while conserving and maintaining them in their native environments. The sustainable future can be assured  to future generations, provided correct  steps and mechanisms are developed for delivery and  access of equitable sharing of benefits associated with bioresources and ecosystem  services.

Promila Kapoor-Vijay

Director PBK-2100

23 February 2014