The JRC recently published a paper highlighting the importance of free open-access satellite data for biodiversity conservation.
On 20 December 2013, the 68th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution which declared 2015 the first ever International Year of Soils (IYS).
The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions. It was officially launched on 5 December 2014, the first official UN World Soil Day.
The specific objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:
A recently published article, led by the JRC, reviews the impacts of invasive alien marine species on ecosystem services and biodiversity in Europe. The review identifies 86 alien marine species, within 13 phyla, which have significant (negative and/or positive) impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity in European seas. It classifies the type of impact, comments on the methods applied for assessing the impact and the related inferential strength, and reports on information gaps.
JRC scientists published a joint study on the use of metabarcoding to characterise soil biodiversity.
The paper presents the opportunities and challenges of this relatively new methodology, and proposes solutions to facilitate its common application.
JRC scientists are the lead authors of a recently published article that presents the SOSTARE model, a model for carrying out integrated sustainability assessments in terms of technical efficiency of farms, and of management impacts on environmental and economic performance.
The model was developed based on a survey of a broad range of arable and livestock farms in the Po Plain in northern Italy, one of the most intensively cultivated areas of Europe. It includes a set of indicators that can provide an immediate valuation of a farm’s economic, agronomic and ecological performance.
The United Nations Environment Programme has today released its Protected Planet Report 2014, of which JRC scientists are co-authors and contributors. The Report reviews progress towards the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which aims to improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity in protected areas.
The JRC contributed to a book on peatlands management recently published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which provides solutions to safeguard and preserve natural peatlands from degradation.
The JRC’s contribution focuses on peatlands mapping, which is necessary to evaluate their state, estimate their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and monitor the management practices used on them.
In a recently published paper, JRC scientists estimated that in the European Union every 1% increase of artificial lands (roads, buildings) should be compensated with an increase of 2.2% of green infrastructure (natural or semi-natural areas) within the same region, in order to maintain ecosystem services at 2010 levels - the base year of the EU Biodiversity strategy to 2020. JRC scientists assessed the impacts of the current trends in land-use change on the provision of ecosystem services, using an ecosystem services index coupled with a land-use modelling platform.
JRC scientists recently launched a new web interface that can detect nestedness, which is a pattern of species distributions and/or interactions in a given ecological system. The web system, called Nestedness for Dummies (NeD), enables nestedness to be easily computed using the most robust available combination of metrics and null models (a pattern-generating model based on randomisation of ecological data).