EU Science Hub

Science updates

Soil biodiversity is essential for healthy soils and the invaluable ecosystem services they provide.
Apr 18 2019

A recent Conservation Nature article by global experts, including JRC scientists Luca Montanarella and Alberto Orgiazzi, finds a significant mismatch in global patterns of overlap between aboveground and soil biodiversity.

Biodiversity - the variety of life on the planet - has been in the global spotlight lately, with suggestions of a sixth mass extinction caused by human activities. However, although up to one quarter of terrestrial biodiversity lives in soil, the main focus of attention has mainly been on aboveground biodiversity.

Population and agriculture are drivers of chemical pollution of rivers in Europe
Apr 15 2019

A recent JRC-led article delivers the first pan-European inventory of emissions of chemical priority substances that reach rivers and coastal waters in Europe, from both point (single, easily identified) and diffuse (widespread over an area) sources.

Healthy aquatic ecosystems deliver high quality ecosystem services
Apr 11 2019

A recently published JRC article on the link between the ecological condition of Europe's water resources and the ecosystem services they provide highlights the need to protect and restore aquatic ecosystems.

The article quantifies and maps the capacity, flow, sustainability and efficiency of the main ecosystem services provided by rivers, lakes and coastal waters in Europe, and analyses their relationship with the ecosystem condition.

13 experts from Africa attended the third GMES & Africa workshop organised by the JRC in March
Apr 04 2019

The third workshop for the definition of land monitoring services in the framework of the GMES & Africa project was held at the JRC from 18 to 29 March 2019, with the participation of 13 experts from Africa.

Wastewater from urban coastal areas contributes to rising nutrient pollution of the Mediterranean Sea.
Apr 02 2019

A recently published JRC article describes a new modelling framework for quantifying and identifying the human causes of nutrient pollution in the Mediterranean Sea and provides possible solutions for its control.

Pollution from agriculture and wastewater treatment plants will have to be controlled in order to protect the water resources and coastal and marine ecosystems, and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the economic activities and ecosystem services in the region.

Residential building in the public green park during sunrise
Landscape around Hescborn, Germany
Mar 26 2019

The Joint Research Centre, the European Environment Agency and the Directorate-General for Environment joined efforts to deliver a comprehensive report providing methodological guidance to support the strategic deployment of green infrastructure and ecosystem restoration in Europe. 

Water purification, storage and drainage, flood mitigation, heat regulation and improved air quality, crop pollination, recreational spaces - these are just some of the fundamental services provided by green infrastructure in urban and rural areas.

Soil productivity relies on a range of organisms, including ants, which can support critical soil processes.
Mar 22 2019

The JRC contributed to the soil component of the State of the World's Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, the first global assessment of biodiversity for food and agriculture worldwide, recently released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Over the past two decades, approximately 20% of the Earth’s vegetated surface has become less productive and most of the species, genes and microorganisms that are the bedrock of food production are ‘severely under threat’.

The Mediterranean has a very specific balance of nutrients, which are fundamental to marine life.
Feb 19 2019

A recently published JRC-led article presents an innovative way of modelling marine nutrients that better reproduces observed phytoplankton biomass and ecosystem dynamics in productive areas.

Essential Biodiversity Variables can help assess and report on changes in biodiversity
Dec 18 2018

Global biodiversity - the variety of plant and animal life on Earth - is a hot topic lately. As we face into the sixth mass extinction in Earth's history, scientists and concerned members of the public look for ways to help preserve and enhance biodiversity, in order to maintain human well-being and a healthy planet.

To efficiently manage global biodiversity, we need some way of recording and measuring biodiversity and how it is changing.

The harvest mouse – a cute carrier of disease-bearing ticks
Oct 18 2018

Linking landscape connectivity and the spread of tick-borne Lyme disease

A recent article led by the University of Toronto and co-authored by the JRC examines how wildlife and landscape characteristics interact to influence the spread of Lyme disease.