Species differ in their responses to environmental change; some species may be more tolerant to a specific environmental stress than others. The ECN monitors a range of contrasting species with different distributions, life histories (reproduction rates, life span etc.), mobility and ecological requirements within differing ecosystems.
The River Taw originates at Taw Head in Dartmoor National Park and flows for 72 km until it reaches the Bristol Channel on the north coast of Devon.
Changes in climate (e.g. temperature and rainfall) along with the deposition of major ions (wet and dry deposition) can affect the health and behaviour of soils.
Atmospheric pollution is a major driver of environmental change and can damage human health. Therefore, since the mid-1950s, UK and European legislation and treaties have been implemented to reduce air pollutants. ECN data show that these have been effective.
Long-term meteorological observations can be used to identify changes and trends in climate that may have a positive or negative impact on the environment.
Soils are teeming with bacteria whose effects we are just beginning to understand. One of the most abundant and active groups of bacteria in soils is called Bradyrhizobium. For the first time from European soils, scientists have sequenced the genome of Bradyrhizobium, giving a glimpse into their activity and revealing differences with strains from other parts of the world.
Notes to Editors
Looking beyond the factors affecting crop performance within a season, an ambitious new research programme aims to uncover the features of successful crop rotations. To deliver the programme, Rothamsted Research will work in partnership with NIAB CUF, Lancaster University and the James Hutton Institute, along with 14 other organisations from across the agricultural and horticultural industries. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), which commissioned the research, has awarded £1.2m in funding to address challenges in soil and water management across whole rotations.
Notes to Editors
The tenth bulletin for 2016 from the Rothamsted Insect Survey
In young plants, you can sometimes distinguish cultivated wheat varieties from wild species by their colour. Wild wheat appears either glossy green or a matte bluish-grey, but cultivated varieties are almost always the latter. The bluish-grey colour comes from a waxy film thought to increase yields and protect the plant from environmental stress, particularly drought and diseases. The genes that produce the coating have long eluded researchers, but work by an international team has now revealed them.
One of the benefits of the UN’s declaration of 2015 as the International Year of Soils was that the UK Parliament took notice of what is now called “Soil Health”. According to the just-released House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee first report, soil health is multi-faceted, depending on a range of biological, chemical and physical factors. This is well known to soil scientists and to most of those who work in agriculture.