On the move: the dynamic nature of plants

For over twenty years, James Robertson has been monitoring the population of plants on his land on Anglesey, observing how they have expanded and shifted across so-called borders between different habitats. Here, he describes the movement of these plants, discussing the influence that management has had. I used to think that my liking for plants

National Parks or Natural Parks: how can we have both?

Our National Parks are performing poorly for nature. Declines in biodiversity in the parks mirror those in the wider countryside, but, of greater concern, some species and habitats are actually faring worse within National Parks than they are outside them. Now, however, there is an opportunity to change this: a review of our protected landscapes,

Conservation of mountain woodland in the Cairngorms National Park

Woodland expansion is a key target in the Cairngorms National Park, and a variety of partners are working together in an effort to increase tree cover within the park’s boundaries. David Hetherington discusses the woodlands of the Cairngorms and explains what they could look like, based on comparisons with the climatically-similar south west of Norway.

Creating a National Ecological Network in Scotland

Scotland is well positioned to initiate the large-scale creation and restoration of habitats, for the benefit of people and wildlife. Work to increase connectivity has already begun in many areas, and there are exciting opportunities to expand this in future. Susan Davies, Jonathan Hughes and Bruce Wilson summarise some of the key projects and explain

National Nature Reserves in crisis?

National Nature Reserves (NNRs) are one of the greatest achievements of British nature conservation, but there is good reason to be concerned for their future. Funding cuts mean that site-managers often lack the resources necessary to adequately manage NNRs, while changing priorities are preventing the reserves from fulfilling their primary aim: to protect Britain’s best

What is a lichen? Changing ideas on the lichen symbiosis

What is a lichen? This question has been the subject of much debate in the past. Many people know that lichens are composite organisms, comprising a fungus and a cyanobacterial or algal partner, but the situation may in fact be far more complex. A great number of other microbes have been identified living within the

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