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Climate and the Environment

Climate and the Environment

The environmental challenges facing our planet have never been more acute. SEFARI research helps to show how we can protect and restore our natural capital – our soils, biodiversity and ecosystems – and develop effective ways to manage the land and water to improve environmental condition. SEFARI works to better understand how biological, chemical and physical processes can allow us to tackle climate change, adapt to changes coming our way, and build a more resilient and well-functioning environment.

Case Studies

27 Apr 2021

Should we graze the uplands of Scotland?

The continued grazing of the uplands is contentious as the goals of rewilding and farming/crofting often appear in conflict. Any changes to land use will result in cascading impacts through ecosystems, and decisions about land-use need to be informed by data to show that benefits will exceed the disbenefits.

26 Mar 2021

What is the cost of soil erosion in Scotland?

Sustainable soil management is a key component of several Scottish Government policies, including the Land Use Strategy, the Climat

23 Feb 2021

Making Green Infrastructure Socially Inclusive: Principles and Challenges

Green Infrastructure consists of interconnected multifunctional green spaces and green features. Components of Green Infrastructure include parks, nature reserves, street trees, streams, sustainable urban drainage systems and green roofs.

18 Jan 2021

Liver fluke risk and Agri-environment Schemes: a Tale of Toads, Snails and Wetland Birds

In this case study, we describe field investigations of liver fluke risk to livestock associated with grazing under two different agri-environmental schemes and discuss best practice for conservation grazing and sustainable fluke control.

14 Jan 2021

New crop protection targets to control late blight

Control of plant diseases such as potato late blight relies heavily on the use of crop protection products such as fungicides.

16 Dec 2020

Integrated Pest Management: How widely have these management practices been adopted?

Arable crops like wheat and barley, are frequently under attack from diseases, weeds, insects and slugs. These lead to reductions in yield and affect the profitability of farms and the price of produce. To protect crops there is a heavy reliance on pesticides.

2 Dec 2020

CALEDON: Gamers creating resilient forests

The public are being asked to report sightings of 22 tree pests and diseases and newly emerging threats.

1 Dec 2020

Using Natural Capital Approaches to support sustainable land management in Scotland: Insights from five pilot studies

Natural capital approaches involve identifying, understanding, and measuring the relative contribution of nature to economic performance and human well-being. By adopting the language of business, natural capital approaches allow the natural environment to be included in discussions about business decisions.

26 Nov 2020

Developing a"Genetic Scorecard": A World-first for Scotland

The following case study summarises a SEFARI Think Tank involving the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and Scottish Natural Heritage.

16 Nov 2020

Assessing natural capital impacts and dependencies within upland farming systems

Natural capital underpins sustainability and refers to the stocks of natural resources, which include geology, soil, air, water, and all living things.

4 Nov 2020

Phase 2 Grouse Research - Socioeconomic and biodiversity impacts of driven grouse moors and the employment rights of gamekeepers

This ‘Phase 2’ Grouse Research addresses some of the knowledge gaps regarding Scottish driven grouse moor management that were identified during our ‘Phase 1’ Grouse Research as well as gaps identifie

30 Oct 2020

Antimicrobial resistance: bringing Scottish expertise together to find the solutions

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global, immediate and ongoing concern to human health.

21 Oct 2020

The search for crop pathogens Achilles heels

Plant pathogens trigger changes in host plants that allow them to cause disease.  Understanding which molecules pathogens use to do this (termed effectors), how they allow infection to take place, and how they are detected by plants has important implications for our understanding of plant disease.  

6 Oct 2020

The impact of sustainable cropping on soil-borne diseases – a focus on Rhizoctonia solani AG3

The Centre for Sustainable Cropping (CSC) is a long-term experimental platform established to integrate all aspects of sustainability research on arable ecosystems. The CSC allows us to study crop management at a more integrated and system wide level and compare this to conventional crop husbandry practices.

22 Sep 2020

Recommendations for landscape-level adaptive management for ecological, economic, and social outcomes

Improving the management of Scotland’s natural assets at a landscape-level for ecological, economic, and social outcomes is a priority for the Scottish Government and its partners.

25 Aug 2020

Making Worms Squirm: Sustainable Worm Control in Lambs through Precision Livestock Farming

Electronic identification (EID) tags have been compulsory in UK sheep flocks since 2010, and a decade after their introduction, can still be a controversial topic.

13 Aug 2020

The cost of peatland restoration in Scotland

Peatland restoration could make a considerable contribution in achieving national emission targets and is a vital part of Scotland’s strategy in moving towards net zero emissions.

8 Jul 2020

Modelling the effect of social networks in reducing meat consumption

Our food consumption is guided by perceive norms and the food choices of others around us. In the UK today, unhealthy and environmentally unsustainable diets are most commonly eaten (the norm).

3 Jun 2020

Not all roots are equal – so what?

Soil is, and always will be, a very valuable resource. Soil is critical for food production and regulating several services to the wider environment, such as flood regulation and storing carbon.

7 Apr 2020

How can we safeguard biodiversity through values and governance?

Despite many initiatives to safeguard biodiversity, recent analyses and reports show that biodiversity continues to decline at the global level.

Pages

Blog

12 Apr 2021 - 15:03

Why we need to consider the role of plants in the spread of zoonotic pathogens

Zoonotic pathogens are microorganisms transmitted by animals, which cause disease and illness in humans. Many of them are foodborne and are commonly associated with farmed animals, or less frequently with wildlife.

27 Mar 2021 - 11:43

Five SEFARI Research Farms - take a tour from your sofa

With the pandemic turning our lives upside down, the use of digital communication has accelerated overnight. Webinars, Teams meetings, Digital classrooms, Virtual brainstorming boards, to name but a few. They have all helped in keeping us connected from the safety of our own homes.

22 Mar 2021 - 11:19

Protecting water catchments from zoonotic Cryptosporidium parasites

The protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium is a significant cause of diarrhoeal disease in humans and animals in UK and many other countries across the world.

Events

2021

1 Nov

UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.