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.
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Climate and the Environment
5 Jul 2021
In the UK the addition of lime to agricultural land was strongly encouraged by Government subsidy payments to farmers, but since subsidies ceased in the late 1970’s the application of lime has declined with subsequent acidification of many soils.
20 May 2021
Risk assessments of plant pests/pathogens rarely account for potential impacts on biodiversity associated with the affected host.
10 May 2021
Woodland expansion is a key part of the Scottish and Westminster Governments’ plans to meet net zero carbon emission targets by 2045 and 2050 respectively. Here, we use replicated experiments to study the changes that occurred on heather dominated moorland when birch and Scots pine were planted.
27 Apr 2021
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.
23 Feb 2021
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
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
Control of plant diseases such as potato late blight relies heavily on the use of crop protection products such as fungicides.
16 Dec 2020
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.
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
The following case study summarises a SEFARI Think Tank involving the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and Scottish Natural Heritage.
16 Nov 2020
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
21 Oct 2020
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 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
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.
15 Jul 2021 - 10:24
From waterfalls to lochs, hydroelectric power to fisheries, Scotland is a country shaped by, and built on, its precious water resources. In this exciting campaign we invite researchers, industry, NGOs and the public from across Scotland to share your experiences, knowledge and expertise of our water resources.
5 Jul 2021 - 12:09
Climate and biodiversity crises: increasing corporate demands for environmental monitoring data, reporting, and verification
This year, 2021, has seen a lot of activity spanning climate and biodiversity international agreements, national and organisational level initiatives related to the 2015 Paris Agreement and run up to the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties (COP15) meeting in Kunming, including the proliferat
15 May 2021 - 10:15
The farming community are under pressure to not only produce more food and remain profitable but also for their practices to be more sustainable. Despite these pressures, the farming community is experimenting, adapting and sharing their findings.