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
16 May 2023
Microbes play a wide variety of essential roles in keeping our guts healthy and in supporting food and agriculture production. Conversely, some microbial populations can cause serious disease, as foodborne pathogens or infectious agents of food-producing animals and crops.
22 Feb 2023
Plant pests and pathogens can have a devastating impact not only on plant hosts but also the wider biodiversity that use the infected plant (e.g., for food, breeding and shelter).
12 Dec 2022
The Tarland Catchment: Monitoring landscape interventions to improve water quality, benefit riparian habitat and mitigate flooding
The Tarland Burn Catchment (~70 km2) has been studied since the year 2000 making it one of the longest running comprehensive catchment management case studies in the UK.
3 Nov 2022
Increasingly trees are being promoted as a means to increase carbon storage and hence off-set climate change.
24 Oct 2022
Healthy, intact floodplains play an important role in mitigating extremes of water availability (droughts and floods) expected under climate change. Compared to other ecosystems, intact floodplains also support a disproportionately high biodiversity.
30 Sep 2022
Taking the scenic (and sustainable) route - exploring public engagement strategies to decarbonise transport in UK national parks
The climate emergency presents a double challenge for public bodies as they reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and learn to adapt to the already changing climate.
12 Aug 2022
Streams and rivers in farmland areas often have a degraded morphology due to straightening and run-off pollution (inputs of fine sediment, < 2 mm particle size diameter).
14 Jun 2022
A SEFARI Gateway-funded Specialist Advisory Group brought together a broad range of expertise across key industry stakeholders, Government Policy Leads and relevant SEFARI researchers to discuss livestock health and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), to prioritise health conditions that have the greatest impact on emis
28 Apr 2022
The importance of ecosystems and biodiversity to human well-being is now well established as they provide benefits such as timber, pollination and coastal protection.
19 Apr 2022
The Scottish Government has committed to legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045. This will require a reduction across all sectors of the economy.
8 Apr 2022
Can open science aid the sustainable transition? Collaborative intercrop research with farmers highlights opportunities for data and knowledge sharing
Scotland has ambitious strategies for biodiversity protection and climate action with the intention of achieving a greener, fairer and just future.
4 Apr 2022
Combining local, contextualised knowledge with generalised, scientific knowledge is seen as best practice in decision making for biodiversity management. However, there is the potential for conflict if these two knowledges do not concur.
1 Apr 2022
Going underground: testing the potential of citizen science and DNA to explore alpine soil biodiversity
Soil biodiversity is critical to ecosystem functioning, but our understanding of the richness and distribution of soil organisms lags far behind that of biodiversity above ground.
14 Dec 2021
Exploring the potential of spatially referenced data to support the evolution of land-based policy in Scotland
The way we manage land and plan land-use change plays an integral role in the efforts for meeting climatic targets and for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts.
7 Dec 2021
Nature-based Solutions (NbS) have been defined many times, but these definitions can be summarised as “solutions to societal challenges that are inspired and supported by nature”.
5 Oct 2021
The alpine zone supports some of Scotland’s most natural habitats. Complex topography interacts with snow cover and climate to create gradients in water availability and temperature, resulting in a mosaic of plant communities variously dominated by dwarf-shrubs, grasses, or mosses.
9 Sep 2021
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the world's most economically important food crops and holds major significance for future food security.
31 Aug 2021
The alpine zone supports some of our most natural habitats and provides ecosystem services including carbon storage, nutrient cycling and water quality.
29 Jul 2021
Racomitrium heath is a moss-dominated alpine habitat which is widespread and covers extensive areas in oceanic alpine regions. It is important for the rare bird species that it supports, and the ecosystem services it provides, including carbon storage and regulation of water quality.
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.
26 Sep 2023 - 16:27
Everyday Circularity: Researching behaviours and business practices in the transition to a Circular Economy
Overconsumption and high levels of resource use are challenges contributing significantly to the climate and biodiversity crises.
31 Jul 2023 - 18:24
One important and often overlooked aspect of PhD training is the chance to meet other researchers in the same or similar field as you, allowing for knowledge exchange and the forging of new connections.
12 Jul 2023 - 17:29
Serious gaming is a growing field in which games are used to provide a fun and educational method of science communication. Gaming offers opportunities in communicating challenging and complex issues to stakeholders and communities to improve land management practices.