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
20 May 2021
Ecological Resilience – woodlands and tree pests/pathogens
Risk assessments of plant pests/pathogens rarely account for potential impacts on biodiversity associated with the affected host.
10 May 2021
Ecosystem resilience – woodland establishment on heather moorland and carbon budgets
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
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
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).
2 May 2023 - 13:59
Gender Inequality in Climate Change
The imbalance in the way climate change is affecting women has risen to the surface over the last few years and it is a topic I have recently become more aware of too. This much needed attention is shining a spotlight on our decision-making, policies, research and how it could impact our future.
12 Apr 2023 - 15:08
Healthy People Healthy Planet: A film festival celebrating conservation stories from around the world
The Edinburgh Conservation Film Festival was founded last year with the aim of raising awareness of the multitude of amazing biodiversity conservation efforts that are taking place around the world, as well as providing a platform to highlight themes relevant for biodiversity co
22 Mar 2023 - 09:10
Wild plants and urban greenery…my experience at the RBGE
Delivering a sustainable food system is one of the key challenges of our generation and requires ambition to think beyond traditional production models.