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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

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.

1 Apr 2020

Diversity in the Mix: The benefits of biodiversity for sustainable crop production

We are currently facing three major global challenges: climate change, biodiversity loss and the development of sustainable food production systems. Ideal solutions to these challenges would be ones that deliver win-wins, addressing at least two of these simultaneously.

6 Mar 2020

Environmental Indicators: Nature Showing Us the Bigger Picture

The Scottish Government is currently responding to a multitude of grand and complex environmental challenges, such as biodiversity loss and climate change. But how do we know if these responses, or the money spent on delivering them, are having the desired effect?

2 Mar 2020

Peatbog restoration in Scotland – How to care for Cinderella

In this project we looked at what makes people care about peatland restoration. Peatbogs are important because of their ability to store carbon, regulate water flows and provide a home for rare species of plants and animals. Nevertheless, peatbogs are often described as a hard-to-love ‘Cinderella habitat’.

22 Jan 2020

Connecting research and management needs for the Cairngorms National Park

The following case study summarises work delivered as part of a recent SEFARI Fellowship with the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).

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Blog

21 Sep 2022 - 08:10

Fishing for Health – Do our seafood supplies add up for dietary recommendations?

Many of us want to eat a healthier and more sustainable diet and eating more fish is often one option recommended.

However, SEFARI research has identified that, across Europe, dietary recommendations for fish consumption do not necessarily match national seafood supplies.

17 Jun 2022 - 13:51

Agriculture and Food Production: Measures for a Just Transition

Agriculture and food production contribute a large portion of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, account for approximately 20% of the world's total emissions.

13 May 2022 - 15:15

“They seek it here, they seek it there” - studying integrated water management

In this blog, Dr Kerry Waylen, a senior researcher in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department at the James Hutton Institute, discusses the practical difficulties in aligning approaches to protect and improve water quality and ecology alongside those for managing flood risk.