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Gardeners, ecosystem engineers and landscapers: fruit-eating birds are playing a fundamental role in protecting biodiversity and recovering vegetation in habitats affected by external disturbances, such as fires, storms, floods or strong winds. Bird-mediated restoration in the Mediterranean is based on the role of trees as perches for fruit-eating...
The key conclusions of the recent IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) Global Assessment provoked urgent newspaper headlines: "nature's dangerous decline unprecedented"; "one million species at risk of extinction"; "human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life". This urgency is not...
Mushroom picking is a growing recreational activity in Europe and has a rich history as a traditional practice in many areas across the Mediterranean region. Mushrooms are primarily collected in wild forest ecosystems. Their collection can have benefits beyond a recreational level by supporting the commercial sector,...
When I started studying forestry, there were several things I thought I'd never do. One of them was searching for books on international relations in the library. Another was paging through policy analysis manuals. Yet, once the field of forest policy drew my attention, it was only...
There is so much that we can learn from forests. They are valuable to support biodiversity, to provide resources for human needs, to filter the air and water, and to mitigate climate change through carbon storage. These services are increasingly essential, as global change intensifies the importance...
The 21st of March is the official first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. The day of the equinox, in which plants start to blossom and sprout as warm air begins to invade our latitudes. Not only this, this day is also celebrated throughout the world...
In 1986, fires raged rampant on Montserrat Mountain. As over 70,000 hectares of forest land burned throughout Catalonia, the wildfires drew dangerously close to the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, an important Catalan landmark located northwest of the region’s capital in Barcelona. Uncontrolled wildfires had long been...
Forest may not be the first image that springs to mind when visualising the Iranian landscape. Yet, the open, semi-arid forests of Iran’s Zagros region are oak-pistachio savannas keeping one-fifth of households from falling below the poverty line. This contribution to rural livelihoods has not been well...
“You are here to have fun, and to enjoy the forest,” began Joachim Englert, shouting from where he stood, perched nobly with one boot-clad foot resting upon a large rock. Around him, 62 office workers gathered, rapt, in a semicircle on the narrow forest path within Collserola...
In southern European areas, fire-regimes are not fuel-limited since the fragmented cultural landscape is rapidly evolving to dense regenerating forests where managed agricultural lands reduce to valley bottoms. As a result, extreme events spreading over this hazardous fuel continuum resist suppression efforts and burn large areas. At the same...