Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    The significance of biodiversity in agriculture: relevance, aims and progress of the Ag-Biota Project
    We describe and review the scientific and policy background with respect to the impact of agriculture on biodiversity and outline the structure and objectives of the Ag-Biota Project. The latter is a large, multiinstitutional study funded by the ERTDI Programme (2000–2006) under the aegis of the National Development Plan. As such, Ag-Biota represents an ongoing commitment to the protection and conservation of biodiversity, and the integration of policy towards the achievement of these goals in all economic sectors. Ag-Biota is addressing directly the practical needs for agri-environmental policy development, such as the need to identify suitable biodiversity indicators for agriculture and begin the development of realistic and practical monitoring and assessment methods; is focussing on the development of ecological understanding concerning the more effective utilisation of beneficial biological populations and processes within the agro-ecosystem; and is asking more fundamental ecological questions concerning the functional role and significance of biological diversity in community structures. The Ag-Biota project represents a suitably policy-focussed response to, and a considerable investment in, the needs of Irish biodiversity research within the context of modern agriculture. As such, we feel that the project is a good model for future biodiversity research, addressing the need for information and an appropriate knowledge base to support practical environmental protection measures.
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  • Publication
    Soil Stewardship as a nexus between Ecosystem Services and One Health
    We highlight the overlap in Ecosystem Services frameworks and the developing One Health approach, and assert that better integration and communication between these could provide a platform for synergistic research with greater benefits for resilience and health in socioecological systems. Furthermore, we propose that soil stewardship could act as the nexus for such integration and present potential research avenues with existing positive examples.
      422Scopus© Citations 35
  • Publication
    Gunnera tinctoria invasions increase, not decrease, earthworm abundance and diversity
    Invasive plants often modify soil biotic communities through changes in soil physicochemical characteristics or the amount and/or quality of litter inputs. We assessed the impacts of Gunnera tinctoria invasions on soil and the earthworm community, on Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland. We compared replicated (n = 5) areas invaded by G. tinctoria with uninvaded semi-natural grasslands, as well as with areas subjected to mechanical removal or herbicide treatment. Modifications in physiochemical properties included lower soil temperatures and higher soil pH during the summer in invaded areas, yet little effect on C and N stocks, or soil moisture. Marked differences in litter were observed, however, with invaded areas having c. 20-fold higher (above-ground) litter input than uninvaded ones, as well as lower C:N ratio (17 vs. 29). This was associated with a significantly higher overall abundance and biomass of earthworms in invaded plots (375 individuals m–2, 115 g biomass m–2), compared to the uninvaded control (130 individuals m–2, 45 g biomass m–2), with removal treatments having intermediate values. Earthworm communities comprised 10 species, typical for Irish grasslands, dominated by the common endogeic species Allolobophora chlorotica, Aporrectodea caliginosa and Aporrectodea rosea. Both earthworm species richness and Shannon diversity were significantly higher in invaded areas, but only in spring samples. Based on this new information, plant invaders may increase the abundance and diversity of earthworms, mainly due to much larger litter inputs, increased soil pH and possibly lower soil temperatures in the summer typical of Irish grasslands.
      38Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Allolobophra cupulifera in Ireland: first records for the British Isles
    (Megadrilogica, 2002-10) ;
    The lumbricid earthworm species Allolobophora cupulifera Tetry, 1937 is reported for the first time from the island of Ireland. It was found at three locations in low-lying, alluvial grassland habitats known as callows along the River Barrow, in counties Kilkenny and Carlow.
      109
  • Publication
    Ökologische Forschung in Irland
    (Gesellschaft für Ökologie, 2006-10-01)
    Die wissenchafliche Okologie Irlands blickt auf eine lange naturkundliche Tradition aus der Britischen Kolonialzeit zuruck. Beispiele sind das Dubliner Naturkundemuseum von 1857, das im Stil eines viktorianischen Kuriostatenkabinetts Tiere aus aller Welt zeigt, oder die Dokumente der biologischen Inveture der Atlantikinsel Clare (1909-1911), eines der ersten Unterfangen dieser Art weltweit.
      59
  • Publication
    Looking out for an Old Friend
    (National Biodiversity Data Centre, 2012-11-01) ; ;
    Reaching back into the nineteenth century, the study of earthworms has a long and interesting history in Ireland. The early developments were largely through the work of the naturalist Reverend Hilderic Friend (1852–1940). Born in Kent, England, he made numerous trips to Ireland. As a contemporary of Praeger and Southern, both famous naturalists, he has contributed invaluably to the natural history of the island. A group of earthworm researchers decided to follow in the footsteps of the Rev. H. Friend, by re-visiting his source of specimens and tracing the story of the aptly-named earthworm Lumbricus friendi.
      73