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1.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38695217

RESUMO

The achievements of the Green Revolution in meeting the nutritional needs of a growing global population have been won at the expense of unintended consequences for the environment. Some of these negative impacts are now threatening the sustainability of food production through the loss of pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests, the evolution of pesticide resistance, declining soil health and vulnerability to climate change. In the search for farming systems that are sustainable both agronomically and environmentally, alternative approaches have been proposed variously called 'agroecological', 'conservation agriculture', 'regenerative' and 'sustainable intensification'. While the widespread recognition of the need for more sustainable farming is to be welcomed, this has created etymological confusion that has the potential to become a barrier to transformation. There is a need, therefore, for objective criteria to evaluate alternative farming systems and to quantify farm sustainability against multiple outcomes. To help meet this challenge, we reviewed the ecological theories that explain variance in regulating and supporting ecosystem services delivered by biological communities in farmland to identify guiding principles for management change. For each theory, we identified associated system metrics that could be used as proxies for agroecosystem function. We identified five principles derived from ecological theory: (i) provide key habitats for ecosystem service providers; (ii) increase crop and non-crop habitat diversity; (iii) increase edge density: (iv) increase nutrient-use efficiency; and (v) avoid extremes of disturbance. By making published knowledge the foundation of the choice of associated metrics, our aim was to establish a broad consensus for their use in sustainability assessment frameworks. Further analysis of their association with farm-scale data on biological communities and/or ecosystem service delivery would provide additional validation for their selection and support for the underpinning theories.

2.
ChemSusChem ; : e202400366, 2024 Mar 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38538554

RESUMO

Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) have been widely used to harness various forms of mechanical energy for conversion to electrical energy. However, the contentious challenge in characterising TENGs is the lack of standard protocols for assessing mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion processes. Herein, macroscopic signal analysis is used to identify three key charging events within triboelectric signals: charge induction (CI), contact electrification (CE), and electrostatic discharge (ESD). By considering two phases of motion during contact-separation (approach and departure of the contact materials), CI arising from the motion of bound surface charge (varying electric field) between opposing contact materials is shown to dominate the measured displacement current signal, rather than the process of CE itself. Furthermore, the conventional signal (i. e., voltage, current, charge) interpretation of CE and CI during approach and departure phases is re-assessed, to indicate that the sudden spike of current often observed immediately prior to contact (or after separation) arises from polarity inverting electrostatic discharge (ESD). This aspect of the measured triboelectric effect, which is often ignored, is crucial for the design of TENGs and hence, techniques to enhance the understanding and control over the stochastic occurrence of ESDs is explored. The methods proposed for the deconvolution of the macroscopic signal components of TENGs, and mitigation of ESD occurrences, will allow for precise quantification of the associated charging events. The applications of this study will template the design and development of future super-TENGs with optimised energy conversion capabilities.

3.
Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc ; 99(3): 820-836, 2024 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38346335

RESUMO

As we enter the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) and address the urgent need to protect and restore ecosystems and their ecological functions at large scales, rewilding has been brought into the limelight. Interest in this discipline is thus increasing, with a large number of conceptual scientific papers published in recent years. Increasing enthusiasm has led to discussions and debates in the scientific community about the differences between ecological restoration and rewilding. The main goal of this review is to compare and clarify the position of each field. Our results show that despite some differences (e.g. top-down versus bottom-up and functional versus taxonomic approaches) and notably with distinct goals - recovery of a defined historically determined target ecosystem versus recovery of natural processes with often no target endpoint - ecological restoration and rewilding have a common scope: the recovery of ecosystems following anthropogenic degradation. The goals of ecological restoration and rewilding have expanded with the progress of each field. However, it is unclear whether there is a paradigm shift with ecological restoration moving towards rewilding or vice versa. We underline the complementarity in time and in space of ecological restoration and rewilding. To conclude, we argue that reconciliation of these two fields of nature conservation to ensure complementarity could create a synergy to achieve their common scope.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Animais , Recuperação e Remediação Ambiental/métodos
4.
Small ; 20(6): e2307242, 2024 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37771206

RESUMO

Photovoltaic thin film solar cells based on kesterite Cu2 ZnSn(S, Se)4 (CZTSSe) have reached 13.8% sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency. However, this efficiency is still far from the Shockley-Queisser radiative limit and is hindered by the significant deficit in open circuit voltage (VOC ). The presence of high-density interface states between the absorber layer and buffer or window layer leads to the recombination of photogenerated carriers, thereby reducing effective carrier collection. To tackle this issue, a new window structure ZnO/AgNW/ZnO/AgNW (ZAZA) comprising layers of ZnO and silver nanowires (AgNWs) is proposed. This structure offers a simple and low-damage processing method, resulting in improved optoelectronic properties and junction quality. The ZAZA-based devices exhibit enhanced VOC due to the higher built-in voltage (Vbi ) and reduced interface recombination compared to the usual indium tin oxide (ITO) based structures. Additionally, improved carrier collection is demonstrated as a result of the shortened collection paths and the more uniform carrier lifetime distribution. These advances enable the fabrication of the first ITO-free CZTSSe solar cells with over 10% efficiency without an anti-reflective coating.

5.
ACS Nano ; 17(12): 11771-11782, 2023 Jun 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37318109

RESUMO

A single photodetector capable of switching its peak spectral photoresponse between two wavelength bands is highly useful, particularly for the infrared (IR) bands in applications such as remote sensing, object identification, and chemical sensing. Technologies exist for achieving dual-band IR detection with bulk III-V and II-VI materials, but the high cost and complexity as well as the necessity for active cooling associated with some of these technologies preclude their widespread adoption. In this study, we leverage the advantages of low-dimensional materials to demonstrate a bias-selectable dual-band IR detector that operates at room temperature by using lead sulfide colloidal quantum dots and black phosphorus nanosheets. By switching between zero and forward bias, these detectors switch peak photosensitive ranges between the mid- and short-wave IR bands with room temperature detectivities of 5 × 109 and 1.6 × 1011 cm Hz1/2 W-1, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, these are the highest reported room temperature values for low-dimensional material dual-band IR detectors to date. Unlike conventional bias-selectable detectors, which utilize a set of back-to-back photodiodes, we demonstrate that under zero/forward bias conditions the device's operation mode instead changes between a photodiode and a phototransistor, allowing additional functionalities that the conventional structure cannot provide.

6.
Ecol Evol ; 13(6): e10168, 2023 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37304373

RESUMO

Historical data on co-occurring taxa are extremely rare. As such, the extent to which distinct co-occurring taxa experience similar long-term patterns in species richness and compositional change (e.g., when exposed to a changing environment) is not clear. Using data from a diverse ecological community surveyed in the 1930s and resurveyed in the 2010s, we investigated whether local plant and insect assemblages displayed cross-taxon congruence-that is, spatiotemporal correlation in species richness and compositional change-across six co-occurring taxa: vascular plants, non-vascular plants, grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), ants (Hymenoptera: Formicinae), hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), and dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata). All taxa exhibited high levels of turnover across the ca. 80-year time period. Despite minimal observed changes at the level of the whole study system, species richness displayed widespread cross-taxon congruence (i.e., correlated temporal change) across local assemblages within the study system. Hierarchical logistic regression models suggest a role for shared responses to environmental change underlying cross-taxon correlations and highlight stronger correlations between vascular plants and their direct consumers, suggesting a possible role for biotic interactions between these groups. These results provide an illustration of cross-taxon congruence in biodiversity change using data unique in its combination of temporal and taxonomic scope, and highlight the potential for cascading and comparable effects of environmental change (abiotic and biotic) on co-occurring plant and insect communities. However, analyses of historical resurveys based on currently available data come with inherent uncertainties. As such, this study highlights a need for well-designed experiments, and monitoring programs incorporating co-occurring taxa, to determine the underlying mechanisms and prevalence of congruent biodiversity change as anthropogenic environmental change accelerates apace.

7.
Sci Adv ; 9(14): eadf5492, 2023 04 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37027474

RESUMO

Sustaining ecosystem services (ES) critical to human well-being is hindered by many practitioners lacking access to ES models ("the capacity gap") or knowledge of the accuracy of available models ("the certainty gap"), especially in the world's poorer regions. We developed ensembles of multiple models at an unprecedented global scale for five ES of high policy relevance. Ensembles were 2 to 14% more accurate than individual models. Ensemble accuracy was not correlated with proxies for research capacity, indicating that accuracy is distributed equitably across the globe and that countries less able to research ES suffer no accuracy penalty. By making these ES ensembles and associated accuracy estimates freely available, we provide globally consistent ES information that can support policy and decision-making in regions with low data availability or low capacity for implementing complex ES models. Thus, we hope to reduce the capacity and certainty gaps impeding local- to global-scale movement toward ES sustainability.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Humanos , Políticas
8.
J Environ Manage ; 328: 116952, 2023 Feb 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36516711

RESUMO

Ancient semi-natural grasslands in Europe are important for ecosystem service (ES) provision. Often, the surrounding matrix contains 'Grassland Green Infrastructure' (GGI) that contain grassland species which have the potential to supplement grassland ES provision across the landscape. Here we investigate the potential for GGI to deliver a set of complementary ES, driven by plant composition.We surveyed 36 landscapes across three European countries comprising core grasslands and their surrounding GGI. We calculated community-level values of plant species characteristics to provide indicators for four ES: nature conservation value, pollination, carbon storage and aesthetic appeal.Inferred ES delivery for GGI was substantially lower than in core grasslands for conservation, pollination and aesthetic appeal indicators, but not for carbon storage. These differences were driven by the GGI having 17% fewer plant species, and compositional differences, with 61% of species unique to the core grasslands. In addition, connectivity to the core, the amount of GGI and inferred seed dispersal distances by livestock, were strongly positively correlated with conservation value, pollination and aesthetic indicators. All ES indicators showed similar responses to the GGI spatial structure and distance to the core, suggesting robust effects of these drivers on ES. We projected that improved landscape-wide delivery of nature conservation value and pollination could be achieved through targeted GGI management. Reductions in the distances seeds would need to disperse, more GGI, along with a diversification of the GGI elements, were predicted to enhance service credits.We conclude that for vegetation-related ES, species surveys can be employed to assess potential ES delivery. Creating and enhancing GGI is a useful landscape management strategy to supplement the ES delivered by ancient grasslands.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Pradaria , Biodiversidade , Plantas , Sementes , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais
9.
Sci Adv ; 8(49): eade3061, 2022 Dec 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36490342

RESUMO

Although cities are human-dominated systems, they provide habitat for many other species. Because of the lack of long-term observation data, it is challenging to assess the impacts of rapid urbanization on biodiversity in Global South countries. Using multisource data, we provided the first analysis of the impacts of urbanization on bird distribution at the continental scale and found that the distributional hot spots of threatened birds overlapped greatly with urbanized areas, with only 3.90% of the threatened birds' preferred land cover type in urban built-up areas. Bird ranges are being reshaped differently because of their different adaptations to urbanization. While green infrastructure can improve local bird diversity, the homogeneous urban environment also leads to species compositions being more similar across regions. More attention should be paid to narrow-range species for the formulation of biodiversity conservation strategies, and conservation actions should be further coordinated among cities from a global perspective.

10.
Elife ; 112022 11 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36445222

RESUMO

Animal migration is highly sensitised to environmental cues, but plant dispersal is considered largely passive. The common dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, bears an intricate haired pappus facilitating flight. The pappus enables the formation of a separated vortex ring during flight; however, the pappus structure is not static but reversibly changes shape by closing in response to moisture. We hypothesised that this leads to changed dispersal properties in response to environmental conditions. Using wind tunnel experiments for flow visualisation, particle image velocimetry, and flight tests, we characterised the fluid mechanics effects of the pappus morphing. We also modelled dispersal to understand the impact of pappus morphing on diaspore distribution. Pappus morphing dramatically alters the fluid mechanics of diaspore flight. We found that when the pappus closes in moist conditions, the drag coefficient decreases and thus the falling velocity is greatly increased. Detachment of diaspores from the parent plant also substantially decreases. The change in detachment when the pappus closes increases dispersal distances by reducing diaspore release when wind speeds are low. We propose that moisture-dependent pappus-morphing is a form of informed dispersal allowing rapid responses to changing conditions.


Assuntos
Dispersão de Sementes , Taraxacum , Animais , Sementes , Dispersão de Sementes/fisiologia , Plantas
11.
Nat Ecol Evol ; 6(12): 1818-1828, 2022 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36329352

RESUMO

Synthesis of primary ecological data is often assumed to achieve a notion of 'generality', through the quantification of overall effect sizes and consistency among studies, and has become a dominant research approach in ecology. Unfortunately, ecologists rarely define either the generality of their findings, their estimand (the target of estimation) or the population of interest. Given that generality is fundamental to science, and the urgent need for scientific understanding to curb global scale ecological breakdown, loose usage of the term 'generality' is problematic. In other disciplines, generality is defined as comprising both generalizability-extending an inference about an estimand from the sample to the population-and transferability-the validity of estimand predictions in a different sampling unit or population. We review current practice in ecological synthesis and demonstrate that, when researchers fail to define the assumptions underpinning generalizations and transfers of effect sizes, generality often misses its target. We provide guidance for communicating nuanced inferences and maximizing the impact of syntheses both within and beyond academia. We propose pathways to generality applicable to ecological syntheses, including the development of quantitative and qualitative criteria with which to license the transfer of estimands from both primary and synthetic studies.

12.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277545, 2022.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36367885

RESUMO

Passive rewilding is a potential tool for expanding woodland cover and restoring biodiversity by abandoning land management and allowing natural vegetation succession to occur. Land can be abandoned to passive rewilding deliberately or due to socio-economic change. Despite abandonment being a major driver of land use change, few have studied the long-term outcomes for vegetation and biodiversity in Western Europe. Studies are also biased towards sites that are close to seed sources and favourable to woodland colonisation. In this case-study, we reconstruct a time series of passive rewilding over 33 years on 25 ha of former farmland that had been subject to soil tipping, far from woodland seed sources. Natural colonisation by shrubs and trees was surveyed at three points during the time series, using field mapping and lidar. Breeding birds were surveyed at three time points, and compared with surveys from nearby farmland. Results showed that natural colonisation of woody vegetation was slow, with open grassland dominating the old fields for two decades, and small wetlands developing spontaneously. After 33 years, thorny shrub thickets covered 53% of the site and former hedgerows became subsumed or degraded, but trees remained scarce. However, the resulting habitat mosaic of shrubland, grassland and wetland supported a locally distinctive bird community. Farmland bird species declined as passive rewilding progressed, but this was countered by relatively more wetland birds and an increase in woodland birds, particularly songbirds, compared to nearby farmland. Alongside biodiversity benefits, shrubland establishment by passive rewilding could potentially provide ecosystem services via abundant blossom resources for pollinators, and recreation and berry-gathering opportunities for people. Although closed-canopy woodland remained a distant prospect even after 33 years, the habitat mosaic arising from passive rewilding could be considered a valuable outcome, which could contribute to nature recovery and provision of ecosystem services.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Animais , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Fazendas , Melhoramento Vegetal , Florestas , Aves , Biodiversidade , Árvores
13.
Adv Mater ; 34(26): e2200344, 2022 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35524638

RESUMO

Advanced doped-silicon-layer-based passivating contacts have boosted the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of single-junction crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells to over 26%. However, the inevitable parasitic light absorption of the doped silicon layers impedes further PCE improvement. To this end, alternative passivating contacts based on wide-bandgap metal compounds (so-called dopant-free passivating contacts (DFPCs)) have attracted great attention, thanks to their potential merits in terms of parasitic absorption loss, ease-of-deposition, and cost. Intensive research activity has surrounded this topic with significant progress made in recent years. Various electron-selective and hole-selective contacts based on metal compounds have been successfully developed, and a champion PCE of 23.5% has been achieved for a c-Si solar cell with a MoOx -based hole-selective contact. In this work, the fundamentals and development status of DFPCs are reviewed and the challenges and potential solutions for enhancing the carrier selectivity of DFPCs are discussed. Based on comprehensive and in-depth analysis and simulations, the improvement strategies and future prospects for DFPCs design and device implementation are pointed out. By tuning the carrier concentration of the metal compound and the work function of the capping transparent electrode, high PCEs over 26% can be achieved for c-Si solar cells with DFPCs.

14.
Sci Total Environ ; 833: 155042, 2022 Aug 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35395297

RESUMO

Accurate modelling of changes in freshwater supplies is critical in an era of increasing human demand, and changes in land use and climate. However, there are concerns that current landscape-scale models do not sufficiently capture catchment-level changes, whilst large-scale comparisons of empirical and simulated water yield changes are lacking. Here we modelled annual water yield in two time periods (1: 1985-1994 and 2: 2008-2017) across 81 catchments in England and validated against empirical data. Our objectives were to i) investigate whether modelling absolute or relative change in water yield is more accurate and ii) determine which predictors have the greatest impact on model accuracy. We used the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) Annual Water Yield model. In this study, absolute values refer to volumetric units of million cubic metres per year (Mm3/y), either at the catchment or hectare level. Modelled annual yields showed high accuracy as indicated by the low Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD, based on normalised data, 0 is high and 1 is low accuracy) at the catchment (1: 0.013 ± 0.019, 2: 0.012 ± 0.020) and hectare scales (1: 0.03 ± 0.030, 2: 0.030 ± 0.025). But accuracy of modelled absolute change in water yield showed a more moderate fit on both the catchment (MAD = 0.055 ± 0.065) and hectare (MAD = 0.105 ± 0.089) scales. Relative change had lower accuracy (MAD = 0.189 ± 0.135). Anthropogenic modifications to the hydrological system, including water abstraction contributed significantly to the inaccuracy of change values at the catchment and hectare scales. Quantification of changes in freshwater provision can be more accurately articulated using absolute values rather than using relative values. Absolute values can provide clearer guidance for mitigation measures related to human consumption. Accuracy of modelled change is related to different aspects of human consumption, suggesting anthropogenic impacts are critically important to consider when modelling water yield.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Água Doce , Humanos , Hidrologia , Água
15.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 13(38): 45881-45889, 2021 Sep 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34523918

RESUMO

The self-terminated, layered structure of van der Waals materials introduces fundamental advantages for infrared (IR) optoelectronic devices. These are mainly associated with the potential for low noise while maintaining high internal quantum efficiency when reducing IR absorber thicknesses. In this study, we introduce a new van der Waals material candidate, zirconium germanium telluride (ZrGeTe4), to a growing family of promising IR van der Waals materials. We find the bulk form ZrGeTe4 has an indirect band edge around ∼0.5 eV, in close agreement with previous theoretical predictions. This material is found to be stable up to 140 °C and shows minimal compositional variation even after >30 days storage in humid air. We demonstrate simple proof-of-concept broad spectrum photodetectors with responsivities above 0.1 AW-1 across both the visible and short-wave infrared wavelengths. This corresponds to a specific detectivity of ∼109 cm Hz1/2 W-1 at λ = 1.4 µm at room temperature. These devices show a linear photoresponse vs illumination intensity relationship over ∼4 orders of magnitude, and fast rise/fall times of ∼50 ns, also verified by a 3 dB roll-off frequency of 5.9 MHz. As the first demonstration of photodetection using ZrGeTe4, these characteristics measured on a simple proof-of-concept device show the exciting potential of the ZrGeTe4 for room temperature IR optoelectronic applications.

16.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 13(32): 38544-38552, 2021 Aug 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34370444

RESUMO

Mid-wave and long-wave infrared (MWIR and LWIR) detection play vital roles in applications that include health care, remote sensing, and thermal imaging. However, detectors in this spectral range often require complex fabrication processes and/or cryogenic cooling and are typically expensive, which motivates the development of simple alternatives. Here, we demonstrate broadband (0.43-10 µm) room-temperature photodetection based on copper tetracyanoquinodimethane (CuTCNQ), a metal-organic semiconductor, synthesized via a facile wet-chemical reaction. The CuTCNQ crystals are simply drop-cast onto interdigitated electrode chips to realize photoconductors. The photoresponse is governed by a combination of interband (0.43-3.35 µm) and midgap (3.35-10 µm) transitions. The devices show response times (∼365 µs) that would be sufficient for many infrared applications (e.g., video rate imaging), with a frequency cutoff point of 1 kHz.

17.
18.
Sci Total Environ ; 799: 149263, 2021 Dec 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34426354

RESUMO

Machine learning (ML) expands traditional data analysis and presents a range of opportunities in ecosystem service (ES) research, offering rapid processing of 'big data' and enabling significant advances in data description and predictive modelling. Descriptive ML techniques group data with little or no prior domain specific assumptions; they can generate hypotheses and automatically sort data prior to other analyses. Predictive ML techniques allow for the predictive modelling of highly non-linear systems where casual mechanisms are poorly understood, as is often the case for ES. We conducted a review to explore how ML is used in ES research and to identify and quantify trends in the different ML approaches that are used. We reviewed 308 peer-reviewed publications and identified that ES studies implemented machine learning techniques in data description (64%; n = 308) and predictive modelling (44%), with some papers containing both categories. Classification and Regression Trees were the most popular techniques (60%), but unsupervised learning techniques were also used for descriptive tasks such as clustering to group or split data without prior assumptions (19%). Whilst there are examples of ES publications that apply ML with rigour, many studies do not have robust or repeatable methods. Some studies fail to report model settings (43%) or software used (28%), and many studies do not report carrying out any form of model hyperparameter tuning (67%) or test model generalisability (59%). Whilst studies use ML to analyse very large and complex datasets, ES research is generally not taking full advantage of the capacity of ML to model big data (1138 medium number of data points; 13 median quantity of variables). There is great further opportunity to utilise ML in ES research, to make better use of big data and to develop detailed modelling of spatial-temporal dynamics that meet stakeholder demands.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Aprendizado de Máquina , Big Data
20.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252466, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34133452

RESUMO

Natural succession of vegetation on abandoned farmland provides opportunities for passive rewilding to re-establish native woodlands, but in Western Europe the patterns and outcomes of vegetation colonisation are poorly known. We combine time series of field surveys and remote sensing (lidar and photogrammetry) to study woodland development on two farmland fields in England over 24 and 59 years respectively: the New Wilderness (2.1 ha) abandoned in 1996, and the Old Wilderness (3.9 ha) abandoned in 1961, both adjacent to ancient woodland. Woody vegetation colonisation of the New Wilderness was rapid, with 86% vegetation cover averaging 2.9 m tall after 23 years post-abandonment. The Old Wilderness had 100% woody cover averaging 13.1 m tall after 53 years, with an overstorey tree-canopy (≥ 8 m tall) covering 91%. By this stage, the structural characteristics of the Old Wilderness were approaching those of neighbouring ancient woodlands. The woody species composition of both Wildernesses differed from ancient woodland, being dominated by animal-dispersed pedunculate oak Quercus robur and berry-bearing shrubs. Tree colonisation was spatially clustered, with wind-dispersed common ash Fraxinus excelsior mostly occurring near seed sources in adjacent woodland and hedgerows, and clusters of oaks probably resulting from acorn hoarding by birds and rodents. After 24 years the density of live trees in the New Wilderness was 132/ha (57% oak), with 390/ha (52% oak) in the Old Wilderness after 59 years; deadwood accounted for 8% of tree stems in the former and 14% in the latter. Passive rewilding of these 'Wilderness' sites shows that closed-canopy woodland readily re-established on abandoned farmland close to existing woodland, it was resilient to the presence of herbivores and variable weather, and approached the height structure of older woods within approximately 50 years. This study provides valuable long-term reference data in temperate Europe, helping to inform predictions of the potential outcomes of widespread abandonment of agricultural land in this region.


Assuntos
Florestas , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Árvores
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