England to recover 2000 hectares of wetland

Natural England(independent public body) has committed £4million of funding to recover close to 2000 hectares of wetland. The funds will be distributed to organisatons such as the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB who will work with the Environment Agency and English Heritage to manage re-wetting the land.

Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive for Natural England: said: “It may be hard to imagine, but England was once a much wetter place than it is today. Around 90 percent of the soft and squelchy bogs and marshes have been lost over the last 1000 years. Healthy wetlands are a unique and vital habitat for wildlife and provide fantastic places for people to visit.

Wetland projects to receive funding over the next two years include the East Anglian fens, Humberhead Levels, Midlands Meres and Mosses, Morecambe Bay Wetlands, the Somerset Levels and the River Till in Northumberland*

SOURCE: Natural England

Jakarta City calls for help to keep green space

Jakarta City administrators seem to have thrown in the towel claiming that the 650 sq km city is to big to manage with too few city workers and audit team to manage and police development in the city. The city is asking the private sector to help manage buildings in the city and surrounding green spaces. The current green space in the city is 9.97% whereas the plan drawn up in 2000 mandated a minimum 13.49% by 2010.
The Jakata Globe quoted Nirwono Joga, head of the Indonesia Landscape Architecture Study Group, said

“his group and the Indonesian Association of Planners were both ready to step in and form audit teams for the green space supervision program next year.”

SOURCE: Jakata Globe – City calls for help to keep green space

Las Vegas Wetlands Park grows by another 112 acres

Last Friday saw the dedication of 112 acres to further expand the current 2,900-acre Las Vegas Wetlands Park. The land was acquired along the east end of Tropicana Road through funding acquired from fining developers for disturbing environmentally sensitive areas.

Currently the price tag for works at the Wetland Park has reach $80 million with a further $15 million needed for future projects such as a nature center with interactive displays.

SOURCE: Digital Journal

Birlingham wetland to double in size

Planners have agreed to a proposal to double the size of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust wetland to 34 hectares. The wetland in Birlingham is set to increase biodiversity and increase water flora and fauna. The water will be supplied by a wind pump the river Avon into the wetland of four ponds. The land to be used for the wetland is currently a meadowland that was flooded regularly and attempted cultivation for farming has failed.

SOURCE: Eversham Journal

Seeing the tree from the forest

SERA Simulation of Tree Canopies - Credit: Sean T. Hammond

Sean Hammond and Karl Niklas have published a paper in the August 2009 edition of  American Journal of Botany presenting an algorithm that could be used to predict plant communities. The algorithm known as spatially explicit, reiterative algorithm, or SERA explores whether changes occurring in plant communities, such as self-thinning and the competitive displacement of one species by another, can be attributed to the characteristics of the individual plants that comprise the community.

“Remarkably, our model predicts the behavior of real plant populations, and thus suggests to us that many ‘complex’ ecological interactions emerge as a result of a few very ‘simple’ processes,” commented Dr. Niklas. SERA may be very useful in predicting changes in community development and composition as environmental and climatic variability increases.

The full article is available for until the 20 September 2009 at www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/full/96/8/1430. The SERA program can be accessed at www.botany.org/downloads/HammondandNiklas.zip.

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