This page provides a list of plain language summaries of recent CEE Systematic Reviews and Maps. If a plain language summary has been produced you can also find it on the completed review page alongside the review itself.

Herbivory research does not cover a sufficient range of environmental variation in the Arctic to estimate herbivore impacts on vegetation

Soininen, E.M., Barrio, I.C., Bjørkås, R., Björnsdóttir, K., Ehrich, D., Hopping, K.A., Kaarlejärvi, E., Kolstad, A.L., Abdulmanova, S., Björk, R.G.,, Bueno, C.G., Eischeid, I.,, Finger-Higgens, R., Forbey, J.S., Gignac, C., Gilg, O.,, den Herder, M., Holm, H.S., Hwang, B.C., Jepsen, J.U., Kamenova, S.,, Kater, I., Koltz, A.M.,, Kristensen, J.A.,, Little, C.J., Macek, P.,, Mathisen, K.M., Metcalfe, D.B.,, Mosbacher, J.B., Mörsdorf, M., Park, T.,, Propster, J.R.,, Roberts, A.J., Serrano, E., Spiegel, M.P., Tamayo, M., Tuomi, M.W., Verma, M., Vuorinen, K.E.M., Väisänen, M., van der Wal, R., Wilcots, M.E., Yoccoz, N.G., Speed, J. D.

The effects of herbivores on vegetation may depend on climatic and ecological context. Research on the impacts of herbivores on arctic vegetation is concentrated in those parts of the Arctic that are warmer, wetter, near the coast, and that have experienced a moderate increase in temperature. The current evidence base might therefore provide an incomplete picture of the effects of herbivores on arctic vegetation throughout the region.

Urban green areas are cooler and have lower concentrations of nitrogen oxides air pollution than non-green areas, but this varies according to type and extent of vegetation

Teri Knight, Sian Price, Diana Bowler, Amy Hookway, Sian King, Ko Konno, Raja Lorena Richter

In summer, urban green areas, including parks, gardens, green roofs and walls, can be cooler than urban areas without vegetation. The magnitude of the cooling effect depends on factors such as the nature of park vegetation or green roof water level. Park cooling effects can extend up to roughly 1 km from the park edge. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations can be lower under or within tree canopies compared with open areas but this effect varies across tree species. Vegetated urban spaces, especially areas with trees, have the potential to provide public health benefits in terms of improved thermal comfort and air quality.

Research of crop yields under low-inputs should be reprioritised to ensure the assessment of integrated interventions

Fanny Tran, Jonathan E. Holland, Nora Quesada, Mark Young, Damian Bienkowski, Dimitrios Savvas, Andrea Schubert, Georgia Ntatsi, Philip J. White, Graham S. Begg and Pietro P. M. Iannetta

Using tomato as an example crop, this work reviewed approaches tested in-field to improve or maintain yield under conditions where water-, nitrogen- and/or phosphorus-use was reduced. Such reductions are a demand of future- agriculture, which must become more environmentally sensitive. The review demonstrated that there is a lack of studies assessing tomato crop yield responses to integrated interventions and various key-resource deficits at the same time. This highlighted the need to reprioritise research and development efforts globally to ensure multiple interventions and resource deficits are assessed simultaneously to optimise resource use and crop production, whilst minimising environmental burdens.

Small, protected habitat patches within boreal production forests contribute to biodiversity conservation

Matti Häkkilä, Anna Johansson, Terhi Sandgren, Anne Uusitalo, Mikko Mönkkönen, Pasi Puttonen & Sini Savilaakso

Small, protected habitat patches have a higher number of species and more deadwood than surrounding production forest areas although the number of individuals is similar. They have a similar number of species and individuals and deadwood volume compared to natural forests. However, species assemblages in small, protected habitat patches differ from both natural and production forests, which means they are not a substitute for larger protected areas.

Habitat preferences determine species’ response to forest management in boreal production forests of Fennoscandia and European Russia

Savilaakso, S., Johansson, A., Häkkilä, M., Uusitalo, A., Sandgren, T., Mönkkönen, M., & Puttonen, P.

Habitat preferences determine species’ response to forest management in boreal production forests of Fennoscandia and European Russia. Uneven-aged forest management shows a strong positive effect on species richness of forest dependent species when compared to even-aged forests less than 80 years old. A similar effect is noticed when young even-aged forests are compared to mature (>80 years old) even-aged forests. In young even-aged forests and forests having undergone retention harvest, open habitat species and their individuals are more numerous. Natural forests have overall more species than even-aged forests, especially forest dependent species, but have a similar number of species than uneven-aged forests.

Struvite precipitation is an effective technology for nutrient recovery from anaerobic digestate, while there is limited evidence to conclude the effectiveness of ammonia stripping

Dag Lorick, Biljana Macura, Marcus Ahlström, Anders Grimvall & Robin Harder

Struvite precipitation was found to be an effective technology for nutrient recovery from the liquid phase of anaerobic digestate. The precipitation process is most efficient at a pH of around 9.5 and higher molar ratio of magnesium to phosphate (up to 4:1) in liquid phase of anaerobic digestate. These conditions have a positive effect on phosphorus removal. The evidence base for ammonia stripping was limited and therefore no conclusive results about appropriate conditions for the most efficient nitrogen extraction could be made.