Have you seen my Elliot Smith record? Hey look a squirrel!

Image: Figure 1B from Bratman et al. (2015) PNAS showing changes in activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex. A new study in PNAS by Bratman et al. (2015) suggests a possible mechanism to explain the link between urban living and increased levels of depression and other mental illnesses. Taking a walk through a natural setting apparently decreases rumination – i.e. “a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought…”  They go on to describe rumination as a “…focus on the…

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Localized agriculture (update)

Back in June I posted about Zumkehr and Campbell (2015) Front Ecol Environ. In their article they evaluate the potential for the U.S. to provide a local food supply. In the most recent issue of Font Ecol Environ, Zumkehr and Campbell receive a couple responses, which deserve attention. The first, by David Cleveland of UC-Santa Barbara, is the most well-rounded and interesting. Basically, he argues that our food system is very complex and that localization isn’t always…

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Support for intermediate landscape complexity hypothesis (Jonsson et al. 2015)

Image: Representation of the ‘intermediate landscape-complexity hypothesis’ from Tscharntke et al. (2012). With agricultural intensification pushing to provide more food, bioenergy, and other products for a growing human population, there is also a great need for concurrent intensification of ecological services like biological control of pest insects. There have been many strategies tried over the years to increase ecosystem services on farms, for example planting flower strips with the intent of providing extra resources for biological control…

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