Highlights of 2023 (Part 1)

In the first part of the ‘Highlights of 2023’ series, we give our readers a glance of 3 most visited posts about scientific publications in this year. 

The year 2023 is coming to a close and we want to share with you some of the most engaged content of this year. It has been a busy year and we, the Blogteam, hope that you find some needed time to relax over the holiday season by reading the highlights of 2023.

1. Actually protected? Pesticides in nature conservation areas

In Jakob Wolfram’s recent study on pesticide occurrence in German nature conservation areas (NCAs), he analyzed a vast dataset covering 208 pesticides from 1998 to 2020. The findings reveal that while pesticides are 40% less frequent in NCAs compared to unprotected areas, their occurrence still poses ecological risks, with similarities in detection frequencies and concentrations between the two. The study emphasizes the need for landscape-level management, highlighting that pesticides from intensively used upstream areas flow into protected zones, underscoring the importance of considering broader spatial connections in conservation efforts.

To read more about his work, please follow the link given below:-

2. Maritime ropes leave behind plasticrusts on rocky coasts

This study by Sonja M. Ehlers and her team reveals that plastic debris can form “plasticrust” on intertidal rocks, with discarded maritime ropes identified as sources. The research, conducted on Madeira Island, demonstrates that plasticrusts, previously unknown to consist of polypropylene and in colors other than blue or white, are derived from matching maritime ropes. Additionally, the study highlights the impact of summer rock surface temperatures on plasticrust formation and raises concerns about the potential ingestion of plasticrust material by marine organisms, emphasizing the need to address maritime rope pollution for coastal ecosystem health.

To read more about her work, please follow the link given below:-

3. Should we go the easy way? Realism in decomposition studies

Verena Schreiner discusses a recent paper on organic matter decomposition in streams, comparing traditional substrates like leaves to standardized surrogates such as cotton strips and decotabs. The study, conducted across 70 streams in Germany, reveals that the decomposition patterns differ significantly between natural and standardized substrates. The findings emphasize the limitations of using standardized substrates as surrogates for studying natural decomposition processes and their ecological impacts on stream food webs.

To read more about her work, please follow the link given below:-