Although we are outside of the field season, FUNgreen has been moving forward over the winter months. We have been hard at work processing and analysing the data collected in 2017. FUNgreen partners also recently got together for a project meeting in Stockholm, to discuss progress in the various work areas and plan fieldwork for 2018. The two days of discussions provided lots of interesting ideas. Amongst several other things, we will be investigating plant species distributions in the wider landscape, carrying out censuses of pollinating insects in grasslands, and performing field experiments to see how well different sorts of seeds attach to the coats of grazing animals. Plans for this are now well underway, and everything should be ready to go once summer arrives.
Another important task has been using aerial photographs to characterise the current landscapes around our study grasslands. These detailed maps of different habitat types will help us to estimate levels of green infrastructure found in landscapes, and how this contributes to functional connectivity and plant biodiversity. This is now complete for all areas, and we are moving on to historical aerial photographs. By mapping landscapes both in the present day and in the past we hope to be able to measure land use change, and investigate how the history of semi-natural grasslands and green infrastructure habitats affects the biodiversity and other services these ecosystems provide.