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New ‘living lab’ launched by Kew Gardens to study the benefits of biodiversity in UK | UK News

Kew Gardens says its wild botanical garden in Wakehurst will become a “living laboratory”, starting new research to explore the benefits of Britain’s biodiversity-rich landscapes.

Scientists will assess the flora, fauna and forests of West Sussex Botanic Gardens, with the aim of generating crucial evidence on what the future of Britain’s environment should look like, before sharing these findings with government policymakers , conservation groups and landowners.

Ed Ikin, deputy director of Wakehurst, believes the National Trust’s 500-acre site is the perfect proving ground for collecting crucial data, which can be used to provide solutions to challenges such as climate change, health mental health and food security.

Scientists hope to show the benefits of a biodiversity-rich landscape

Speaking on the International Day for Biological Diversity, Mr. Ikin said: “Centuries of human stewardship have made the Wakehurst landscape productive and biodiverse,

“We know it’s a good landscape, but now we want to prove it. We want to use the incredible research skills of Kew scientists to prove why a biodiversity landscape like this is important.”

Among the pressing problems that Dr. Ikin and the hundreds of researchers will seek to solve are hydrology; examine which tree species could help reduce the impact of flooding, which is becoming commonplace in Britain and around the world.

They will also try to find out how plants, soil, atmosphere and fungi interact with each other to store carbon.

“The landscape has a role in carbon uptake,” added Mr. Ikin. “We know that planting trees is important for absorbing carbon, but we also believe that really well managed stable landscapes are good for locking in carbon, creating the complete picture and understanding what is happening above the ground, but also under the ground. . “

Another goal of the Living Lab project is to help us reassess our …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-21 22:17:00