There are few things more awe-inspiring in nature than the massing in vast numbers of a single species of animal. To explain why the phenomenon is so thrilling requires an understanding of why and how it happens in the first place
Are they environmental doom-mongering, journalistic hype or the straw that breaks the camel's back? William Laurance examines the complexities of tipping points - those small changes in a natural system that can sometimes provoke sudden and irrevocable collapse
Recent reports of catastrophic declines in bee populations have had scientists buzzing around looking for a plausible explanation. Is it mites? Is it GM crops? Is it mobile phones or habitat loss? It's all of these things, says Pat Thomas, but it's also so much more than that.
Deep in rural Sussex at Wakehurst Place, in a large nature reserve of 500 acres of National Trust woodlands and lakes, stands the Kew Gardens Biological Research Centre. Sixty feet beneath is a nuclear bunker. This is the British National Doomsday vault, home to the UK’s Millennium Seed Bank (MSB). If apocalyptic disaster strikes, this bunker will hold key bio-scientists and all remaining plant life.