Science behind ByeByeGrass

Biodiversity and the importance of bees.

Solitary bees, honey bees and bumblebees make 80% of the agriculture in Europe possible, and their estimated value lies around 22 billion euros (European commission, 2013).

Bees are drastically declining in numbers, which can lead to economical, ecological and astronomical catastrophes (Atkins & Atkins, 2016).

The United Nations warn that within the next two years significant steps must be taken to counter the decline in biodiversity. If these steps are not taken, mankind is signing its own death sentence (De Standaard, 2018) (UN, 2018).

Water issues

Climate models forecast long periods of drought with heavy rains in concentrated areas for the next 20 years (Tabari H., 2018) (Zadehtalaeia, Tabaria & Willems, 2018).

Ancient aquifers are being drained faster than they can be replenished, a chronic water dep- rivation threatens (Department of agriculture and fishery, 2018).

The more biodiverse our (dune) grasslands are, the more resistant they are to droughts (Rooijen et al., 2015).

Air quality

More consideration of sustainable green space will result in better air quality (Nowak, 2002).

Grass is a green desert

A monoculture of lawns offers few ecosystem services (Ignatieva & Ahrné, 2013).
A lawn managed like a grassland absorbs CO2 more efficiently (Dass, Houlton, Wang & Warlind, 2018).

Trees

Trees are one of the cheapest and most efficient buffers against climate change, droughts, floods, air pollution, extreme heat and winds (Tudge, 2016)(Seits & Escobedo, 2014).
The number of trees in Europe is insufficient.

Trees are, alongside oceans, soil and grasslands, the most effective manner of absorbing CO2 (Ni, Eskeland, Giske, & Hansen, 2016).

Trees are natural air conditioning (Akbari, Pomerantz, & Taha, 2001). Trees store water in the soil (Fazio, 2010).

Trees maintain a healthy soil ecosystem and are an integral part of the rain cycle (Sheil & Murdiyarso, 2009).

Trees are the cheapest and simplest solution to environmental change (Forestry Commis- sion England, 2018).

Public health

Trees have a positive effect on public health (H. Donovan, 2013).

There is an inverse relation between the number of trees in a city and depression (Ten Brink et al., 2016).

More flowers, shrubs and trees make people happier (Alcock, White, Wheeler, Fleming, & De- pledge, 2014).

People living in green spaces are in better health, less stressed and have less chance of being obese (Nielsen & Hansen, 2007).

Mow less

Mowing every two to three weeks, instead of every week, has an incredibly positive effect for bees (B. Lermana, R. Contostac, Milamb, & Bang, 2018).

We have observed up to 50 times more insect species in lawns that have been mowed just once a year (Garbuzov, A. Fensome, & L. W. Ratnieks, 2014).

Bibliography

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Alcock, I., White, M. P., Wheeler, B. W., Fleming, L. E., & Depledge, M. H. (2014). Longitudinal Effects on Mental Health of Moving to Greener and Less Green Urban Areas. Envi- ronmental Science and Technoly, 1247–1255.
Atkins, J., & Atkins, B. (2016). In The Business of Bees. Greenleaf Publishing.
B. Lermana, S., R. Contostac, A., Milamb, J., & Bang, C. (2018). To mow or to mow less: Lawn mowing frequency affects bee abundance and diversity in suburban yards. Biologi- can conservation, Elsevier, pp. 160-174.
Dass, P., Houlton, B. Z., Wang, Y., & Warlind, D. (2018). Grasslands may be more reliable carbon sinks than forests in California. Environmental Research Letters.
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Europese Commissie. (2013). Bees & Pesticides: Commission to proceed with plan to better protect bees. Brussel.
Fazio, D. J. (2010). How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff. Tree city USA bulletin.
Forestry Commission England. (2018, 1 31). How trees can help reduce climate change. Opgehaald van Forestry Commission England: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/ infd-869ga8
Garbuzov, M., A. Fensome, K., & L. W. Ratnieks, F. (2014, Augustus 4). Public approval plus more wildlife: twin benefits of reduced mowing of amenity grass in a suburban public park in Saltdean, UK. Insect Conservation and Diversity, pp. 107-119.
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Seits, J., & Escobedo, F. (2014). Urban Forests in Florida: Trees Control Stormwater Runoff and Improve Water Quality. University of Florida IFAS.
Sheil, D., & Murdiyarso, D. (2009, April 1). How Forests Attract Rain: An Examination of a New Hypothesis. BioScience, pp. 341-347.
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Tudge, C. (2006). The Secret Lives of Trees. Australia: Penguin Books.
Zadehtalaeia, P., Tabaria, H., & Willems, P. (2018). Precipitation intensity–duration–frequency curves for central Belgium with an ensemble of EURO-CORDEX simulations, and associated uncertainties. Atmospheric Research(https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2017.09.015), 1-12.

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