Welcome to The Natural History Museum repository

The Natural History Museum is an international leader in the study of the natural world. Our science describes the diversity of nature, promotes an understanding of its past, and supports the anticipation and management of the impact of human activity on the environment.

The Museum's repository provides free access to publications produced by more than 300 scientists working here. Researchers at the Museum study a diverse range of issues, including threats to Earth's biodiversity, the maintenance of delicate ecosystems, environmental pollution and disease. The accessible repository showcases this broad research output.

The repository was launched in 2016 with an initially modest number of journal publications in its database. It now includes book chapters and blogs from Museum scientists.

Select a community to browse its collections.

  • ‘Plasticosis’: Characterising macro- and microplastic-associated fibrosis in seabird tissues

    Charlton-Howard, Hayley S; Bond, AL; Rivers-Auty, Jack; Lavers, Jennifer (Elsevier BV, 2023-02-26)
    As biota are increasingly exposed to plastic pollution, there is a need to closely examine the sub-lethal 'hidden' impacts of plastic ingestion. This emerging field of study has been limited to model species in controlled laboratory settings, with little data available for wild, free-living organisms. Highly impacted by plastic ingestion, Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Ardenna carneipes) are thus an apt species to examine these impacts in an environmentally relevant manner. A Masson's Trichrome stain was used to document any evidence of plastic-induced fibrosis, using collagen as a marker for scar tissue formation in the proventriculus (stomach) of 30 Flesh-footed Shearwater fledglings from Lord Howe Island, Australia. Plastic presence was highly associated with widespread scar tissue formation and extensive changes to, and even loss of, tissue structure within the mucosa and submucosa. Additionally, despite naturally occurring indigestible items, such as pumice, also being found in the gastrointestinal tract, this did not cause similar scarring. This highlights the unique pathological properties of plastics and raises concerns for other species impacted by plastic ingestion. Further, the extent and severity of fibrosis documented in this study gives support for a novel, plastic-induced fibrotic disease, which we define as 'Plasticosis,'.
  • Can the mass of plastic ingested by seabirds be predicted by the number of ingested items?

    Bond, AL; Lavers, Jennifer (Elsevier BV, 2023-02-01)
    Plastics pollution has been documented for decades, yet repeatable methods for evaluating quantities are lacking. For wildlife, the mass and number of ingested plastics are widely reported, but these are not without their challenges, especially in field settings. Rapid methods for estimating the mass of ingested plastic could therefore be useful, but the relationship with the number of ingested pieces has not been explored. Using a dataset covering 1278 individuals of 11 Procellariiform species, we investigated this relationship to determine if counts could act as a proxy for the mass of ingested plastic by seabirds. Larger species ingested larger pieces of plastic, and birds that consumed more pieces also ingested items that are physically larger. Across species, sample size significantly influenced the slope of the relationship between the mass and number of ingested plastics. The mass-number relationship is species-specific, highly driven by sample size, and varies temporally.
  • Current Methods, Common Practices, and Perspectives in Tracking and Monitoring Bioinoculants in Soil

    Manfredini, Andrea; Malusà, Eligio; Costa, Corrado; Pallottino, Federico; Mocali, Stefano; Pinzari, Flavia; Canfora, Loredana (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-08-31)
    <jats:p>Microorganisms promised to lead the bio-based revolution for a more sustainable agriculture. Beneficial microorganisms could be a valid alternative to the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. However, the increasing use of microbial inoculants is also raising several questions about their efficacy and their effects on the autochthonous soil microorganisms. There are two major issues on the application of bioinoculants to soil: (i) their detection in soil, and the analysis of their persistence and fate; (ii) the monitoring of the impact of the introduced bioinoculant on native soil microbial communities. This review explores the strategies and methods that can be applied to the detection of microbial inoculants and to soil monitoring. The discussion includes a comprehensive critical assessment of the available tools, based on morpho-phenological, molecular, and microscopic analyses. The prospects for future development of protocols for regulatory or commercial purposes are also discussed, underlining the need for a multi-method (polyphasic) approach to ensure the necessary level of discrimination required to track and monitor bioinoculants in soil.</jats:p>
  • Microbial-Based Products to Control Soil-Borne Pathogens: Methods to Improve Efficacy and to Assess Impacts on Microbiome

    Ptaszek, Magdalena; Canfora, Loredana; Pugliese, Massimo; Pinzari, Flavia; Gilardi, Giovanna; Trzciński, Paweł; Malusà, Eligio (MDPI AG, 2023-01)
    Microbial-based products (either as biopesticide or biofertilizers) have a long history of application, though their use is still limited, mainly due to a perceived low and inconsistent efficacy under field conditions. However, their efficacy has always been compared to chemical products, which have a completely different mechanism of action and production process, following the chemical paradigm of agricultural production. This paradigm has also been applied to regulatory processes, particularly for biopesticides, making the marketing of microbial-based formulations difficult. Increased knowledge about bioinocula behavior after application to the soil and their impact on soil microbiome should foster better exploitation of microbial-based products in a complex environment such as the soil. Moreover, the multifunctional capacity of microbial strains with regard to plant growth promotion and protection should also be considered in this respect. Therefore, the methods utilized for these studies are key to improving the knowledge and understanding of microbial-based product activity and improving their efficacy, which, from farmers’ point of view, is the parameter to assess the usefulness of a treatment. In this review, we are thus addressing aspects related to the production and formulation process, highlighting the methods that can be used to evaluate the functioning and impact of microbial-based products on soil microbiome, as tools supporting their use and marketing.
  • CHAPTER 7 Catalogue of the Lepidoptera of Iran

    Kitching, I (Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History, 2023-03-16)

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