My main research focus is the interaction between agricultural practices and biodiversity.
The research I undertake is very much applied and currently we are investigating the impact of Riparian Buffer Strips (i.e. grass margins adjacent to watercourses) on the biodiversity of intensively managed grassland. We are looking to see whether Riparian Buffer Strips can potentially be integrated into intensively managed grasslands to reduce diffuse pollution and facilitate biodiversity without adversely influencing profit margins.
I am particularly interested in modelling invertebrates at the landscape level to determine the main factors driving assemblages at the species and the ecological group level.
L.J. Cole, Harrison, B., Robertson, D., & McCracken, D.I. 2014. Safe guarding pollinator populations in an intensive grassland landscape. The Glasgow Naturalist 26: 25-28 Full Text Stockan, J. & Cole, L.J. 2014. Soil and vegetation responses to forested riparian buffer strips1. SRUC Rural Policy Centre Research Briefing: RPC RB 2014/14. Full Text
Stockan, J. & Cole, L.J. 2014. Impact of riparian buffer strips on the ecological structure of ground beetle populations. SRUC Rural Policy Centre Research Briefing: RPC RB 2014/07 Full Text
Cole, L.J., Brocklehurst, S., Elston, D.A., McCracken, D.I. 2012. Riparian field margins: can they enhance the functional structure of ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages in intensively managed grassland landscapes? Journal of Applied Ecology: 49, 1384–1395
Cole, L.J., Brocklehurst, S., Harrison, W., Robertson, D., McCracken. 2012. Riparian field margins: their potential to enhance biodiversity in intensively managed grasslands. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 5 86-94
McCracken, D.I., Cole, L.J., Harrison, W. & Robertson, D. 2012 Improving the farmland biodiversity value of riparian buffer strips: conflicts and compromises. Journal of Environmental Quality. 41 355–363
Cole, L.J., Pollock, M.L., Robertson, D., Holland J.P., McCracken, D.I. Harrison, W. 2010. The influence of fine-scale habitat heterogeneity on invertebrate assemblage structure in upland semi-natural grassland. Agriculture, Ecosystem & Environment, 136 69-80
Cole, L.J., Morton, R., Harrison, W., McCracken, D.I., Robertson, D. 2008 The influence of riparian buffer strips in intensively managed grassland fields on Carabid beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblage structure and diversity. Biodiversity & Conservation 17 2233-2245
Cole, L.J., McCracken D.I., Baker, L. & Parish, D. 2007 Grassland conservation headlands: their impact on invertebrate assemblages in intensively managed grasslands. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 122 252-258 Full Text
Cole, L.J., Pollock, M.L.,Robertson, D., Holland J.P. & McCracken, D.I. 2006. Carabid assemblages in the Scottish uplands: the influence of sheep grazing on ecological structure. Entomologica Fennica 17 229-240. Full Text
Cole, L.J., McCracken, D.I., Downie, I.S., Dennis, P., Foster, G.N., Waterhouse, A., Murphy, K.J., Griffen, A.L. & Kennedy, M.P. 2005 Comparing the effects of farming practices on ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and spider (Araneae) assemblages on Scottish farmland. Biodiversity & Conservation 14 441-460. Full Text
Cole, L.J., McCracken, D.I., Dennis, P., Downie, I.S., Griffin, A.L., Foster, G.N., Murphy, K.J. & Waterhouse, T. 2002. Relationships between agricultural management and ecological groups of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) on Scottish farmland. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 93 232-336. Full Text