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  • Styles of leadership, fears of compassion, and competing to avoid inferiority.

    Basran, Jaskaran; Pires, Claudia; Matos, Marcela; McEwan, Kirsten; Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby; University of Coimbra (Frontiers, 2019-01-22)
    There is general agreement that styles of leadership evolved from mammalian group living strategies that form social ranks. In both non-human primates and humans, different styles of hierarchical dominant-subordinate and leader-follower behavior can be observed. These can be described in terms of dimensions of antisocial (relatively self-focused, aggressive and threat-based) and prosocial (relatively empathic, caring, and supportive) interpersonal styles. The aim of this study was to explore how a set of established self-report questionnaires might relate to these two dimensions. Two hundred and nineteen students completed questionnaires assessing ruthless self-advancement, coalition building, and dominant leadership styles, as well as hypercompetitiveness, narcissism, striving to avoid inferiority, compassion focused and ego focused goals, fears of compassion, social safeness and attachment (in)security. A principal component analysis supported an antisocial leadership style factor which comprised of ruthless self-advancement, narcissism and hypercompetitiveness. This was significantly correlated with fears of compassion, ego focused goals, insecure striving (striving to avoid inferiority), fears of losing out, fears of being overlooked, fears of being rejected, and avoidant relating in close relationships. It was significantly negatively correlated with compassionate goals. As the results did not reveal a clear factor solution for a prosocial leadership style, we chose to use the coalition building leadership style variable. This showed the opposite pattern, being significantly negatively correlated with narcissism, hypercompetitiveness, fears of compassion, fears of active rejection, and avoidance in close relationships. It was significantly positively correlated with secure striving, compassionate goals, and social safeness. We also found that fears of compassion for others was a partial mediator of the relationship between insecure striving with antisocial leadership style. Moreover, lower fears of compassion for the self emerged as a key mediator for the relationship between non-avoidant attachment with coalition building leadership style and, secure non-striving with coalition building leadership style. While the motive to accumulate social power, resources and dominance may be linked to antisocial forms of leadership, the intensity of the drive may also be linked to unaddressed threats and fears of rejection and fears of compassion. Efforts to promote more ethical, moral and prosocial forms of leadership may falter if such fears are left unaddressed.
  • The factor structure of the Forms of Self-Criticising/Attacking & Self-Reassuring Scale in thirteen distinct populations.

    Halamová, Júlia; Kanovský, Martin; Gilbert, Paul; Troop, Nicholas A.; Zuroff, David C.; Hermanto, Nicola; Petrocchi, Nicola; Sommers-Spijkerman, Marion; Kirby, James N.; Shahar, Ben; Krieger, Tobias; Matos, Marcela; Asano, Kenichi; Yu, FuYa; Basran, Jaskaran; Kupeli, Nuriye; Comenius University in Bratislava; University of Derby; University of Hertfordshire; McGill University; John Cabot University; University of Twente; The University of Queensland; University of Jerusalem; University of Bern; University of Coimbra; Chiba University; Ministry of Education, Yilan City, Taiwan; The Compassionate Mind Foundation; University College London, (Springer, 2018-06-13)
    There is considerable evidence that self-criticism plays a major role in the vulnerability to and recovery from psychopathology. Methods to measure this process, and its change over time, are therefore important for research in psychopathology and well-being. This study examined the factor structure of a widely used measure, the Forms of Self-Criticising/Attacking & Self-Reassuring Scale in thirteen nonclinical samples (N = 7510) from twelve different countries: Australia (N = 319), Canada (N = 383), Switzerland (N = 230), Israel (N = 476), Italy (N = 389), Japan (N = 264), the Netherlands (N = 360), Portugal (N = 764), Slovakia (N = 1326), Taiwan (N = 417), the United Kingdom 1 (N = 1570), the United Kingdom 2 (N = 883), and USA (N = 331). This study used more advanced analyses than prior reports: a bifactor item-response theory model, a two-tier item-response theory model, and a non-parametric item-response theory (Mokken) scale analysis. Although the original three-factor solution for the FSCRS (distinguishing between Inadequate-Self, Hated-Self, and Reassured-Self) had an acceptable fit, two-tier models, with two general factors (Self-criticism and Self-reassurance) demonstrated the best fit across all samples. This study provides preliminary evidence suggesting that this two-factor structure can be used in a range of nonclinical contexts across countries and cultures. Inadequate-Self and Hated-Self might not by distinct factors in nonclinical samples. Future work may benefit from distinguishing between self-correction versus shame-based self-criticism.
  • Active recovery strategy and lactate clearance in elite swimmers.

    Faghy, Mark A; Lomax, Mitch; Brown, Peter I; Human Science Research Centre; University of Portsmouth; English Institute of Sport (Edizioni Minerva Medica, 2018-11-21)
    Swimming requires sustained high performance, with limited recovery between heats, recovery strategies are essential to performance but are often self-regulated and sub- optimal. Accordingly, we investigated a physiologically determined recovery protocol.
  • The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Quality of Life scale (PCOSQOL): development and preliminary validation .

    Williams, Sophie; Sheffield, David; Knibb, Rebecca C.; University of Derby; Aston University; University of Derby, UK; University of Derby, UK; University of Derby, UK (Sage, 2018-07-19)
    Polycystic ovary syndrome is an endocrine disorder amongst women, which can negatively impact quality of life. Research proposes that a more sensitive PCOS quality of life measure is needed. This study aims to develop and initially validate a quality of life scale for women with the condition in the United Kingdom. Women with PCOS (n = 714) took part in the development and initial validation of the 35-item polycystic ovary syndrome quality of life scale (PCOSQOL)(α = .95). Subscales include Impact of PCOS (α = .95), Infertility (α = .95), Hirsutism (α = .97) and Mood (α = .89). The PCOSQOL scale represents aspects of quality of life important to women with PCOS and may be more sensitive for use in the clinical and research settings.
  • “This is my cheating ex”: gender and sexuality in revenge porn.

    Hearn, Jeff; Hall, Matthew; University of Huddersfield; Örebro University; Hanken School of Economics; University of Ulster; University of Derby (Sage Publications, 2018-11-14)
    Revenge pornography is the online, and at times offline, non-consensual distribution, or sharing, of explicit images by ex-partners, partners, others, or hackers seeking revenge or entertainment. In this article, we discursively analyse a selected range of electronic written texts accompanying explicit images posted by self-identified straight/gay/lesbian (male-to-female, female-to-male, male-to-male, female-to-female postings) on a popular revenge pornography website ‘’. Situating our analysis in debates on gender and sexuality, we examine commonalities and differences in the complex and sometimes contradictory ways in which gender and sexuality are invoked in posters’ accounts of their motivations for revenge pornography.
  • The influence of caffeine expectancies on sport, exercise and cognitive performance.

    Shabir, Akbar; Hooton, Andy; Tallis, Jason; Higgins, Matthew F.; University of Derby; Coventry University (MDPI, 2018-10-17)
    Caffeine (CAF) is widely consumed across sport and exercise for its reputed ergogenic properties, including central nervous stimulation and enhanced muscular force development. However, expectancy and the related psychological permutations that are associated with oral CAF ingestion are generally not considered in most experimental designs and these could be important in understanding if/how CAF elicits an ergogenic effect. The present paper reviews 17 intervention studies across sport, exercise, and cognitive performance. All explore CAF expectancies, in conjunction with/without CAF pharmacology. Thirteen out of 17 studies indicated expectancy effects of varying magnitudes across a range of exercise tasks and cognitive skills inclusive off but not limited to; endurance capacity, weightlifting performance, simple reaction time and memory. Factors, such as motivation, belief, and habitual CAF consumption habits influenced the response. In many instances, these effects were comparable to CAF pharmacology. Given these findings and the lack of consistency in the experimental design, future research acknowledging factors, such as habitual CAF consumption habits, habituated expectations, and the importance of subjective post-hoc analysis will help to advance knowledge within this area.
  • Exploring the interplay between passive following on Facebook, fear of missing out, self-esteem, social comparison, age, and life satisfaction in a community-based sample.

    Giagkou, Stella; Hussain, Zaheer; Pontes, Halley M.; University of Derby; Nottingham Trent University (Graphy Publications, 2018-09-22)
    Facebook is amongst the most frequently used Social Networking Sites (SNSs) worldwide. Previous research reported SNS use such as Facebook use may have both positive and negative psychological impact on users, particularly with regards to users’ psychological wellbeing and life satisfaction. To fully acknowledge the extent to which SNS use may affect psychological wellbeing and life satisfaction, different forms of SNS use and experiences need to be taken into account by researchers. There is currently a lack of research investigating how Passive Facebook Use may impact on users’ well being. The present study sought to investigate how passive following on Facebook, fear of missing out, self-esteem, social comparison, and age may affect life satisfaction. A sample of 196 Facebook users (Mean age = 31.16, SD = 8.75) completed an online survey consisting of several psychometric tools. Overall, the results obtained suggest that life satisfaction may be differentially affected by a wide range of SNS-related experiences such as social comparison and fear of missing out. The implications of these findings for the use of SNSs are discussed.
  • Predictors of problematic smartphone use: an examination of the integrative pathways model and the role of age, gender, impulsiveness, excessive reassurance seeking, extraversion, and depression.

    Mitchell, Lewis; Hussain, Zaheer; University of Derby (MDPI, 2018-08-14)
    Background: The progression of mobile phone technology has led to the development of multi-functional smartphones providing access to features such as social media, e-mail, and videos alongside the basic functions of a mobile phone. Increasing amounts of research has explored the potential addictive nature of smartphones to develop a theoretical framework that describes personality factors related to problematic use. The present study examined the Integrative Pathways Model and the effect of age, gender, impulsiveness, excessive reassurance seeking, extraversion, and depression on problematic smartphone use. Method: A total of 147 smartphone users (mean age = 30.96, SD = 12.97, 69.4% female) completed an online survey comprising of measures of problematic smartphone use, excessive reassurance seeking, extraversion, depression, and impulsiveness. Results: Age, impulsiveness, excessive reassurance seeking, and depression were all significantly related to problematic smartphone use, however extraversion was not significantly related. Furthermore, age and impulsiveness were significant independent predictors of problematic smartphone use. No gender differences were found. Conclusions: The findings presented several factors that predict problematic smartphone use, implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
  • Deep ocean minerals minimize eccentric exercise-induced inflammatory response of rat skeletal muscle.

    Saovieng, Suchada; Wu, Jinfu; Huang, Chih-Yang; Kao, Chung-Lan; Higgins, Matthew F.; Chuanchaiyakul, Rungchai; Kuo, Chia-Hua; University of Derby (Frontiers, 2018-09-28)
    Background: We have previously shown an accelerated recovery from muscle fatigue in men challenged by prolonged exercise after oral deep ocean minerals (DOM) supplementation. Here, we hypothesized a decrease in eccentric exercise-induced muscle inflammation in rats regularly consuming DOM-containing drinks (hardness 600 mg/L and fructose 11%). Methods: Forty-seven male Sprague Dawley rats were randomized into 4 groups: Control (C, N = 12), Fructose (F, N = 12), Fructose+Exercise (FE, N = 12), and Fructose+Exercise+DOM (FED, N = 11). Since fructose is a commonly used ingredient in beverages, 11% of fructose was added as a vehicle of the study. Soleus muscles of rats were analyzed 24 h after an acute bout of downhill running following 9 weeks of DOM supplementation. Results: Leukocyte infiltration and TNF-a mRNA of muscle in the FE group were 5 times and 4 times greater the F group, respectively, (P < 0.05). Both markers in the FED group were significantly lower than those in the FE group (P < 0.05). IL-10 mRNA of muscle in the F group was >eight fold greater than the C group (P < 0.05). The reduced glutathione (GSH) of muscle in the F group was 34% lower than that in the C group (P < 0.05). However, GSH levels were similar for the C and FED groups. Conclusion: Prolonged fructose supplementation modulates inflammatory balance of rat skeletal muscle. The results of the study suggest that DOM can minimize eccentric exercise-induced inflammatory cytokine responses in rat skeletal muscle.
  • An exercise-induced improvement in isolated skeletal muscle contractility does not affect the performance-enhancing benefit of 70μM caffeine treatment.

    Tallis, Jason; Higgins, Matthew F; Cox, Val M; Duncan, Michael J; James, Rob S; Derby University; Coventry University (The Company of Biologists Ltd., 2018-09-17)
    This study aimed to examine the effects of exercise-induced increases in skeletal muscle contractile performance on isolated skeletal muscle caffeine sensitivity. 30-week old CD1 mice (n=28) either acted as controls or underwent eight weeks of voluntary wheel running. Following the treatment intervention, whole soleus (SOL) or a section of the costal diaphragm (DIA) was isolated from each mouse and tested to determine the effect of 70μM caffeine on work loop power output. Although caffeine elicited a significant increase in power of both the SOL and the DIA, relative to a non-caffeine control, the effect was not different between the experimental groups, despite the muscles of the trained group producing significantly greater muscle power. There was no significant relationship between training volume or baseline work loop power and the caffeine response. These results indicate that an exercise-induced increase in muscle performance did not influence the performance-enhancing effects of caffeine.
  • A further modification of Dioni’s mounting media to allow staining,clearing and mounting of Acari

    Chick, Andrew I. R.; University of Derby (2018-09-10)
    Modified Dioni’s media has previously been presented as an alternative to tradition Gum Chloral mounting media for microscopical specimens. This paper aims to explore a further modification of Dioni’s mounting media with the objective to provide a simple solution to clear, stain and mount Acari specimens in regions where obtaining Chloral Hydrate based media is problematic.
  • Bacterial and fungal communities in a degraded ombrotrophic peatland undergoing natural and managed re-vegetation

    Elliott, David R.; Caporn, Simon; Nwaishi, Felix; Nilsson, R. Henrik; Sen, Robin; Manchester Metropolitan University (Public Library of Science, 2015-05)
    The UK hosts 15–19% of global upland ombrotrophic (rain fed) peatlands that are estimated to store 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon and represent a critical upland habitat with regard to biodiversity and ecosystem services provision. Net production is dependent on an imbalance between growth of peat-forming Sphagnum mosses and microbial decomposition by microorganisms that are limited by cold, acidic, and anaerobic conditions. In the Southern Pennines, land-use change, drainage, and over 200 years of anthropogenic N and heavy metal deposition have contributed to severe peatland degradation manifested as a loss of vegetation leaving bare peat susceptible to erosion and deep gullying. A restoration programme designed to regain peat hydrology, stability and functionality has involved re-vegetation through nurse grass, dwarf shrub and Sphagnum re-introduction. Our aim was to characterise bacterial and fungal communities, via high-throughput rRNA gene sequencing, in the surface acrotelm/mesotelm of degraded bare peat, long-term stable vegetated peat, and natural and managed restorations. Compared to long-term vegetated areas the bare peat microbiome had significantly higher levels of oligotrophic marker phyla (Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, TM6) and lower Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria, together with much higher ligninolytic Basidiomycota. Fewer distinct microbial sequences and significantly fewer cultivable microbes were detected in bare peat compared to other areas. Microbial community structure was linked to restoration activity and correlated with soil edaphic variables (e.g. moisture and heavy metals). Although rapid community changes were evident following restoration activity, restored bare peat did not approach a similar microbial community structure to non-eroded areas even after 25 years, which may be related to the stabilisation of historic deposited heavy metals pollution in long-term stable areas. These primary findings are discussed in relation to bare peat oligotrophy, re-vegetation recalcitrance, rhizosphere-microbe-soil interactions, C, N and P cycling, trajectory of restoration, and ecosystem service implications for peatland restoration.
  • Niche partitioning of bacterial communities in biological crusts and soils under grasses, shrubs and trees in the Kalahari

    Elliott, David R.; Thomas, Andrew David; Hoon, Steve R.; Sen, Robin; Manchester Metropolitan University (Springer, 2014-06)
    The Kalahari of southern Africa is characterised by sparse vegetation interspersed with microbe-dominated biological soil crusts (BSC) which deliver a range of ecosystem services including soil stabilisation and carbon fixation. We characterised the bacterial communities of BSCs (0–1 cm depth) and the subsurface soil (1–2 cm depth) in an area typical of lightly grazed Kalahari rangelands, composed of grasses, shrubs, and trees. Our data add substantially to the limited amount of existing knowledge concerning BSC microbial community structure, by providing the first bacterial community analyses of both BSCs and subsurface soils of the Kalahari region based on a high throughput 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing approach. BSC bacterial communities were distinct with respect to vegetation type and soil depth, and varied in relation to soil carbon, nitrogen, and surface temperature. Cyanobacteria were predominant in the grass interspaces at the soil surface (0–1 cm) but rare in subsurface soils (1–2 cm depth) and under the shrubs and trees. Bacteroidetes were significantly more abundant in surface soils of all areas even in the absence of a consolidated crust, whilst subsurface soils yielded more sequences affiliated to Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Firmicutes. The common detection of vertical stratification, even in disturbed sites, suggests a strong potential for BSC recovery after physical disruption, however severe depletion of Cyanobacteria near trees and shrubs may limit the potential for natural BSC regeneration in heavily shrub-encroached areas.
  • The micro-politics of organizational change in professional youth football: towards an understanding of the “professional self”.

    Gibson, Luke; Groom, Ryan; University of Derby; Manchester Metropolitan University; Sport, Outdoor and Exercise Science, University of Derby, Derby, UK; Department of Exercise &amp; Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, Mancheste, UK (Taylor and Francis, 2018-07-13)
    Organizational and managerial change plays a significant role in the employment and working lives of coaches in professional football. However, research that explores how individual coaches experience the change process is limited. The aim of this article is to explore the experiences of Ian (pseudonym), a professional football academy youth coach, during the process of organizational change. Data were collected through field notes, informal observations and meetings, formal academy team meetings, co-worker interviews, and four semi-structured in-depth participant interviews. Findings were analysed through a micro-political framework, with a focus on professional self-understanding. They reveal the importance of micro-political literacy in understanding the impact of organizational change on the participant’s working conditions and continued employment. It is proposed that an understanding of micro-politics, professional self-understanding, and micro-political literacy should be developed in formal coach education programmes to better prepare coaches for the realities of employment in professional football.
  • Empowering women through the positive birth movement.

    Hallam, Jenny; Howard, Christopher; Locke, Abigail; Thomas, Melissa; University of Derby; University of Bradford (Taylor and Francis, 2018-05-03)
    Childbirth has been positioned as a life changing event that has profound long term psychological effects upon women. This paper adopts a community psychology approach to explore the role that the Positive Birth Movement (PBM may have in tackling negative birth experiences by supporting women before and after birth. Six women who all regularly attend UK based Positive Birth Movement meetings and had given birth to at least one child participated in one to one semi-structured interviews designed to explore the support they received before, during and after their birth, as well as their experiences with the positive birth movement. A Foucauldian inspired discourse analysis explores themes relating to the lack of support and information provided by the NHS and the function of the positive birth movement as a transformative community space which offers social support and information. Within these themes a focus on neoliberalism, choice and the woman’s position as an active consumer of health care is critically discussed. It is argued that the PBM has the potential to prepare women for positive birth experiences but more attention needs to be paid to the wider contexts that limit women’s ability to make ‘free’ choice.
  • A hypnosis framing of therapeutic horticulture for mental health rehabilitation.

    Stevens, Paul; University of Derby (American Psychological Association, 2018-06-14)
    This article shows how hypnosis can provide a useful framework for understanding therapeutic horticulture. Within this framework, data from in-depth interviews with 12 volunteers attending Cherry Tree Nursery—a sheltered work project for people with severe mental illness—provided conceptual groupings of reported experiences: rapport, induction, change in conscious state, relaxation, a safe place, therapeutic change via reframing and symbolic thinking, and confidence boosting. Natural environments and nature-based activities are thus contextualized as spaces and situations within which therapeutic change is more likely to occur. The concept of the restorative environment therefore becomes one component of the overall process—inducing a mental and physical state which is open to change, less egoistic, and socially oriented—but not in itself sufficient to bring about the effects described in the literature. Longer-lasting beneficial effects also require appropriate client-centered guidance, wherein the client creates an internalized environment which endures when they return to their everyday life. The described framework unifies previously disparate therapeutic domains and suggests more focus is needed on ‘induction’ processes, activities appropriate to the client’s mental state, and the settings within which any therapeutic process occurs. Furthermore, cases in which people do not benefit from being in natural environments may indicate incongruencies in concurrent guidance or merit the consideration of a new concept of “nature-susceptibility.”
  • Written evidence submitted to the House of Commons select committee: The Women and Equalities Committee 'Sexual harassment of women and girls in public places inquiry'.

    Hall, Matthew; Hearn, Jeff; University of Derby; Ulster University; Hanken School of Economics; University of Huddersfield; Örebro University; University of South Africa (Parliament UK, 2018-05-13)
    Written evidence submitted to the House of Commons select committee: The Women and Equalities Committee ‘Sexual harassment of women and girls in public places inquiry’ by: Dr Matthew Hall & Professor Jeff Hearn
  • Fractal dimension links responses to a visual scene to its biodiversity.

    Stevens, Paul; University of Derby; Centre for Psychological Research, University of Derby, Derby, UK. (Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, 2018-05-09)
    Humans appear to have an innate, beneficial response and preference for natural over urban scenes, yet “natural” is an ambiguous concept that varies from culture to culture. In looking for a commonality to natural scenes that tends to be lacking in built scenes, many researchers have turned to fractal geometry, finding that fractal dimension can predict preference. Here, I calculated the fractal dimension of the dominant land-sky edge at a variety of sites having varying depths of water table and levels of biodiversity (specifically, “species richness”). I then investigated changes in human physiological arousal (magnitude of skin conductance responses) in response to images of those scenes. Sites with high biodiversity were shown to have a significantly higher associated fractal dimension than low-biodiversity sites, whereas shallow versus deep water-table sites showed no significant difference. When shown the images, the magnitude of skin conductance responses for human viewers showed a negative correlation with fractal dimension. Replicating earlier findings, ranked preference for a scene showed a positive correlation with fractal dimension. Taken together, these findings suggest an evolved response to stimuli associated with a healthy ecosystem: Patterns of healthy vegetative growth determine visual fractal dimension, which reduces physiological arousal upon observation, this being experienced as a positive emotional state and expressed as a preference for that environment.
  • Posting selfies and body image in young adult women: The selfie paradox.

    Grogan, Sarah; Rothery, Leonie; Cole, Jenny; Hall, Matthew; Ulster University; University of Derby; Manchester Metropolitan University (Tarleton State University, 2018-06-01)
    This exploratory study was designed to investigate how young women make sense of their decision to post selfies, and perceived links between selfie posting and body image. Eighteen 19-22 year old British women were interviewed about their experiences of taking and posting selfies, and interviews were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Women linked selfie posting to the “ideal” body, identity management, and body exposure; objectifying their own and others’ selfies, and trying to portray an image that was as close to “ideal” as possible. Women differentiated between their “unreal,” digitally manipulated online selfie identity and their “real” identity outside of Facebook and Instagram. Bodies were expected to be covered, and sexualised selfies were to be avoided. Results challenge conceptualisations of women as empowered and self-determined selfie posters; although women sought to control their image online, posting was constrained by postfeminist notions of what was considered socially appropriate to post.
  • The influence of trees, shrubs, and grasses on microclimate, soil carbon, nitrogen, and CO2 efflux: Potential implications of shrub encroachment for Kalahari rangelands.

    Thomas, Andrew David; Elliott, David R.; Dougill, Andrew John; Stringer, Lindsay Carman; Hoon, Stephen Robert; Sen, Robin; Aberystwyth University; University of Derby; University of Leeds; Manchester Metropolitan University; Department of Geography and Earth Sciences; Aberystwyth University; Aberystwyth SY23 3DB UK; Environmental Sustainability Research Centre; University of Derby; Derby DE22 1GB UK; School of Earth and Environment; University of Leeds; Leeds LS2 9JT UK; School of Earth and Environment; University of Leeds; Leeds LS2 9JT UK; School of Science and the Environment; Manchester Metropolitan University; Manchester M1 5GD UK; School of Science and the Environment; Manchester Metropolitan University; Manchester M1 5GD UK (Wiley, 2018-03-30)
    Shrub encroachment is a well‐documented phenomenon affecting many of the world's drylands. The alteration of vegetation structure and species composition can lead to changes in local microclimate and soil properties which in turn affect carbon cycling. The objectives of this paper were to quantify differences in air temperatures, soil carbon, nitrogen, and CO2 efflux under trees (Vachellia erioloba), shrubs (Grewia flava), and annual and perennial grasses (Schmidtia kalahariensis and Eragrostis lehmanniana) collected over three seasons at a site in Kgalagadi District, Botswana, in order to determine the vegetation‐soil feedback mechanism affecting the carbon cycle. Air temperatures were logged continuously, and soil CO2 efflux was determined throughout the day and evening using closed respiration chambers and an infrared gas analyser. There were significant differences in soil carbon, total nitrogen, CO2 efflux, light, and temperatures beneath the canopies of trees, shrubs, and grasses. Daytime air temperatures beneath shrubs and trees were cooler compared with grass sites, particularly in summer months. Night‐time air temperatures under shrubs and trees were, however, warmer than at the grass sites. There was also significantly more soil carbon, nitrogen, and CO2 efflux under shrubs and trees compared with grasses. Although the differences observed in soils and microclimate may reinforce the competitive dominance of shrubs and present challenges to strategies designed to manage encroachment, they should not be viewed as entirely negative. Our findings highlight some of the dichotomies and challenges to be addressed before interventions aiming to bring about more sustainable land management can be implemented.

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