ecONEWS VT


News from Beyond Vermont

The latest in ecological research and monitoring information doesn't stop at Vermont's borders. When possible, ecoNEWS VT brings you interesting tidbits from other places in our region.

Posted 2022-05-16
Urbanized Knowledge Syndrome—Erosion of Diversity and Systems Thinking in Urbanites’ Mental Models - A new study by PI Payam Aminpour published in npj Urban Sustainability, surveyed 1400 residents of the US East Coast and found that surveyed residents of urban centers often held a more simplistic, and less realistic, understanding of coastal ecosystems than residents in suburban areas.

Posted 2022-05-03
As climate shifts, species will need to relocate, and people may have to help them - A new study, published in the April issue of Biological Conservation, surveyed the recommendations of scientists for managing biodiversity in the face of climate change, providing a summary of practical guidance and identifying areas in need of further research.

Posted 2022-04-14
How mountain streams signal climate change - A new tool can better assess an important but overlooked indicator of global warming: the variety of bugs, worms, and snails living in high mountain streams.

Posted 2022-03-29
UH Researchers Find Climate Change Can Decrease Coastal Prairie Plant Diversity - Climate change presents a host of challenges, from changing temperatures to rising sea levels and extreme weather events. It could also lead to less plant diversity on Texas coastal prairies, according to a new study by the University of Houston.

Posted 2022-03-10
Changes to bird behaviour linked to climate change - A new study from researchers at The Australian National University found that half of all changes to key physical and behavioural bird characteristics since the 1960s can be linked to climate change.

Posted 2022-03-08
The Amazon Could Soon Transition to a Dry, Savanna-like Ecosystem - A new study using real-world data and published in Nature Climate Change reveals that the Amazon is losing its ability to recover from disturbances

Posted 2022-02-23
Researchers Say Science Skewed by Racism is Increasing the Threat of Global Warming to People of Color - Black, Brown and Indigenous people have been systematically excluded from earth sciences, magnifying their exposure to the most severe impacts of climate change, said Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, lead author of a recent commentary in the journal Nature Geosciences.

Posted 2022-01-31
Forest management increases climate benefits provided by boreal forests - The carbon stock in managed boreal forest landscapes is increasing, while it is relatively unchanged in less intensively utilized forests where carbon losses due to forest fires have instead been significant during 1990-2017, according to a new report by the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA).

Posted 2022-01-26
What’s Driving the East-West Divide in Trees’ Response to Climate Change? - A new study led by Duke is the first to tease apart and quantify the effects of seed production and tree recruitment — two critical factors that drive tree migration, and provides new insights into how trees are responding to climate change at a continental scale.  

Posted 2022-01-19
Large Herbivores May Improve an Ecosystem’s Carbon Persistence - The grazing habits of wild animals like elephants and boars enable long-term carbon storage, according to new research that stresses the need to align climate mitigation goals with biodiversity conservation.

Posted 2022-01-12
Future hurricanes will roam over more of the Earth, Yale-led study predicts - A new, Yale-led study suggests the 21st century will see an expansion of hurricanes and typhoons into mid-latitude regions, which include major cities such as New York, Boston, Beijing, and Tokyo.

Posted 2022-01-05
Beavers support freshwater conservation and ecosystem stability - One of the most comprehensive studies conducted on beavers has conclusively demonstrated that beavers are essential for freshwater conservation and ecosystem stability by creating and preserving aquatic and wetland environments in Minnesota.

Posted 2021-11-09
Soil study shows why nitrous oxide emissions should factor into climate change mitigation - A newly published study found that a range of agricultural soils produce nitrous oxide emissions in sufficient quantities to contribute to climate change.

Posted 2021-11-07
MSU deer study finds some are travelers, others homebodies - In recent years, a noticeable number of bucks have seemed to disappear from their preferred home, only to return after hunting season ended. Researchers from MSU conducted a study to understand how and when deer travel between two of their home ranges.

Posted 2021-11-03
Revealing ecological risks of climate change on global river basins - Rising global temperatures will impact major river basins differently around the world, with rivers in South America, southern Africa and Australia among those most at risk of extreme ecological changes, a new study led by UCL has found.

Posted 2021-10-20
Climate change and human pressure mean migration may be “no longer worth it”, say researchers - Animals that migrate north to breed are being put at risk by ongoing climate change and increasing human pressure, losing earlier advantages for migration, declining in numbers and faring much worse than their resident counterparts, according to scientists writing in Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

Posted 2021-09-30
Climate Change Likely To Abruptly Impact Algae in the Global Ocean - Global warming is likely to cause abrupt changes to important algal communities because of shifting biodiversity ‘break point’ boundaries in the oceans – according to research from the University of East Anglia and the Earlham Institute.

Posted 2021-09-22
Unite solutions to climate and biodiversity crises to save life on earth, says study - Leading experts on the ecological impacts of climate change are calling for urgent action to align the climate and biodiversity agendas to ensure that low cost, low risk, low maintenance opportunities to jointly and efficiently address these two environmental issues are prioritized and implemented.

Posted 2021-09-09
Animals ‘shapeshift’ to adapt to climate change: new study in Trends in Ecology and Evolution - Warm-blooded animals are subtly changing their features as they adapt to changing temperatures and habitats engendered by climate change, a new study has found.

Posted 2021-09-02
Wing shape determines how far birds disperse - New research shows that bird dispersal distances may depend more on the a bird’s wings than previously thought. The study, “Flight efficiency explains differences in natal dispersal distances in birds”, was recently published in the journal Ecology.

Posted 2021-08-15
Trees can starve to death from insect defoliation - In a new study published in Functional Ecology, scientists demonstrated that increasingly severe defoliation indeed draws trees’ down energy reserves – sometimes to zero – providing direct evidence that stressed trees can starve to death.

Posted 2021-08-11
Human-wildlife conflict under climate change - Climate change is exacerbating human-wildlife conflicts by straining ecosystems and altering behaviors, both of which can deepen the contacts — and potential competition — between people and animals. An article published in the journal Science addresses the ways that climate change may impact the complex interplay between human activities and wildlife populations.

Posted 2021-07-27
The importance of climate change in deep-sea biodiversity - Researchers from Hong Kong recently published their climate change and deep-sea work in Biology Letters. The study includes the use of long-term fossil records from sediment cores to address the issue of marine-snow or temperature control of deep-sea biodiversity. 

Posted 2021-07-11
Researchers Link Atmospheric Acidity to Ocean Ecology - In a new study led by researchers from the University of East Anglia, the increasing atmospheric acidity - or the growing density of condensed materials like aerosol and fog droplets - affects how oceans absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and how the nutrient transport system moves the materials from the air to the waters.

Posted 2021-05-27
Scientists digging deeper to understand climate change’s full impact - A newly released study from UC Merced indicates it’s critical to consider subsoil in addition to top soil for climate-change research.

Posted 2021-05-18
“Stressed out” corals thriving thanks to mangroves - A collective of researchers analyzed how environmental factors influence the growth and health of corals, demonstrating a high level of coral adaptability.

Posted 2021-05-10
Invasive Species Alters Marine Community, Interferes in Recovery Following Natural Disasters - Marine fouling species are invertebrate filter-feeding organisms – like barnacles or mussels – that settle on hard substrates, like docks, pilings, or ship hulls. Researchers studied data that prove some of these species are very invasive, and could have widespread consequences.

Posted 2021-05-03
Years After the Pacific Marine Heat Wave, Ecosystem Shifts Persist - A new study in Scientific Reports casts doubt on whether Gulf ecosystems will be able to return to their pre–heat wave conditions. This study—a collaborative effort between researchers at NOAA and several other government and research organizations—combined dozens of data sets to build a detailed picture of how many heat wave–induced changes have persisted.

Posted 2021-04-22
Why forests in the Andes are crucial to fighting climate change - A study out this month in the journal Nature Communications, authored by a team of 28 scientists including Cuesta, looks at how the carbon cycling process is playing out in the tropical and subtropical forests of the Andes.

Posted 2021-04-16
Blow flies may be the answer to monitoring environment in a non-invasive manner - A new study explores the stable isotopes in blow flies as a non-invasive way to monitor the environment through changes in animals in the ecosystem. The work, led by IUPUI researchers Christine Picard, William Gilhooly III, and Charity Owings, was published April 14 in PLOS ONE.

Posted 2021-04-01
Environmental researchers uncover the understory of the Amazon. - A team of more than 150 collaborators assembled a new dataset on what species of trees are growing in the Amazon.

Posted 2021-03-16
Lessons learned in Burkina Faso can contribute to a new decade of forest restoration - An assessment of achievements in Burkina Faso, which has a history of landscape restoration, is critical to informing forest restoration efforts.

Posted 2021-03-08
Rise of marine predators reshaped ocean life as dramatically as mass extinctions - Evolutionary arms races between marine animals overhauled ocean ecosystems on scales similar to the mass extinctions triggered by global disasters, a new study shows.

Posted 2021-02-15
Demographic traits improve predictions of spatiotemporal changes in community resilience to drought - Communities are increasingly threatened by extreme weather events. This study aims to bring a mechanistic understanding of the processes underlying community resilience to link various measures of resilience to demographic responses within natural communities.

Posted 2021-02-03
Potentially toxic plankton algae may play a crucial role in the future Arctic - New research shows that a potentially toxic species of plankton algae that lives both by doing photosynthesis and absorbing food may become an important player in the Arctic Ocean as the future sea ice becomes thinner and thinner.

Posted 2021-01-27
How Climate Caprices can Trigger Plants - Climate change may challenge organismal responses through not only extreme cues. An uncommon combination of benign cues – warm and short days – can also trigger reactions such as misregulations of leaves.

Posted 2021-01-20
New management approach can help avoid species vulnerability or extinction - A new paper published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, "Management implications of long transients in ecological systems," focuses on the transient nature of species' and ecosystem stability and illustrates how management practices can be adjusted to better prepare for possible system flips. Some helpful modeling approaches are also offered, including one tool.

Posted 2021-01-12
Levels of stress hormone in saliva of newborn deer fawns may predict mortality - Only about half of fawns across the white-tailed deer's range, on average, live to see their first birthday, and predators such as coyotes, bears and bobcats have been blamed for that. But this research suggests that other factors such as disease and physiology may be more influential in very young fawn mortality than previously suspected.

Posted 2021-01-11
New analysis highlights importance of groundwater discharge into oceans - An invisible flow of groundwater seeps into the ocean along coastlines all over the world. Scientists have tended to disregard its contributions to ocean chemistry, focusing on the far greater volumes of water and dissolved material entering the sea from rivers and streams, but a new study finds groundwater discharge plays a more significant role than had been thought.

Posted 2020-12-29
Investigating Imperfect Mimicry in Natural Populations - New study in looks at Central and South American butterfly wings to elucidate “imperfect” mimicry defense mechanism among animals.

Posted 2020-12-16
Sea-level rise is letting a tiny crab drastically alter marsh landscapes. - Sinead Crotty, an ecologist and project director at Yale University's carbon-containment laboratory, used aerial images to document the purple crab's impact on marshland along the U.S.'s southeastern coast.

Posted 2020-12-09
Beavers create habitats that support threatened amphibians - Beavers can help support amphibians that are threatened by climate change, according to a study from Washington State University. The researchers found that unique habitats created by beaver dams are ideal for aquatic species that need still or slow-moving water for breeding.

Posted 2020-12-04
"Legacy nitrogen" contributing to upward nitrate trends in streams - Despite the tremendous effort invested in reducing the use of nitrogen, widespread decreases in nitrate loads in US rivers and streams remain elusive—what gives? A new study from the USGS provides more evidence that the culprit is the slow release to streams of nitrogen that has accumulated in groundwater and other storage areas, known as legacy nitrogen.

Posted 2020-11-30
Black Bear Gut Biome Simpler Than Expected, Scientists Say - In recent decades, researchers have found that most mammals’ guts are surprisingly complex environments – home to a variety of microbial ecosystems that can profoundly affect an animal’s well-being. Scientists have now learned that the bear appears to be an exception, with its gut playing host to a microbial population that varies little across the intestinal tract.

Posted 2020-11-27
Leipzig researchers compile world’s largest inventory of known plant species - Leipzig. Researchers at Leipzig University (UL) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) have compiled the world’s most comprehensive list of known plant species. It contains 1,315,562 names of vascular plants, thus extending the number of recognised plant species and subspecies by some 70,000 – equivalent to about 20%.

Posted 2020-11-25
The Clean Air Act in the US saved 1.5 billion bird lives over the past 4 decades - Pollution regulations in the U.S. are helping people and birds both, a new study reports. The findings showcase how federal measures meant to reduce ozone pollution likely prevented around 1.5 billion bird deaths over the past 40 years, roughly one-fifth of the US’ current bird population.

Posted 2020-11-20
Scientists Create a Buzz With the First Ever Global Map of Bee Species - Experts say this first-ever map of bee species around the world is a leap forward in understanding and protecting the pollinators that our food supply and ecosystems rely on.

Posted 2020-11-17
Seawalls’ Marine Biodiversity Enhanced by Eco-engineered Tiles - A research team of marine ecologists from the City University of Hong Kong has generated promising results for enhancing marine biodiversity on seawalls in the western waters of Hong Kong via eco-engineered tiles.

Posted 2020-11-03
Converted Land Restoration Could Help Mitigate Climate Change, Extinction - According to a new study, a better way to stop or reverse the impacts of carbon dioxide and other earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions is to determine the main areas where the action can be economical.

Posted 2020-10-27
Fences Can Cause 'Ecological Meltdown,' Study Finds - Investigations of the links between human infrastructure and ecological change have provided eye-opening insights into humanity's environmental impacts and contributed to global environmental policies. Fences are globally ubiquitous, yet they are often omitted from discussions of anthropogenic impacts.

Posted 2020-10-20
Crayfish 'trapping' fails to control invasive species - Despite being championed by a host of celebrity chefs, crayfish 'trapping' is not helping to control invasive American signal crayfish, according to new research.

Posted 2020-10-16
Glitter litter could be damaging rivers, research suggests - Dr Dannielle Green, senior lecturer in biology at Anglia Ruskin University, has conducted a study that has found the first direct evidence of impacts of glitter on the web of life in rivers and lakes. In laboratory tests, all types of glitter affected the growth of pond plants and microscopic algae.

Posted 2020-10-06
Predator-prey interaction study reveals more food does not always mean more consumption - Scientists at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center have developed an unusually rich picture of who is eating whom off the Northeastern United States. The findings, published recently in Fish and Fisheries, provide a close look at fish feeding habits for 17 fish species, predators, and their prey.

Posted 2020-09-25
Mass mortality in freshwater mussels linked to a novel densovirus - The Clinch River watershed in southwestern Virginia and northeastern Tennessee is one of the most ecologically important and biodiverse freshwater systems in North America, and is home to 46 species of freshwater mussels (20 of which are federally listed as endangered). New findings suggest a previously unknown virus may play a role in the sudden death of many freshwater mussels in recent years.

Posted 2020-09-22
Tree Planting has Potential to Increase Carbon Sequestration Capacity on the Nation's Forests - USDA Forest Service scientists have published an in-depth study on the value of tree planting as a means of offsetting carbon emissions in the United States. Data from more than 130,000 forested plots found that fully stocking forests would result in an annual increase of 20% in the amount of carbon sequestration.

Posted 2020-09-17
Industry-made pits are beneficial for beavers and wolverines - Research conducted in Northern Alberta examines the relationship between local wildlife and borrow pits, which are industry-created sites where material such as soil, gravel, or sand has been dug up for road construction. The results show that when revegetated, the sites provide homes for beavers, which in turn support the survival of wolverines.

Posted 2020-09-14
Tipping points of Mississippi Delta marshes due to accelerated sea-level rise - Given the present-day rate of global sea-level rise, remaining marshes in the Mississippi Delta are likely to drown, according to a new Tulane University study. A key finding of the study, published in Science Advances, is that coastal marshes experience tipping points, where a small increase in the rate of sea-level rise leads to widespread submergence.

Posted 2020-09-11
Botanic Garden Solutions to the Plant Extinction Crisis - Researchers summarize the role of botanic gardens over millennia from pleasure gardens of the elite, to reference collections for intellectuals, to plant conservation champions in the 21st Century. They present 4 challenges to conserving plant diversity that gardens today are positioned to overcome, and postulate a future if gardens were sufficiently funded to reverse the plant extinction crisis.

Posted 2020-08-24
Fragmented Forests: Tree Cover, Urban Sprawl Both Increased in Southeast Michigan Over the Past 30 Years - The extent of Southeast Michigan’s tree canopy and urban sprawl both increased between 1985 and 2015. Researchers described the increase in forested area across the region as a positive finding. But analysis also revealed that the region’s forested lands grew increasingly fragmented due to increased urban sprawl, interfering with the ability of plants and animals to disperse across the landscape.

Posted 2020-08-24
Analysis Pinpoints Most Important Forests for Biodiversity and Conservation Remaining in Central Africa - A study by Wildlife Conservation Society and partners produced new analyses to pinpoint the most important forests for biodiversity conservation remaining in Central Africa. The results highlight the importance of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), northern Republic of Congo, and much of Gabon as the most important countries in Central Africa for safeguarding biodiversity and intact forests.

Posted 2020-08-18
Decline in U.S. Bird Biodiversity Related to Neonicotinoids - Bird biodiversity is rapidly declining in the US. The overall bird population decreased by 29% since 1970, while grassland birds declined by an alarming 53%. A new study from University of Illinois points to increased use of neonicotinoid insecticides as a major factor in the decline.

Posted 2020-08-18
Traces of Ancient Life Tell Story of Early Diversity in Marine Ecosystems - If you could dive down to the ocean floor nearly 540 million years ago just past the point where waves begin to break, you would find an explosion of life--scores of worm-like animals and other sea creatures tunneling complex holes and structures in the mud and sand--where before the environment had been mostly barren.

Posted 2020-08-18
Researchers Assemble First Comprehensive Checklist of Panama’s Trees with Geographic Ranges - Central America is one of the most diverse floristic regions in the world, but a lack of comprehensive plant records and knowledge of its endangered, endemic tree species impedes conservation work. Richard Condit, PhD, provided the first comprehensive checklist to include geographic ranges by using an innovative, repeatable method for assessing extinction risk of trees in poorly studied areas.

Posted 2020-08-13
In a Warming World, New England's Trees Are Storing More Carbon - Climate change has increased the productivity of forests, according to a new study that synthesizes hundreds of thousands of carbon observations collected over the last quarter-century. The study, published in Ecological Monographs, reveals that the rate at which carbon is captured from the atmosphere at Harvard Forest nearly doubled between 1992 and 2015.

Posted 2020-08-10
Analysis of Renewable Energy Points Toward More Affordable Carbon-free Electricity - As more states in the U.S. push for increased reliance on variable renewable energy in the form of wind or solar power, long-term energy storage may play an important role in assuring reliability and reducing electricity costs, according to a new paper published by Caltech researchers.

Posted 2020-08-10
To Bond with Nature, Kids Need Solitary Activities Outdoors - A new study found solitary activities like fishing, hunting or exploring outside are key to building strong bonds between children and nature. Activities like these encourage children to both enjoy being outside and to feel comfortable there.

Posted 2020-08-04
Reduced Coral Reef Fish Biodiversity Under Temperatures That Mirror Climate Predictions - A team of international researchers, hosted and supported by NYU Abu Dhabi, recently studied cryptobenthic reef fishes in the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman and found that the more thermally extreme coral reef habitat in the Arabian Gulf adversely impacted the diversity and productivity of these important fishes.

Posted 2020-08-04
Ancient Mountain Formation and Monsoons Helped Create a Modern Biodiversity Hotspot - Researchers examined the plant life in the China's Hengduan Mountains, the Himalaya Mountains, and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Using DNA to build family trees of species, they learned that the diversity of plants in that region today can be traced back to newly-formed mountain ranges 30 million years ago, and monsoons that came later.

Posted 2020-07-22
A Call to Arms: Enlisting Private Land Owners in Conservation - In 1872 the United States created Yellowstone, the first National Park in the world. Since then many more parks, monuments, preserves, wildernesses and other protected areas have been created in the USA. Protected areas, like Yellowstone, are invaluable, but are they actually effective at preserving endangered species? And if not, how can future protected areas do better?

Posted 2020-07-22
Industry-made Pits are Beneficial for Beavers and Wolverines - Beavers and wolverines in Northern Alberta are using industry-created borrow pits as homes and feeding grounds, according to a new study by University of Alberta ecologists. The results show that when revegetated the sites provide homes for beavers, which in turn support the survival of wolverines.

Posted 2020-07-22
About 94% of Wild Bee and Native Plant Species Networks Lost - Climate change and an increase in disturbed bee habitats from expanding agriculture and development in northeastern North America over the last 30 years are likely responsible for a 94 per cent loss of plant-pollinator networks, York University researchers found.

Posted 2020-07-17
"Protect 30% of the Planet for Nature," Scientists Urge in New Report - A new report entitled, "Protecting 30% of the planet for nature: costs, benefits, and economic implications," represents the first multi-sector analysis that assesses the global impacts of terrestrial and marine protected areas across the nature conservation, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sectors.

Posted 2020-07-13
Arctic Ocean 'Regime Shift' - Stanford scientists find the growth of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean has increased 57 percent over just two decades, enhancing its ability to soak up carbon dioxide. While once linked to melting sea ice, the increase is now propelled by rising concentrations of tiny algae.

Posted 2020-07-13
Extreme Rainfall Events Cause Top-heavy Aquatic Food Webs - In research recently outlined in Nature, scientists across seven different sites throughout Central and South America replicated extreme rainfall events predicted by climate change science. Using insect larvae that live in the water trapped by bromeliad plants as a model ecosystem, they found that food webs became top-heavy with predators when there were large day-to-day variations in rainfall.

Posted 2020-07-13
Native Bees Also Facing Novel Pandemic - CU Boulder researchers have found there is growing evidence that another “pandemic,” as they call it, has been infecting bees around the world for the past two decades and is spreading: a fungal pathogen known as Nosema.

Posted 2020-07-09
More Ecosystem Engineers Create Stability, Preventing Extinctions - Biological builders like beavers, elephants, and shipworms re-engineer their environments. How this affects their ecological network is the subject of new research, which finds that increasing the number of "ecosystem engineers" stabilizes the entire network against extinctions.

Posted 2020-07-09
Does DNA in the Water Tell Us How Many Fish There Are? - Researchers have developed a new non-invasive method to count individual fish by measuring the concentration of environmental DNA in the water, which could be applied for quantitative monitoring of aquatic ecosystems.

Posted 2020-07-09
Mystery of Subterranean Stoneflies Unlocked - In a new study published in Ecology, researchers from the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station may have unlocked a mystery surrounding unique aquatic insects in the Flathead watershed. Researchers found that stoneflies adapt in alluvial aquifers to use the low- to no-oxygen environments. The study highlights the role of gravel-bed river floodplains on the landscape.

Posted 2020-07-09
Conservation Update on Glebe Mountain - Protecting 3,560 acres protects wildlife in the face of climate change, The Nature Conservancy in Vermont shares information about conservation efforts on Glebe Mountain.

Posted 2020-07-03
Puget Sound Eelgrass Beds Create a ‘Halo’ with Fewer Harmful Algae - Eelgrass, a species of seagrass named for its long slippery texture, is one of nature’s superheroes. It offers shade and camouflage for young fish, helps anchor shorelines, and provides food and habitat for many marine species. A University of Washington study adds one more superpower to the list: warding off the toxin-producing algae that regularly close beaches to shellfish harvests.

Posted 2020-07-03
You’re Not Nuts: Chipmunks are Flourishing This Year in the Upper Valley - An abundant acorn crop last year and a mild winter have been good for the chipmunk population.

Posted 2020-07-02
The Importance of Urban Natural Areas and Urban Ecosystem Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Some Vermonters may have a greater appreciation for natural areas as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, according to a recent study.

Posted 2020-07-01
International Team of Scientists Warns of Increasing Threats Posed by Invasive Species - In a new study, scientists from around the world – including a professor at the University of Rhode Island – warn that the threats posed by invasive alien species are increasing. They say that urgent action is required to prevent, detect and control invaders at both local and global levels.

Posted 2020-07-01
Maryland Offshore Wind Farm Could Become Stop-over for Migrating Sturgeon, Striped Bass - For the endangered Atlantic sturgeon and the ecologically important striped bass, the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia coastal shelf serves as an important spring and fall migratory route. Researchers suggest that the development of wind farms on the DelMarVa coastal shelf may alter the migratory behavior of these fish as new wind turbines could create habitat around which fish linger.

Posted 2020-07-01
Mountain Meadow Restoration Can Bring Birds Back - In a new study led by scientists at Point Blue Conservation Science, authors evaluated the successes of mountain meadow restorations by analyzing eight years of bird data collected by field biologists. When "pond and plug" and similar techniques were followed, the number of birds of many species increased over time as habitat conditions improved.

Posted 2020-06-25
World's Most Complete Health Analysis of Nesting Sea Turtles Conducted in Florida - The most comprehensive health assessment for a green turtle rookery in the world to date is providing critical insights into various aspects of physiology, biology, and herpesvirus epidemiology of this nesting population. Findings are hopeful, offer important data on the profile of health for future comparative investigations, and suggest viruses are endemically stable in this nesting population.

Posted 2020-06-24
Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas Finds Lost Species - On May 15th the weekend long Vermont Backyard Lady Beetle Blitz had just kicked off. VCE biologist Spencer Hardy was positioned on Snake Mountain with net in hand scouring a patch of blooming toothwort for a specialist bee—the Mustard Miner Bee—and searching for lady beetles. Little did he know he would find one of Vermont’s lost lady beetles that hasn't been found since 1976.

Posted 2020-06-24
Vermont Center for Ecostudies Staff "Bird in Place" for Backyard Bird Quest 2020 - This year's VCE Birdathon looked a little different, but was still a huge success. Statewide, 305 birders submitted a single-day record 724 Vermont eBird checklists and tallied 178 species across the state, including Vermont’s first-ever King Rail!

Posted 2020-06-23
Yale Scientists Solve a Thorny Problem - “Why do plants have thorns?” is an easy question: The thorns help protect against hungry animals that like to munch on the plants. “Where do thorns come from?” is a more complicated question — but Yale scientists have found an answer. Their insight, reported in the June 18 issue of Current Biology, may help change the way oranges and other crops are grown.

Posted 2020-06-23
Knock Knock. Who’s There? How Coral Let Symbiotic Algae In - New work from a team of Carnegie cell, genomic, and developmental biologists solves a longstanding marine science mystery that could aid coral conservation. The researchers identified the type of cell that enables a soft coral to recognize and take up the photosynthetic algae with which it maintains a symbiotic relationship, as well as the genes responsible for this transaction.

Posted 2020-06-23
Crop Residue Decisions Affect Soil Life - New findings share how prescribed fire and no-till management impact soil microbes.

Posted 2020-06-16
Protecting Bays from Ocean Acidification - As oceans absorb more man-made carbon dioxide from the air, a process of ocean acidification occurs that can have a negative impact on marine life. But coastal waterways, such as Chesapeake Bay, can also suffer from low oxygen and acidification. New research from the University of Delaware identifies one way to protect these waterways -- the presence of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).

Posted 2020-06-16
Soil Biology Research Can Help Create a More Sustainable Future - Soils are home to more than 25% of the earth’s total biodiversity. The activity and interactions of soil organisms are intimately tied to multiple processes that ecosystems and society rely on. For these reasons, and more, research ecologists from Colorado State University said soil biodiversity should be incorporated into the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Posted 2020-06-16
Recovery of Sea Otter Populations Yields More Benefits than Costs - Long-term benefits of thriving otter populations, such as healthier kelp forests, higher fish catches, carbon storage and tourism, provide great economic benefits. The first regional economic analysis of costs and benefits of sea otter recovery along the west coast of Vancouver Island offers a new modeling framework to evaluate the significant long-term ecological changes driven by a top predator.

Posted 2020-05-31
30-Year-Old ‘Snail Mail’ Leads To Collection Of Extinct Species - Marine biologists are studying snails and other marine life from Pacific locations to learn more about species facing extinction.

Posted 2020-05-31
Unless Warming is Slowed, Emperor Penguins Will be Marching Towards Extinction - Emperor penguins are some of the most striking and charismatic animals on Earth, but a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has found that a warming climate may render them extinct by the end of this century.

Posted 2020-05-28
Low-Severity Fires Enhance Long-Term Carbon Retention of Peatlands - High-intensity fires can destroy peat bogs and cause them to emit huge amounts of their stored carbon into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases, but a new Duke University study finds low-severity fires spark the opposite outcome.

Posted 2020-05-28
‘Bee’ Thankful for the Evolution of Pollen - Over 80% of the world’s flowering plants must reproduce in order to produce new flowers, according to the U.S. Forest Service. This process involves the transfer of pollen between plants by wind, water or insects called pollinators — including bumblebees. In a new study, researchers at the University of Missouri discovered spiny pollen has evolved to attach to traveling bumblebees.

Posted 2020-05-28
What Does Drought Mean for Endangered California Salmon? - Increased frequency and severity of droughts threatens California’s endangered salmon population—but pools that serve as drought refuges could make the difference between life and death for these vulnerable fish, according to a study by researchers from UC Berkeley and California Sea Grant. The research could help resource managers strategically protect and restore salmon habitat.

Posted 2020-05-26
Indigenous Collaboration and Leadership Key to Managing Sea Otter Population Recovery - A new study, published this week in People and Nature, highlights the need to engage Indigenous communities in managing sea otter population recovery to improve coexistence between humans and this challenging predator.