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 2022-11-01
Vermont's Birders and Landowners Are Joining Forces to Contribute to Science - A new state-wide program recruits volunteers to survey breeding birds that would otherwise go uncounted.

Posted 2022-11-01
Passenger Car Preheating Produces as much Particulate Emissions as Driving Dozens of Kilometres - A new study from Finland, conducted by the University of Eastern Finland and Tampere University, measured particulate emissions from passenger car preheating with an auxiliary heater in sub-zero conditions.

Posted 2022-10-17
Report Provides Scientific Plan for Nature-Based Climate Solutions - Agricultural engineering professor Ben Runkle has co-authored a report by leading ecosystem scientists and policy experts, calling for a scientific approach to nature-based climate solutions in the United States.

Posted 2022-10-17
Calculating the Carbon Cost of Food - A calculator which could reduce the level of carbon emissions generated by food production and consumption has been developed by data scientists at the University of Leeds.

Posted 2022-10-17
New Process Could Enable More Efficient Plastics Recycling - Cobalt-based catalysts could be used to turn mixed plastic waste into fuel, new plastics, and other products.

Posted 2022-09-06
Residential Yard Management and Landscape Cover Affect Urban Bird Community Diversity Across the Continental USA - Households manage their yards in diverse ways and new research has found that their landscaping and management decisions have the potential to increase wild bird habitat and influence bird biodiversity in their yard and also at the neighborhood and city scale.

Posted 2022-09-06
The Power of Compost - Making Waste a Climate Champion - A new way of using compost could boost global crop production and deliver huge benefits to the planet, according to a study co-led by The University of Queensland.

Posted 2022-08-15
Bird Behavior Influenced by Human Activity During COVID-19 Lockdowns - For humans, the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic were a stressful time, marked by fear, isolation, canceled plans and uncertainty. But for birds that inhabit developed areas of the Pacific Northwest, the reduction in noise and commotion from pandemic lockdowns may have allowed them to use a wider range of habitats in cities.

Posted 2022-08-15
Even Modest Climate Change May Lead to Sweeping Changes in Northernmost Forests - In a 5 year study by a University of Michigan ecologist, even relatively modest climate warming and associated precipitation shifts may dramatically alter Earth’s northernmost forests, which constitute one of the planet’s largest nearly intact forested ecosystems and are home to a big chunk of the planet’s terrestrial carbon.

Posted 2022-08-08
Common Weed May Be ‘Super Plant’ That Holds Key to Drought-Resistant Crops - Yale scientists published a report in the journal Science Advances which describes how Portulaca oleracea, commonly known as purslane, integrates two distinct metabolic pathways to create a novel type of photosynthesis that enables the weed to endure drought while remaining highly productive.

Posted 2022-08-08
Future-proofing the Great Lakes Region Through Climate Research - New climate models on warming water temperatures in the Great Lakes region show that small differences in lake surface temperatures have a big impact on summer climate, fueling extreme weather. This is crucial information for climate resilience planning.

Posted 2022-08-08
Scientists Envisage Climate Change will Severely Impact Bird Communities by 2080 - Leading ecologists from the Department of Biosciences and Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Germany have predicted in their latest research that bird communities will change worldwide in 2080 due to climate change, largely as result of shifting their ranges.

Posted 2022-08-01
Coastal Resilience Tool - Coastal Resilience is a program led by The Nature Conservancy to examine nature’s role in reducing coastal flood risk. The program consists of an approach, a web mapping tool, and a network of practitioners around the world supporting hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning.

Posted 2022-08-01
Tracking Deluge and Drought through Soil Moisture - From soaked to dry, the variable state of U.S. soils has implications for farmers and crop production.

Posted 2022-08-01
New Antarctic Study Shows Levels of ‘Forever Chemicals’ Reaching the Remote Continent Have Been Increasing - New evidence from a study published by the journal Environmental Science & Technology, and led by scientists from Lancaster University shows that toxic ‘fluorinated forever chemicals’ in Antarctica have increased markedly in the remote environment in recent decades and scientists believe CFC-replacements could be among likely sources.

Posted 2022-07-25
Sustainable Practices Linked to Farm Size in Organic Farming - An interdisciplinary group of researchers from Cornell, U.C. Berkeley, and The Nature Conservancy surveyed 542 organic fruit and vegetable farmers about the use of eight agroecological practices. They found that larger organic farms operate more like conventional farms and use fewer sustainable practices than smaller organic farms.

Posted 2022-07-25
'Sensing System' Spots Struggling Ecosystems - A new "resilience sensing system" can identify ecosystems that are in danger of collapse. The system uses satellites to spot areas of concern – including those at risk of "tipping points" – and can also measure the success of conservation and restoration efforts.

Posted 2022-07-25
Data Scientists Use New Techniques to Identify Lakes and Reservoirs Around the World - A University of Minnesota Twin Cities-led team of data scientists has published a first-of-its-kind comprehensive global dataset of the lakes and reservoirs on Earth showing how they have changed over the last 30+ years.

Posted 2022-07-25
New Law Requires Farmers and Others to Keep Records of Surface Water Withdrawals - A new law, Act 135, passed during the most recent legislative session, requires industries and individuals to send reports to state agencies when they divert a certain magnitude of water from rivers and streams. Starting July 1, farmers — particularly berry and vegetable growers, who rely most often on irrigation — are now required to begin measuring their water withdrawals.

Posted 2022-07-21
Dwindling pollinator numbers could make plant communities less diverse - Competition between plants for attention from declining numbers of pollinating insects may end up meaning plants become less diverse

Posted 2022-07-11
Climate Change-Legacy Phosphorus Synergy Hinders Lake Response to Aggressive Water Policy Targets - New findings from this study published in 'Earth's Future' indicate that state and federal regulators hoping to improve water quality in Lake Champlain will need to adjust their policies to address warming temperatures that trigger toxic blue-green algae blooms, according to a research team based at The University of Vermont.

Posted 2022-07-11
Citizen Scientists From 200 Years Ago and Today Help Shed Light on Climate Change Trends - Kerissa Fuccillo Battle Ph.D. '18 led a multi-disciplinary team to compare historical datasets collected by citizen scientists with observations from a modern network that similarly collected data across New York State from 2009 to 2017. The group's findings evaluating changes in plant phenology between time periods were published this spring in the Journal of Ecology.

Posted 2022-07-05
REGEN: The Northeastern Forest Regeneration Data Network - The Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative created the Northeast Forest Regeneration Data Network for users to access and compare projects related to tree regeneration, including studies on browse impacts, seed production, and forest management.

Posted 2022-06-27
Maine Wild Blueberry Fields Experience Warming Differently Depending on Location, Season, and Time - According to a new University of Maine study, the location, season and the time of day influence how fast temperatures are rising at Maine wild blueberry fields due to climate change

Posted 2022-06-27
The Role of Large Wood in Streams as Ecological Corridors for Wildlife Biodiversity - Little is known about how large wood in streams impacts birds and land-based animals. Oregon State University scientists recently published this article where they observed one year of footage from motion-triggered video cameras they set up near multiple large log jams in a creek just west of Corvallis.

Posted 2022-06-27
In Struggle to Protect Lake Champlain, Prospects of More Invasive Species are Worrisome - There are 51 nonnative species in Lake Champlain, but only a dozen are considered invasive, this number may soon change if we're not careful. Climate change greatly compounds the spread of invasive species. Possible threats to watch out for in Lake Champlain are the Round Goby, Quagga Mussels, and hydrilla plants.

Posted 2022-06-21
New Hybrid Machine Learning Forecasts Lake Ecosystem Responses To Climate Change - Throughout the middle of the 20th century, phosphorus inputs from detergents and fertilizers degraded the water quality of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva, spurring officials to take action to remediate pollution in the 1970s.

Posted 2022-06-21
Is There Snow in that Tree? Citizen Science Helps Unpack Snow’s Effect on Summer Water Supplies - The University of Washington created a citizen science project called 'snow spotter'. In this project, participants identified when and where there was snow in the tree canopy to give researchers a better look into snow hydrology in different forested regions.

Posted 2022-06-21
Sustainable Irrigation Can Feed Billions, Make Agriculture Resilient To Climate Change - Under current conditions, this study by Carnegie’s Lorenzo Rosa found there is enough water available from local, renewable sources to expand sustainable irrigation over 35 percent of farmland around the world, boosting crop productivity to feed up to 1.4 billion more people.

Posted 2022-06-13
Monarch Butterfly Populations are Thriving in North America - For years, scientists have warned that monarch butterflies are dying off in droves because of diminishing winter colonies. But new research from the University of Georgia shows that the summer population of monarchs has remained relatively stable over the past 25 years.

Posted 2022-06-13
May 2022 Was Warm and Wet Across the U.S. - May was warm and wet across the Lower 48, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The month also wrapped up a warm spring as wildfires continued to burn across the nation.

Posted 2022-06-06
Scientists Offer Solutions to Global Phosphorus Crisis that Threatens Food and Water Security - This report identifies the priority issues, possible solutions and the capacity to address phosphorus sustainability from local to global scales.

Posted 2022-05-26
Could Google’s Carbon Emissions Have Effectively Doubled Overnight? - A new report titled "The Carbon Bankroll" measures the carbon footprint that big tech companies produce just through their profits. It showcases the significance of their investments in expanding the fossil fuel system.

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.