Ecosystems

Shale gas development spurring spread of invasive plants in Pa. forests
July 20, 2017 02:35 PM - Penn State

Vast swaths of Pennsylvania forests were clear-cut circa 1900 and regrowth has largely been from local native plant communities, but a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with unconventional natural gas development.

The spread of invasive non-native plants could have long-term negative consequences for the forest ecosystem in a region where the ubiquitous woods provide timbering revenue, wildlife habitat and ecotourism, warns team member David Mortensen, professor of weed and applied plant ecology.

Scientists calculate total amount of plastics ever produced
July 20, 2017 10:45 AM - James Hataway, University of Georgia

Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment according to a study published today in the journal Science Advances.

Nesting aids make agricultural fields attractive for bees
July 20, 2017 10:10 AM - University of W├╝rzburg

Farmers are facing a problem: Honeybees are becoming ever more rare in many places. But a lot of plants can only produce fruits and seeds when their flowers were previously pollinated with pollen from different individuals. So when there are no pollinators around, yields will decrease.

Mixed outcomes for plants and animals in warmer 2080s climate
July 20, 2017 10:02 AM - University of York

More than three quarters of plants and animals in England are likely to be significantly affected by climate change by the end of the century, say researchers.

The way rivers function reflects their ecological status and is rarely explored
July 20, 2017 09:59 AM - University of the Basque Country

The Ecología de ríos/Stream Ecology research group of the UPV/EHU's Department of Plant Biology and Ecology is a group that specialises in the study of the way rivers function; it comprises experts from numerous areas who have combined their knowledge with a broad range of bibliographical information in the context of the European Globaqua Project in which more than 10 European institutions are participating. One outcome of such a broad piece of work is a long article "in which we synthesize and classify all the processes that can be measured in rivers; we explain how the measurements can be made (methods existing in the literature), how these processes respond to various environmental stressors, etc.", explained Daniel von Schiller, one of the authors of the article. It is a "proposal that puts forward a new, highly appropriate working framework for both researchers and managers," he pointed out.

The way rivers function reflects their ecological status and is rarely explored
July 20, 2017 09:59 AM - University of the Basque Country

The Ecología de ríos/Stream Ecology research group of the UPV/EHU's Department of Plant Biology and Ecology is a group that specialises in the study of the way rivers function; it comprises experts from numerous areas who have combined their knowledge with a broad range of bibliographical information in the context of the European Globaqua Project in which more than 10 European institutions are participating. One outcome of such a broad piece of work is a long article "in which we synthesize and classify all the processes that can be measured in rivers; we explain how the measurements can be made (methods existing in the literature), how these processes respond to various environmental stressors, etc.", explained Daniel von Schiller, one of the authors of the article. It is a "proposal that puts forward a new, highly appropriate working framework for both researchers and managers," he pointed out.

Conserve intact forest landscapes to maximize biodiversity, reduce extinction risk
July 19, 2017 02:30 PM - Oregon State University

A new global analysis of forest habitat loss and wildlife extinction risk published today in the journal Nature shows that species most at risk live in areas just beginning to see the impacts of human activities such as hunting, mining, logging and ranching.

Pangolins at 'huge risk' as study reveals dramatic increases in hunting across Central Africa
July 19, 2017 10:55 AM - University of Sussex

The hunting of pangolins, the world’s most illegally traded mammal, has increased by 150 percent in Central African forests from 1970s to 2014, according to a new study led by the University of Sussex.

Sea temperature changes contributing to droughts
July 19, 2017 07:07 AM - University of Exeter

Fluctuations in sea surface temperature are a factor in causing persistent droughts in North America and around the Mediterranean, new research suggests. 

Record-breaking marine heatwave cooks Tasmania's fisheries
July 18, 2017 01:51 PM - University of New South Wales

Climate change was almost certainly responsible for a marine heatwave off Tasmania’s east coast in 2015/16 that lasted 251 days and at its greatest extent was seven times the size of Tasmania, according to a new study published today in Nature Communications.

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