Ecosystems

New Method to Estimate Abundance, Detect Trends in North Atlantic Right Whales Confirms Recent Population Decline
September 19, 2017 03:18 PM - NOAA

NOAA Fisheries researchers and colleagues at the New England Aquarium have developed a new model to improve estimates of abundance and population trends of endangered North Atlantic right whales, which have declined in numbers and productivity in recent years.  The findings were published in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

American Oaks Share a Common Northern Ancestor
September 19, 2017 10:38 AM - The Morton Arboretum

If you had been in northern Canada 45 million years ago, you might have encountered the distant ancestor of all of the oaks in the Americas. That single species gave rise to 220 more and two distinct lineages—red oaks and white oaks—that moved south through the boreal zone to populate large swaths of the continent all the way into Mexico. These two findings—simultaneous evolutionary diversification in the red and white oaks, each following the same geographic routes; and two relatively recent origins of the Mexican oaks—are a surprise conclusion to a scientific mystery that went unresolved until now. Research published this week in the journal New Phytologist tells this story of the evolutionary history of American oaks for the first time.

American Oaks Share a Common Northern Ancestor
September 19, 2017 10:38 AM - The Morton Arboretum

If you had been in northern Canada 45 million years ago, you might have encountered the distant ancestor of all of the oaks in the Americas. That single species gave rise to 220 more and two distinct lineages—red oaks and white oaks—that moved south through the boreal zone to populate large swaths of the continent all the way into Mexico. These two findings—simultaneous evolutionary diversification in the red and white oaks, each following the same geographic routes; and two relatively recent origins of the Mexican oaks—are a surprise conclusion to a scientific mystery that went unresolved until now. Research published this week in the journal New Phytologist tells this story of the evolutionary history of American oaks for the first time.

Report Suggests Love of the Seas Could be the Key for Plastic Pollution Solution
September 18, 2017 11:41 AM - University of Plymouth

Tapping into the public’s passion for the ocean environment could be the key to reducing the threats posed to it by plastic pollution, a new report suggests.

Changes in Nonextreme Precipitation May Have Not-So-Subtle Consequences
September 18, 2017 11:27 AM - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Major floods and droughts receive a lot of attention in the context of climate change, but University of Illinois researchers analyzed over five decades of precipitation data from North America to find that changes in nonextreme precipitation are more significant than previously realized and larger than those in extreme precipitation. These changes can have a strong effect on ecosystems, agriculture, infrastructure design and resource management, and point to a need to examine precipitation in a more nuanced, multifaceted way.

Small-scale fisheries have big impact on oceans
September 18, 2017 07:58 AM - University of British Columbia (UBC)

A new UBC study has found that small-scale fisheries may have a much larger impact on ocean ecosystems than previously thought, due to a lack of data on their development over time.

“We found that the influence from small-scale fisheries is far from small,” said Jennifer Selgrath, lead author who completed the research as a PhD student with UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and Project Seahorse. “In our case study in the Philippines, we found that the fisheries have become unsustainable because there are so many people trying to catch a limited number of fish and invertebrates.”

Secret life may thrive in warm caves under Antarctica's glaciers
September 15, 2017 02:19 PM - Australian National University

A new study led by ANU has found that animals and plants may live in warm caves under Antarctica's glaciers.

Secret life may thrive in warm caves under Antarctica's glaciers
September 15, 2017 02:19 PM - Australian National University

A new study led by ANU has found that animals and plants may live in warm caves under Antarctica's glaciers.

Clouds Like Honeycomb
September 15, 2017 02:08 PM - CIRES

NOAA-led team uses an innovative network approach to explain polygonal patterns in clouds.

Clouds Like Honeycomb
September 15, 2017 02:08 PM - CIRES

NOAA-led team uses an innovative network approach to explain polygonal patterns in clouds.

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