Ecosystems

Hardy Amazon 'Greens InTimes Of Drought
September 27, 2007 09:11 AM - Cássio Quiterio, SciDevNet

SAO PAULO - Forests in the Amazon are much more resilient to drought that previously thought, researchers have found.  A study published in Science last week (21 September) suggests that forests showed increased — not decreased - levels of photosynthesis in response to a drought.  Researchers concluded that canopy vegetation, composed mainly of leaves of the upper parts of trees, is capable of increasing photosynthesis during drought periods of up to two years

China Starts Countdown To Save Biodiversity By 2010
September 27, 2007 08:09 AM - The World Conservation Union

As the rate of biodiversity loss accelerates worldwide, civil society organizations and governments are joining forces to fight the global extinction crisis.  On September 7 in Beijing, twenty Chinese and international organizations signed the Countdown 2010 declaration, committing themselves to additional efforts to reduce biodiversity loss by the year 2010.

Jane Goodall Says Biofuel Crops Hurt Rain Forests
September 27, 2007 07:48 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK - Primate scientist Jane Goodall said on Wednesday the race to grow crops for vehicle fuels is damaging rain forests in Asia, Africa and South America and adding to the emissions blamed for global warming. "We're cutting down forests now to grow sugarcane and palm oil for biofuels and our forests are being hacked into by so many interests that it makes them more and more important to save now," Goodall said on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative, former U.S. President Bill Clinton's annual philanthropic meeting.

Geysers Re-emerge In Damaged Russia Valley: WWF
September 27, 2007 07:40 AM - Reuters

MOSCOW - The best-known geysers of a cluster hidden in a remote Russian valley hit earlier this year by a landslide have re-emerged, a leading environmentalist group said on Wednesday.  The Valley of the Geysers on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's Far East is one of five places in the world which shelters sizeable geysers -- holes in the ground from which plumes of boiling water shoot high into the air.

Hybrid Salamanders Thrive, Contradicting Expectations
September 26, 2007 02:14 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Davis, California - A new UC Davis study not only has important findings for the future of California tiger salamanders, but also contradicts prevailing
scientific thought about what happens when animal species interbreed.
The salamander experts studied the survival rates and genetic makeup of three types of salamanders: native California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense), which are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act; barred tiger salamanders that were introduced in California from Texas in the 1950s (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium);and the hybrid offspring born when the two species mated.

Study: Loss Of Genetic Diversity Threatens Species Diversity
September 26, 2007 01:11 PM -

Davis, California - Human activities are eliminating biological diversity at an unprecedented rate. Critical when you consider that variation in plants and animals gives us a rich and robust assemblage of foods, medicines, industrial materials and recreation activities. A new study shows this is bad news for all species.

Lead researcher Dr. Richard Lankau says, "This is one of the first studies to show that genetic diversity and species diversity depend on each other," Lankau said.

New Zealand's Mount Ruapehu erupts
September 26, 2007 08:43 AM - Reuters

New Zealand's Mount Ruapehu, famed as a key location in the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy, has erupted, spewing out ash and rock that injured one climber, officials said, adding there could be further eruptions.

The 10-minute eruption started at about 8.20 p.m. on Tuesday (4:20 a.m. EDT) and threw boulders 1-2 meters in diameter up to two kilometers from the crater, crown agency Geological and Nuclear Sciences said.

Indonesia urges incentives for forest conservation
September 26, 2007 08:40 AM - Reuters

Indonesia, host of a major climate change conference in December, called on rich countries on Tuesday to compensate poor states which preserve their rainforests to soak up greenhouse gases.

"Countries that seek to enhance their carbon sinks -- through forestation, afforestation, avoided deforestation -- should be given incentive and rewarded fairly for doing so," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told the U.N. General Assembly.

Australia gives more money to drought-hit farmers
September 25, 2007 07:39 AM - Reuters

The Australian government on Tuesday announced an extra A$714 million ($621 million) to help farmers survive a record-breaking drought.

About 65 percent of Australia's viable agricultural land is currently in drought, with 23,000 farming families on some form of drought relief payments.

European fishing pirates hit Pacific: Greenpeace
September 25, 2007 07:33 AM - Rob Taylor -Reuters

Illegal fishing vessels linked to large European fishing firms have begun plundering endangered ocean stocks in the Western and Central Pacific, environment watchdog Greenpeace said on Tuesday.

Surveillance of fishing fleets near the tiny Pacific nations of Kiribati and the Cook Islands showed European owned or operated vessels had expanded their range from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans -- mainly in search of tuna.

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