Ecosystems

Rubber Algae Help Create Artificial Reef; Could Combat Ocean Acidification
June 12, 2017 04:54 PM - Yale Environment 360

A team of European researchers is testing whether tiny artificial algae can help protect coral reefs in the Mediterranean Sea that are threatened by ocean acidification due to climate change. 

The small plastic structures are made of a non-toxic, highly elastic rubber, and are designed to mimic natural coralline algae. Like coral, coralline algae help form reef habitats for small invertebrates. 

Rubber Algae Help Create Artificial Reef; Could Combat Ocean Acidification
June 12, 2017 04:54 PM - Yale Environment 360

A team of European researchers is testing whether tiny artificial algae can help protect coral reefs in the Mediterranean Sea that are threatened by ocean acidification due to climate change. 

The small plastic structures are made of a non-toxic, highly elastic rubber, and are designed to mimic natural coralline algae. Like coral, coralline algae help form reef habitats for small invertebrates. 

Why Microplastic Debris May Be the Next Big Threat to Our Seas
June 9, 2017 03:53 PM - The California State University

Plastic, metal, rubber and paper are some of the materials that pollute the world's oceans, often in the form of soda cans, cigarette butts, plastic bags and bottles, and fishing gear.

Environmental and marine science specialists call it "marine debris," which, simply put, means anything in the ocean that wasn't put there by nature.

Recently, though, a new type of trash — microplastics — has become a focus for marine researchers, and they fear the impact of this type of debris may be especially dire. 

Why Microplastic Debris May Be the Next Big Threat to Our Seas
June 9, 2017 03:53 PM - The California State University

Plastic, metal, rubber and paper are some of the materials that pollute the world's oceans, often in the form of soda cans, cigarette butts, plastic bags and bottles, and fishing gear.

Environmental and marine science specialists call it "marine debris," which, simply put, means anything in the ocean that wasn't put there by nature.

Recently, though, a new type of trash — microplastics — has become a focus for marine researchers, and they fear the impact of this type of debris may be especially dire. 

Fractal planting patterns yield optimal harvests, without central control
June 9, 2017 03:18 PM - Santa Fe Institute

Bali's famous rice terraces, when seen from above, look like colorful mosaics because some farmers plant synchronously, while others plant at different times. The resulting fractal patterns are rare for man-made systems and lead to optimal harvests without global planning. 

Lost ecosystem found buried in mud of southern California coastal waters
June 9, 2017 01:43 PM - University of Chicago

Paleontologists investigating the sea bed off the coast of southern California have discovered a lost ecosystem that for thousands of years had nurtured communities of scallops and shelled marine organisms called brachiopods.

These brachiopods and scallops had thrived along a section of coast stretching approximately 250 miles from San Diego to Santa Barbara for at least 4,000 years. But they had died off by the early 20th century, replaced by the mud-dwellling burrowing clams that inhabit this seabed today. Paleontologists Adam Tomašových of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Susan Kidwell of the University of Chicago examine the lost ecosystem in a study published online June 7 in the Royal Society Proceedings B.

Lost ecosystem found buried in mud of southern California coastal waters
June 9, 2017 01:43 PM - University of Chicago

Paleontologists investigating the sea bed off the coast of southern California have discovered a lost ecosystem that for thousands of years had nurtured communities of scallops and shelled marine organisms called brachiopods.

These brachiopods and scallops had thrived along a section of coast stretching approximately 250 miles from San Diego to Santa Barbara for at least 4,000 years. But they had died off by the early 20th century, replaced by the mud-dwellling burrowing clams that inhabit this seabed today. Paleontologists Adam Tomašových of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Susan Kidwell of the University of Chicago examine the lost ecosystem in a study published online June 7 in the Royal Society Proceedings B.

Great Lakes research centre provides state-of-the-art facility in LaSalle
June 9, 2017 08:13 AM - University of Windsor

Students at the University of Windsor can now measure the stress levels of a pickerel swimming against a strong current, the turbidity of hazy tributaries feeding into the Great Lakes, and the behaviour of the invasive sea lamprey without wading into remote and distant waters.

The Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre in LaSalle is the only research facility of its kind in the Great Lakes Basin and provides students with state-of-the-art technology to study the restoration of damaged ecosystems, invasive species biology and water quality.

Scientists Discover New Species of Fijian Iguana
June 9, 2017 08:12 AM - USGS

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, The National Trust of Fiji and NatureFiji-MareqetiViti have discovered a new species of banded iguana.

The new species of lizard, Brachylophus gau, is one of only four living species of South Pacific iguana, and is restricted to the island of Gau, Republic of Fiji. The scientists describe this new addition in an article released with the journal Zootaxa.

 

Sahara greening intensify tropical cyclone activity worldwide
June 9, 2017 07:31 AM - Stockholm University

Future climate warming could lead to a re-greening of the southernmost Sahara (Sahel), with decreased dust emissions and changes in land cover. In a recent study, researchers at the Department of Meteorology have found that tropical cyclone activity may have increased during past warm climates in connection with a greening of the Sahara.

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