Ecosystems

Hybridization between Native and Invasive Trout is Increasing in the West
April 6, 2017 08:25 AM - United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Hybridization, or the interbreeding of species, is increasing between native and invasive trout across the northern Rocky Mountains, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.

Melting sea ice may lead to more life in the sea
March 30, 2017 05:26 PM - Birgitte Svennevig via University of Southern Denmark

When spring arrives in the Arctic, both snow and sea ice melt, forming melt ponds on the surface of the sea ice. Every year, as global warming increases, there are more and larger melt ponds.

Melting sea ice may lead to more life in the sea
March 30, 2017 05:26 PM - Birgitte Svennevig via University of Southern Denmark

When spring arrives in the Arctic, both snow and sea ice melt, forming melt ponds on the surface of the sea ice. Every year, as global warming increases, there are more and larger melt ponds.

Emissions from the edge of the forest
March 30, 2017 04:08 PM - Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ

When talk is of important ecosystems, tropical forests are top of the list. After all, half of the carbon stored in all of the Earth's vegetation is contained in these ecosystems. Deforestation has a correspondingly fatal effect. Scientists estimate that this releases 1000 million tonnes of carbon every year, which, in the form of greenhouse gasses, drives up global temperatures. That is not all, however, reveals a new study by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Maryland. A team of scientists has discovered that fragmentation of formerly contiguous areas of forest leads to carbon emissions rising by another third. Researchers emphasise in the scientific journal Nature Communications that this previously neglected effect should be taken into account in future IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports.

Emissions from the edge of the forest
March 30, 2017 04:08 PM - Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ

When talk is of important ecosystems, tropical forests are top of the list. After all, half of the carbon stored in all of the Earth's vegetation is contained in these ecosystems. Deforestation has a correspondingly fatal effect. Scientists estimate that this releases 1000 million tonnes of carbon every year, which, in the form of greenhouse gasses, drives up global temperatures. That is not all, however, reveals a new study by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Maryland. A team of scientists has discovered that fragmentation of formerly contiguous areas of forest leads to carbon emissions rising by another third. Researchers emphasise in the scientific journal Nature Communications that this previously neglected effect should be taken into account in future IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports.

USGS and Partners Team Up to Track Down Nonnative and Invasive Fishes in South Florida
March 30, 2017 08:22 AM - United States Geological Survey (USGS)

U.S. Geological Survey scientists teamed up with government, nonprofit, and university partners in South Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve to hold a scientific scavenger hunt for nonnative and invasive freshwater fish species.

A superbloom of wildflowers overtakes California's southeastern deserts in March 2017
March 30, 2017 08:22 AM - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

After five years of exceptional drought, desert landscapes across southern California exploded with “superblooms” of wildflowers this March following ample winter precipitation. According to local news reports, it’s the most spectacular display some locations have seen in more than two decades.

Tackling resilience: Finding order in chaos to help buffer against climate change
March 29, 2017 04:16 PM - Michelle Ma via University of Washington

"Resilience" is a buzzword often used in scientific literature to describe how animals, plants and landscapes can persist under climate change. It’s typically considered a good quality, suggesting that those with resilience can withstand or adapt as the climate continues to change.

But when it comes to actually figuring out what makes a species or an entire ecosystem resilient — and how to promote that through restoration or management — there is a lack of consensus in the scientific community.

Tackling resilience: Finding order in chaos to help buffer against climate change
March 29, 2017 04:16 PM - Michelle Ma via University of Washington

"Resilience" is a buzzword often used in scientific literature to describe how animals, plants and landscapes can persist under climate change. It’s typically considered a good quality, suggesting that those with resilience can withstand or adapt as the climate continues to change.

But when it comes to actually figuring out what makes a species or an entire ecosystem resilient — and how to promote that through restoration or management — there is a lack of consensus in the scientific community.

Forests fight global warming in ways more important than previously understood
March 28, 2017 03:32 PM - Misti Crane via Ohio State University

Forests play a complex role in keeping the planet cool, one that goes far beyond the absorption of carbon dioxide, new research has found.

Trees also impact climate by regulating the exchange of water and energy between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere, an important influence that should be considered as policymakers contemplate efforts to conserve forested land, said the authors of an international study that appears in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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