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Wildlife

Study shows how climate affects biodiversity
April 16, 2015 03:18 PM - Uppsala University via AlphaGalileo

A key question in the climate debate is how the occurrence and distribution of species is affected by climate change. But without information about natural variation in species abundance it is hard to answer. In a major study, published today in the leading scientific journal Current Biology, researchers can now for the first time give us a detailed picture of natural variation.

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Five Years and Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
April 17, 2015 09:37 AM - National Wildlife Federation

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, sending oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days, wildlife are still struggling. The Gulf, with its deep waters, sandy beaches, lush wetlands and coral reefs, is a vast system that supports more than 15,000 species of wildlife – fish, birds, marine mammals and many, many others.

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation looks at how 20 types of wildlife that depend on a healthy Gulf are faring in the wake of the BP oil spill. The full extent of the spill’s impacts may take years or even decades to unfold, but Five Years & Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster examines what the science tells us so far.

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SPOTLIGHT

The importance of methane seeps in microbial biodiversity of sea floor

University of Delaware

A new study “provides evidence that methane seeps are island-like habitats that harbor distinct microbial communities unique from other seafloor ecosystems." These seeps play an important role in microbial biodiversity of the sea floor.

Methane seeps are natural gas leaks in the sea floor that emit methane into the water. Microorganisms that live on or near these seeps can use the methane as a food source, preventing the gas from collecting in the surrounding hydrosphere or migrating into the atmosphere.

“Marine environments are a potentially huge source for methane outputs to the atmosphere, but the surrounding microbes keep things in check by eating 75 percent of the methane before it gets to the atmosphere. These organisms are an important part of the underwater ecosystem, particularly as it relates to global gas cycles that are climate important in terms of greenhouse gas emissions,” said University of Delaware assistant professor of marine biosciences, Jennifer Biddle.

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Monoculture Threatens Margaritas

April 15th, 2015
Tequila’s soaring popularity is creating agricultural risks that may force its own collapse if current production practices continue.
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

15 Practical Tips for Sustainable Travel

April 13th, 2015
With more than a billion people traveling each year, how can we see the world without destroying it? The answer is sustainable travel or simply put, traveling responsibly.
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

How Urbanization Affects the Environment

April 6th, 2015
By 2050 it is predicted that up to 85% of the world will be urbanized and it is important this development is managed carefully so the detrimental effects are minimized. How will this affect wildlife when in the United States 275 species are already endangered as a result of urbanization?
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

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