Environmental Protection

Ecosystems


How Forests Thrive After Fires and Volcanoes

Forests hammered by windstorms, avalanches and wildfires may appear blighted, but a Washington State University researcher says such disturbances can be key to maximizing an area's biological diversity.

Crayfish Species Proves to Be the Ultimate Survivor

One of the most invasive species on the planet is able to source food from the land as well as its usual food sources in the water, research from Queen Mary, University of London has found.

Birds That Live With Varying Weather Sing More Versatile Songs

A new study of North American songbirds reveals that birds that live with fluctuating weather are more flexible singers.

Ancient Coral Reefs at Risk From Deforestation and Land Use Practices

A team of international scientists, including a researcher from The University of Western Australia, has found that soil erosion, land degradation and climate change pose a mounting threat to coastal reefs and their ecosystems in the western Indian Ocean.

Earth's Ecosystems Still Absorbing About Half the Greenhouse Gases Emitted by People

Earth's oceans, forests and other ecosystems continue to soak up about half the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by human activities, even as those emissions have increased, according to a study by University of Colorado and NOAA scientists published August 1 in the journal Nature.

Tropical Climate in the Antarctic

A study published in the journal Nature shows that tropical vegetation, including palms and relatives of today’s tropical Baobab trees, was growing on the coast of Antarctica 52 million years ago.

Skin Cancer Identified for the First Time in Wild Fish Populations

Widespread skin cancer has been identified for the first time in wild marine fish populations, new research has shown.

Underwater Ecosystem Inundated by Sediment Plume

Scuba-diver scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey are returning to the mouth of Washington’s Elwha River this week to explore and catalogue the effect of released sediment on marine life following the nation’s largest dam removal effort.



Coral Reef Thriving in Sediment-Laden Waters

Rapid rates of coral reef growth have been identified in sediment-laden marine environments, conditions previously believed to be detrimental to reef growth. A new study has established that Middle Reef -- part of Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef -- has grown more rapidly than many other reefs in areas with lower levels of sediment stress.

Antiques Dealer Pleads Guilty to Crimes Related to Trafficking Endangered Rhinoceros Horns

David Hausman, an antiques dealer in Manhattan, pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court to obstruction of justice and creating false records, in relation to illegal rhinoceros horn trafficking.

Cooling, Not Population Loss, Led to Fewer Fires After 1500 in New World

In the years after Columbus' voyage, burning of New World forests and fields diminished significantly -- a phenomenon some have attributed to decimation of native populations by European diseases. But a new University of Utah-led study suggests global cooling resulted in fewer fires because both preceded Columbus in many regions worldwide.

Chronic 2000-04 Drought May Be the New Normal

The chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004 left dying forests and depleted river basins in its wake and was the strongest in 800 years, scientists have concluded, but they say those conditions will become the "new normal" for most of the coming century.

Federal Court Awarding $1 Million to Preserve North Carolina Wetlands

North Carolina’s Waccamaw River watershed will benefit from a $1 million restitution order from a federal court, funding environmental projects to acquire and preserve wetlands in an area damaged by illegal releases of wastewater from a corporate hog farm.

Fluid Imaging Technologies Enables Rutgers Student to Study Ecosystem Restoration

Laboratory instrumentation manufacturer Fluid Imaging Technologies, Yarmouth, Maine (www.fluidimaging.com) has awarded its 2012 FlowCAM® Student Equipment and Travel Grant to Amanda Wenczel, a Ph. D. candidate in Ecology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Environmental Concerns Increasing Infectious Disease in Amphibians

Climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and invasive species are all involved in the global crisis of amphibian declines and extinctions, researchers suggest in a new analysis, but increasingly these forces are causing actual mortality in the form of infectious disease.

Wildfire Risk Rising Worldwide, Lloyd's Warns

Citing recent wildfires in Colorado, Texas, Russia, Greece, and Chile and a report from climate scientists at the University of California, Berkeley and Texas Tech University, a top official at Lloyd’s said insurers face new challenges from wildfires in many parts of the world.

Poisons On Public Lands Put Wildlife at Risk

Rat poison used on illegal marijuana farms may be sickening and killing the fisher, a rare forest carnivore that makes its home in some of the most remote areas of California, according to a team of researchers led by University of California, Davis, veterinary scientists.

Got Milk? Climate Change Means Stressed Cows in Southern U.S. May Have Less

“Cows are happy in parts of Northern California and not in Florida” is a good way to sum up the findings of new research from the University of Washington, said Yoram Bauman, best known as the “stand-up economist.”

Viruses May Be Causing Coral Bleaching and Decline Around the World

Scientists have discovered two viruses that appear to infect the single-celled microalgae that reside in corals and are important for coral growth and health, and they say the viruses could play a role in the serious decline of coral ecosystems around the world.

Improving Air Quality With No-Till Cropping

Studies by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists show some no-till management systems can lower atmospheric levels of PM10—soil particles and other material 10 microns or less in diameter that degrade air quality—that are eroded from crop fields via the wind.

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