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Latest Biomes Stories

Plant Production Could Drop As Climate Change Affects Soil Nutrients
2013-10-31 15:27:06

Northern Arizona University As drylands of the world become even drier, water will not be the only resource in short supply. Levels of nutrients in the soil will likely be affected, and their imbalance could affect the lives of one-fifth of the world’s population. That includes people living in Arizona, who may be in for a dustier future. The findings are presented in a study published in Nature that details how soil changes may occur and discusses the implications. Co-author...

What Can Ancient Farmers Teach Us About Saving The Amazon?
2012-04-10 10:52:12

For the better part of the last half-century, the Amazonian forests have been plagued by deforestation from human farming activities, and now, new research suggests that farming without the use of fire, like the indigenous populations did in the Pre-Columbian times, could be the key ingredient in feeding people and managing sustainable land in the Amazon and other regions threatened by deforestation. For hundreds of years before Columbus arrived in Central America, indigenous cultures...

2012-03-16 09:35:10

The city of Manila holds the human world record for the most densely populated space and now an international team of ecologists are seeking the natural equivalent, the most species rich area on earth. The team's findings, published in the Journal of Vegetation Science, reveal the record is contested between South America's tropical rainforests and Central European meadows. "The coexistence of large numbers of species in one space and the questions it raises have long fascinated...

Image 1 - Savannas And Forests In A Battle Of The Biomes: Princeton
2011-11-01 08:09:10

Climate change, land use and other human-driven factors could pit savannas and forests against each other by altering the elements found by Princeton University researchers to stabilize the two. Without this harmony, the habitats, or biomes, could increasingly encroach on one other to the detriment of the people and animals that rely on them. The Princeton researchers reported this month in the journal Science that savanna wildfires, combined with climate conditions, maintain the distinct...

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2011-08-04 13:22:04

Scientists report they have found that savannas prevailed most of East African sites where human ancestors and their ape relatives evolved for the past 6 million years. The University of Utah scientists used chemical isotopes in ancient soil to measure prehistoric tree cover in order to make this discovery. "We've been able to quantify how much shade was available in the geological past," geochemist Thure Cerling, senior author of a study of the new method in the Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011...

2010-11-29 18:27:20

DNA evidence supports a coastal northeastern Atlantic glacial refugium for a boreal tree species Can a road-trip across eastern North America, ancient ice sheets, and DNA samples unlock the ancestral history of jack pine trees? Julie Godbout and colleagues from the Universit© Laval, Quebec, Canada, certainly hoped that driving across northeastern U.S. and Canada to collect samples from jack pine trees would shed some light on how glaciers may have impacted present-day pine genetics....

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2009-10-29 08:30:00

Fire is often thought of something that trees should be protected from, but a new study suggests that some trees may themselves contribute to the likelihood of wildfires in order to promote their own abundance at the expense of their competitors. The study, which appears in the December 2009 issue of the journal The American Naturalist, says that positive feedback loops between fire and trees associated with savannas can make fires more likely in these ecosystems. "We used a mathematical...

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2009-06-24 11:05:00

A team of scientists that reviewed the size and locations of more than 7000 species of plants have determined a global pattern of plant height, BBC News reported. They've found that tropical plants like to grow tall, while temperate zone plants are much smaller in comparison. And plant species growing at the equator are around 30 times taller on average than those at higher latitudes. Rainfall seems to have a bigger influence on plant height than temperature or soil fertility and the...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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