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Latest Disturbance Stories

Northern Biomass Of Earth Has Been Mapped And Measured
2013-06-26 07:53:13

ESA The biomass of the northern hemisphere’s forests has been mapped with greater precision than ever before thanks to satellites, improving our understanding of the carbon cycle and our prediction of Earth’s future climate. Accurately measuring forest biomass and how it varies are key elements for taking stock of forests and vegetation. Since forests assist in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, mapping forest biomass is also important for understanding the global carbon...

2013-01-15 10:46:33

A research team involving several scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder has found an unexpected silver lining in the devastating pine beetle outbreaks ravaging the West: Such events do not harm water quality in adjacent streams as scientists had previously believed. According to CU-Boulder team member Professor William Lewis, the new study shows that smaller trees and other vegetation that survive pine beetle invasions along waterways increase their uptake of nitrate, a common...

2012-11-20 11:49:20

Report finds that disturbances are shifting within beargrass habitat Beargrass is an ecologically, culturally, and economically important plant in the Western United States and, for the first time, landowners, managers, and harvesters now have a comprehensive report about the species. The report, Natural and Cultural History of Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax), published by the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station, identifies critical knowledge gaps and areas for future...

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2012-09-09 11:35:57

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Human activities and disturbances can put a significant amount of stress on local environments and a new research review has shown that the functional diversity in arid, desert environments can be affected by the hand of man. According the report published in the Journal of Arid Environments, mammalian communities living in dry ecosystems are "drastically changing" as a result of human activities. "We report for the first...

2012-08-07 23:19:03

Forest succession helps rare plants and animals 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. In fact, says Mark Swanson, land managers can alter their practices to enhance such diversity, creating areas with a wide variety of species, including rare and endangered plants and animals. "The 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, for...

Image 1 - Past Disturbances Obscure Warming Impacts On Forests
2012-03-05 10:46:29

Past disturbances, such as logging, can obscure the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. So reports a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper, exploring nitrogen dynamics, found that untangling climate impacts from other factors can be difficult, even when scientists have access to decades of data on a forest's environmental conditions. Co-author Dr. Gene E. Likens of the Cary Institute comments, "Understanding how climate change is...

2010-11-29 14:59:23

Ecological disturbances are not necessarily a bad thing "“ deliberate disturbances can actually be used to preserve or even increase biodiversity in a nature reserve. The outcome depends on countless different factors, but many mistakes are made by those working with ecological disturbances and biodiversity, claims a researcher from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden). "Nobody knows exactly what biodiversity is, and so different researchers test different measures of it and can draw...

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2010-06-30 08:27:56

Hurricanes, wildfires and influxes of pollutants create disturbances that can put ecological systems under extreme stress. Ecologists had believed that at times like these, competition between species becomes less important as all struggle to survive. But a new laboratory study of microscopic organisms subjected to varying degrees of acoustic disturbance now challenges that assumption "“ and could lead ecologists to reconsider how organisms compete during challenging times. "The...

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2010-04-13 09:15:00

The area burned by fire each year is expected to double "“ or even triple "“ if temperatures increase by about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit (2 C) in our region, according to University of Washington and USDA Forest Service research. Such temperature increases could occur in as little as 40 years, according to projections from the UW's Climate Impacts Group. "I'm not a doom-and-gloom kind of guy but this is a great concern," said Dave Peterson, a UW professor of forest resources and a...

2007-11-24 06:00:20

By Gilliam, Frank S Despite a growing awareness that the herbaceous layer serves a special role in maintaining the structure and function of forests, this stratum remains an underappreciated aspect of forest ecosystems. In this article I review and synthesize information concerning the herb layer's structure, composition, and dynamics to emphasize its role as an integral component of forest ecosystems. Because species diversity is highest in the herb layer among all forest strata, forest...


Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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