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Latest Ecoregions Stories

Better Protection From Humans Needed For Antarctica's Ice-Free Land
2014-06-19 06:55:51

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Despite the harsh conditions, the number of visitors arriving in the Antarctic is soaring each year. This worries the world's leading environmental scientists who say that Antarctica's ice-free land needs better protection from human activities. Of the 55 Antarctic areas designated for protection, all of them lie close to human activity sites and seven are at a high risk for biological invasions. According to the study, published in...

Galapagos Islands evolution
2014-05-08 03:00:51

Wiley Research News The Galapagos Islands have an iconic status in the history of evolutionary study, now new research shows that the islands’ own geological past may have influenced the evolution of the chain’s native species. Writing in the Journal of Biogeography, Jason Ali and Jonathan Aitchison explore how fluctuating sea level changes over thousands of years impacted the island chain’s ecology. They estimate that when the sea retreated, most recently 20,000 years ago,...

NASA Satellite Data Show Drought May Take Toll On Congo Rainforest
2014-04-24 03:15:45

[ Watch The Video: Drought Effects On Congo Rainforest Cover Shown By NASA Satellites ] NASA A new analysis of NASA satellite data shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade. The study, led by Liming Zhou of University at Albany, State University of New York, shows between 2000 and 2012 the decline affected an increasing amount of forest area and intensified. The...

Exploring Ways To Protect Fish From Barotrauma
2014-04-16 15:35:48

Tom Rickey, PNNL Fish-friendly hydropower is the goal of international team Think of the pressure change you feel when an elevator zips you up multiple floors in a tall building. Imagine how you'd feel if that elevator carried you all the way up to the top of Mt. Everest — in the blink of an eye. That's similar to what many fish experience when they travel through the turbulent waters near a dam. For some, the change in pressure is simply too big, too fast, and they die or are...

Ineffective Management Causing Tropical Grassy Ecosystems To Be Threatened
2014-03-13 14:50:41

University of Liverpool Tropical grassy areas in India, Australia, and South America store around 15% of the world’s carbon Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that tropical grassy areas, which play a critical role in the world’s ecology, are under threat as a result of ineffective management. According to research, published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, they are often misclassified and this leads to degradation of the land which has a detrimental effect...

Shrubs Invade Remnant Hill Prairies
2014-03-11 16:18:39

University of Illinois Perched high on the bluffs of the big river valleys in the Midwest are some of the last remnants of never-farmed prairie grasslands. These patches, edged by forest, are slowly being taken over by shrubs. A recent University of Illinois study examined the soil microbes on nine patches, also called "balds," that had varying degrees of shrub invasion and found an interesting shift in the composition of the microbial community. "When we looked at the soil samples...

Grazing Animals May Protect Biodiversity In Over-Fertilized Grasslands
2014-03-11 09:34:12

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The Nutrient Network has released a new, comparative study of grasslands on six continents, to be published in an upcoming issue of Nature, that suggests it might be possible to counteract the human-made overdose of fertilizer that threatens to permanently alter the biodiversity of the world's native prairies. The key finding of this study, carried out at 40 sites globally, is simple: let grazing animals crop the excess growth of...

Butterfly Populations Might Be Saved By Land Management
2013-11-18 17:33:04

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online Butterfly populations across the world are in the decline, and researchers say that land management could be the key to counteracting the pattern. Researchers from Sweden and Germany writing in the journal Nature Conservation reviewed effects of land management on butterfly diversity using historical and current surveys over the past 100 years. The study focused on systematic surveys of butterfly population trends and extinction...

Overgrazing Is Turning Parts Of Mongolian Steppe Into Desert
2013-09-06 13:27:48

Oregon State University Overgrazing by millions of sheep and goats is the primary cause of degraded land in the Mongolian Steppe, one of the largest remaining grassland ecosystems in the world, Oregon State University researchers say in a new report. Using a new satellite-based vegetation monitoring system, researchers found that about 12 percent of the biomass has disappeared in this country that’s more than twice the size of Texas, and 70 percent of the grassland ecosystem is now...


Latest Ecoregions Reference Libraries

Great Basin Shrub Steppe
2013-04-19 20:40:07

The Great Basin shrub steppe ecoregion, located within the Deserts and xeric shrublands Biome, incorporates a variety of xeric shrub-steppe sub-ecoregions in the area of the Great Basin in the Western United States. It’s within the North American Desert area, and includes a great deal of Nevada, northeastern and eastern California east of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range rain shadows, and some parts of Utah and Idaho. The Great Basin Desert and semi-arid non-desert xeric shrubland...

Central tall grasslands
2013-04-19 18:16:33

The Central tall grasslands are a prairie ecoregion of the Midwestern United States, a portion of the North American Great Plains. It covers a large region of southern Minnesota, most of Iowa, and a small portion of eastern South Dakota and a narrow strip going through eastern Nebraska and northeastern Kansas. The rainfall here is 1,000 millimeters per year, which is higher than most of the Great Plains. The Northern tall grasslands are located to the north and have fewer and different...

Central and Southern mixed grasslands
2013-04-19 16:42:25

The Central and Southern mixed grasslands are a prairie ecoregion of the central United States, a portion of the North American Great Plains. This is a vast grassland area with few trees running north to south from central Nebraska through central Kansas and western Oklahoma to north central Texas, covering about 282,000 square kilometers. This is a transition zone between the Central tall grasslands and Central forest-grasslands transition ecoregions towards the east and the Western short...

Northern short grasslands
2013-04-18 23:18:40

The Northern short grasslands is only 1 of 867 terrestrial ecoregions defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. This ecoregion includes portions of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the American Great Plains states of Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The Northern short grasslands have a semi-arid climate, with the annual average precipitation ranging from 270mm to 450mm. The winters here are cold, with an average temperature of 14 degrees...

Northern tall grasslands
2013-04-18 23:14:41

The Northern tall grasslands is only 1 of 867 terrestrial ecoregions defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. This ecoregion largely follows the Red River Valley in the Canadian province of Manitoba and the American states of Minnesota and North Dakota. The grasslands have a humid continental climate with moderate precipitation, normally between 450 and 700 mm. The winters are very cold, with an average temperature of 9.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and the summer are warm with the mean...

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Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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