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Latest Ecosystem Stories

2012-03-30 10:30:36

Extreme weather such as hurricanes, torrential downpours and droughts will become more frequent in pace with global warming. Consequently, this increases the risk for species extinction, especially in bio diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs and tropical rainforests. Human impact means that flora and fauna become extinct at a rate 100-1000 times higher than normal. Climate change has been deemed as one of the main causes of species depletion. A research team in theoretical biology at...

2012-03-28 00:49:59

The two-and-a-half-year TARA OCEANS expedition finishes on 31 March when the ship and crew reach Lorient, France. The arrival completes a journey of 60 000 miles across all the world´s major oceans to sample and investigate microorganisms in the largest ecosystem on the planet, reports Eric Karsenti in an editorial published today in Molecular Systems Biology. “Life and evolution started in the oceans, yet we know very little about the distribution of marine biodiversity,”...

2012-03-27 20:34:57

Paris-based DIVERSITAS to spearhead global investigation into the '5 Ws' of biodiversity loss and how to mitigate it Concluding a four-year global consultation, international experts have agreed on key efforts needed to reduce the on-going loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. On Day 2 of the Planet under Pressure conference in London (planetunderpressure2012.net) March 27, leaders of the global biodiversity research programme DIVERSITAS described the urgent need to...

Mesquite Trees Displacing Southwestern Grasslands
2012-03-19 04:15:21

As the desert Southwest becomes hotter and drier, semi-arid grasslands are slowly being replaced by a landscape dominated by mesquite trees, such as Prosopis velutina, and other woody shrubs, a team of University of Arizona researchers has found. In a "leaf-to-landscape" approach, the team combined physiological experiments on individual plants and measurements across entire ecosystems to quantify how well grasslands, compared to mesquite trees and woody shrubs, cope with heat and water...

2012-03-06 23:54:01

Microorganisms play pivotal functions in nature, particularly within aquatic ecosystems. Whether in an ocean or a lake, they are key players in the food chain and the vitality of individual ecosystems. A team of researchers led by Arezoo M. Ardekani, the Rev. John Cardinal O'Hara, C.S.C., Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has shown that density stratification, a frequent feature of aquatic environments, has important ecological...

Classic Model For Ecological Stability Revised
2012-02-20 04:32:08

Predator-prey relationships stabilize diverse ecosystems, according to calculation A famous mathematical formula which shook the world of ecology 40 years ago has been revisited and refined by two University of Chicago researchers in the current issue of Nature. In 1972, physicist Robert May rankled ecologists by publishing a simple model describing the relationship between diversity and stability in a theoretical ecosystem. Though ecologists had long believed that richer, more diverse...

2012-01-30 11:48:56

Study suggests that plant biodiversity buffers negative climate change effects and drylands desertification An international team of researchers including Dr. Bertrand Boeken of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggest in a new study that plant biodiversity preservation is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands. The study titled, "Plant species richness and ecosystem multi-functionality...

Diverse Ecosystems Are Crucial Climate Change Buffer
2012-01-13 04:37:10

Preserving diverse plant life will help buffer the negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands Preserving diverse plant life will be crucial to buffer the negative effects of climate change and desertification in the world's drylands, according to a new landmark study. The findings of the multi-author study, published January 12 in the journal Science, are based on samples of ecosystems in every continent except Antarctica. They confirm for the first time that...

2012-01-12 14:37:24

High-priority sites for biodiversity conservation yield many of the world's ecosystem services, and ensuring that the stewards of such areas were paid by their beneficiaries could substantially alleviate poverty Land areas that are a priority for wildlife conservation provide relatively high levels of ecosystem services such as pollination, water purification, food production, and climate regulation, so safeguarding them is expected to benefit people. Assessing these benefits to...

2012-01-09 11:33:16

Those making land use decisions to reduce the harmful effects of climate change have focused almost exclusively on greenhouse gases — analyzing, for example, how much carbon dioxide is released when a forest is cleared to grow crops. A new study in Nature Climate Change aims to present a more complete picture — to incorporate other characteristics of ecosystems that also influence climate. "We know that forests store a lot of carbon and clearing a forest releases carbon dioxide...


Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.