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Latest Ecosystem Stories

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2011-05-02 05:55:00

Researchers eavesdropping on complex signals from a remote Wisconsin lake have detected what they say is an unmistakable warning--a death knell--of the impending collapse of the lake's aquatic ecosystem. The finding, reported April 28 in the journal Science by a team of researchers led by Stephen Carpenter, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), is the first experimental evidence that radical change in an ecosystem can be detected in advance, possibly in time to...

2011-04-28 21:27:55

Researchers eavesdropping on complex signals emanating from a remote Wisconsin lake have detected what they say is an unmistakable warning "” a death knell "” of the impending collapse of the lake's aquatic ecosystem. The finding, reported today (April 29) in the journal Science by a team of researchers led by Stephen Carpenter, a limnologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the first experimental evidence that radical change in an ecosystem can be detected in advance,...

2011-04-16 00:47:04

A new paper appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggests that people, governments, and institutions that shape the way people interact may be just as important for determining environmental conditions as the environmental processes themselves. "Tipping points," qualitative changes in an ecosystem that often result in reduced ecosystem health and are difficult and costly to reverse increasingly concern environmental scientists. The prevailing assumption...

2011-04-06 11:50:30

Scientists studied the global influence of human population on corals reefs and were surprised to find that highly diverse reef fish systems are the most vulnerable to human threats In an unprecedented collaborative analysis published in the journal PLoS Biology, scientists from 49 nations demonstrated that the ability of reef fish systems to produce goods and services to humanity increases rapidly with the number of species. However, growing human populations hamper the ability of reefs to...

2011-04-01 10:30:00

BOSTON, April 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thomas H. Kunz, Warren Distinguished Professor and director of Boston University's Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology, and a team of researchers, including Elizabeth Braun de Torrez, graduate student in BU's Department of Biology; Dana M. Bauer, assistant professor in BU's Department of Geography and Environment; Tatyana Lobova, assistant professor in Old Dominion University's Department of Biology; and Theodore H. Fleming, emeritus...

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2011-03-18 06:30:00

By Lily Whiteman, National Science Foundation Newly discovered ancient, mummified trees may reveal clues about future ecosystem responses to climate change When in Quttinirpaaq National Park in the Canadian Arctic, Ohio State University Earth scientist Joel Barker initially spotted some pieces of dead trees scattered on the barren ground near a glacier. Immediately, he knew he had found something akin to a looking glass peering into the Arctic's ecological past. The Hazen Plateau on Ellesmere...

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2011-03-08 09:32:43

By David Malmquist, Virginia Institute of Marine Science An international team of researchers including professor Emmett Duffy of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has published a comprehensive new analysis showing that loss of plant biodiversity disrupts the fundamental services that ecosystems provide to humanity. Plant communities"”threatened by development, invasive species, climate change, and other factors"”provide humans with food, help purify water supplies,...

2011-02-21 14:42:14

Led by scientists at Woods Hole Research Center A new study released today in the EarlyView of Ecology Letters addresses forest productivity trends in Alaska, highlighting a shift in biomes caused by a warming climate. The findings, conducted by scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center and three other institutions based in Alaska and France, linked satellite observations with an extensive and unique tree-ring data set. Patterns observed support current hypotheses regarding increased...

2011-02-21 14:22:10

Tropical deforestation is intimately linked with urban dynamics and needs to be considered along with the role and effect of national and regional policies on land use decisions, and the dynamics of economic globalization in the next generation of sustainability science research, according to an Arizona State University geographer. "You just can't think of isolated farmers operating out there by themselves. They are linked to whatever are the closest urban areas," noted B.L. Turner II, whose...

2011-02-18 16:55:44

A team of research biologists headed by Thomas H. Kunz, professor of biology and director of the Center of Ecology and Conservation Biology at Boston University, will conduct a symposium on the emerging scientific discipline of aeroecology at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting. Aeroecology is a new discipline whose unifying concept is a focus on the aerosphere and the myriad organisms that inhabit and depend on this aerial environment for...