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Latest Ecosystem Stories

Disappearing Savannahs Threaten African Lions
2012-12-04 15:53:53

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online While lions have always been known as the kings of the jungle, the big cats actually roam mostly on Africa´s savannahs. And a new report from Duke University researchers suggests that those friendly environs have been disappearing at an alarming rate. According to the report, which was published recently in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, 75 percent of the continent´s savannahs have been compromised by human...

2012-12-03 13:48:40

Around the world, the effects of global climate change are increasingly evident and difficult to ignore. However, evaluations of the local effects of climate change are often confounded by natural and human induced factors that overshadow the effects of changes in climate on ecosystems. In the December issue of the journal BioScience, a group of scientists writing on long-term studies of watershed and natural elevation gradients at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire and in...

Antarctic Brine Found To Harbor Ancient Microbes
2012-11-27 09:41:33

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A pioneering new study, which included scientists from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and Michigan State University among others, has revealed for the first time a viable community of bacteria that survives and ekes out a living in a dark, salty and subfreezing environment. This community is beneath over 65 feet of ice in one of Antarctica's most isolated lakes; Lake Vida. The...

2012-11-26 14:15:23

Humans may be able to avert major environmental catastrophes that now loom if we learn to make better use of ℠borrowed time´, an eminent marine biologist will tell the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra tomorrow. “There is mounting evidence that we have already passed or may soon pass several critical boundaries affecting life on Earth, as well as our own future wellbeing,” the director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook...

2012-11-20 22:51:03

Understanding warming requires long term studies that account for real-life complexity In the northern hardwood forest, climate change is poised to reduce the viability of the maple syrup industry, spread wildlife diseases and tree pests, and change timber resources. And, according to a new BioScience paper just released by twenty-one scientists, without long-term studies at the local scale–we will be ill-prepared to predict and manage these effects. Following an exhaustive review...

Method To Predict Environmental Collapse Created By Scientists
2012-11-19 13:55:37

University of Southampton Scientists at the University of Southampton are pioneering a technique to predict when an ecosystem is likely to collapse, which may also have potential for foretelling crises in agriculture, fisheries or even social systems. The researchers have applied a mathematical model to a real world situation, the environmental collapse of a lake in China, to help prove a theory which suggests an ecosystem 'flickers', or fluctuates dramatically between healthy and...

2012-11-08 00:46:57

A new study led by researchers from the University of York suggests protected areas in East Africa are not conserving plants such as the iconic Acacia tree. Acacia, the thorny flat-topped tree that characterizes the African savannas, is an important component of ecosystem diversity. However, the researchers found that the majority of Acacia biodiversity 'hotspots' receive little protection through the protected area network, which includes national parks, nature and forest reserves. The...

Ecological Tipping Points Examined In Hopes Of Preventing Them
2012-10-31 09:26:37

University of California - Santa Barbara Predation by otters keeps urchin populations in check, allowing kelp —— a favorite food of urchins —— to flourish. But what if otters were harvested to near extinction for their fur? The resulting overabundance of urchins would decimate the kelp forest, leaving little food or shelter for fish and invertebrates. And so it may go, as declines in these species are likely to affect others. Such is the potential trickle-down...

Health Of Marine Ecosystems Associated With Health Of Manatees
2012-10-03 12:40:10

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of scientists, led by George Mason University, have conducted a long-term study of manatees which may be a benchmark in determining health threats to marine mammals. The study, which ran over ten years in Belize, examined the behavioral ecology, life history and health of manatees in an area relatively undisturbed by humans. “Manatees are the proverbial ℠canaries in the mineshaft,´ as they serve as indicators...


Word of the Day
bellycheer
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".
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