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Latest Ecosystem Stories

2012-06-22 11:59:49

Symposium takes on the ecological science underpinning dollar assessments of ecosystem services at the 97th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Portland, Oregon How much is a stream worth? Can we put a dollar value on a wetland? Some conservation proponents have moved to establish the economic value of "ecosystem services," the benefits that nature provides to people. The approach translates the beauty and utility of a wetland into pounds of phosphorus removed from...

2012-06-21 20:37:36

University of Southampton researchers are pioneering a new way of measuring and monitoring the impact of industrial and agricultural development on the environment. Working in collaboration with East China Normal University, the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology and the University of Dundee, the team has created the world's first long-term record of ecosystem health, which examines the past condition of environmental resources in China's Yangtze basin region, and helps develop...

2012-06-15 11:34:48

'Green' market initiatives are increasing poverty; local ecosystem stewardship must be nurtured instead 'Green grabbing' - the rapidly-growing appropriation of land and resources in the name of 'green ' biofuels, carbon offsetting schemes, conservation efforts and eco-tourism initiatives — is forcing people from their homelands and increasing poverty, new research has found. Ecosystems being 'asset-stripped' for profit is likely to cause dispossession and further poverty amongst...

The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse Are Saddling Up
2012-06-07 12:17:11

Michael Crumbliss Twenty years ago scientists met at the Earth Summit in Rio to examine the climate and ecology of the Earth and man´s impacts. Two decades later 17 prominent ecologists have released a paper summarizing the evidence of the 1000´s of ecological studies undertaken in since 1992. In short they decided that the evidence is overwhelming and consistent. The danger of a catastrophic ecological crash is looming and is far more immediate than previously believed. In...

Street Lights Affect Delicate Ecosystems
2012-05-24 04:26:42

Brett Smith for RedOrbit.com Civilization has long been derided for intruding upon the habitats of wild animals, and even man´s smaller neighbors have been affected by the wheels of progress. Another measure of this impact can be seen in how street lighting is having a transformative effect on communities of insects and other invertebrates living near them, according to researchers at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. A report published in Biology Letters showed...

Drought-sensitive Southern Hemisphere Regions May Experience Even Less Rainfall
2012-05-21 03:22:30

Increasing aridity could lead to major problems for societies and ecosystems in already-arid places Warming climate may mean less rainfall for drought-sensitive regions of the Southern Hemisphere, according to results just published by an international research team. Geoscientist Curt Stager of Paul Smith's College in Paul Smiths, N.Y., and colleagues found that rainfall in South Africa during the last 1,400 years was affected by temperature--with more rain falling during cool periods...

Fragile Land-sea Ecological Chain Documented
2012-05-18 13:06:44

Douglas McCauley and Paul DeSalles did not set out to discover one of the longest ecological interaction chains ever documented. But that's exactly what they and a team of researchers — all current or former Stanford students and faculty — did in a new study published in Scientific Reports. Their findings shed light on how human disturbance of the natural world may lead to widespread, yet largely invisible, disruptions of ecological interaction chains. This, in turn, highlights...

2012-05-16 21:59:03

Findings show need to reevaluate fungicide safety, researchers say Chlorothalonil, one of the world's most common fungicides used pervasively on food crops and golf courses, was lethal to a wide variety of freshwater organisms in a new study, University of South Florida researchers said Wednesday. Biologists Taegan McMahon and Jason Rohr, co-authors of the study published in the journal Ecology Letters, report that chlorothalonil killed amphibians, snails, zooplankton, algae, and...

2012-05-16 10:53:12

New research shows how bacteria evolve to increase ecosystem functioning by recycling each others waste. The study provides some of the first evidence for how interactions between species shape evolution when there is a diverse community. Predicting how species and ecosystems will respond to new environments is an important task for biology. However, most studies of evolutionary adaptation have considered single species in isolation, despite the fact that all species live in diverse...

Plant Diversity Key To Maintaining Productive Vegetation
2012-05-04 04:01:35

Long-term study finds that each species plays a role in maintaining a productive ecosystem Vegetation, such as a patch of prairie or a forest stand, is more productive in the long run when more plant species are present, results of a new study show. The long-term study of plant biodiversity found that each species plays a role in maintaining a productive ecosystem, especially when a long time horizon is considered. The research found that every additional species in a plot...