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Latest Ecosystem Stories

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...

2012-05-03 19:57:40

Unprecedented long-term study conducted over 14-year period at U's Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve Vegetation, such as a patch of prairie or a forest stand, is more productive in the long run when more plant species are present, a new University of Minnesota study shows. The unprecedented 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 study found that every...

2012-05-02 21:00:36

Loss of biodiversity appears to impact ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution and other major forms of environmental stress, according to a new study from an international research team. The study is the first comprehensive effort to directly compare the impacts of biological diversity loss to the anticipated effects of a host of other human-caused environmental changes. The results highlight the need for stronger local, national and international efforts to protect...

2012-04-18 20:40:53

New study shows that plant species living in urban backyards are closer related to each other and live shorter than plant species in the countryside Minneapolis/ Halle/Saale. Cities in both, the US and Europe harbor more plant species than rural areas. However, plant species of urban areas are closer related to each other and often share similar functions. Consequently, urban ecosystems should be more sensitive towards environmental impacts than rural ecosystems. This is concluded by...

Cod Has A Key Role In The Whole Baltic Sea
2012-04-18 10:48:24

A new investigation put in evidence the key role of cod as regulator of the whole Baltic Sea ecosystem. The study shows that when the cod population in the central Baltic increases, it spreads into larger areas and spills over into adjacent marginal systems where it usually does not occur, as for example the Gulf of Riga. On the other hand, when the cod population size in the central Baltic decreases, it concentrates into the southern Baltic Sea and disappears from the other systems where...

Exclusive Species More Prevalent On Higher Altitude Islands
2012-04-11 03:47:30

In the ecosystems of islands with high mountains, endemic animal and vegetation species are twice as isolated, making them even more exclusive. A European study with Spanish involvement confirms this, which adds the factor of altitude to wider biodiversity. Oceanic islands are born, they grow, they are eroded and they disappear beneath the sea. Throughout this process, which takes millions of years, the islands change form and therefore change their 'tenants'. The species adapt to the new...

Everything Within Balance: As Predators Decrease, Ecosystems Suffer
2012-04-10 12:37:03

As predators dwindle in the Northern Hemisphere, populations of their would-be prey begin to flourish. A new survey suggests such large populations are harmful to their specific ecosystems. Scientists from Oregon State University examined 42 studies from the past 50 years and found that as wolves disappear from the northern United States, Canada, and Alaska, populations of moose and deer swell. The resulting boom in moose and deer populations can be harmful to other living things in the...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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