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Ecology / Conservation posts

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  • February 5, 2016
  • 03:27 PM
  • 57 views

Man-made underwater sound may have wider ecosystem effects

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Underwater sound linked to human activity could alter the behaviour of seabed creatures that play a vital role in marine ecosystems, according to new research from the University of Southampton. The study found that exposure to sounds that resemble shipping traffic and offshore construction activities results in behavioural responses in certain invertebrate species that live in the marine sediment.

... Read more »

  • February 5, 2016
  • 09:09 AM
  • 56 views

Greenland ice sheets losing ability to absorb meltwater

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Greenland has long held sea-level rise at bay, absorbing melted water into spongy upper layers. But new research has found that icy covers to these layers are preventing water absorption and driving water into the oceans.... Read more »

Machguth, H., MacFerrin, M., van As, D., Box, J., Charalampidis, C., Colgan, W., Fausto, R., Meijer, H., Mosley-Thompson, E., & van de Wal, R. (2016) Greenland meltwater storage in firn limited by near-surface ice formation. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2899  

  • February 5, 2016
  • 05:21 AM
  • 50 views

Disentangling the mechanisms behind climate effects on a key zooplankton species

by sceintists from the Marine group at CEES in Marine Science blog




A recently paper published in
PNAS, members of the CEES Marine Group explores potential climate effects on
Calanus finmarchicus, a key zooplankton species in the North Atlantic. The paper shows how the combination of shallow mixed-layer-depth and increased wind apparently increases chlorophyll biomass in spring, and in turn
C. finmarchicus biomass in summer. These findings strongly suggest bottom-up effects of food availability on zoopla........ Read more »

Kvile, K., Langangen, Ø., Prokopchuk, I., Stenseth, N., & Stige, L. (2016) Disentangling the mechanisms behind climate effects on zooplankton. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201525130. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1525130113  

  • February 2, 2016
  • 12:35 PM
  • 74 views

Weird small holes in the woods

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Within the ground beneath our feet lie dark cavities of various shapes and sizes. They're home to pale and eyeless creatures living a midnight existence. Natural holes in the ground, filled with air and/or water, can be roughly categorized into three types based on the particular habitat they provide for subterranean organisms:(1) Caves are large, deep, and tend not to contain much organic matter for organisms to munch on. They're often found in karst and volcanic areas prone to developing big h........ Read more »

  • February 1, 2016
  • 10:28 AM
  • 52 views

A True Underdog…or Undermouse

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Spencer Henkel People love a good underdog story, and nowhere is that image more embodied than in the rodents that live in deserts. In the desert there are two main problems that animals must face: it is way too hot and way too dry. You would think that rodents, the smallest of mammals, would not have much difficulty surviving in this kind of habitat. You might think that they would need far less food and water than their larger neighbors like reptiles and birds. Unfortunately, this is no........ Read more »

  • January 29, 2016
  • 12:29 PM
  • 106 views

Lizards Overcome Lack of Mirrors to Find Rocks That Match Their Colors

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Think about the last time you stood squinting in front of a full-length mirror, trying to decide whether the colors in your outfit went together. Now imagine you're a reptile, and you wouldn't even understand a mirror if you saw one, but somehow you need to find a rock that matches your skin color. Otherwise you might get eaten by a bird today. Oh, and the skin color you need to match is on your back.

Certain lizards in Greece manage to pull this off every day, though how they do it is a ... Read more »

  • January 29, 2016
  • 08:39 AM
  • 110 views

The power of poop: revolutionizing wastewater treatment

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A commentary in Nature proposes a complete overhaul of how we treat our wastewater. Among the benefits would be new energy-producing industry and reduce greenhouse gas emissions!... Read more »

Li, W., Yu, H., & Rittmann, B. (2015) Chemistry: Reuse water pollutants. Nature, 528(7580), 29-31. DOI: 10.1038/528029a  

  • January 25, 2016
  • 11:52 AM
  • 132 views

Zika virus and the negligence towards health research in poor countries

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll About a year ago, almost nobody on the whole world was aware of the existence of a virus named Zika virus and the illness it may cause in humans, the Zika fever or Zika disease. But … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 23, 2016
  • 12:25 AM
  • 126 views

Top four threats to the ocean, according to marine scientists

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Overfishing, global warming, waste and contamination, and ocean acidification are at the forefront of scientists concerns.... Read more »

  • January 22, 2016
  • 10:21 AM
  • 118 views

When good intentions don't mix: designing policy to stop global warming and improve clean cookware access

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Carbon fees are a tremendous policy tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But what is their effect on other public health missions, like providing cleaner cookware to the poor in developing countries. We take a look at new research designing policy to meet both public health needs.... Read more »

  • January 21, 2016
  • 08:35 AM
  • 9 views

Climate change and ocean productivity

by sceintists from the Marine group at CEES in Marine Science blog




Marine phytoplankton contribute nearly 50% to global primary production, support zooplankton production and play a vital role in regulating Carbon sequestration. Phytoplankton productivity fluctuations are caused by various direct and indirect effects of temperature, the balance of which show large-scale geographical patterns.

... Read more »

Feng, J., Durant, J., Stige, L., Hessen, D., Hjermann, D., Zhu, L., Llope, M., & Stenseth, N. (2015) Contrasting correlation patterns between environmental factors and chlorophyll levels in the global ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 29(12), 2095-2107. DOI: 10.1002/2015GB005216  

  • January 20, 2016
  • 02:38 PM
  • 109 views

2°C or hotter

by dominicwhite in Two Degrees or Under

The nations of the world have agreed to aim for a 2°C limit to global warming. Whether you think they can make it happen is one thing – whether a 2°C temperature increase is as moderate as it sounds is another....... Read more »

  • January 19, 2016
  • 12:20 PM
  • 46 views

What Is Citizen Science Good For? Birds, Butterflies, Big Data

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



No matter how unhip you feel wearing waders or hauling a butterfly net, citizen science is cool. That's obvious from the boom in online projects that let you count penguins, hunt planets, or identify animals in the Serengeti, as well as the scientific papers using these data. Now researchers in Sweden have looked into the science of citizen science itself. How much of this volunteer research is really happening, they asked—and what is it producing?

Christopher Kullenberg and Dick Kaspe........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2016
  • 11:29 AM
  • 143 views

Catch Him If You Can

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Caitlin LockardWhen playing Frisbee with your dog, do you ever wonder how they have the ability to catch it so effortlessly? The art of being able to figure out where something like a Frisbee is headed requires some crazy math skills. Ostracods are one kind of animal that puts their wicked math skills to the test while finding a mate.The image above of a female ostracod was provided by Trevor Rivers.You’ve never heard of an ostracod you say? Ostracods are small crustaceans, which basicall........ Read more »

  • January 17, 2016
  • 10:11 PM
  • 151 views

A Primer on Linear Regression and its Associated Misconceptions

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

I wanted to start the year off with post about math. I know, I know, math is an intimidating way to start the year, but don't run off yet! I swear that this will be painless and we will even learn something new! We are going to keep things simple and focus on an elegant paper that presents some misconceptions about a complicated topic. This topic is multiple linear regression...... Read more »

  • January 17, 2016
  • 08:58 PM
  • 107 views

Spreading climate misinformation like butter

by dominicwhite in Two Degrees or Under

A new study in PNAS concludes that echo chambers and confirmation bias spread misinformation. The authors “readable summary”: The wide availability of user-provided content in online social media facilitates the aggregation of people around common interests, worldviews, and narratives. However,...... Read more »

Del Vicario, M., Bessi, A., Zollo, F., Petroni, F., Scala, A., Caldarelli, G., Stanley, H., & Quattrociocchi, W. (2016) The spreading of misinformation online. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201517441. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1517441113  

  • January 17, 2016
  • 10:00 AM
  • 172 views

Week Two In Review: Open-Access Science | 11 to 17 Jan

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

The world’s largest canyon discovered hidden under the Antarctic ice, citizen science is on the up, new genetic secrets of Ötzi Iceman, and the social lives of chimps. Here are 5 of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »

Jamieson, S., Ross, N., Greenbaum, J., Young, D., Aitken, A., Roberts, J., Blankenship, D., Bo, S., & Siegert, M. (2015) An extensive subglacial lake and canyon system in Princess Elizabeth Land, East Antarctica. Geology. DOI: 10.1130/G37220.1  

Moeller, A., Foerster, S., Wilson, M., Pusey, A., Hahn, B., & Ochman, H. (2016) Social behavior shapes the chimpanzee pan-microbiome. Science Advances, 2(1). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500997  

Coia, V., Cipollini, G., Anagnostou, P., Maixner, F., Battaggia, C., Brisighelli, F., Gómez-Carballa, A., Destro Bisol, G., Salas, A., & Zink, A. (2016) Whole mitochondrial DNA sequencing in Alpine populations and the genetic history of the Neolithic Tyrolean Iceman. Scientific Reports, 18932. DOI: 10.1038/srep18932  

Engelmann, J., & Herrmann, E. (2016) Chimpanzees Trust Their Friends. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.11.037  

  • January 16, 2016
  • 06:22 PM
  • 136 views

Damm(n)ing the Amazon

by dominicwhite in Two Degrees or Under

From the abstract of a recent Science paper: The world’s most biodiverse river basins—the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong—are experiencing an unprecedented boom in construction of hydropower dams. These projects address important energy needs, but advocates often overestimate economic benefits and...... Read more »

Winemiller, K., McIntyre, P., Castello, L., Fluet-Chouinard, E., Giarrizzo, T., Nam, S., Baird, I., Darwall, W., Lujan, N., Harrison, I.... (2016) Balancing hydropower and biodiversity in the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong. Science, 351(6269), 128-129. DOI: 10.1126/science.aac7082  

  • January 15, 2016
  • 12:57 PM
  • 135 views

Dawn of a New Geologic Era

by Jenny Ludmer in Rooster's Report

In the Jurassic period, dinosaurs ruled and continents separated, while in the more recent Holocene, glaciers retreated and the earth warmed. Now, using the same type of data, geologists say we’ve entered a new era. Welcome to the Anthropocene — a geologic era triggered by humankind.... Read more »

Waters, C., Zalasiewicz, J., Summerhayes, C., Barnosky, A., Poirier, C., Ga uszka, A., Cearreta, A., Edgeworth, M., Ellis, E., Ellis, M.... (2016) The Anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene. Science, 351(6269). DOI: 10.1126/science.aad2622  

  • January 15, 2016
  • 12:08 PM
  • 141 views

Amazon resilience buoyed by diversity

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Previous research has suggested that the Amazon could reach a tipping point when rainforest gives way to a grassy savannah. Could this really happen? A new modeling study suggests the diversity of the Amazon could prevent such a drastic change.... Read more »

Levine NM, Zhang K, Longo M, Baccini A, Phillips OL, Lewis SL, Alvarez-Dávila E, Segalin de Andrade AC, Brienen RJ, Erwin TL.... (2015) Ecosystem heterogeneity determines the ecological resilience of the Amazon to climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26711984  

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