Celebrating Earth Day in 2014
Apr22

Celebrating Earth Day in 2014

What does Earth Day mean in 2014? “At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters.” ~ Gaylord Nelson The media loved the story. In 1969, when Senator Gaylord Nelson...

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Sage grouse struts his stuff
Apr07

Sage grouse struts his stuff

Greater sage grouse males strut their stuff for the cameras of Gail Patricelli‘s lab (and the female grouse) on a mating lek in Wyoming, in 2008. In the spring, greater sage grouse males (Centrocercus urophasianus) gather together on open knolls and patches of bare soil and low vegetation in groups called leks. Like gyms or bars, lekking grounds are social performance spaces, where males spread their tail-feathers, inflate their...

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Sage grouse losing habitat to fire as endangered species decision looms
Apr03

Sage grouse losing habitat to fire as endangered species decision looms

Post-wildfire stabilization treatment has not aided habitat restoration for the imperiled Great Plains birds.   As fires sweep more frequently across the American Great Basin, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been tasked with reseeding the burned landscapes to stabilize soils. BLM’s interventions have not helped to restore habitat for the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) reported scientists from the US...

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Strawberry poison frogs feed their babies poison eggs
Mar20

Strawberry poison frogs feed their babies poison eggs

The Strawberry poison frog lavishes care upon its offspring. In the March issue of Ecology, out Monday the 17th, Stynoski et al. report that the female frog fortifies its progeny with defensive chemicals. Also in this issue: P value debates, arctic warming, and estimating the success of biological invasions. Tiny, toxic, and ostentatiously beautiful, the strawberry poison dart (Oophaga  pumilio) is the kind of frog to lavish care upon...

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Popcorn origins glimpsed in the ruins of antiquity and the greenhouse time machine
Mar05

Popcorn origins glimpsed in the ruins of antiquity and the greenhouse time machine

Before there was corn (Zea mays subsp. mays), and corn ruled the world, there was the wild grass, teosinte. Corn, known as maize outside the Americas, easily hybridizes with its wild sibling, but these two incarnations of Z. mays do not look alike. Subtle genetic alterations in the regulation of development change Z. mays profoundly, turning an edible wild weed into the economic powerhouse con. Teosinte’s body plan structure and...

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Oysters of New York
Jan09

Oysters of New York

Denitrification heroes? by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer The January 2014 ESA Bulletin is out, with a photo gallery illustrating Timothy J. Hoellein and Chester B. Zarnoch’s preprint in Ecological Applications, “Effect of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) on sediment carbon and nitrogen dynamics in an urban estuary” tentatively scheduled to appear in the March, 2014, issue. Oysters pull nitrogen, phosphorus, and...

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Making room for prairie STRIPs in Iowa’s cornbelt
Nov19

Making room for prairie STRIPs in Iowa’s cornbelt

A Field Talk interview with Lisa Schulte Moore (Land Sharing/Sparing #1)   Lisa Schulte Moore, a professor of natural resource ecology and management at Iowa State University, explains how Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairies (STRIPs) help farms, waterways, and wildlife. Listen to the interview, and find show notes and links to entities mentioned in this week’s episode, on the Field Talk homepage. This is the...

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President issues executive order to prepare for impacts of climate change
Nov04

President issues executive order to prepare for impacts of climate change

Special issue of ESA Frontiers assesses the impacts of climate change on people and ecosystems By Liza Lester, ESA communications officer Last Friday (Nov. 1), President Obama marked the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy with an executive order “preparing the United States for the impacts of climate change.” The order lays out expectations for the federal agencies under the President’s Climate Action Plan, from the Department of...

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