Bats: an important resource

This post contributed by Terence Houston, ESA Science Policy Analyst This week, the Ecological Society of America is holding its 96th Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.  As over 3,000 ecologists participate in the meeting’s numerous scientific sessions, a highlight in Austin that most meeting attendees will make every effort to see are the city’s famous bats. As seen in the video below, between March and November, every evening around...

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Romania’s traditional approach to agriculture is linked to wildlife abundance

This post contributed by Molly Taylor, ESA Science Writing Intern. Something is afoot in Romania’s province of Transylvania, and it has nothing to do with Twilight. In a paper published recently in Biological Conservation, researchers from Romania, Germany and the Netherlands spent nine years studying populations of various species of newts, frogs and toads in 54 ponds in the Saxon area of Southern Transylvania. Despite the...

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Policy News: February 25

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by Science Policy Analyst Terence Houston. Read the full Policy News here. APPROPRIATIONS: FY 2011 CR PASSES WITH STEEP CUTS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES On Feb. 19, the House passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) for the seven months remaining of the Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations. The CR passed during a rare Saturday morning vote at 4:40 a.m. by an overwhelmingly partisan...

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From the Community: cricket sex, vertical farms and H1N1 resistance

Scientists document cricket predation and reproduction, protestors cancel Oscar-winning anti-dolphin-hunting documentary in two Tokyo theaters, study describes the process of developing resistance to H1N1 treatments and researchers debate the possibility of achieving sustainable agriculture worldwide. Here is ecology in the news from the first week in June. Cricket encounters: Evolutionary ecologist Tom Tregenza of the University of...

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Saliva from moth larva increases potato crop yields in Colombia

Many farmers throughout Latin America and around the world rely on pesticides to control pest invasions; this method is not only costly but has been shown to cause adverse health effects as well. Due to the risks involved in pesticide usage, and the ever-increasing demand for high-yield crops, new methods of controlling pest invasions are being explored by researchers regularly. And as counterintuitive as these new findings sound,...

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Plant hormone helps metabolize pesticides

A new study out in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests a natural remedy to the negative effects of pesticides to plants.  A group of plant hormones called brassinosteroids have been shown to reduce the toxicity of crops, if they’re doused with it before pesticide application. Jing Quan Yu of Zhejiang University and his colleagues treated cucumber plants with one type of brassinosteroid, then sprayed them with...

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Human-induced erosion as powerful as glaciers

Soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University. Soil erosion has always been a big problem for ecosystems, and often increases with decreased ecosystem health, such as the dry conditions often encouraged by climate change. We normally think of rivers and glaciers as the most powerful eroders, but a study out today in Nature Geoscience finds that agriculture can erode the landscape at rates comparable to glaciers and...

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Omega-3′s might reduce methane ‘emissions’

This just in: Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy not just for you, but may also be good for the environment. We all read about the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids, found most commonly in fish oils in our diets. They buffer against cancer, reduce the risk of cardiac disease and may also improve brain and immune function.  But in a presentation at the meeting of the Society for General Microbiology in Harrogate, UK today,...

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