Madagascar team tracks lemurs as they spread the seeds of the rainforest
Nov12

Madagascar team tracks lemurs as they spread the seeds of the rainforest

On the island nation of Madagascar, the long-limbed local primates, lemurs, are for some trees, essential helpers. It is advantageous for a tree to scatter its progeny not just to the wind and widely, but where they will find fertile ground and clement conditions for growth. Some trees recruit animals for this task by tempting them with delicious and nutritious fruits – inside which hide seeds sealed in hard, indigestible coats for...

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Forest dance on wires depicts a creeping fungal multitude blown back by a tornado
Nov11

Forest dance on wires depicts a creeping fungal multitude blown back by a tornado

Plant biology PhD student Uma Nagendra of the University of Georgia, Athens, wins the 2014 Dance Your PhD competion, sponsored by Science, AAAS, and HighWire Press. Floating on trapeze wires, young white pine seedlings unfurl and reach for light. But lurking in the roots of the parent tree are dangerous fungi that creep forth to strike at the young scions. The sprouts closest to the great tree falter and wilt, giving ground to other...

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Old forests store new nitrogen–and may soak up nutrient excesses
Oct23

Old forests store new nitrogen–and may soak up nutrient excesses

Ecologists working in central Pennsylvania forests have found that forest top soils capture and stabilize the powerful fertilizer nitrogen quickly, within days, but release it slowly, over years to decades. The discrepancy in rates means that nitrogen can build up in soils, David Lewis, Michael Castellano, and Jason Kaye report in the October 2014 issue of ESA’s journal Ecology, published online this week. Forests may be...

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History of fire and drought shapes the ecology of California, past and future
Aug06

History of fire and drought shapes the ecology of California, past and future

Fire season has arrived in California with vengeance in this third year of extended drought for the state. A series of large fires east of Redding and Fresno, in Yosemite, and on the Oregon border prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency on Sunday, August 3rd. As force of destruction and renewal, fire has a long and intimate history with the ecology of California. Ecological scientists will discuss aspects of that...

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Slowing the insect invasion: wood packaging sanitation policy yields US $11.7 billion net benefit
Jun06

Slowing the insect invasion: wood packaging sanitation policy yields US $11.7 billion net benefit

Risk analysis finds savings for homeowners and local governments of excluding invasive pests like the emerald ash borer outweigh added cost to imported goods.

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ESA Policy News: November 11: President’s climate action plan, farm bill compromise and FS funding shortfalls
Nov11

ESA Policy News: November 11: President’s climate action plan, farm bill compromise and FS funding shortfalls

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by Policy Analyst Terence Houston.  Read the full Policy News here. WHITE HOUSE: NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER BUILDS ON CLIMATE ACTION PLAN On Nov. 1, President Obama issued a new broad Executive Order, instructing federal agencies to help states strengthen their ability to cope with increasingly intense storms, severe droughts, wildfires and other various effects of climate change. The...

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ESA Policy News: August 23
Aug23

ESA Policy News: August 23

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by Policy Analyst Terence Houston.  Read the full Policy News here. APPROPRIATIONS: ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCIES SLASHED, FIRE PREVENTION GETS BOOST Congress has adjourned for the August district work period leaving a full plate of must-dos when members return after Labor Day. Many items on their list will  need to be addressed before the end of September. The largest item will be the...

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Water for the trees
Jun07

Water for the trees

Saving forests from drought as the climate warms.

Drought complicates the big problems afflicting modern forests. Gordon Grant, Christina Tague, and Craig Allen think that mitigating drought stress should be an active priority for management of US public forests – in keeping with the US Forest Service mission to “improve and protect the forest” and “secure favorable conditions of water flows”.

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