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Public Affairs — Page 6

Can a tiny invasive snail help save Latin American coffee?

By University of Michigan 1/23/2020 ANN ARBOR—While conducting fieldwork in Puerto Rico’s central mountainous region in 2016, University of Michigan ecologists noticed tiny trails of bright orange snail excrement on the undersurface of coffee leaves afflicted with coffee leaf rust, the crop’s most economically important pest. Intrigued, they conducted field observations and laboratory experiments over the next several years and…

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A Strong Foundation

By UC Santa Barbara 1/29/2020 Anyone who’s read “The Lorax” will recognize that certain species serve as the foundation of their ecosystems. When the truffula trees disappear, so to do the swomee-swans and bar-ba-loots. However, the same is not necessarily true the other way around. Scientists have taken a growing interest in ecological stability — the factors that make an…

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Drug Lord’s Hippos Make Their Mark on Foreign Ecosystem

By UC San Diego 1/23/2020 Four hours east of Medellín in northern Colombia’s Puerto Triunfo municipality, the sprawling hacienda constructed by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar of “Narcos” fame has become a tourist attraction. When Escobar’s empire crashed, the exotic animals housed at his family’s zoo, including rhinos, giraffes and zebras, were safely relocated to new homes… except for the…

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Mangroves on the run find a more northern home

By Chrystian Trejedor, Florida International University 12/18/2019 The north might no longer be as inhospitable to mangroves as it once was. Fleeing rising seas in South Florida, mangroves are establishing themselves farther north along Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Some are thriving in southern Texas and are already approaching Mississippi and Alabama – places where they historically could not withstand the climate,…

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Researchers find some forests crucial for climate change mitigation, biodiversity

By Steve Lundeberg, Oregon State University 12/9/2019 CORVALLIS, Ore. – A study by Oregon State University researchers has identified forests in the western United States that should be preserved for their potential to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration, as well as to enhance biodiversity. Those forests are mainly along the Pacific coast and in the Cascade Range, with pockets…

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Study sheds light on UK’s ‘overlooked’ bee species

By Anglia Ruskin University 12/11/2019 CAMBRIDGE, U.K.–Findings from ARU project could help to protect solitary, ground-nesting bees The UK’s first citizen science project focusing on solitary, ground-nesting bees has revealed that they nest in a far broader range of habitats than previously thought. There are approximately 250 species of solitary bee in the UK, but far less is known about…

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A (sorta) good news story about a songbird and climate change

By University of Manitoba 12/12/2019 MANITOBA, Canada –  University of Manitoba researchers made a recent discovery that suggests Purple Martins, unlike other long-distance migratory songbirds, show promise of being able to adapt to climate change. The Purple Martin’s (Progne subis) breeding range spans from Florida to northern Alberta, and the smartphone-sized songbird passes our winter months on small islands in…

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Living at the edges

By Washington State University 12/4/2019 PULLMAN, Wash. – Resembling an overgrown house cat with black-tipped ears and a stubby tail, the Canada lynx, a native of North America, teeters on the brink of extinction in the U.S. The few lynx that now roam parts of Washington and the mountainous Northwest survive largely because of a network of protected landscapes that crosses…

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Yeasts in nectar can stimulate the growth of bee colonies

By KU Leuven 11/20/2019 Researchers from KU Leuven have discovered that the presence of yeasts can alter the chemical composition and thus the nutritional value of nectar for pollinators such as bees. The study discovered that yeasts can even boost bee health and colony fitness. “Research into the role of microbes in our ecosystem is of vital importance to safeguard bees.”…

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