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MSU researchers make surprising wolf diet discovery, highlight ecosystem complexities

By Sarah Nicholas, Mississippi State University 10/2/2019 STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University researchers are shifting commonly held ideas about the diet of grey wolves in a newly published article gaining national attention. Published in the scientific journal “Ecology,” MSU assistant professor Brandon Barton’s Sept. 18 article “Grasshopper consumption by grey wolves and implications for ecosystems” details the unexpected effects of wolf reintroduction…

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Seed availability hampers forest recovery after wildfires

By Trent Knoss, CU Boulder 10/2/2019 BOULDER, CO – A lack of tree seedling establishment following recent wildfires represents a crucial bottleneck limiting coniferous forest recovery in the western U.S., new CU Boulder-led research finds. The study, which was recently published in the journal Ecological Applications, examined burn-affected ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir stands in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico to better understand…

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UNH Researchers Find Northern Forests Have Lost Crucial Cold, Snowy Conditions

By Robin Ray, University of New Hampshire 10/3/2019 DURHAM, N.H.—As the popular saying goes, “winter is coming,” but is it? Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found clear signs of a decline in frost days, snow covered days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health. “Winter…

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Structural complexity in forests improves carbon capture

By the National Science Foundation 10/9/2019 Forests in the eastern United States that are structurally complex — the arrangement of vegetation is varied throughout the physical space — sequester more carbon, according to a new study in Ecology, a journal of the Ecological Society of America. The study, by researchers at the University of Connecticut, Virginia Commonwealth University and Purdue University, demonstrates for the…

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In the Amazon, protected areas often lose out when the search for energy is on

By Florida International University 10/7/2019 Addressing policy “blind spots” that allow energy production and mineral exploration to trump environmental protection could help improve the outlook for conservation in the Amazon Basin, according to a new study. The production of new dams and the search for oil and natural gas, while often beneficial for people, can harm the environment. Dams block…

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Fish DNA in lake sediment can help determine native species, study shows

By University of Alberta 9/18/2019 A new technique developed by University of Alberta biologists can determine whether certain fish populations are native to lakes in national parks. The technique takes a molecular approach, using environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis of lake sediment to provide important historical information necessary for determining the conservation status of many lakes in Western Canada. “When you…

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Ecologist revives world’s longest running succession study

By CU Denver 9/13/2019 Ecologists have long tried to understand and anticipate the compositional change of plant species, especially now, as climate and land usage disrupts the way in which plants colonize and expand their communities. Called plant succession, the study of predicting plant communities through time is one of ecology’s oldest pursuits. In 2016, Brian Buma, PhD, assistant professor of…

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As ecosystems heat and green, ant abundance and diversity increases; but too much heat and these communities lose colonies and species

By Michael Kaspari Lab 9/13/2019 One paradox in the recent flurry of papers reporting insect declines is that insects—ectotherms that rely on external sources of heat—are often predicted to benefit as their environment warms. In an open access paper accepted as a Report in the journal Ecology  our team of ecologists—including Michael Weiser, Jelena Bujan, Karl Roeder, and Kirsten deBeurs—all from…

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