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Press Releases — Page 9

Scientists improve understanding of Mount St. Helens eruption recovery

By National Science Foundation 1/29/2020 Through research in the blast zone of Mount St. Helens, Evergreen State College scientists have discovered that plants are influencing the ecosystem’s recovery. A new paper reporting the results, “Plant sex influences terrestrial-aquatic interactions,” was published in the journal Ecosphere by Carri LeRoy and her collaborators at the U.S. Forest Service and the Science Museum of Minnesota. The research,…

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No simple answers on future problems with pest insects

By The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences 1/23/2020 While some trends suggest that insect abundances generally decrease, there is also a fear that problems with pest insects will increase in the future. The logic is simple – insects are ectothermic and should thereby be favored by ongoing climate warming. It is however not that easy to predict future damage of pest…

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New Study Provides Insights for Detecting the Invasive Brown Treesnake

By The U.S. Geological Survey 1/23/2020 (Carlisle, Pa.) – Researchers from Dickinson College and the U.S. Geological Survey collaborated on field research to understand the ability of human searchers to detect the invasive brown treesnake (BTS) on the island of Guam. Due to their nocturnal and tree-dwelling habits, these snakes are extremely difficult to detect, especially when they are present…

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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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Large ‘herbivores of the sea’ help keep coral reefs healthy

By Pennsylvania State University 1/8/2020 Selective fishing can disrupt the delicate balance maintained between corals and algae in embattled Caribbean coral reefs. Removing large parrotfish, which graze on algae like large land mammals graze on grasses, can allow the algae to overtake the corals, with potentially dire consequences for reef health. New experimental research suggests that maintaining a healthy size…

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Study shows animal life thriving around Fukushima

By University of Georgia 1/6/2020 Nearly a decade after the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, researchers from the University of Georgia have found that wildlife populations are abundant in areas void of human life. The camera study, published in the Journal of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, reports that over 267,000 wildlife photos recorded more than 20 species, including wild…

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Amazon forest regrowth much slower than previously thought

By Lancaster University 12/20/2019 The regrowth of Amazonian forests following deforestation can happen much slower than previously thought, a new study shows. The findings could have significant impacts for climate change predictions as the ability of secondary forests to soak up carbon from the atmosphere may have been over-estimated. The study, which monitored forest regrowth over two decades, shows that…

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Researchers find some forests crucial for climate change mitigation, biodiversity

By 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 of them…

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