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Research and Field Notes — Page 4

Peter Macreadie displays a soil core from an Australian wetland in 2017. Credit, Simon Fox/Deakin University.

3 strategies to capture more carbon in coastal ecosystems

Peter Macreadie, head of the Blue Carbon Lab at Deakin University, shares this Frontiers Focus on strategies for managing tidal marshes, mangroves, and seagrass ecosystems to more efficiently capture and store carbon.  His Concepts & Questions article appeared in the May 2017 issue of ESA Frontiers. Five years ago the marine science world gave birth to a new term: “blue carbon,” which was created…

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Goats graze on an argan tree in southwestern Morocco. In the fruiting season, many clean argan nuts are spat out by the goats while chewing their cud. Credit: H Garrido/EBD-CSIC

Tree-climbing goats disperse seeds by spitting

In dry southern Morocco, domesticated goats climb to the precarious tippy tops of native argan trees to find fresh forage. Local herders occasionally prune the bushy, thorny trees for easier climbing and even help goat kids learn to climb. During the bare autumn season, goats spend three quarters of their foraging time “treetop grazing.” Spanish ecologists from the Estación Biológica…

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Steam at inflow to tailings pond at Syncrude's Mildred Lake bitumen refinery Oil sands north of Fort McMurray, Alberta

15 ways oil sands development impacts oceans

Stephanie Green, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University, shares this Frontiers Focus on the effects of oil sands development on ocean ecosystems, from the March 2017 issue of ESA Frontiers. North America contains some of the largest sources of bitumen—a thick, sticky petroleum extracted from land-locked clay and sand deposits known as oil sands….

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Roads as drivers of evolution. A suite of common ecological impacts of roads are shown as labeled arrows. While these effects are well described in road ecology, their role as known or likely agents of natural selection is poorly understood. Yet these factors are capable of driving contemporary evolutionary change. Studying the evolutionary effects of these factors will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the ways in which organisms are responding to the presence and consequences of roads.

Road ecology: shifting gears toward evolutionary perspectives

Steven Brady is an evolutionary ecologist with the Department of Water and Land Resources at King County in Seattle, Wa. He and colleague Jonathan Richardson, an assistant professor at Providence College, share this Frontiers Focus on the ways in which species adapt to the pervasive presence of roads—and how those adaptations are not always beneficial for survival in the wider…

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A flock of greater flamingos in the Doñana wetlands, where up to 30,000 are recorded, making them a major ecotourism attraction. Doñana is Europe’s most important wetland for waterfowl. Credit: Rubén Rodríguez, EBD-CSIC

Safe operating space for wetlands in a changing climate

Edwin Peeters, associate professor at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and Edward Morris, postdoctoral scientist at the University of Cádiz, Spain share this Frontiers Focus on managing local threats to wetlands so that we may continue to enjoy their benefits as the climate changes, in the March 2017 issue of ESA Frontiers. Wetlands are exciting places to spend our free time, exploring…

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Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood), 1893 (oil on canvas) by Jarnefelt, Eero Nikolai (1863-1937); 131x164 cm; Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, Finland.

Fire-scarred trees record 700 years of natural and cultural fire history in a northern forest

A new paper in Ecological Monographs presents a 700-year dendrochronological record of fire in Trillemarka-Rollagsfjell nature preserve in southern Norway. Burn scars on old tree stumps chronicle social change, from the population crash at the time of the bubonic plague, through a spike in slash-and-burn agriculture, to the rise of the timber economy.     Until the modern era, the human mark…

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Coastal wetlands help fight climate change

Ariana Sutton-Grier, an ecosystem ecologist at the University of Maryland, helps lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Blue Carbon Team. She shares this Frontiers Focus on the long-term carbon storage capacity of coastal wetlands. Recent scientific advances have demonstrated that coastal wetlands — mangrove forests, tidal marshes, and seagrass meadows — pull carbon out of our atmosphere and store…

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Citizen scientists’ data can be just as good as the professionals’

Margaret Kosmala, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, shares this Frontiers Focus on assessing data quality in citizen science. Have you ever wanted to do scientific research, even though you have never trained as a scientist? Citizen science gives people with no science background the chance to get involved in…

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ESA Special Policy News 3: The Transition

We are keeping you up-to-date with a new Federal Agency Transition Tracker. In This Issue ESA 2017 Graduate Student Policy Awards Application period is open. Read More President-elect Transition Update Trump appointees at odds with basic mission of appointed agencies. Read More COMPETES Reauthorization COMPETES fails, but may provide template for new Congress. Read More Legislative Update Continuing Resolution –…

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