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Towards a liveable future

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:16:55 EDT ~ Humans have influenced nature since as early as the Ice Age, and over the past century our impact has become even greater with our many new technologies and a growing world population. Researchers have studied this impact and how we can keep it within reasonable limits so that nature can be preserved. We cannot do without nature: we need it for our food and for raw materials, as well as for relaxation. Find out more...

Empowerment of women worldwide key to achieving competing goals

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:18:13 EDT ~ World hunger and biodiversity loss can both be addressed by ensuring that women worldwide have access to education and contraception, an interdisciplinary team of experts argues. Find out more...

Grasslands' carbon storage value now quantified

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:15:36 EDT ~ Grasslands that feature diverse plant species have more carbon storage capacity than less-diverse grasslands, largely because the former produce more biomass, the researchers say. They found that increasing the number of plant species from one to 10 had twice the value of increasing from one to two species, from the standpoint of carbon storage capacity. Find out more...

Prescribed forest fire frequency should be based on land management goals

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:08:20 EDT ~ Researchers have studied forests subjected to different frequencies of fires to determine what effects fire can have on oak forests over long periods of time. They found that the frequency of prescribed forest fires should be determined based on the long-term goals of land managers. Find out more...

Tracking down water pollution through DNA of algae

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:43:44 EDT ~ The degree of pollution of rivers resulting from human activities is assessed using different biotic indices. The latter reflect the ecological status of a river based on the quantity and diversity of organisms selected as bioindicators, due to their ecological preferences and tolerance to pollution. This is the case of diatoms, algae consisting of a single cell surrounded by a silica skeleton, recommended by researchers as one of the ideal bioindicators for rivers and lakes. Find out more...

Evaluating cultural value of landscapes using geotagged photos

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:12:20 EDT ~ A new method has been devised for assessing the cultural value of landscapes using geotagged photos shared on a social-networking service. Data obtained with this method could help determine which locations should be used for tourism or targeted for environmental protection. Find out more...

US streams carry surprisingly extensive mixture of pollutants

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:11:15 EDT ~ Many US waterways carry a variety of pollutants, but not much is known about the composition or health effects of these chemical combinations. A new in-depth study, however, is providing insight as it shows the mixtures are more complex than expected and contain compounds that could potentially harm aquatic species. Find out more...

Tropical lowland frogs at greater risk from climate warming than high-elevation species, study shows

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 10:35:46 EDT ~ A new study of Peruvian frogs living at a wide variety of elevations -- from the Amazon floodplain to high Andes peaks -- lends support to the idea that lowland amphibians are at higher risk from future climate warming. Find out more...

Putting a price tag on biodiversity

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 15:16:51 EDT ~ A team of economists and ecologists has developed one of the first models to assign a dollar value to the loss or gain of species in an ecosystem. This new work offers an economic argument for preserving biodiversity. Find out more...

When old growth beats old school

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:26:30 EDT ~ Imitating old-growth forests enhances carbon storage in managed forestland far better than conventional forestry techniques, a fifteen-year study in Vermont shows. The new approach holds promise for landowners aiming to profit in carbon markets or contribute to climate change mitigation. Find out more...