One-fifth of ecosystems in danger of collapse – here’s what that might look like

Humans have caused ecosystems to collapse on purpose for millennia, to grow food or build settlements. But unplanned collapses are a different matter.

John Dearing, Professor of Physical Geography, University of Southampton • conversation
Nov. 24, 2020 ~7 min

climate-change agriculture ecology rainforest coral-reefs ecosystems ecological-crisis ecosystem-collapse

A skin-eating fungus from Europe could decimate Appalachia's salamanders – but researchers are working to prevent an outbreak

The Bsal fungus is not yet here in North America, or any place in the Western Hemisphere, but there is concern that the pet trade is the most likely route for introduction here.

Matt Gray, Professor, University of Tennessee • conversation
Nov. 6, 2020 ~8 min

ecology fungus amphibians chytrid-fungus appalachia

Metal pollution is leaving scallops helpless against crabs and lobsters

New research points to 'heavy metals' having unseen effects on a much larger scale than previously thought.

Roland Kröger, Professor, Department of Physics, University of York • conversation
Nov. 5, 2020 ~7 min

shellfish mining heavy-metals marine-ecology marine-pollution scallops ecotoxicoloy isle-of-man

Scientists at work: Sloshing through marshes to see how birds survive hurricanes

Birds found along the Gulf Coast have evolved to ride out hurricanes and tropical storms. But with development degrading the marshes where they live, it's getting harder for them to bounce back.

Mark Woodrey, Assistant Research Professor, Mississippi State University • conversation
Oct. 28, 2020 ~9 min

climate-change birds ecology mississippi sea-level-rise hurricanes scientists-at-work tropical-storms coastal-development marshes wetlands gulf-coast alabama

Restoring seagrasses can bring coastal bays back to life

Healthy seagrasses form underwater meadows teeming with fish and shellfish. A successful large-scale restoration project in Virginia could become a model for reseeding damaged seagrass beds worldwide.

Karen McGlathery, Professor of Environmental Sciences and Director, Environmental Resilience Institute, University of Virginia • conversation
Oct. 20, 2020 ~11 min

climate-change ecology fisheries water-pollution coasts ecosystem-services coastal-development oceans atlantic-ocean virginia seagrass ecological-restoration seagrass-meadows

House plants were our link with nature in lockdown – now they could change how we relate to the natural world

House plants enrich our domestic lives in ways we often fail to notice. But lockdown may have changed all that.

Giulia Carabelli, Lecturer in Sociology, Queen's University Belfast • conversation
Oct. 19, 2020 ~7 min

nature plants lockdown home interior-design botanical indoor-ecology

Will Colorado bring back wolves? It's up to voters

For the first time in the US, a ballot measure will ask voters whether to restore wolves to a place where they've been eradicated. Coloradans have strong views on both sides.

Kevin Crooks, Professor of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology , Colorado State University • conversation
Oct. 16, 2020 ~11 min

livestock ranchers endangered-species colorado human-wildlife-conflict hunting wolves carnivores apex-predators us-west us-elections-2020 referendum ecological-restoration

Only two northern white rhinos remain, and they're both female – here's how we could make more

By unlocking the full potential of rhino ovaries, we hope to produce enough eggs to revive the northern white rhino in the wild.

Suzannah Williams, Associate Professor in Ovarian Physiology, Lead for Ovarian Cryopreservation and Fertility Preservation Research, Lead of Rhino Fertility Project, University of Oxford • conversation
Oct. 15, 2020 ~6 min

africa conservation extinction endangered-species ivf rhino northern-white-rhino white-rhino resurrection-ecology assisted-reproductive-technology

Evolution on the smallest of scales smooths out the patchwork patterns of where plants and animals live

Local adaptation allows plants and animals to thrive in a diversity of places. Sometimes adaptation sharpens patterns of where organisms live, but 85% of the time, it creates a more homogeneous world.

Mark C. Urban, Director, Center of Biological Risk; Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut • conversation
Oct. 2, 2020 ~10 min

evolution environment ecology trees forests charles-darwin adaptation

Climate warming is altering animals' gut microbes, which are critical to their health and survival

The effect of a warmer climate on ecosystems and large and small vertebrates is being widely studied. But warmer temperatures seem to alter the microbes that live in and on these animals and plants.

Sasha Greenspan, Research Associate, University of Alabama • conversation
Sept. 28, 2020 ~9 min

 climate-change  environment  ecology  microbiome

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