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

Tags: 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

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

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

Tags: 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

Tags:  climate-change  environment  ecology  microbiome

Live fast, die small: how global heating is simplifying the world's ecosystems

We studied a rocky shore to see how global changes are playing out within habitats.

Miguel Lurgi, Lecturer in Biosciences, Swansea University • conversation
Sept. 24, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: climate-change ecology global-warming predator-prey-interaction ecosystems species global-heating

When hurricanes temporarily halt fishing, marine food webs recover quickly

Hurricane Harvey destroyed the fishing infrastructure of Aransas Bay and reduced fishing by 80% over the following year. This removed humans from the trophic cascade and whole food webs changed.

Joseph W. Reustle, SPIRE Postdoctoral Scholar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: environment fish ecology hurricane fishing food-webs research-brief marine-biology ecosystems texas cyclones gulf-coast trophic-cascade oyster-reefs

Insect apocalypse? Not so fast, at least in North America

Recent reports of dramatic declines in insect populations have sparked concern about an 'insect apocalypse.' But a new analysis of data from sites across North America suggests the case isn't proven.

Matthew D. Moran, Professor of Biology, Hendrix College • conversation
Aug. 10, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: biodiversity insects science extinction ecology research biodiversity-loss publication-bias scholarship

Video: Slowing deforestation is the key to preventing the next pandemic – but what does that cost?

A new study estimates that $22 billion to $30 billion dollars per year needs to be spent to maintain forests and reduce the likelihood of a pathogen jumping from wildlife to humans.

Les Kaufman, Professor of Biology, Boston University, Boston University • conversation
July 27, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: coronavirus pandemic ecology environmental deforestation zoonoses forest-management

An argument for gene drive technology to genetically control populations of insects like mosquitoes and locusts

Gene drive guarantees that a trait will be passed to the next generation. But should society use this tool to control insect populations?

Brian Lovett, Postdoctoral Researcher in Mycology, West Virginia University • conversation
July 14, 2020 ~10 min

Tags:  health  environment  insects  agriculture  ecology  malaria  zika  entomology  bugs  pest-control  mosquitoes  dengue  gene-drive

An argument for gene drive technology to genetically control insects like mosquitoes and locusts

Gene drive guarantees that a trait will be passed to the next generation. But should society use this tool to control insect populations?

Brian Lovett, Postdoctoral Researcher in Mycology, West Virginia University • conversation
July 14, 2020 ~10 min

Tags:  health  environment  insects  agriculture  ecology  malaria  zika  entomology  bugs  pest-control  mosquitoes  dengue  gene-drive

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