Environment & Sustainability
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Research published in the scientific journal Palaeontology.
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The harlequin ladybird, officially known as Harmonia axyridis, was widely introduced across continental Europe as a way to limit the population of small sap-sucking insects called aphids. While it was never intentionally introduced into Britain, H. axyridis was discovered there in 2003, and people across the region have been tracking its spread since 2005.
Noise from pile driving during offshore wind turbine construction could be damaging the hearing of harbour seals around the UK, according to ecologists who attached GPS data loggers to 24 harbor seals while offshore wind turbines were being installed in 2012. Data on the seals' locations and their diving behaviour was combined with information from the wind farm developers on when pile driving was taking place. Models revealed that half of the tagged seals were exposed to noise levels that exceeded hearing damage thresholds.
Male Callosobruchus chinensis seed beetles have spines on their genitalia, which increase their fertilization success but injure a female’s reproductive tract—especially a female of a related species called Callosobruchus maculatus.
Living in a social group has many benefits for wildlife but is often assumed to come at the cost of increased disease risk. However, new research on the effects of mange on gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park reveals that infection risk does not appear to increase with the size of the pack. Also, while solitary wolves with mange had a 5-times higher death rate compared with solitary healthy wolves, infected wolves surrounded by five or more healthy pack-mates survived just as well as uninfected wolves. In addition, while the mortality rates of infected wolves increased as more wolves in their pack were also infected, both uninfected and infected wolves still accrued a net survival benefit from living in a social group.
Explanations for why the same plant groups occur in Australia, New Zealand, and South America have been deeply controversial. By comparing broad patterns of climatic history to age and habitat information for more than 70 plant taxa, or groups, investigators have provided important new insights.
Toxins known as perfluoroalkyl substances have become virtually ubiquitous throughout the environment, and various national and international voluntary phase-outs and restrictions on these compounds have been implemented over the last 10 to 15 years.
In a study that compared three sites within the Dja Conservation Complex in Cameroon, Africa, investigators found that the presence of a conservation research project acts as a deterrent to chimpanzee and gorilla poachers, and community awareness and involvement in research lead to an increased value of apes and intact forests to local people, thus limiting hunting practices.
Hyalella azteca are invertebrates that are widely used for sediment and water toxicity studies. Investigators have found that H. azteca collected from sites influenced by agricultural/urban runoff are as much as 2-times less sensitive to pyrethroid insecticides than lab-grown H. azteca. In contrast, the insecticide sensitivities of H. azteca collected from undeveloped sites beyond the influences of agricultural/urban runoff were similar to those of lab-grown populations.
Sustainable rooftop technologies—including green roofs, white roofs, and solar photovoltaic panels—can provide great environmental benefits, but studies of these technologies often look only at their use in hot climates and do not assess their full environmental consequences.
Ecotourism has motivated efforts to reintroduce lions to landscapes where they were not previously common. A new analysis conducted after 4 lions were reintroduced into the fenced Tembe Elephant Park, South Africa, reveals that lions might compete with humans in winter, spring, and autumn and with endemic herbivores in all seasons but winter.
The global human population is growing faster than the water supply. Investigators recently analyzed various models and trends to assess both optimistic and pessimistic projections of future water use and shortages.
Intensified land-use, sewage discharge, and climate change have likely favored disproportionate development of harmful algae in freshwaters. A new study found that blooms of one type of harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, have increased disproportionately over the past two centuries relative to other species, with the greatest increases since 1945.
A new report provides projections of New York City’s climate to the end of the century, noting that higher temperatures, heavy downpours, sea level rise, and intensified coastal flooding are the major climate hazards expected for the region.
Hoboken, NEW JERSEY- February 20, 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWa and JWb), a global knowledge-based services provider, is honored to be the recipient of nine PROSE Awards for 2015. The PROSE Awards recognize excellence in professional and scholarly publishing by highlighting distinguished books, journals and electronic content.
A study that assessed the impact of urban land use on the initiation of thunderstorms from 1997 to 2013 in the humid subtropical region of the southeast United States found that so-called isolated convective initiation events occur more often over the urban area of Atlanta compared with its surrounding rural counterparts. The findings confirm that human-induced changes in land cover in tropical environments lead to more thunderstorm initiation events.
Mercury contamination of ocean fish is a serious global health issue, and a new analysis of published reports reveals that the concentration of mercury in yellowfin tuna caught near Hawai’i is increasing at a rate ≥ 3.8 % per year.
The wild tiger Panthera tigris is considered critically endangered, and it faces unprecedented threats, including habitat loss and fragmentation, depletion of prey, and continued illegal poaching for trade of tiger bones for traditional medicine and skins for ornamentation and collection.
The Earth's oceans are thought to have taken up about one quarter of the carbon dioxide (CO2) that humans pumped into the atmosphere in the past 2 decades. While this drives acidification and has consequences for sea life, it also moderates the rate of climate change.
In The Colder War, analyst Marin Katusa makes the case that Putin is exploiting Russia’s new role as the world’s leading energy supplier (the country exports more oil than the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq combined; has world’s largest natural gas reserves; and is the top uranium exporter) to strong-arm governments and reassert its global importance.
Managing carbon flow into the atmosphere has been a central focus of efforts aimed at protecting the planet and addressing climate change. A new European Journal of Soil Science review proposes that we focus less on sequestering carbon to mitigate CO2 buildup and more on using wisely the energy it carries.