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12:00 AM EDT July 24, 2015

Stadium Lighting Affects Bat Behavior and May Threaten Biodiversity

A new Animal Conservation study shows that sports stadium lighting can alter patterns of bat species activity and feeding, which may in turn have cascading effects on other organisms and the ecosystem as a whole.

July 20, 2015

Drugs in Wastewater Contaminate Drinking Water

Both prescription and illegal drugs that are abused have been found in Canadian surface waters. New research shows that wastewater discharges flowing downstream have the potential to contaminate sources of drinking water with these drugs at relatively low concentrations.

July 20, 2015

Researchers Examine Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Almond Production

California-grown almonds dominate the global market, providing over 80% of the world’s commercial almonds. Two new articles published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology examine the environmental impacts of California’s almond production, focusing on greenhouse gas emissions and energy.

July 20, 2015

Study Sheds Light on the Ability of Different Marine Species to Respond to Climate Warming

In Eastern Australia, the ocean has been warming at a rate that’s 4-times that of the global average. Many marine species have been appearing further south than they ever have before, while others have stayed put. A new study identifies which characteristics seem to be important for species to shift their ranges so quickly

July 06, 2015

Cactus Scientists Offer Insights to Solve Future Global Agricultural Challenges

Researchers have provided a new roadmap for tackling future agricultural production issues by using solutions that involve crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), a specialized type of photosynthesis that enhances the efficiency by which plants use water.

July 06, 2015

Experts Express Concern Over Cyclone Trends in the British-Irish Isles

By studying climate data in the British-Irish Isles over a 142-year period, researchers have confirmed the important role of cyclones. Seasonal precipitation totals were strongly related to cyclone frequency, especially during summer.

June 01, 2015

Warmer Climates May Increase Pesticides’ Toxicity in Fish

In a study of the effects of increasing climate temperatures on the toxicity of 3 contaminants in different fish species, researchers found that all pesticides and industrial contaminants studied—endosulfan, chlorpyrifos, and phenol—became toxic in the upper 5oC range of species’ temperature tolerance.

12:00 AM EDT May 20, 2015

British Invasion of the Harlequin Ladybird Threatens Other Species

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.

12:00 AM EDT May 20, 2015

Offshore Wind Turbine Construction Could Be Putting Seals' Hearing at Risk

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.

May 18, 2015

How Harmful Male Genitalia Can Impact Reproduction in other Species

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.

May 18, 2015

Living in Social Groups May Lessen the Impacts of a Chronic Illness in Wild Animals

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.

May 18, 2015

Plant Dispersal Insights May Aid Climate Change Predictions

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.

May 18, 2015

The Extent of Toxin Accumulation in Birds Off the Coast of Canada

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.

May 12, 2015

How the Presence of Conservation Researchers Affects Wildlife

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.

May 04, 2015

Lab Test Commonly Used to Assess Water Toxicity May Not Predict Effects on Field Populations

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.

April 07, 2015

Which Type of Sustainable Rooftop Technology is Best in Cold Climates?

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.

March 16, 2015

The Dangers of Reintroducing Lions and Other Carnivores for Ecotourism

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.

March 16, 2015

Will Future Population Growth Be Limited by Freshwater Availability?

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.

March 02, 2015

Human Activity May Be Supporting Growth of Harmful Algae in Lakes

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.

March 02, 2015

New York City Climate Change Report Calls for More Research and Planning Efforts

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.

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