Environment & Sustainability

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October 05, 2015

Cryptic Invasions by Ecological Engineers Conceal Profound Changes in Nature

A new study reveals that the salt marsh plant Spartina alterniflora, which grows on more than 9,000 km of the Atlantic coastline of South America, is not native to the area and was in fact introduced 200 years ago.

September 24, 2015

Wiley Launches Journal to Help Solve World Challenges

John Wiley and Sons, Inc., today announced the launch of Global Challenges, a new open access journal devoted to creating a global community to address major challenges the world faces. Global challenges such as climate change, energy scarcity, health and nutrition security, pandemic disease, and access to sufficient water resources are a priority for every government and critical for their citizens. Addressing such challenges in a sustainable manner requires strategic research investments, international collaboration, collective resources and knowledge exchange between diverse communities.

12:00 AM EDT September 24, 2015

Researchers Find Ticks Linked with Lyme Disease in South London Parks

Visitors to 2 popular parks in South London are at risk of coming into contact with ticks that can transmit Lyme disease to humans, according to a new study in Medical and Veterinary Entomology.

September 08, 2015

Ozone Can Reduce a Flower’s Scent that’s Critical for Attracting Pollinators

New research shows that high levels of ozone, which are predicted to increase in the atmosphere in the future, can dampen the scents of flowers that attract bees and other pollinators.

August 25, 2015

Study in Bats and Rodents Offers Insights on How Viruses Spread Across Species

Bats are natural reservoirs of several important emerging viruses, and because cross-species transmission appears to be quite common among bats, it’s important to study bats in a community context rather than concentrating on individual species.

August 17, 2015

The Dynamics of Mercury Toxins in the Oceans’ Food Web

Methylmercury, a toxic form of mercury that is readily absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract and can cause in a variety of health issues, poses a significant threat to marine animals at the top of the food web. A new study confirms that Artic species of these animals have higher concentrations of methylmercury in their tissues compared with animals lower in the food web; however, it also shows similar trends in selenium, which could help play a protective role against the toxic effects of mercury.

August 17, 2015

What Will it Take to Save the Bees?

Studies have unequivocally shown a consistent decline in bee populations over the last decade, and experts are diligently working to find ways to reverse the trend. But is it too late to save our bees, which are responsible for pollinating a staggering 150 different crop plants, and our bee-dependent lifestyle?

August 03, 2015

Low Levels of Endocrine Disruptors in the Environment May Cause Sex Reversal in Female Frogs

Many studies have been conducted on the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals that mimic or block estrogen, the primary female hormone. Now new research shows that similar harm can be done by chemicals that affect male hormones, or androgens.

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.