Despite heavy development, the United States still has millions of acres of pristine wild lands. Coveted for their beauty, these wilderness areas draw innumerable outdoor enthusiasts eager for a taste of primitive nature. But researchers say these federally protected nature areas have a problem: Their boundaries have become prime real estate.
Hungry crabs snacking on mangrove seeds may foil reforestation
Mangrove swamps are disappearing and attempts to replant them keep failing. It seems that crabs munching on the mangrove seeds could be to blame …Read more at the original article here (This article was syndicated in an earlier version of the Earthzine website, but is no longer reproduced here. Hope you enjoy the article at the original source).
A first in tree research: European trees planted in China to identify potentially invasive species in our forests
Most of the exotic species which attack plants in Europe now come from Asia. INRA scientists, together with teams from the Academy of Sciences in Beijing and the Forestry University in Zhejiang have devised a new method for detecting potential invaders in their region of origin before they are introduced on another continent.
A Little Fish with Big Impact In Trouble on U.S. West Coast
Scientists are concerned that officials waited too long to order a ban on U.S. Pacific sardine fishing that goes into effect July 1. The dire state of the sardine population is a cautionary tale about overharvesting these and other forage fish that are a critical part of the marine food web.
Protein identified in certain microalgae changes conversation about climate change
(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) High-profile science behind climate change and carbon recycling takes a new turn as researchers find a protein in a major group of phytoplankton that keeps them alive in stressed environments in the ocean.
Sea sponge anchors are natural models of strength
The Venus’ flower basket sea sponge has hair-like appendages that hold it in place on the sea floor. Researchers show that the internal structure of those fibers is fine-tuned for strength. The findings from this natural system could inform the engineering of load-bearing structural members.
Tracking Sea Turtles Across Hundreds of Miles of Open Ocean
Scientists have long known that leatherback sea turtles travel thousands of miles each year through open ocean to get from foraging habitats to nesting beaches and tropical wintering grounds, but how the wanderers find their way has been “an enduring mystery of animal behavior,” says marine biologist Kara Dodge. “Adult turtles can pinpoint specific nesting beaches even after being away … Read More
Atlantic Sturgeon: An Ancient Fish Struggles Against the Flow
Once abundant in the rivers of eastern North America, the Atlantic sturgeon has suffered a catastrophic crash in its populations. But new protections under the U.S. Endangered Species Act are giving reason for hope for one of the world’s oldest fish species. BY TED WILLIAMS
Corals face 'slow starvation' from ingesting plastics pollution, experts find
Corals such as those found on the Great Barrier Reef consume ‘microplastics’ in the sea at the same rate as their normal food but cannot expel the fragments Continue reading…
The Wonders Beneath Our Feet—The International Year of Soils
The United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. Opportunities for expanded monitoring and appreciation of soil abound, ranging from the NASA’s SMAP mission just launched at end of January to events offered by the Soil Science Society of America.