User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-Independent
Category: Specific Organisms :: Fungi
Last updated: Jul 14 2015 04:53 IST RSS 2.0
 
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How microbes are cleaning up the BP oil spill 12.7.2015 Environmental News Network
Microbes, primarily bacteria and fungi, get a bad rap in today’s society. However they’ve long played an incredible role within the Earth’s ecosystem. And one of the most important places microbes are transforming the earth is in the Gulf of Mexico, where a number of strains are busy munching up the oil still left over from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which took place just over five years ago caused a massive ecological disaster in and around the Gulf of Mexico. This is partially because the spill took so long to quell, with oil companies scrambling (and often failing) to stem the flow of oil from the seabed.
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Fungus' Unchecked Advance Threatens Hibernating Bats Across West 20.5.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Petition Seeks Emergency Moratorium on Imports of Salamanders for Pet Trade 14.5.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Meatless Monday: Small Steps, Big Changes -- Gene Baur and 'Living the Farm Sanctuary Life' 27.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
There was no plan, there was only "concern about animals and nature," says Gene Baur. "I wanted to do something positive it the world." He did. In 1986, he co-founded Farm Sanctuary . Now almost 30 years later, Farm Sanctuary is America's premier farm animal protection organization, a safe haven for factory farm animals abused and/or left for dead, and a transformative place for people, too. Farm Sanctuary offers education, outreach and the opportunity to rediscover our primal bond with animals. "Farm animals are not that different from cats and dogs," says Baur. "They have feelings, relationships, respect and compassion." Their open affection remind of us our own humanity. And our responsibility. "We don't share our lives with animals just because we want to. We do it because we need them," Baur writes in Living the Farm Sanctuary Life. Co-written with Gene Stone, Baur's new book provides a little Farm Sanctuary wherever you are, with adorable farm animal photos, pleasing plant-based recipes from fab ...
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Bat Disease Epidemic Still Expanding Throughout North America 24.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
For the past decade, an epidemic called White-Nose Syndrome has had severe impacts on bat populations throughout North America. The fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, feeds on soft tissues of bats such as their wings and noses. Little Brown Bat with white-nose syndrome Credit: Jonathan Mays, Wildlife Biologist, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife White Nose Syndrome was first discovered in Haile's Cave at John Boyd Thacher State Park by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation during a routine bat survey in March 2007. The earliest evidence of the disease in North America can be seen in photographs taken by a cave hydrologist at Howe Caverns in Schoharie County, New York in the winter of 2006. New York State DEC states that since March 2007 "we discovered the disease in every hibernation site in New York in which we have looked for it." The U.S. Fish & Wildlife estimates a death toll between 5-7 million bats based on the most recent survey conducted in 2012 . Impacts ...
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Earth Day 2015: Regenerating the Soil and Reversing Global Warming 23.4.2015 Truthout.com
"The elimination of fossil fuels for all but the most limited and essential purposes is necessary but not sufficient to allow our descendants a fair chance for a healthy and prosperous future. Enhancing carbon biosequestration in terrestrial ecosystems is also essential."  - Wayne A. White, Biosequestration and Ecological Diversity p.118 (CRC Press 2013) The standard gloom and doom discourse surrounding global warming and climate change has infected the body politic with a severe case of depression and disempowerment. So starting April 22, embracing what the United Nations has designated as the "Year of the Soil," let's look at our planetary crisis from an entirely different, and more hopeful perspective. The good news is that the global grassroots, farmers and consumers united, can reverse our suicidal "business as usual" food, farming, energy, and land use practices. Harnessing the awesome power of Regenerative Organic Agriculture and reforestation, we can literally suck down enough excess (50-100 ppm ...
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Ants avoid traffic jams 22.4.2015 Environmental News Network
Rather than slowing down, ants speed up in response to a higher density of traffic on their trails, according to new research published in Springer's journal The Science of Nature - Naturwissenschaften. When the researchers increased the supply of food by leaving food next to the trail, ants accelerated their speed by 50 percent. This was despite more than double the density of traffic.
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How to grow mushrooms in your garden path 15.4.2015 TreeHugger
Plants don't like being trodden on. Mushrooms, however, do not seem to mind.
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Bats In Pennsylvania Threatened By White Nose Syndrome 6.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
PITTSBURGH (AP) — One of the most common bat species in Pennsylvania is being threatened by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed millions of bats of that species and others in North America. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the northern long-eared bat as a "threatened" species, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1Cb0Nh3 ) reported Monday. The agency was considering listing the species as "endangered" — a more serious designation — but decided on "threatened" because the bat's population has not been affected outside areas where the fungal disease has caused problems, the newspaper reported. The agency is proposing interim rules meant to safeguard the bat's habitat, including limits on forest timbering. But the rules could also impact the wind energy and natural gas and oil drilling industries. Lora Zimmerman, a project leader with the Fish and Wildlife Service, said the "threatened" listing in Pennsylvania might seem odd in light of the fact that the long-eared bat's ...
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Biodiversity may reduce threat of disease 20.2.2015 Environmental News Network
Biodiversity level changes can have consequences for species and habitats around the world. A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, reaffirms previous findings that higher diversity in ecological communities may lead to reduced disease threat. The study concludes that higher amphibian diversity in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest is linked to a lower infection rate of a fungus that is devastating amphibian populations around the world. 
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Montana mycologist fights fungus with fungus 22.12.2014 High Country News Most Recent
To save whitebark pines, apply slippery jack.
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A Health Check-up for Our Environment—Ignored at Our Own Risk 12.11.2014 Commondreams.org Views
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A Health Check-up for Our Environment - Ignored at Our Own Risk 11.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
In the 1950s, thousands of Baiji river dolphins (pictured) plied the waters of the Yangtze, Asia's mightiest river. The Chinese river dolphin had evolved over 20 millions of years, and was revered as the goddess of the Yangtze. By 1994, fewer than 100 individuals remained, and by 2006, the dolphin had become extinct . A proud branch on the tree of life had been destroyed in the blink of an eye by pollution, dam building, and reckless navigation. Sadly, the goddess of the Yangtze is not alone in her fate. The last Chinese paddlefish was sighted in 2003. The majestic Chinese sturgeon is considered to be critically endangered as well. Of the 143 fish species which were historically recorded in the Yangtze River, only 17 were left in 2013. As many as 30 million animal, plant and fungi species populate Planet Earth. About 1.7 million of them have been identified and described. What is the health of these plant and animal kingdoms? Which species groups are at particular risk? Are the extinct Chinese river ...
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Loon, Interrupted: Chicks Dying, Social Chaos; Is Their Comeback Unraveling? 8.10.2014 Truthout - All Articles
A common loon. (Photo: Matthew / Flickr ) Holderness, New Hampshire - Tiffany Grade sweeps her binoculars over tangled tree roots at water’s edge. She spots a black and white checkerboard of feathers in a lichen-covered crease in the shoreline – a loon sitting on a nest. Just offshore, a second loon glides past, dives, then disappears. Also see: Heavy Metal Songs: Contaminated Songbirds Sing the Wrong Tunes To the untrained eye, it’s an idyllic summer scene on Squam Lake. But to a loon biologist like Grade, it’s trouble. “Do you see the way he stretches his neck up?” Grade says, pointing to the diving bird. “He knows he’s some place he shouldn’t be.” The male intruder is biding his time until the nesting loon leaves. This vying for territory imperils the unhatched chick: Its parents can be killed or distracted, leaving the egg undefended or the chick unfed. And if one parent is ousted, the intruder kills the chick. At Squam Lake, it’s social chaos. Chicks are dying. Eggs aren’t hatching. It’s a scenario ...
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Loon, Interrupted: Chicks Dying, Social Chaos. Is Their Comeback Unraveling? 8.10.2014 Truthout.com
A common loon. (Photo: Matthew / Flickr ) Holderness, New Hampshire - Tiffany Grade sweeps her binoculars over tangled tree roots at water’s edge. She spots a black and white checkerboard of feathers in a lichen-covered crease in the shoreline – a loon sitting on a nest. Just offshore, a second loon glides past, dives, then disappears. Also see: Heavy Metal Songs: Contaminated Songbirds Sing the Wrong Tunes To the untrained eye, it’s an idyllic summer scene on Squam Lake. But to a loon biologist like Grade, it’s trouble. “Do you see the way he stretches his neck up?” Grade says, pointing to the diving bird. “He knows he’s some place he shouldn’t be.” The male intruder is biding his time until the nesting loon leaves. This vying for territory imperils the unhatched chick: Its parents can be killed or distracted, leaving the egg undefended or the chick unfed. And if one parent is ousted, the intruder kills the chick. At Squam Lake, it’s social chaos. Chicks are dying. Eggs aren’t hatching. It’s a scenario ...
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Biological Collections Are Vital to Preserving Species in the Face of Climate Change 29.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Among the many different resources that scientists will use to try to forestall some of the effects of climate change, the nation's treasure trove of preserved plants, animals, and microscopic organisms is undoubtedly one of the least known to most people. But these biological collections represent a very powerful tool for understanding how climate change is likely to affect life on Earth. Our nation has a rich heritage in such collections, which are held at about 1,000 scientific research institutions such as universities, natural history museums, and botanical gardens. What are in these collections? They consist of such things as the skeletons and skins of mammals, birds and reptiles; fossils, tissue samples, and fish and spiders preserved in fluid; dried plants and fungi glued to stiff paper or stored in boxes; and tiny organisms on microscope slides. Although no one knows exactly, we estimate that there are approximately one billion preserved specimens in the U.S. that have been gathered by ...
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Four Ways Industrial Ag Is Destroying the Soil - and Your Health 14.9.2014 Truthout.com
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Deep Sea 'Mushrooms' Defy Classification In The Tree Of Life 5.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This is Dendrogramma enigmatica. And as its name suggests, it’s quite the enigma. In fact, the tiny, mushroom-shaped organism is so mysterious that it seems to defy just about everything we know about animals. It doesn't fit into any of the known categories in the animal kingdom, scientists say, and as of now, its links to other animal groups remain hazy. Recently, D. enigmatica was thrown into the spotlight when Jean Just, a zoologist at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, discovered it among invertebrate specimens he had collected at depths of 400 and 1,000 meters in the Tasman Sea in the 1980s. According to a new study co-authored by Just and published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE , more than a dozen of the specimens were found to defy classification in the tree of life. They were unique. "Finding something like this is extremely rare, it's maybe only happened about four times in the last 100 years ," study co-author Jorgen Olesen, an associate professor at the University of ...
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Don’t lose your lid! (the green roof argument) 2.9.2014 The Earth Times Online Newspaper - Health News
Life is changing. Now we can have a garden on our roof, but the wildlife and energy-transforming possibilities are really building up. I doubt if you’ll like some of our ideas here, but there may be some way you can imagine a green roof being of benefit and fitting in to your local landscape.
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What Are Pesticides, and Why Do We Use Them on the Farm? 12.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
When people talk about using chemicals on the farm, oftentimes they use the word "pesticides." To people outside agriculture, pesticides tends to be the catch-all category for any and all chemical compound we spray on our crops. And honestly, that is far from the truth. We don't have a jug labeled "pesticides" that goes on anything and everything. In agriculture we call any sort of chemical we use on the farm "crop-protection products." The truth about the crop-protection products we use on the farm is that we use specific chemicals labeled for very specific uses and at very specific amounts. I've written before that as farmers we have a choice in what seed to select. We also have a choice when it comes to what we put on our crops. It varies depending on crop, soil, crop rotation, current condition of the crop, pests, and moisture. The choices we make regarding what to spray are careful, calculated, and measured out. It is not something we do haphazardly or thoughtlessly like many websites will ...
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