User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-Independent
Category: Specific Organisms :: Plants
Last updated: Oct 22 2014 23:02 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Down by the River 22.10.2014 Orion Magazine Articles
Collaboration and innovation restore a community’s relationship with the Yuma River.
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How predators protect plant biodiversity 20.10.2014 TreeHugger
Herbivores are having a field day Kenya.
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Photo: Saguaro cactus defines a landscape 18.10.2014 TreeHugger
Their blossoms are the official wildflower of Arizona, where this cactus enjoys special conservation protections.
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Scientists Mull Change Of Epoch To Reflect Human Impact On The Planet 17.10.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Emma Anderson BERLIN (Reuters) - Scientists from around the world met this week to decide whether to call time on the Holocene epoch after 11,700 years and begin a new geological age called the Anthropocene - to reflect humankind's deep impact on the planet. For decades, researchers have asked whether humanity's impact on the Earth's surface and atmosphere mean we have entered the Anthropocene - or new human era. "What we see is the urban phenomenon and the boom of China has a direct marking in the forms of the strata," said John Palmesino, a London-based architect who has worked with the scientists to capture on film the impact of humans on the Earth. "You can no longer distinguish what is man-made from what is natural." A group of geologists, climate scientists, ecologists and an expert in international law that have been conducting research since 2009, all met face-to-face for the first time in Berlin on Thursday and Friday to discuss the issue. They appeared to agree it is time for a change of ...
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Can Organic Agriculture Really Reverse Climate Change? 15.10.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
by guest blogger "Coach" Mark Smallwood, Rodale Institute executive director Over the past 14 days, I have been on a walk --a walk that, I hope, will change the way that we look at climate change. Each day I walk 10 miles on a journey from the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, to Washington, DC. Along the way, I have had the honor of meeting with farmers, local public officials, community members, students, and activists. Every person I meet has been affected by the impacts of climate change, from the disastrous hailstorm that occurred in Reading, PA, in May to the local fisherman concerned that atrazine was found in spawning beds of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River. Climate change affects us all, and the impacts and destruction caused by catastrophic weather events are more noticeable with each passing year. Along the way, I continue to tell people that climate change is a gift. This is Mother Nature's way of letting us know that she is sick. We have broken our ecological systems, and ...
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Global Climate Deal Shouldn't Be Legally Binding, Top State Department Official Says 15.10.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The United States wants to broker a global agreement on climate change that would contain some legal elements but would stop short of being legally binding on an international level, the country's top diplomat on climate change issues said. Todd Stern, the State Department climate change special envoy, addressed one of the thorniest issues in ongoing talks to secure a global plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions - its legal form. Stern said a recent proposal by New Zealand for countries to submit a "schedule" for reducing emissions that would be legally binding and subject to mandatory accounting, reporting and review offers an approach that could get the buy-in of countries like the United States that are wary of ratifying an internationally binding treaty. The content of the schedule itself and the actions each country pledges would not be legally binding at an international level. "Some are sure to disapprove of the New Zealand idea, ...
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Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals Making Very Cute Comeback 14.10.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Hawaiian monk seal births are on the rise, according to The Marine Mammal Center. The species is considered critically endangered, with fewer than 1,200 individuals left in the wild. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program recorded 121 monk seal pups this year, up from 103 in 2013. The increase might seem minor, but for a species with such a small population, it's a huge victory. Plus, it means more of this kind of adorableness: **Swoon!** Conservationists hope to see additional population increases in the future, now that a new healthcare facility devoted entirely to the Hawaiian monk seal is up and running. Located in the town of Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Ke Kai Ola hospital opened in early September and aims to "give monk seal pups a better shot at survival and adult seals a second chance when they need it." Ultimately, the hospital hopes to restore the Hawaiian monk seal population. For now, administrators ...
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The Planet Just Had Its Warmest September On Record, Continuing Hot Streak 14.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This past September was the warmest since records began in 1880, according to new data released by NASA this weekend. The announcement continues a trend of record or near-record breaking months, including May and August of this year. The newly released data could make it very likely that 2014 will become the warmest year on record . September temperature anomalies (in degrees Celsius) compared to the 1951-1980 average. (PHOTO: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies ) Dr. Gavin Schmidt , a climatologist and climate modeler at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies , told The Huffington Post last month that although these temperature records are significant, they are just one piece of the data that "point[s] towards the long-term trends" of warming. He cautioned against focusing too intently on any one month or year, but rather the broader scope of human-caused climate ...
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Illegal Marijuana Farms Among Threats To Fisher Populations, Federal Biologists Warn 8.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Citing a threat from rat poison used on illegal marijuana plantations, federal biologists on Monday proposed Endangered Species Act protection for West Coast populations of the fisher, a larger cousin of the weasel. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published notice in the Federal Register that it wants to list the fisher as a threatened species in Oregon, California and Washington. The full proposal was expected Tuesday. Other reasons for the proposal include the loss of forest habitat to wildfire, logging and urban development, disease, being eaten by other predators, illegal fur trapping and climate change. The fisher is the second species in the West for which biologists have formally recognized a threat from marijuana cultivation. A recovery plan for coho salmon calls for reducing pollution from pesticides and fertilizers used on pot plantations; decreasing illegal water withdrawals from salmon streams; and easing clear-cut logging. Scientists are also working to see how ...
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What Do Global Warming And Sweaters Have In Common? This Climate Scientist Explains. 7.10.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Climate scientist Adam Levy got sick of hearing all the usual arguments against the existence of climate change, so he decided to fight back with a clever and easy to understand YouTube channel . His latest video explains global warming using a sweater analogy. "We've known for over a hundred years that the carbon dioxide that exists naturally in the earth's atmosphere helps trap heat to keep the world warm, just like a sweater in winter." By adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, Levy explains, we're adding more hot clothes. "When a sweater's making you hot, you can just take it off," Levy says. "Unfortunately for us, carbon dioxide doesn't work like that. Once it's in the atmosphere, it sticks around for hundreds of years, so if you want to stop the world getting warmer, we need to stop too much carbon dioxide getting in to the atmosphere in the first place." Levy, who calls himself "Climate Adam," also provides links to serious scientific sources to back up his playful movies. In between making ...
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World Falling Behind On Plan To Protect Natural World By 2020, UN Says 6.10.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent OSLO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Governments are failing to meet goals to protect animals and plants set out in a biodiversity plan for 2020 that also aims to increase food supplies and slow climate change, a U.N. report showed on Monday. Many rare species face a mounting risk of extinction, forests are being cleared by farmers at an alarming rate, and pollution and over-fishing are continuing despite the U.N. push agreed in 2010 to reverse harmful trends for nature. "There has been an increase in effort (by governments) ... but this will not be enough to reach the targets," Braulio de Souza Dias, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), told Reuters, citing a progress report. Overall, the Global Biodiversity Outlook issued at the start of a biodiversity meeting in South Korea on Monday showed that only five of 53 goals set for preserving nature were on target or ahead of schedule. The other 48 were lagging. Governments were on ...
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On National Day of Maize in Mexico, Protecting the Sacred Plant 2.10.2014 Truthout - All Articles
Adelita San Vicente Tello speaking at local celebration of Mexico's first National Holiday of Native and Creole Seeds. (Photo: Adelita San Vicente Tello)Here we have an opportunity, which is that most corn is still produced by campesinos/as [small farmers]. They still use native seeds, and they use rainwater for sowing – even though they do it in soil that is very degraded and thus produces little. We consider this small-holder production to be an opportunity, because genetic reserves are stored in the native seeds. Traditional knowledge lies within them. This is really where the alternative lies for the food production model, especially when faced with the problem of climate change. I work with an organization called Seeds of Life, which has an office in Mexico City but works throughout the country in Veracruz, Puebla, Jalisco, and Morelos. One thing we do is support the farmers in preserving their seeds by creating corn reserves. We call them reserves so as not to call them “banks”, the capitalist ...
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Birds and passion, Ecuador rules in biodiversity. 1.10.2014 Earth Times
The evolutionary relationships between organisms are endless, while some stand out as truly incredible. For 10 million years, mountains have moved and bills have been “paid” as pollination was accomplished by bat, bee and bird
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New research in Thailand finds birds and bats key to reforestation efforts 30.9.2014 Environmental News Network
Tropical forest restoration projects are exciting research sites for scientists studying factors that affect ecosystem recovery. Here, scientists are trying to understand plant community succession, i.e. the process of recovery after cleared lands are abandoned and allowed to regrow naturally. One of the most important components of this recovery process is seed dispersal, since seeds from nearby forests allow a deforested habitat to become populated again by native plants and trees.
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On National Day of Maize in Mexico, Protecting the Sacred Plant 30.9.2014 Commondreams.org Views
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Meet the people who want to want to turn predators into vegans 30.9.2014 TreeHugger
Some philosophers think we should end all suffering by "phasing out" predators.
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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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Goats found to be better than chemicals when it comes to curbing invasive marsh grass 25.9.2014 Environmental News Network
Herbivores, not herbicides, may be the most effective way to combat the spread of one of the most invasive plants now threatening East Coast salt marshes, a new Duke University-led study finds. Phragmites australis, or the common reed, is a rapid colonizer that has overrun many coastal wetlands from New England to the Southeast. A non-native perennial, it can form dense stands of grass up to 10 feet high that block valuable shoreline views of the water, kill off native grasses, and alter marsh function.
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Carry a Torch 25.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
"Many Native people would say this needs to be burned." Rob Cuthrell, having just the weekend before become a newly minted doctor of archaeology, looked down from the edge of the 225-acre Quiroste Valley Cultural Preserve in Año Nuevo State Park north of Santa Cruz. We stood on the site of the ancient village Mitinne, once populated by the strong Quiroste polity who fatefully intersected here with the Spanish nearly 245 years ago. Down below was a familiar expanse of dried grasses interspersed with coyote brush and rimmed by Douglas fir trees. It looked a lot like many other wide-open expanses of California coast protected from development and home to many native species. Untouched land looks natural. But it's not, really. Nor, perhaps, has it ever been, at least on the terms that we usually define the word "natural." Around the hilltop on which we stood, Cuthrell pointed out purple needlegrass, the official California state grass. "This is a main constituent of coastal prairies," he said. "I was up here ...
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Why Monarch Butterflies Need Endangered Species Act Protection 23.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
As monarch butterflies make their long journey from the U.S. to Mexico this fall, let's pause to consider the 90 percent drop in their numbers over the past twenty years. So steep has been their decline that a petition has been filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting protection for the monarch under the Endangered Species Act. This eloquent and detailed document lays out the research showing not only the decline but the causes of it. At the top of the list is the use of the herbicide glyphosate - best known as the active ingredient in Roundup - on vast Midwestern fields of crops genetically engineered to be unaffected by it. Among the unwanted plants zapped, alas, is milkweed, the only plant where monarchs lay their eggs and monarch caterpillars feed. With the coming of glyphosate-resistant corn and soybeans, milkweed has virtually vanished across the industrially farmed fields of the Midwest. To make matters worse, farm fields have been covering ever more of the landscape in response to ...
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