User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-National
Category: Specific Organisms :: Fungi
Last updated: Dec 15 2017 22:42 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Saving Salamanders: Vital to Ecosystem Health 15.12.2017 Environmental News Network
Amphibians—the big-eyed, swimming-crawling-jumping-climbing group of water and land animals that includes frogs, toads, salamanders and worm-like caecilians—are the world’s most endangered vertebrates. One-third of the planet’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction. Now, these vulnerable creatures are facing a new foe: the Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) fungus, which is the source of an emerging amphibian disease that caused the die-off of wild European salamander populations.
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Researcher develops app to identify poisonous mushrooms 4.12.2017 Environmental News Network
Foraging is a centuries-old practice, but many of the mushrooms in British Columbia are just now being identified through DNA sequencing and the enthusiasm of amateur collectors.
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The shot hole borer beetle could kill 38% of all trees in the L.A. region 30.11.2017 LA Times: Commentary

Pick a tree at random anywhere in Southern California and examine it closely. Chances are good that you will find small wet stains on its trunk. Those wet stains are most likely signs of a fatal tree disease that is spreading throughout the region at an alarming rate, and which has the potential...

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Bananapocalypse: The race to save the world’s most popular fruit 8.10.2017 Washington Post
A virus afflicting plantations in Australia and Southeast Asia has entered Africa and the Middle East. Scientists say Latin America, the source of virtually all the bananas eaten in the United States, is next.
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On saving forests, the world's largest carbon sinks 12.8.2017 GreenBiz.com
Satellite data shows forests in retreat. If the carbon encased in just fir trees is released, our warming blanket of carbon dioxide would turn to an overheating quilt.
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Hundreds of species of fungi in deep coral ecosystems discovered by University of Hawaii at Manoa botanists 13.7.2017 Environmental News Network
Researchers from the University of Hawai?i at M?noa Department of Botany have discovered hundreds of potentially new species of fungi in the deep coral ecosystem in the ?Au?au channel off Maui, Hawai?i. Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCE) are generally found at depths between 130–500 feet and possess abundant plant (algal) life as well as new fish species. The mysteries of these reefs are only recently being revealed through technological advances in closed circuit rebreather diving. Previously overlooked—being too precarious for conventional SCUBA and too shallow to justify the cost of frequent submersible dives—mesophotic reefs continuously disclose breathtaking levels of biodiversity with each dive, yielding species and behavioral interactions new to science.
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Summary of the 33 Research Proposals Winning Funding in our 2017 Small Grants Program 13.7.2017 ENN Network News - ENN
We were able to fund 33 of 90 proposals this year, for a total of $32,160. Funded proposals were submitted by 19 men and 15 women, most of whom are academics: two professors, 13 doctoral students, nine masters students and three undergraduates. Seven are independent researchers. The 33 proposals come from 19 states: Alabama (1), California (2), Colorado (2), Florida (1), Illinois (5), Iowa (3), Kansas (3), Michigan (1), Mississippi (1), Missouri (3), Montana (1), Nebraska (1), Nevada (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (2), Wisconsin (2) and Wyoming (1).
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Hot new imagery of wintering bats suggests a group behavior for battling white-nose syndrome 6.7.2017 Wildlife and Habitat Conservation News - ENN
Hot new imagery from temperature-sensing cameras suggests that bats who warm up from hibernation together throughout the winter may be better at surviving white nose syndrome, a disease caused by a cold-loving fungus ravaging insect-eating bat populations in the United States and Canada. The study by researchers with Massey University in New Zealand and the USGS was published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution.  
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Researchers race to slow a disease that could wipe out some bat species 28.6.2017 Minnesota Public Radio: Law & Justice
The fungal disease called white-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats since it was first discovered in North America 10 years ago, but University of Minnesota scientist Christine Salomon hopes to find a treatment deep in the cold damp shafts of the Soudan Mine.
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Wood Beetles Are Nature's Recyclers – With A Little Help From Fungi 23.5.2017 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Michał Filipiak , Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University Dead wood-eating beetles, such as termites, can cause damage to residential properties. But they repay humans by performing a priceless service: helping us recycle decomposing dead trees. Decomposition may have an unpleasant ring to it but it is a fundamental process in a functioning ecosystem, ensuring that we are not buried under the huge mass of dead organic matter that is produced every year right on our own doorsteps. Dead wood-eating beetles are among the insect world’s best decomposers – organisms that digest dead matter and make their own living cells and tissues out of the acquired atoms . The vast majority of organic matter produced worldwide every year is stored in wood, which is tough, and hard to digest and decompose. Worse yet, wood is nutritionally stingy . Dead wood is rich in sugars (cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin ), but try surviving on sugar alone! Digested wood may be source of energy, but it is ...
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Fungal Diseases Are on the Rise -- Is Environmental Change to Blame? 21.5.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Scientists and physicians are looking for clues to a worrying increase in fungal infections and exploring ways to reduce the threat. (Photo: Pixabay ) Why doesn't this site have ads? In order to maintain our integrity, Truthout doesn't accept any advertising money. Help us keep it this way -- make a donation to support our independent journalism. Fungi are everywhere -- from the mushrooms that decompose fallen logs in the forest, to the mold that grows in your bathtub, to the microscopic fungal cells that reside naturally on your skin. Scientists estimate there are 1.5 million species of fungi on the planet. They're a diverse group, bunched together by their ability to use digestive enzymes to break down and absorb nutrients from their surroundings -- a characteristic that makes some of them great decomposers. Fungi are, in essence, nature's first compost bin. Many of them also help plants grow or carry out other important ecosystem functions. And some fungi are pathogens, causing disease in plants and ...
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A deadly fungus that's killed millions of bats in the Northeast has spread to Texas 7.4.2017 LA Times: Science

Bad news for bats: White-nose syndrome, a disease caused by a fungus that has been killing millions of bats across the Northeast, has reached Texas.

Conservationists and state and federal wildlife officials confirmed in March that the fungal infection has been detected in bats in the Texas panhandle.

...
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‘BioBlitz’ scientists to survey California desert valley 6.4.2017 Seattle Times: Nation & World

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scientists will fan out across a California desert valley this weekend to take an inventory of everything there that flies, hops, runs, swims or grows in the dirt. It’s been 45 years since researchers last scoured Amargosa Valley near the northern edge of the Mojave Desert. That accounting of species led […]
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A merciless bat-killing fungus is on the move again. Now it's in Texas. 24.3.2017 Washington Post
A merciless bat-killing fungus is on the move again. Now it's in Texas.
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DNR: Bat killing disease spreading in Minnesota, decimating colonies 23.3.2017 Minnesota Public Radio: News
White-nose syndrome, a disease that can be fatal to hibernating bats, has now been confirmed in six Minnesota counties, officials said Thursday.
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When Their Food Ran Out, These Reindeer Kept Digging 18.2.2017 NPR: Saturday
Reindeer are thought to face a grim future as climate change threatens lichen, a key winter food source. But on one Alaskan island, reindeer have found a new food source, making scientists hopeful.
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Humans, not climate change, wiped out Australian megafauna 20.1.2017 Environmental News Network
New evidence involving the ancient poop of some of the huge and astonishing creatures that once roamed Australia indicates the primary cause of their extinction around 45,000 years ago was likely a result of humans, not climate change. 
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They Lost Their Jungles to Plantations, but These Indigenous Women Grew Them Back 11.12.2016 Truthout - All Articles
It is early morning in Dhepagudi, a sleepy hamlet nestled in the green hills of Odisha, India. Admai Kumruka is sifting millet in a traditional sieve made of bamboo strips. Children mill around, playing on a mud and sand mound. A few huts down, Rello Dindika is sorting through harvested corn. A group of women are chopping fresh pumpkin leaves and flowers for a stir-fry dish. They have finished morning chores and farming work and are now preparing breakfast. Some of the corn will be ground to a powder for a wholesome porridge. The rest will be popped in clay vessels for evening snacks. "We have mandya or kosla [varieties of millets] or maka [corn] porridge in the mornings sometimes with roots and tubers or gondri saag [a variety of greens] foraged from the jungles," Kumruka says. "In the afternoons and evenings, we make rice with tubers, vegetables and legumes. Sometimes we add wild mushrooms or jhotta [okra] and holud [turmeric roots]." The women belong to the Khond community, a large indigenous tribal ...
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Mysterious willow die-off in northern San Diego County 29.11.2016 LA Times: Commentary

A mysterious pest has damaged willows along the Escondido Creek watershed of northern San Diego County, leaving conservation officials scrambling for answers to the die-off.

Officials with the Escondido Creek Conservancy originally suspected the damage was caused by the shot hole borer beetle,...

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Before the Holiday Feast: New Data on Pesticides in Food Raises Safety Questions 23.11.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
As American gather their families to share a Thanksgiving meal this week, new government data offers a potentially unappetizing assessment of the U.S. food supply: Residues of many types of insecticides, fungicides and weed killing chemicals have been found in roughly 85 percent of thousands of foods tested. Data released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows varying levels of pesticide residues in everything from mushrooms to potatoes and grapes to green beans. One sample of strawberries contained residues of 20 pesticides, according to the "Pesticide Data Program" (PDP) report issued this month by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. The report is the 25th annual such compilation of residue data for the agency, and covered sampling the USDA did in 2015 Notably, the agency said only 15 percent of the 10,187 samples tested were free from any detectable pesticide residues. That's a marked difference from 2014, when the USDA found that over 41 percent of samples were "clean" or ...
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