User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-National
Category: Specific Organisms :: Fungi
Last updated: May 23 2017 23:57 IST RSS 2.0
 
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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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Their mission: save Minnesota's rare orchids before it's too late 31.10.2016 Minnesota Public Radio: News
Researchers are tromping across the state gathering microscopic seeds from Minnesota's 48 rare orchid species, part of a nationwide effort to conserve the threatened flowers. Here's a look at what they found in the woods.
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Snakes make your skin crawl? This deadly fungus has the same effect on snakes. 25.10.2016 Salt Lake Tribune
Snakes have a well-earned reputation as silent and deadly killers. But there’s another predator that quietly hunts in the wild. It’s called snake fungal disease and they appear to be no match for it. If the fungus known as SFD continues to devastate snake populations in the United States, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake could soon be a goner, according to a study announced Monday by the U.S. Geological Survey. So could the Louisiana pine snake. “Some snake populations in the eastern and Midwe...
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Can science stop a banana extinction? 25.10.2016 CNN: Top Stories
The banana is the world's most popular fruit crop, with over 100 million metric tons produced annually in over 130 tropical and subtropical countries.
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In The Battle To Save Frogs, Scientists Fight Fungus With Fungus 10.9.2016 NPR News
A deadly fungus is devastating frog populations around the world. In California, scientists are racing to find a way to immunize one species, mountain yellow-legged frogs, against the fungus.
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Meatless Monday: Small Steps, Big Changes -- Gene Baur and "Living the Farm Sanctuary Life" 22.8.2016 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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North Country trail: The Minnesota national park you've never heard of 11.8.2016 Minnesota Public Radio: News
The North Country National Scenic Trail is a passion project of volunteers from New York to North Dakota.
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The average home has more than 100 kinds of bugs living in it, new study finds 6.8.2016 LA Times: Commentary

Don’t panic, but your house probably has a lot more bugs in it than you think.

The average home contains more than 100 different species of flies, spiders, beetles, ants and other bugs — with an even greater variety inside houses in wealthier neighborhoods, according to a new study in Biology Letters.

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Trees talk to each other and recognize their offspring 29.7.2016 TreeHugger
The Lorax might have spoken for the trees, but it turns out that trees can speak for themselves. At least to other trees, that is.
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Climate Change This Week: A Hot New High, Kids Show the Way, and More! 27.7.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
OO Europe's Oil Imports 'Dependent On Unstable Countries' OO Power From "The New Coal", Natural Gas, Expected To Reach A Record High, Despite Climate Concerns - bad news, because besides the bad methane emissions from its production and distribution, burning it adds further emissions. OO US Coal Ash Crisis Builds - Coal production and use has plummeted, but the wastes left behind after burning it keep on coming, and they have been stored in lightly regulated, water-filled basins since at least the 1950s. OO China Pledged To Curb Coal Plants. Greenpeace Says It's Still Adding Them. The construction boom would result in about 400 gigawatts of excess capacity and waste more than $150 billion on building unneeded plants, said the new a report. But ... OO Record Growth In Chinese Renewable Energy Markets OO Coal India Accused Of Bulldozing Human Rights Amid Production Boom says Amnesty International report. <> OO Fossil Fuel Industry Risks Losing $33 Trillion in revenue in the next 25 years due to global ...
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