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Ecology / Conservation posts

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  • September 17, 2013
  • 12:51 PM
  • 384 views

Computer Model to Help Manage Hydropower in Kenya

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

The largest share of Kenya’s electricity supply comes from hydroelectric stations at the dams along the upper Tana River, as well as the Turkwel Gorge Dam in the west. And to keep the lights on, Kenyan authorities want to know how much water they can expect in upcoming rainy seasons. A multi-university research team have developed a computer model to help manage the hydropower in Kenya.... Read more »

  • September 17, 2013
  • 11:32 AM
  • 441 views

Buried in every whale's earwax resides a record of their lifetime exposure to pollutants | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

Not only do whales have earwax, but scientists have developed a new method for learning all sorts of interesting things about them by studying their earwax!... Read more »

Trumble Stephen J., Robinson Eleanor M., Berman-Kowalewski Michelle, Potter Charles W., & Usenko Sascha. (2013) Blue whale earplug reveals lifetime contaminant exposure and hormone profiles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1311418110  

  • September 16, 2013
  • 03:07 PM
  • 252 views

Study Puts Environmental Price Tag on Mountaintop Coal Mining

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Mountaintop coal mining is the predominant method of coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States. According to a new study, to meet current U.S. coal demand through this form of surface mining, an area of the Central Appalachians the size of Washington, D.C., would need to be mined every 81 days. That’s about 68 square miles—or roughly an area equal to 10 city blocks mined every hour.... Read more »

  • September 13, 2013
  • 07:15 PM
  • 318 views

Sunbird colonization and diversification in the Philippines; spotlight on Mindanao

by nath in Imprints of Philippine Science

The Philippines is the center of diversity of sunbirds belonging to the genus Aethopyga.  The country boasts of 8 species, …Continue reading »... Read more »

Hosner, P. A., Nyári, Á. S., & Moyle, R. G. (2013) Water barriers and intra-island isolation contribute to diversification in the insular Aethopyga sunbirds (Aves: Nectariniidae). Journal of Biogeography, 40(6), 1094-1106. info:/10.1111/jbi.12074

  • September 12, 2013
  • 02:23 PM
  • 480 views

Dealing with Drought: How Do Plants Cope?

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

Have you noticed how often drought has been in the news lately? You don’t have to be a scientist to know that drought is bad. But, if you’re a plant, how bad is bad? I mean, you’re a plant; it isn't like you can pick up your roots and go looking for the nearest water source. You must have ways to cope, strategies that will let you survive until water arrives. A new paper in Tree Physiology caught my eye today that examines how plants handle drought in our changing climate.We know that drou........ Read more »

  • September 12, 2013
  • 12:23 PM
  • 312 views

Study: It’s Cheaper to Shut Down Wind Turbine, Than to Pay for Energy Storage

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Conventional grid-scale batteries are fine for solar farms, but technological improvements are needed for efficient storage of wind power, Stanford scientists say.... Read more »

  • September 12, 2013
  • 11:47 AM
  • 233 views

Orangutans plan and communicate their travel plans

by Jim Ryan in Wild Mammals

For a long time it was thought that only humans had the ability to anticipate future actions, whereas animals are caught in the here and now. But in recent years, clever experiments with great apes in zoos have shown that they do remember past events and can plan for their future needs. Anthropologists at the University of Zurich have now investigated whether wild apes also have this skill, following them for several years through the dense tropical swamplands of Sumatra.


It turns out tha........ Read more »

  • September 12, 2013
  • 09:24 AM
  • 321 views

Journal Club: Woolly mammoth extinction due to warming climate

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: In this scientific whodunnit, the latest research points a finger squarely at changing climate as the main culprit leading to the extinction of the woolly mammoth.... Read more »

Palkopoulou Eleftheria, Dalén Love , Lister Adrian M. , Vartanyan Sergey, Sablin Mikhail, Sher Andrei, Edmark Veronica Nyström , Brandström Mikael D. , Germonpré Mietje, & Barnes Ian . (2013) Holarctic genetic structure and range dynamics in the woolly mammoth. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1910  

Barnes Ian, Shapiro Beth, Lister Adrian, Kuznetsova Tatiana, Sher Andrei, Guthrie Dale, & Thomas Mark G. (2007) Genetic Structure and Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius. Current Biology, 17(12), 1072-1075. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.05.035  

Hofreiter Michael, Münzel Susanne, Conard Nicholas J., Pollack Joshua, Slatkin Montgomery, Weiss Gunter, & Pääbo Svante. (2007) Sudden replacement of cave bear mitochondrial DNA in the late Pleistocene. Current Biology, 17(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.026  

Brace S., Palkopoulou E., Dalen L., Lister A. M., Miller R., Otte M., Germonpre M., Blockley S. P. E., Stewart J. R., & Barnes I. (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(50), 20532-20536. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109  

  • September 12, 2013
  • 05:48 AM
  • 284 views

Resurrecting Dinosaurs Will Remain a Jurassic Park Dream

by Michael Parker in United Academics

On the same day that the of the Jurassic Park film series has been confirmed, a study published in the journal PLOS One has detailed experiments that seem to prove once and for all that dinosaurs will never again walk the Earth.

The 1993 film, based on a book by Michael Crichton, depicts a theme park island filled with dinosaurs, resurrected from ancient DNA extracted from fossilised mosquitoes trapped in amber.

In the early 1990s, several scientists announced they had extracted DNA from i........ Read more »

David Penney et al. (2013) Absence of Ancient DNA in Sub-Fossil Insect Inclusions Preserved in ‘Anthropocene’ Colombian Copal. PLoS ONE. info:/

  • September 11, 2013
  • 11:23 PM
  • 321 views

The Odyssey of the Lesser Horseshoe Bat

by Andrew Harrington in Denise O'Meara

The lesser horseshoe bat hides a shadowy past, where great invasions and wanderings across vast expanses of Eurasia contrast with its slow pace of life in the present day. This saga has been revealed by a new paper by Dool et al. (2013), which looks at the patterns of diversity and distribution of different genes in the DNA of the lesser horseshoe bat and allowed the authors to look deep into the species’ history, revealing a fascinating story.... Read more »

  • September 11, 2013
  • 11:41 AM
  • 497 views

Woolly mammoth extinction due to warming climate | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

In this scientific whodunnit, the latest research points a finger squarely at changing climate and sea levels as the main culprits leading to the extinction of the woolly mammoth.... Read more »

Palkopoulou Eleftheria, Dalén Love , Lister Adrian M. , Vartanyan Sergey, Sablin Mikhail, Sher Andrei, Edmark Veronica Nyström , Brandström Mikael D. , Germonpré Mietje, & Barnes Ian . (2013) Holarctic genetic structure and range dynamics in the woolly mammoth. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1910  

Barnes Ian, Shapiro Beth, Lister Adrian, Kuznetsova Tatiana, Sher Andrei, Guthrie Dale, & Thomas Mark G. (2007) Genetic Structure and Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius. Current Biology, 17(12), 1072-1075. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.05.035  

Hofreiter Michael, Münzel Susanne, Conard Nicholas J., Pollack Joshua, Slatkin Montgomery, Weiss Gunter, & Pääbo Svante. (2007) Sudden replacement of cave bear mitochondrial DNA in the late Pleistocene. Current Biology, 17(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.026  

Brace S., Palkopoulou E., Dalen L., Lister A. M., Miller R., Otte M., Germonpre M., Blockley S. P. E., Stewart J. R., & Barnes I. (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(50), 20532-20536. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109  

  • September 10, 2013
  • 06:37 PM
  • 345 views

Study: Framework for Biomass Contracts Will Ensure Stable Biomass Supply

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A University of Illinois study recommends a framework for biomass contracts between growers and biorefineries to help spell out expectations for sustainability practices and designate who will assume the risks and costs associated with these new perennial energy crops.... Read more »

Endres J., Endres A., Stoller J. (2013) Building Bio-based Supply Chains: Theoretical Perspectives on Innovative Contract Design. UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 31(1). info:other/19151

  • September 9, 2013
  • 01:01 PM
  • 293 views

Cheap Labor Is Not the Sole Reason for Chinese Solar Panels’ Low Prices

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A study of the photovoltaic industries in the US and China shows that China’s dominance in solar panel manufacturing is not driven solely by cheaper labor and government support, but by larger-scale manufacturing and resulting supply-chain benefits.... Read more »

Alan C. Goodrich, Douglas M. Powell, Ted L. James, Michael Woodhousea, Tonio Buonassisi. (2013) Assessing the drivers of regional trends in solar photovoltaic manufacturing. Energy . DOI: 10.1039/C3EE40701B  

  • September 6, 2013
  • 03:27 PM
  • 1,067 views

Female tiger sharks migrate from Northwestern to Main Hawaiian Islands during fall pupping season

by Liza Lester in EcoTone

A partial migration of adult female tiger sharks coincides with pupping season and the months of increased incidences of shark bite in Hawaii, according to new reseach out of Hawaii’s Shark Lab... Read more »

Yannis Peter Papastamatiou, Carl Gustav Meyer, Felipe Carvalho, Jonathon Dale, Melanie Hutchinson, & Kim Holland. (2013) Telemetry and random walk models reveal complex patterns of partial migration in a large marine predator. Ecology, 94(11). DOI: 10.1890/12-2014.1  

  • September 6, 2013
  • 12:36 PM
  • 304 views

Next generation cures born from the sea

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Tackling the risks of infection and other illnesses remains a challenge. Might the solution come from the sea?... Read more »

Martin Ince. (2013) Next generation cures born from the sea. youris.com. info:/

  • September 4, 2013
  • 02:05 PM
  • 424 views

Male Frogs Grip Mates with Pheromone-Injecting Thumb Spikes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish




There's nothing subtle about the wooing of European common frogs. Males grow spiny pads on their thumbs during the breeding season, the better to grip their mates. As if that weren't enough, the pads also seem to channel pheromones out of a frog's hands and straight into his female partner's body.

Frogs fertilize their eggs out in the open, so you might think there'd be no need for all this effort. Yet males of most frog species can be seen during the mating season "taking a piggyback ride" ........ Read more »

Bert Willaert, Franky Bossuyt, Sunita Janssenswillen, Dominique Adriaens, Geert Baggerman, Severine Matthijs, Elin Pauwels, Paul Proost, Arent Raepsaet, Liliane Schoofs.... (2013) Frog nuptial pads secrete mating season-specific proteins related to salamander pheromones. Journal of Experimental Biology. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.086363  

  • September 4, 2013
  • 01:49 PM
  • 562 views

Who Said What? (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Porscha CarriveauAs an aviculturist-turned-scientist, to me, it is common sense to tell people that birds are heard more often than seen. People study bird songs or calls for a variety of reasons. The reason I study bird songs is to identify the songs that my African grey parrot has learned to mimic. His repertoire includes the vocalizations of several birds’ songs such as robins, cardinals, cat birds, and chickadees. He also mimics humans. When leaving home in the morning, the last thing t........ Read more »

Ohms, V., Beckers, G., Ten Cate, C., & Suthers, R. (2012) Vocal Tract Articulation Revisited: The Case of the Monk Parakeet. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 85-92. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.064717  

  • September 3, 2013
  • 05:27 AM
  • 334 views

Wise old birds teach migration route to young whooping cranes

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: A study of captive-bred whooping cranes found that young birds learn their migration routes over many years, and migrating alongside older birds improves the migratory efficiency of younger birds.... Read more »

Mueller T., O'Hara R. B., Converse S. J., Urbanek R. P., & Fagan W. F. (2013) Social Learning of Migratory Performance. Science, 341(6149), 999-1002. DOI: 10.1126/science.1237139  

  • September 2, 2013
  • 12:44 PM
  • 454 views

Yeast Strain That Efficiently Converts Bio-Waste Into Biofuel Developed

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers from KU Leuven and VIB have developed new yeast strains capable of converting waste into biofuel with unprecedented efficiency. The yeast strains could have real environmental and economic benefits, particularly as the burgeoning industry of second-generation biofuels continues to grow.... Read more »

  • September 2, 2013
  • 11:31 AM
  • 337 views

Wise old birds teach migration route to young whooping cranes | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

A study of captive-bred whooping cranes found that young birds learn their migration routes over many years, and migrating alongside older birds improves the migratory efficiency of younger birds.... Read more »

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