How Air Pollution Regulation Can Affect Bird Populations

Although we have strong evidence that air pollution poses significant health risks to humans, how air pollutants affect plants and animals is not well studied. Birds are especially susceptible to air pollution because they have a unique way of breathing and interacting with air. Therefore, a group of scientists conducted a study on how air pollution affects North American birds and how air quality regulations, which were initially created to benefit humans, can also benefit these bird species.

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When Geological Processes Collide– Exploring the Link Between Earthquakes and Glaciers

What happens when glaciers melt? Scientists have discussed numerous effects of deglaciation including sea level rise and loss of habitats but recently, geologists have been thinking about how glaciers interact with the crust of the earth. Researchers from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks found a link between melting glaciers and earthquakes in Southeast Alaska which adds new understanding about the indirect effects of climate change and the role of humans in natural disasters.

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Combine Crickets and Lockdowns and get an Unlikely Experiment

In the spring of 2020, we all dealt with lockdowns in a different way. In urban parks, animals were suddenly exposed to a world without humans, and this disrupted ongoing urban ecology experiments. But resourceful ecologists used the sudden silence near businesses and the uptick of outdoor recreation to understand how shifting human behaviors change timing and duration of chirping urban crickets.

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If trees could hear, is human noise a threat?

Sources of noise, like gas well compressors, are known to affect many animals negatively. But could the noise be impacting plant communities? Researchers sought an answer by comparing pinyon and juniper seedling growth near quiet or noisy gas well pads in the woodlands of New Mexico. Throughout the twelve-year study, noise harmed tree communities. Trees struggled to recover even several years after the noise was removed. Now is the time to listen to the trees because the trees are tired of listening to us.

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A Day in the Life of a Parasite: Using Parasites to Describe Fish Movement

When you think of parasites, your first thoughts probably aren’t “helpful” or “useful.” However, parasites aren’t just something we try to get rid of; they can be studied and used in all kinds of applications, including conservation. Check out this article to learn more about how scientists are using parasites to track species movements around the world.

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Using Plants to Protect the Past

A new study found that plants that are culturally significant to Native American tribes are abundant near archeological sites in Bears Ears National Monument suggesting that historical human behavior is still shaping our ecosystems today. Now, we need to use our resources to protect this cultural and ecological legacy and educate others about the history of these ancestral lands.

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New Discovery of Microbes Gobbling Up Greenhouse Gases in Extreme Environments

A new group of microbes can eat up methane, a common component of greenhouse gas. Named for Dr. Thomas Brock, this new phylum sheds new light on the role microbes play in the global carbon cycle. This study demonstrates the astounding biodiversity of microbes in extreme environments and how tiny creatures shape our world.

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Phoning the Queen with Fanning and Pheromones

Like a game of telephone, bees pass pheromones to each other by sticking their butts in the air and frantically fanning their wings. This individual behavior helps the entire group aggregate around the queen. A recent study used video recording and machine learning to understand how these pheromones are passed from bee to bee and understand collective behavior in honey bees.

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Helping a vulnerable rabbit species hop along with non-invasive genetic sampling

Many species face harsh challenges to persist in a human modified world. In order to design and implement conservation plans to support these imperiled species, we need to study wild populations. Advancements in genetics have made it easier to monitor wild populations and obtain relevant data to make informed choices regarding management and conservation policies. Check out this ebite to learn more about the conservation genetics of the New England cottontail rabbits.

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