Is it a Bird? Is it Batman? Filtering and Extracting DNA from the Air Can Provide a Clue

Environmental DNA or eDNA is DNA that has been released by organisms into their surroundings. This article presents a fascinating discovery: sampling air for eDNA can ultimately show what terrestrial vertebrates are nearby. Long-range monitoring of vertebrate biodiversity is explored as well.

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Talk Turtle to Me: How Algae Could Drive Sea Turtle Populations to Extinction

Rising ocean temperatures have been increasing the size of algal blooms, with Sargassum being one of the most prominent algae species affecting coastlines in the Caribbean. When beached, Sargassum can only be removed from shores through human intervention, which is both costly and time-consuming. These algal outbreaks are ending up on beaches where sea turtles are known to nest, affecting their biology and survivability. Will beached Sargassum on Caribbean shores affect sea turtle populations irreversibly, or will we find a more effective way of dealing with the changing algal populations?

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Versatile Invaders: Exploring the movement and interactions of nonnative pine trees, fungi, and hoofed mammals in Argentina

Invasive species are a concern across the globe, and efforts are being made to stop their spread. In some cases, multiple invasive species may help each other spread and become established, adding a new layer of complexity to predicting what areas might be at risk for future invasion. How do invasive deer, fungi, and pines interact in Argentina, and how important are these relationships in helping non-native pine trees spread?

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Perennial polycultures for sustainable agriculture: Trees, shrubs, and herbs, oh my!

Many farms across the Midwestern U.S. have been designed to meet one goal: producing high crop yields. However, this is often at the expense of other important sustainability goals, like supporting pollinator populations and maintaining healthy soils. Can changing the number and types of plant species growing on farms help meet all these goals at once? Read on to find out the answer!

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More Accessible Monitoring: Using Freely-Available Aerial Photos and Software to Map Changes in River Migration and Vegetation

Riverside vegetation, or “riparian buffers”, provides wildlife habitat, maintains water quality, and reduces flood damage. Human activity can negatively affect these services, and monitoring this vegetation over time can be costly and resource-intensive. Researchers at SUNY ESF have developed a new way of mapping river channels and vegetation that uses open-source remote-sensing software, using the Genesee River in New York to develop this method. Their method greatly improves our ability to monitor this important resource over time with over 90% accuracy.

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Endophytes: Enemies or Friends?

Endophytes are microorganisms, such as fungi, that live inside plant tissue. They can benefit a plant by secreting chemicals that deter and inhibit pathogen growth. Trees are under increasing stress due to warming environmental conditions, making them more prone to disease. This study investigates whether endophytes from Scots pine have antagonistic abilities and if they can create a systemic immune response within the plant. This response could result in lower disease severity.

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