Industrial Revolution Pollution Suppresses Succession in Lichen Communities

Lichens are indicators of air pollution and ecosystem health. In London parks, researchers found that historical pollution may have decreased the lichen diversity. Sulfur emissions from the Industrial Revolution and modern nitrogen emissions stall the growth of lichens on urban trees hinting at larger effects on ecosystem health.

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Starting at the Bottom: The Potential Impact of Climate Action by Sub-National Entities in the United States

International agreements on climate change action, like the Paris Agreement of 2016, are typically reached by individual countries working together. However, sub-national governments and non-governmental entities pursuing their own policies of combating climate change can often lead to significant positive impact. The United States, which signed and then withdrew from the Paris Agreement, is a model of this scenario.

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Blue Carbon and Green Kelp: Kelp forests could reduce carbon emissions

Blue carbon is the carbon that is stored within marine ecosystems. It is being used more frequently within global carbon budgets, which are calculated to help us reduce climate change. Historically, only tidal marshes, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds have been used in calculating stored carbon for carbon budgets. A team of researchers from Norway wanted to see if kelp forests could significantly contribute to carbon storage. They studied the kelp forests along Australia’s southern coast and found their storage potential to be similar to that of the other historically used ecosystems. Conserving and restoring kelp forests could therefore increase carbon storage and help reduce climate change.

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Does wearing a face mask make humans less scary to tree sparrows?

Environmental conditions can change quite quickly. In this case, due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 we’ve all been wearing masks when we venture outside. How might this sudden change in our appearance affect animals that frequently live amongst us? Find out how Eurasian tree sparrows responded to wearing masks in two provinces of Sichuan, China.

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Some Soil Microbes Don’t Mind Our Camping Trips

Have you ever thought about the microorganisms living under your tent while you’re camping? It may seem like setting up the tent and trampling all over the campsite may harm the organisms that live in the soil but new study in the Arizona savanna turns that idea on its head. Read on to learn about camping resistant plants, microbes, and resiliency of this awesome ecosystem.

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From Food Waste to Roadways: Using Compost to Improve Soil Conditions and Tree Success Along Highways

Planting trees along highway roadsides is a good way to increase tree coverage in cities, but getting trees to grow here and maintaining these plantings over time can be difficult. Reducing soil compaction and adding organic material, such as compost, can improve roadside soils and support tree growth in these areas. A 5-year study in Ontario recently found that loosening up the soil and mixing in 10-25% food waste compost relative to soil can help improve tree growth along roadsides, possibly reducing the need to follow up and maintain these trees over time.

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In otter news: Disappearing otters and climate change spell double trouble for reefs

As many people know, sea otters are great at being adorable. But do sea otters also play an important role in combating the impacts of climate change? In this study, scientists looked at how the loss of sea otters might be making reefs more susceptible to climate change.

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