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Study on Fungi Evolution Answers Questions About Ancient Coal Formation and May Help Advance Future Biofuels Production

 

Study Reveals the Potentially Large Influences of Fungi, One of the Most Biologically Diverse Classes of Organisms, On Our Energy Supplies

A new study which includes the first large-scale comparison of fungi that cause rot decay suggests that the evolution of a type of fungi known as white rot may have brought an end to a 60-million-year-long period of coal deposition known as the Carboniferous period. Coal deposits that accumulated during the Carboniferous, which ended about 300 million years ago, have historically fueled about 50 percent of U.S. electric power generation.

 


Venezuela Ends Shark Finning, Creates Protected Area

Venezuela set forth a series of measures this week to protect sharks within its waters. Most significantly, commercial shark fishing is now prohibited throughout the 3,730 square kilometers (1,440 square miles) of the Caribbean Sea that make up the popular Los Roques and Las Aves archipelagos, whose pristine beaches and coral reefs make it a diving and fishing attraction.

 


A Tree of All Life Being Built to Bring Together What is Known About How Species are Related

A new initiative aims to build a comprehensive tree of life that brings together everything scientists know about how all species are related, from the tiniest bacteria to the tallest tree. Information about evolutionary relationships is fundamental to comparative biology research. It helps scientists identify promising new medicines; develop hardier, higher-yielding crops; and fight infectious diseases such as HIV, anthrax and influenza.

 


NOAA Reports a Record Number of Rebuilt Fisheries

A record six fish populations were declared rebuilt to healthy levels in 2011, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish populations in the last 11 years to 27, according to a report to Congress out today from NOAA’s Fisheries Service. This report documents historic progress toward ending overfishing and rebuilding our nation’s fisheries, due to the commitment of fishermen, fishing communities, non-governmental organizations, scientists, and managers.

 


Learning from Earth’s History about Changing the Chemistry of the Atmosphere and Oceans

The oceans may be acidifying faster today than they did in the last 300 million years, according to scientists who published a paper in the March 2, 2012 issue of the journal Science. "These scientists have synthesized and evaluated evidence far back in Earth's history," said Candace Major, program officer in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences, which funded the research. "The ocean acidification we're seeing today is unprecedented…a result of the very fast rates at which we're changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans."

 


Protection for Bermuda's 'Golden Rainforest of the Sea'

The Pew Environment Group’s Global Ocean Legacy Program is working with the government of Bermuda, nongovernmental organizations, and scientists to establish the ‘Bermuda Blue Halo,’ a very large, no-take marine reserve to protect the Sargasso Sea within Bermuda's waters.

 


Time of Year Important in Projections of Climate Change Effects on Ecosystems

 

Results of study on prairie grasslands show differences across the months. Does it matter whether long periods of hot weather, such as last year's heat wave that gripped the U.S. Midwest, happen in June or July, August or September?  Scientists studying the subtle effects of heat waves and droughts say that when such weather events happen makes a big difference.

 


World’s First Look at the Myanmar Snub-Nosed Monkey

Researchers working in Northern Myanmar captured the first photographs of the recently discovered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus strykeri. The images were reported by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) on 10 January 2012. A joint team from Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) and People Resources and Conservation Foundation (PRCF), caught pictures of the monkey on camera traps placed in the high, forested mountains of Kachin state, bordering China.

 


New Species Discovered In The Mekong River Region

A new monkey, a self-cloning skink, five carnivorous plants, and a unique leaf warbler are among the 208 species newly described by science in the Greater Mekong region in 2010 and highlighted in a new WWF report, Wild Mekong.


Badwater Basin: Death Valley Microbe Thrives There: Discovery may lead to novel biotech and nanotech uses

Scientists Dennis Bazylinski and colleagues at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) sluice through every water body they can find in Nevada looking for new forms of microbial magnetism.


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