Current Landscape News and Events

Current Landscape News and Events, Landscape News Articles.
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Study: Effects of past ice ages more widespread than previously thought
A study by University of Arkansas researchers suggests that cold temperatures in unglaciated North America during the last ice age shaped past and modern landscape as far south as Texas and Arkansas. (2021-02-22)

Wolves prefer to feed on the wild side
When there is a choice, wolves in Mongolia prefer to feed on wild animals rather than grazing livestock. This is the discovery by a research team from the University of Göttingen and the Senckenberg Museum Görlitz. Previous studies had shown that the diet of wolves in inland Central Asia consists mainly of grazing livestock, which could lead to increasing conflict between nomadic livestock herders and wild predatory animals like wolves. The study has been published in the journal Mammalian Biology. (2021-02-18)

New study evaluates the advancement of ecology from a 2D to 3D science
A new study, published in Bioscience, considers the future of ecology, where technological advancement towards a multidimensional science will continue to fundamentally shift the way we view, explore, and conceptualize the natural world. (2021-02-17)

Can evolution be predicted?
Evolution adapts and optimizes organisms to their ecological niche. This could be used to predict how an organism evolves, but how can such predictions be rigorously tested? The Biophysics and Computational Neuroscience group led by professor Gašper Tkačik at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria has now created a mathematical framework to do exactly that. (2021-02-15)

The therapeutic potential of peptides
There are more than 80 peptide drugs on the global market and about twice as many in clinical development. Due to their beneficial properties, these biomolecules play already an important role in the treatment of diseases. In Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, a team of Austrian and Australian scientists led by Markus Muttenthaler of the University of Vienna present an outlook on the latest trends in peptide drug discovery and development. (2021-02-10)

CWRU researchers uncover biochemical rules between RNA-protein interactions and expr
A team of Case Western Reserve University researchers has found a way to measure key characteristics of proteins that bind to RNA in cells--a discovery that could improve our understanding of how gene function is disturbed in cancer, neurodegenerative disorders or infections. (2021-02-10)

Bats on the rise
Bats carried aloft to almost 2,000 metres by air currents (2021-02-09)

Fast-flying bats rely on late-night updrafts to reach great heights
Although scientists knew that some bats could reach heights of over 1,600 meters (or approximately one mile) above the ground during flight, they didn't understand how they managed to do it without the benefit of thermals that aren't typically available to them during their nighttime forays. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on February 4th have uncovered the bats' secret to high-flying. (2021-02-04)

Fungus that eats fungus could help coffee farmers
Coffee rust is a parasitic fungus and a big problem for coffee growers around the world. A study in the birthplace of coffee - Ethiopia - shows that another fungus seems to have the capacity to supress the rust outbreaks in this landscape. (2021-02-03)

Wellbeing benefits of wetlands
Australians love their beaches, and now a new study also confirms the broad appeal of other coastal assets such as tidal wetlands, nature trails and protected areas including bird and dolphin sanctuaries. In one of the first studies of its kind in Australia, ahead of World Wetlands Day (2 February), Flinders University environment and marine ecology experts have conducted an Adelaide-based survey of how residents connect with and rate the attributes of Adelaide's northern metropolitan coastal wetlands. (2021-01-31)

How is human behavior impacting wildlife movement?
For species to survive in the wild, maintaining connectivity between populations is critical. Without 'wildlife corridors', groups of animals are isolated and may die out. In assessing wildlife connectivity, many aspects of the landscape are measured, but the impact of human behaviour has largely been overlooked. Now, an international team led by the University of Göttingen and Humboldt University Berlin, introduce the concept of 'anthropogenic resistance'. Their perspective article was published in the journal One Earth. (2021-01-29)

Remdesivir disrupts COVID-19 virus better than other similar drugs
New PME research shows how the COVID-19 drug remdesivir works at the molecular level, which could help scientists determine how best to use it to treat the disease. (2021-01-29)

Energy spent avoiding humans associated with smaller home ranges for male pumas
New research shows that fear of humans causes mountain lions to increase their energy expenditures as they move through the landscape, and this can ultimately limit the size of the home ranges they're able to maintain. (2021-01-25)

Counting elephants from space
For the first time, scientists have successfully used satellite cameras coupled with deep learning to count animals in complex geographical landscapes, taking conservationists an important step forward in monitoring populations of endangered species. (2021-01-19)

Bees respond to wildfire aftermath by producing more female offspring
Researchers have found that the blue orchard bee, an important native pollinator, produces female offspring at higher rates in the aftermath of wildfire in forests. (2021-01-14)

Climate change reduces the abundance and diversity of wild bees, study finds
Wild bees are more affected by climate change than by disturbances to their habitats, according to a team of researchers led by Penn State. The findings suggest that addressing land-use issues alone will not be sufficient to protecting these important pollinators. (2021-01-12)

New challenges for wolf conservation
The predator's growing population could cause conflict with keepers of grazing animals and risk several conservation goals. (2021-01-07)

Novel method identifies areas most suitable for conservation of black lion tamarin
The researchers used modeling to show which areas are suitable in terms of forest cover and climate for occupation by the endangered species, which is endemic to the state of São Paulo. Their study is a contribution to translocation initiatives that move groups of these animals to areas from which the species has disappeared. (2021-01-05)

Model predicts where ticks, Lyme disease will appear next in Midwest states
By drawing from decades of studies, scientists created a timeline marking the arrival of black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks, in hundreds of counties across 10 Midwestern states. They used these data - along with an analysis of county-level landscape features associated with the spread of ticks - to build a model that can predict where ticks are likely to appear in future years. (2020-12-22)

Variety: Spice of life for bumble bees
The yield and quality of many crops benefit from pollination, but it isn't just honey bees that do this work: bumble bees also have a role. A team led by University of Göttingen used innovative molecular biological methods and traditional microscopy to investigate the pollen collecting behaviour of honey bees and bum-ble bees in agricultural landscapes. It turns out bumble bees take much more pollen from different plant species than honey bees to satisfy their need for protein. (2020-12-21)

Study: Bumble bees lacking high-quality habitat have higher pathogen loads
Bumble bees found in low-quality landscapes -- characterized by a relative lack of spring flowers and quality nesting habitat -- had higher levels of disease pathogens, as did bumble bees in areas with higher numbers of managed honey bee hives, according to research led by Penn State scientists. (2020-12-21)

Academies call for prompt action to protect biodiversity in the agricultural landscape
The biodiversity in Germany's agricultural landscape has declined considerably in recent years. In a joint statement, the German Academies of Sciences state the protection of biodiversity as an urgent and complex challenge. A change in society as a whole towards sustainable farming is required. It is important to also take the economic, political, legal, and social parameters of agriculture into account. Thus, the scientists recommend a systematic approach, implementing a variety of solutions at the same time. (2020-12-15)

Evapotranspiration in an arid environment
Evapotranspiration is an important process in the water cycle because it is responsible for 15% of the atmosphere's water vapor. Without that input of water vapor, clouds could not form, and precipitation would never fall. It is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces and by transpiration from plants. (2020-12-15)

An alternate savanna
When civil war broke out in Mozambique more than 40 years ago, it largely spelled doom for animals in Gorongosa National Park, a 1,500-square-mile reserve on the floor of the southern end of the Great African Rift Valley, in the heart of the country. As the decades-long fighting spilled over into the reserve, many of the creatures became casualties of the conflict. (2020-12-14)

Toxic pollutants can impact wildlife disease spread
Exposure to toxic pollutants associated with human activities may be influencing the spread of infectious diseases in wildlife, according to a new study from the University of Georgia. (2020-12-09)

'Big data' enables first census of desert shrub
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin leveraged computer algorithms and high-resolution survey data to conduct the first-ever creosote census - counting every creosote in a 135-square-mile conservation site in Nevada's Mojave Desert. The researchers discovered important new information about the plant species, but they also demonstrate how data techniques can improve on conventional methods for studying plant communities. (2020-12-07)

European colonization accelerated erosion tenfold
Rates of soil erosion and alluvium accumulation in North America accelerated 10-fold after Europeans colonized the continent, according to new research carried out by scientists from China, Belgium and USA. (2020-12-01)

Mine ponds amplify mercury risks in Peru's Amazon
The proliferation of pits and ponds created in recent years by miners digging for gold in Peru's Amazon has altered the landscape and amplified the risk of mercury poisoning, a new study shows. In some watersheds, there's been a 670% increase in land area covered by abandoned mining pits that have filled in with water. Low-oxygen conditions in these ponds accelerate the conversion of submerged mercury, a leftover from the mining, into highly toxic methylmercury. (2020-11-27)

Half of researchers worried about long-term impact of COVID-19 to funding -- global study
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has created concerns amongst the scientific research community that funding to their area will be impacted in the long term, a global survey shows. Half (47%) of those surveyed believe less funding will be available in their area in the future because of COVID-19. (2020-11-16)

Drawing the line to answer art's big questions
Algorithms have shown that the compositional structure of Western landscape paintings changed 'suspiciously' smoothly between 1500 and 2000 AD, potentially indicating a selection bias by art curators or in art historical literature, physicists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and colleagues report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (2020-11-13)

What does the fox say to a puma?
The two predator species can successfully share a landscape and hunt for food over the same nighttime hours because they are, in essence, ordering from different menus. (2020-11-13)

The ecology of crop pests
Ecological theory provides insights on pesticide use in agriculture (2020-11-09)

Bronze Age travel routes revealed using pioneering research method
Archaeologists from the University of Sydney have reconstructed the ancient seasonal migration routes of Bronze Age herders in Xinjiang, north-western China. Published in the high-ranking journal PLOS ONE, their research was the result of innovative methodology. To determine snow cover and vegetation cycles, crucial to the survival of Bronze Age people and their flocks, they examined both satellite imagery and archaeological evidence, as well as interviewing modern-day herders. (2020-11-04)

Sea-level rise will have complex consequences
Rising sea levels will affect coasts and human societies in complex and unpredictable ways, according to a new study that examined 12,000 years in which a large island became a cluster of smaller ones. (2020-11-04)

Coastal Greenland reshaped as Greenland ice sheet mass loss accelerates
Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has accelerated significantly over the past two decades, transforming the shape of the ice sheet edge and therefore coastal Greenland. (2020-10-27)

Land management in forest and grasslands: How much can we intensify?
Intensive land-use reduces beneficial effects of biodiversity on ecosystem services. This is the main result of a study led by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the University of Bern. It assessed the effects of land management on the links between biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services, identified thresholds of management intensity, most important species groups for driving services, and the ecosystem services at risk. (2020-10-26)

Turbulent era sparked leap in human behavior, adaptability 320,000 years ago
The first analysis of a sedimentary drill core representing 1 million years of environmental history in the East African Rift Valley shows that at the same time early humans were abandoning old tools in favor of more sophisticated technology and broadening their trade, their landscape was experiencing frequent fluctuations in vegetation and water supply that made resources less reliably available. The findings suggest that instability in their landscape was a key driver of human adaptability. (2020-10-21)

Ground-breaking discovery finally proves rain really can move mountains
A pioneering technique which captures precisely how mountains bend to the will of raindrops has helped solve a long-standing scientific enigma. (2020-10-16)

The mountains of Pluto are snowcapped, but not for the same reasons as on Earth
In 2015, the New Horizons space probe discovered spectacular snowcapped mountains on Pluto, which are strikingly similar to mountains on Earth. Such a landscape had never before been observed elsewhere in the Solar System. An international team led by CNRS scientists determined that the methane snow could only appear at the peaks of Pluto's mountains high enough to reach this enriched zone that the air contains enough methane for it to condense. (2020-10-13)

Trees and lawns beat the heat
As climate change pushes many cities towards dangerous temperatures, planners are scrambling to mitigate excessive heat. One strategy is to replace artificial surfaces with vegetation cover. In water-limited regions, municipalities have to balance the benefit of cooler temperatures with using precious water for irrigation. A new University of Utah study will make those decisions easier for the semi-arid Salt Lake Valley, the largest metropolitan area in Utah located in the northern part of the state. (2020-10-13)

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