Current Marine Ecosystems News and Events

Current Marine Ecosystems News and Events, Marine Ecosystems News Articles.
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Climate-friendly foam building insulation may do more harm than good
The use of the polymeric flame retardant PolyFR in 'eco-friendly' foam plastic building insulation may be harmful to human health and the environment, according to a new commentary in Environmental Science & Technology. The authors' analysis identifies several points during the lifecycle of foam insulation that may expose workers, communities, and ecosystems to PolyFR and its potentially toxic breakdown products. (2021-02-23)

Protective ship coatings as an underestimated source of microplastic pollution
Shipping traffic can be a major source of microplastics, especially out in the open ocean. In a new study, a team of environmental geochemists from the University of Oldenburg (Germany) for the first time provides an overview of microplastics mass distribution in the North Sea. The scientists found that most of the plastic particles in water samples taken in the south-eastern North Sea originate from binders used in marine paints. Their hypothesis is that ships leave a kind of 'skid mark' in the water. (2021-02-23)

Terrestrial laser scanning for monitoring hydrological cycle of trees
Water is an essential element for all living things. Understanding the dynamics of water in trees is crucial for understanding the consequences of climate change and altered water availability for forest ecosystems. A joint research project with Samuli Junttila PhD, and Professor Masato Katoh of Shinshu University's Institute for Mountain Science and others demonstrates a new laser scanning based method that can be used to monitor changes in leaf water content of tree communities. (2021-02-22)

A dynamic forest floor
Walk along the beach after a winter storm and you'll see a shore littered with wracks of giant kelp, some 30 to 40 feet long -- evidence of the storm's impact on coastal kelp forests. (2021-02-22)

Sweet marine particles resist hungry bacteria
Rather sweet than salty: In the ocean microalgae produce a lot of sugar during algae blooms. These enormous quantities of algal biomass are normally recycled rapidly by marine bacteria, degradation process that is an important part of the global carbon cycle. Especially sugars have been considered as easily digestible and therefore poor candidates for natural carbon sequestration. Now scientists from Bremen revealed: There exists a sugar in algae that resists rapid microbial degradation and stores carbon during spring blooms. (2021-02-19)

Study reveals energy sources supporting coral reef predators
Since Charles Darwin's day, the abundance of life on coral reefs has been puzzling, given that most oceanic surface waters in the tropics are low in nutrients and unproductive. But now research, led by Newcastle University and published in in the journal Science Advances, has confirmed that the food web of a coral reef in the Maldives relies heavily on what comes in from the open ocean. (2021-02-19)

Giant predatory worms roamed the seafloor until 5.3 million years ago
An international study in which the University of Granada participated--recently published in the journal Scientific Reports--has identified a new fossil record of these mysterious animals in the northeast of Taiwan (China), in marine sediments from the Miocene Age (between 23 and 5.3 million years ago). These organisms, similar to today's Bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois), were approximately 2 m long and 3 cm in diameter and lived in burrows. (2021-02-18)

New UCF study examines leeches for role in major disease of sea turtles in Florida
University of Central Florida researchers are homing in on the cause of a major disease of sea turtles, with some of their latest findings implicating saltwater leeches as a possible factor. The results, published recently in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, present the first evidence of a significant association between leeches and the disease in sea turtles, according to the researchers. (2021-02-18)

More than half of Earth's rivers strongly impacted by human activity
Few of Earth's freshwater areas remain untouched by humans. More than half of the planet's freshwater river basins have been heavily impacted by human activities, according to a new study, which presents a novel, multi-faceted approach for evaluating biodiversity change at a global scale. (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)

Fishes contribute roughly 1.65 billion tons of carbon in feces and other matter annually
Scientists have little understanding of the role fishes play in the global carbon cycle linked to climate change, but a Rutgers-led study found that carbon in feces, respiration and other excretions from fishes - roughly 1.65 billion tons annually - make up about 16 percent of the total carbon that sinks below the ocean's upper layers. (2021-02-17)

Fish diet heats up marine biodiversity hotspot
A never-before-seen biodiversity pattern of coral reef fishes suggests some fishes might be exceptionally vulnerable to environmental change. It highlights, for the first time, a unique link between the diet and distribution of species across the marine realm. (2021-02-17)

Poking the paradigm
Deprive a mountain range of its wolves, and soon the burgeoning deer population will strip its slopes bare. ''I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer,'' wrote ecologist Aldo Leopold in his landmark 1949 title ''A Sand County Almanac.'' (2021-02-17)

Bacteria and algae get rides in clouds
Human health and ecosystems could be affected by microbes including cyanobacteria and algae that hitch rides in clouds and enter soil, lakes, oceans and other environments when it rains, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. (2021-02-16)

Observations at a shed light on how hard coral survives without light
French researchers have studied for the first time the distribution of hard corals in the French Polynesian archipelago, from the surface to 120 metres deep. As the amount of light decreases, this coral associates with other filamentous algae, in addition to zooxanthellae, which become inserted into its skeleton. These algae, the only ones found at this depth, could therefore play an important role in the coral's adaptation to life at depth. (2021-02-16)

Turf wars: Ocean acidification and feedback loops lock in turf algal systems
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found that seawater acidification locked marine communities of turf algae in a stable state, preventing the growth of kelp and coral species. The degraded turf algal systems were stabilized by feedback loops (control mechanisms in a system). This study will contribute to efforts to manage shifts from complex and diverse marine ecosystems to degraded ones, and better conserve coastal ecosystems and their contributions to human wellbeing. (2021-02-16)

Strange creatures accidentally discovered beneath Antarctica's ice shelves
Prior research has suggested that the watery depths below the Antarctic ice shelves are too cold and nutrient poor to sustain much life. But a new study from British Antarctic Survey published in Frontiers in Marine Science reveals the discovery of a colony of sponges and other animals attached to a boulder on the sea floor - challenging researchers' understanding about the existence of life in extreme environments. (2021-02-15)

Managing crab and lobster catches could offer long-term benefits
A study by the University of Plymouth (UK) has found that managing the density of crab and lobster pots at an optimum level increases the quality of catch, benefits the marine environment and makes the industry more sustainable in the long term. (2021-02-15)

Recommendations for regional action to combat marine plastic pollution
Millions of tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the ocean every year. A team of researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam has investigated the role of regional ocean governance in the fight against marine plastic pollution, highlighting why regional marine governance should be further strengthened as negotiations for a new global agreement continue. (2021-02-11)

New insights to past ecosystems are now available based on pollen and plant traits
Researchers have mined and combined information from two databases to link pollen and key plant traits to generate confidence in the ability to reconstruct past ecosystem services. The approach can help understand how plants performed different benefits useful for humans over the past 21,000 years, and how these services responded to human and climate disturbances. (2021-02-11)

New study reveals biodiversity important at regional scales
New research shows that biodiversity is important not just at the traditional scale of short-term plot experiments--in which ecologists monitor the health of a single meadow, forest grove, or pond after manipulating its species counts--but when measured over decades and across regional landscapes as well. The findings can help guide conservation planning and enhance efforts to make human communities more sustainable. (2021-02-11)

Facts on the ground: How microplastics in the soil contribute to environmental pollution
Plastic is a major threat to the environment. Of particular ecological risk is its manifestation as microplastics (<5 mm in size) in the agricultural environment. Scientists from Korea addressed this issue in their latest study, looking into the levels, shapes, and sizes of microplastics in Korean agricultural soils. They reported new insights on the agricultural sources of microplastics, contributing to a better understanding on their role in environmental pollution. (2021-02-11)

Genetic markers show Pacific albacore intermingle across equator
Analyzing thousands of genetic markers in albacore tuna from the Pacific Ocean, researchers at Oregon State University have learned that just seven dozen of those markers are needed to determine which side of the equator a fish comes from. (2021-02-10)

Links between pollution and cancer in wild animals: what can we learn?
This recent review combines the information available on cancer occurrences in aquatic and semi-aquatic animals. Cancer is one of the pollution-induced diseases that should be at the centre of attention in ecological and evolutionary research. Authors suggest physiological mechanisms that link pollution and cancer, determine which types of aquatic animals are more vulnerable to pollution-induced cancer, which types of pollution are mainly associated with cancer in aquatic ecosystems, and which types of cancer pollution causes. (2021-02-10)

Sawfish face global extinction unless overfishing is curbed
Sawfish have disappeared from half of the world's coastal waters and the distinctive shark-like rays face complete extinction due to overfishing, according to a new study by Simon Fraser University researchers, published in Science Advances. (2021-02-10)

Collapsed glaciers increase third pole uncertainties: Downstream lakes may merge within a decade
According to researchers from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, meltwater from ice avalanches has been filling downstream lakes in a way that may cause previously separated lakes to merge within the next decade, thus disrupting the function of ecosystems in the region. (2021-02-09)

Low carbon transport at sea: Ferries voyage optimization in the Adriatic
What CO2 savings are potentially attainable through path optimization? How much can ferries' carbon intensity be decreased? What is the role of waves and currents? A new study led by the CMCC Foundation shows how the future least-CO2 ferry routes could look like. (2021-02-09)

Tourism mainly responsible for marine litter on Mediterranean beaches
A study by the ICTA-UAB warns that tourism generates 80% of the marine litter accumulating on the beaches of the Mediterranean islands in summer. For researchers, the global COVID19 pandemic may be an opportunity to rethink the model of sustainable tourism. (2021-02-08)

Iodine oxoacids formed in oceans have major impact on climate
Molecular iodine, a major emission from the ocean, can quickly convert to iodic oxoacids even under weak daylight conditions. These oxoacids lead rapidly to aerosol particles that significantly affect climate and human health. (2021-02-08)

Uncovering how some corals resist bleaching
Colorful coral reefs have suffered from ''bleaching'' due to climate change, but researchers from University of Hawaii and Michigan State University joined forces to uncover why some were resistant to this effect in the hopes to preserve these oceanic wonders. (2021-02-08)

Healthy oceans need healthy soundscapes
Rain falls lightly on the ocean's surface. Marine mammals chirp and squeal as they swim along. The pounding of surf along a distant shoreline heaves and thumps with metronomic regularity. These are the sounds that most of us associate with the marine environment. But the soundtrack of the healthy ocean no longer reflects the acoustic environment of today's ocean, plagued with human-created noise. (2021-02-05)

Scientists discover ocean 'surface slicks' are nurseries for diverse fishes
Ocean features called surface slicks are an interconnected superhighway of nursery habitat for more than 100 species of fishes from diverse ocean habitats. (2021-02-04)

Hidden world just below the surface
A team of scientists from NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Arizona State University and elsewhere have discovered that a diverse array of marine animals find refuge in so-called 'surface slicks' in Hawai'i. These ocean features create a superhighway of nursery habitat for more than 100 species of commercially and ecologically important fishes, such as mahi-mahi, jacks, and billfish. Their findings were published today in the journal Scientific Reports. (2021-02-04)

MARLIT, artificial intelligence against marine litter
Floating sea macro-litter is a threat to the conservation of marine ecosystems worldwide. The largest density of floating litter is in the great ocean gyres -systems of circular currents that spin and catch litter- but the polluting waste is abundant in coastal waters and semi closed seas such as the Mediterranean. (2021-02-04)

Human-generated noise pollution dominates the ocean's soundscape
The soundscapes of the Anthropocene ocean are fundamentally different from those of pre-industrial times, becoming more and more a raucous cacophony as the noise from human activity has grown louder and more prevalent. (2021-02-04)

Iodine oxoacids drive rapid aerosol formation in pristine atmospheric areas
Iodine plays a bigger role than thought in rapid new particle formation (NPF) in relatively pristine regions of the atmosphere, such as along marine coasts, in the Arctic boundary layer or in the upper free troposphere, according to a new study. (2021-02-04)

Fish in warming Scottish seas grow faster but reach a smaller size
Researchers have found new evidence that global warming is affecting the size of commercial fish species, documenting for the first time that juvenile fish are getting bigger, as well as confirming that adult fish are getting smaller as sea temperatures rise. The findings are published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology. (2021-02-03)

Coral decline -- is sunscreen a scapegoat?
A recent paper in the journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (ET&C) summarizes the scientific literature assessing the impact of organic UV filters on coral ecosystems. The researchers concluded that while organic UV filters do occur in the environment, there is limited evidence to suggest their presence is causing significant harm to coral reefs. (2021-02-02)

Significant cancer rates in California sea lions has major human health implications
20-plus years of data in newly released study by The Marine Mammal Center shows ocean pollutants is one of the leading causes of cancer in sea lions, and highlights how the exposure to environmental contaminants can fast-track the likelihood of humans developing virally caused cancers. (2021-02-02)

Curtin study finds native bees under threat from growing urbanization
Residential gardens are a poor substitute for native bushland and increasing urbanisation is a growing threat when it comes to bees, Curtin University research has found. Published in 'Urban Ecosystems', the research looked at bee visits to flowers, which form pollination networks across different native bushland and home garden habitats. (2021-02-02)

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