Ecological tipping point: 5+ El Niño events per century controls coastal biotic communities

Along with implications for the future, the findings illuminate important moments in our past, including human migration into the Americas, the variable human use of coastal and interior habitats and the extinction of the flightless duck Chendytes.

Department of Energy Announces $10 Million for Research on Environmental Systems Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $10 million in funding for 12 projects to universities, academic institutions, federal research labs, and nonprofits within the area of Environmental System Science (ESS) research. Grants will focus on studies intended to improve the understanding and representation of the impact of wildfires and floods on ecosystems and watersheds, as well the role of plant-mediated water redistribution and fungal networks in shaping ecosystem and watershed function.

Experts available to discuss wildfire activity, ecosystem recovery and costs

With climate change leading to an increase in wildfires throughout the American Southwest, Northern Arizona University has a number of experts available to discuss the different facets of wildfires, forest health and restoration, and fire response. Ryan Fitch, assistant professor…

World’s New Stream Frog Found in Myanmar: Chula Researcher Indicates Its Ecosystem Is Intact

A biologist from the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University working with researchers from Germany and Myanmar has discovered two of the world’s newest stream frogs in Myanmar highlighting the remaining diversity of ecosystems in Southeast Asia and cautions all those involved of the need to conserve our forests before our valuable wildlife become extinct.

Climate Change Threatens Base of Polar Oceans’ Bountiful Food Webs

A study recently published in Nature Communications suggests that displacing cold-water communities of algae with warm-adapted ones threatens to destabilize the delicate marine food web. The team was led by University of East Anglia researchers and included DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers.

What’s Killing Coral Reefs in Florida is Also Killing Them in Belize

Only 17 percent of live coral cover remains on fore-reefs in Belize. A study finds new evidence that nitrogen enrichment from land-based sources like agriculture run-off and sewage, are significantly driving macroalgal blooms to increase on the Belize Barrier Reef and causing massive decline in hard coral cover. With only 2 percent of hard coral cover remaining in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, it’s too late to save that reef, but there’s still hope for the Belize Barrier Reef.

Seabirds face dire threats from climate change, human activity — especially in Northern Hemisphere

Many seabirds in the Northern Hemisphere are struggling to breed — and in the Southern Hemisphere, they may not be far behind. These are the conclusions of a study, published May 28 in Science, analyzing more than 50 years of breeding records for 67 seabird species worldwide.

New Study Shows How Climate Impacts Food Webs, Poses Socioeconomic Threat in Eastern Africa

For the first time, a research team has obtained high resolution sedimentary core samples from Lake Tanganyika. The samples show that high frequency variability in climate can lead to major disruptions in how the lake’s food web functions. The changes could put millions of people at risk who rely on the lake for food security. The team says the findings are a critical building block toward research-informed policymaking in the Lake Tanganyika region.

A tale of two understories: How mosses and climate are shaping the fate of nitrogen in the boreal

Northern Arizona University biology professor Michelle Mack is a senior author on the study, which demonstrates the invisible connections between trees and the dynamic understory of mosses and microbes that help govern their growth. Ecoss coordinator Victor Leshyk created the cover art for this month’s New Phytologist.

Beam me up: researchers use “behavioral teleporting” to study social interactions

A novel approach to getting physically separated fish to interact with each other, led to insights about what kinds of cues influence social behavior. “Behavioral teleporting” transfers the complete inventory of behaviors and actions (ethogram) of a live zebrafish onto a remotely located robotic replica

A Rapidly Changing Arctic

A new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their international colleagues found that freshwater runoff from rivers and continental shelf sediments are bringing significant quantities of carbon and trace elements into parts of the Arctic Ocean via the Transpolar Drift—a major surface current that moves water from Siberia across the North Pole to the North Atlantic Ocean.