Biodiversity ‘Hotspots’ Imperiled along California’s Streams

A study of woodland ecosystems that provide habitat for rare and endangered species along streams and rivers throughout California reveals that some of these ecologically important areas are inadvertently benefitting from water that humans are diverting for their own needs. Though it seems a short-term boon to these ecosystems, the artificial supply creates an unintended dependence on its bounty, threatens the long-term survival of natural communities and spotlights the need for changes in the way water is managed across the state.

“Ghost Forests” Expanding Along Northeast U.S. Coast

Why are “ghost forests” filled with dead trees expanding along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast? Higher groundwater levels linked to sea-level rise and increased flooding from storm surges and very high tides are likely the most important factors, according to a Rutgers study on the impacts of climate change that suggests how to enhance land-use planning.

Greenland landscape history preserved under 1.4 kilometers of ice

Greenland wasn’t always covered in ice. In fact, within the last 1.1 million years ,Greenland had thriving vegetation and ecosystems. That is the conclusion of an international group of researchers including a scientist from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) that analyzed sediment at the base of the Camp Century ice core (1.4 kilometers deep) collected in 1966. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Living near Trees May Prevent Vascular Damage from Pollution

Living near an abundance of green vegetation can offset the negative effects of air pollution on blood vessel health. The first-of-its-kind study is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

Light a Critical Factor in Limiting Carbon Uptake, Even in the North

A new Columbia Engineering study demonstrates that even when temperatures warm and cold stress is limited, light is still a major factor in limiting carbon uptake of northern high latitudes. The team analyzed satellite observations, field measurements, and model simulations and showed that there is a prevalent radiation limitation on carbon uptake in northern ecosystems, especially in autumn.