A new study shows the effects of deforestation and climate change are amplified into a one-two punch that pushes particularly vulnerable rainforest species towards extinction, while dry-climate species persist. The findings could help guide decisions about where land can be converted to agriculture while minimizing species losses.
There is no longer any doubt: We are entering a mass extinction that threatens humanity's existence.
That is the bad news at the center of a new study by a group of scientists including Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies in biology and a senior fellow at theStanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Ehrlich and his co-authors call for fast action to conserve threatened species, populations and habitat, but warn that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.
Dr. Nalini Nadkarni is a Member of the Faculty at the University of Utah, where she teaches in the Biology Department. Her research is focused on the ecology of tropical and temperate forest canopies, particularly the role that canopy-dwelling plants play in forests at the ecosystem level.
As humans transform the planet to meet our needs, all sorts of wildlife continue to be pushed aside, including many species that play key roles in Earth's life-support systems. In particular, the transformation of forests into agricultural lands has dramatically reduced biodiversity around the world.
Gothic, Colorado is the setting of Hope on Earth a conversation between environmental scientist Paul R. Ehrlich and Michael Charles Tobias. Butterflies, chickens, Jains, gorillas, circumcision, Kant, gun control, China, abortion, and vegetarianism are just some of the topics covered by their conversation.
Stanford University announced that it would divest its $18.7 billion endowment of stock in coal-mining companies, becoming the first major university to lend support to a nationwide campaign to purge endowments and pension funds of fossil fuel investments.
Protecting wildlife while feeding a world population predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050 will require a holistic approach to conservation that considers human-altered landscapes such as farmland, according to Stanford researchers.
Luke Frishkoff and Hannah Frank both were awarded Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants from the National Science Foundation. Both Luke and Hannah use genetic techniques to answer key questions involving evolution in the world’s countryside ecosystems.
Paul R. Ehrlich recognized for his fundamental contributions to the field of ecology, which include path breaking concepts such as coevolution, metapopulation dynamics, ecosystem services, and the role of humans in ecological sustainability.
Pablo Elizando features the Organization for Tropical Studies's Las Cruces Biological Station and Wilson Botanical Garden.
Image courtesy of the Organization for Tropical Studies: http://www.ots.ac.cr/
The yellow warbler may not pull a perfect latte, but it turns out it's a friend to coffee drinkers all the same. Research in Costa Rica shows that hungry warblers and other birds significantly reduce damage by a devastating coffee pest, the coffee berry borer beetle.
This is the first time scientists have assigned a monetary value to the pest-control benefits rainforest birds can provide to agriculture. Their study could provide the framework for pest management that helps both farmers and biodiversity.
The 2013 Boething Lecture was presented on April 25, 2013 featuring Dr. William Burch, Emeritus Professor of Natural Resource Management at Yale University. Dr. Burch spoke on the subject of "encouraging exosystem stewards in a world of diminished hopes."
At the 2011 annual Boething Lecture, Alan Weisman spoke on the theme of his recent book, The World Without Us, in which he explores "how our planet would respond without the relentless pressure of the human presence."
For decades, the primary method for predicting the future of biodiversity assumed that humandominated landscapes were biological deserts. These “species-area” models simplified the world into two states: patches of habitat and a vast human-dominated matrix, unsuitable for wildlife. Based on these models, the 13% of the world’s terrestrial surface that currently exists as protected areas could only hope to protect 5-10% of terrestrial biodiversity. With expanding population and resource demands, creating sufficient protected areas to preserve Earth’s biota seemed impossible.
The colorful birds of Costa Rica play a crucial role in the country's rural landscapes, by distributing seeds, controlling pesky insects and pollinating plants. But knocking down the Costa Rican forest to make room for farms and pastures can drive away the birds and the benefits they bring to farmers.