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Sunday, October 12, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Helping Japanese fishermen fight off crown-of-thorns starfish

Posted: 11 Oct 2014 07:52 AM PDT

The long term population dynamics of the Crown-of-Thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci, has been the focus of recent study. This is one of the most long term and extensive surveys of its kind, with data spanning over 24 years through cooperation with the Japanese fishing population of Onna Village in Okinawa. With fisherman providing a great deal of logistics support and data, researchers have been able to plot with a high degree of accuracy the movement and population size over time of A. planci.

No single explanation for biodiversity in Madagascar

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 12:52 PM PDT

No single 'one-size-fits-all' model can explain how biodiversity hotspots come to be, finds a study of more than 700 species of reptiles and amphibians in Madagascar. By analyzing the distribution of Madagascar's lizards, snakes, frogs and tortoises, researchers find that each group responded differently to environmental fluctuations on the island over time. The results are important because they suggest that climate change and deforestation in Madagascar will have varying effects on different species.

Computerized surveillance system quickly detects disease outbreaks among preschoolers

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 12:49 PM PDT

A web-based system that allows preschools and child care centers to report illnesses to local public health departments could improve the detection of disease outbreaks and allow resources to be mobilized more quickly.

Space-based methane maps find largest U.S. signal in Southwest

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 01:38 PM PDT

An unexpectedly high amount of the climate-changing gas methane, the main component of natural gas, is escaping from the Four Corners region in the US Southwest, according to a new study. Four Corners sits on North America's most productive coalbed methane basin. Coalbed methane is a variety of the gas that's stuck to the surface of coal. It is dangerous to miners (not to mention canaries), but in recent decades, it's been tapped as a resource.

Wild tomato species focus of antioxidant study

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Researchers analyzed antioxidant and agronomic traits of three wild tomato species accessions and compared them with the same traits in cultivated tomato. The wild species significantly exceeded domestic tomato for all three antioxidant traits, with one exception. The Solanum peruvianum population was found to be best for improvement of vitamin C content, with three-fold variation for the trait and individuals -- twice as much vitamin C as cultivated tomato.

Clove oil tested for weed control in organic Vidalia sweet onion

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 09:56 AM PDT

A study evaluated combinations of sprayer output volumes and herbicide adjuvants used with clove oil for cool-season weed control in organic Vidalia sweet onion. Weed control was not consistently improved by applying clove oil with sprayers calibrated at either 50 gallons/acre or 25 gallons/ acre, and infrequent improvements in weed control did not affect onion yield. The analyses showed that clove oil does not provide suitable levels of weed control to justify the expense.

Environmental taxes encourage lower consumption

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 09:49 AM PDT

Tobacco taxation and environmental taxes on electricity and gasoline is the most effective way for politicians to get consumers to understand the problems of smoking and pollution. Expenditure on media campaigns from government and industry, and lobbying by the industry, most effectively influences consumers' consumption of tobacco and gasoline in the United States, one expert notes.

Zoos exonerated in baby elephant deaths; Data support new branch of herpesvirus family

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:39 PM PDT

After the death of a young elephant in a zoo, researchers published their results identifying a novel herpesvirus, EEHV1 as the cause. They now show that severe cases like this one are caused by viruses that normally infect the species, rather than by viruses that have jumped from African elephants, which was their original hypothesis.

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