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land in Biological News

Wind, salt and water are leading indicators of land degradation in Abu Dhabi

Desert environments are characterized by poor vegetative cover, strong winds, dry, non-cohesive sandy soils, and hyper-arid conditions. In this context, the land resources of Abu Dhabi Emirate in the United Arab Emirates are subjected to various land degradation stresses, including wind erosion, s...

The life histories of the earliest land animals

The fossil record usually shows what adult animals looked like. But the appearance and lifestyle of juvenile animals often differ dramatically from those of the adults. A classic example is provided by frogs and salamanders. New discoveries from Uppsala, Cambridge and Duke Universities, published ...

Details of evolutionary transition from fish to land animals revealed

New research has provided the first detailed look at the internal head skeleton of Tiktaalik roseae , the 375-million-year-old fossil animal that represents an important intermediate step in the evolutionary transition from fish to animals that walked on land. Results of the study, published...

Miscanthus can meet US biofuels goal using less land than corn or switchgrass

In the largest field trial of its kind in the United States, researchers have determined that the giant perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus outperforms current biofuels sources by a lot. Using Miscanthus as a feedstock for ethanol production in the U.S. could significantly reduce the acreage d...

New studies predict record land grab as demand soars for new sources of food, energy and wood fiber

LONDON (14 July 2008) -- Escalating global demand for fuel, food and wood fibre will destroy the world's forests, if efforts to address climate change and poverty fail to empower the billion-plus forest-dependent poor, according to two reports released today by the U.S.-based Rights and Resources ...

Closing the gap between fish and land animals

New exquisitely preserved fossils from Latvia cast light on a key event in our own evolutionary history, when our ancestors left the water and ventured onto land. Swedish researchers Per Ahlberg and Henning Blom from Uppsala University have reconstructed parts of the animal and explain the transfo...

Scientists find 245 million-year-old burrows of land vertebrates in Antarctica

For the first time paleontologists have found fossilized burrows of tetrapods any land vertebrates with four legs or leglike appendages in Antarctica dating from the Early Triassic epoch, about 245 million years ago. The fossils were created when fine sand from an overflowing river poured i...

Arable land can have a negative impact on air quality

This release is available in German . Leipzig. Fallow agricultural land and steppe-formation processes are evidently capable of having a much greater effect on global air quality than was previously assumed. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers after examining a dust cloud that form...

Workshop assesses interactions between climate, forests and land use in the Amazon Basin

On February 25 and 26, over 50 scientists gathered for a two-day workshop in Manaus, Brazil, to discuss the current state of knowledge on the feedbacks between deforestation and climate in the Amazon and what research is required to avoid catastrophic change. Collaborators from the Woods Hole Rese...

Rats on islands disrupt ecosystems from land to sea, researchers find

SANTA CRUZ, CA--Seabird colonies on islands are highly vulnerable to introduced rats, which find the ground-nesting birds to be easy prey. But the ecological impacts of rats on islands extend far beyond seabird nesting colonies, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Californ...

Moss genome shows how plants invaded the land and learned to survive heat and drought

Berkeley -- Some 400 million years ago, on a lifeless lakeshore lapped by waves, floating algae learned to survive in the open air and launched an invasion that transformed the Earth into a green paradise. The secrets of these first steps onto land are now being revealed thanks to the sequencin...

Colorful view for first land animals

When prehistoric fish made their first forays onto land, what did they see" According to a study published in the online open access journal, BMC Evolutionary Biology, it's likely that creatures venturing out of the depths viewed their new environment in full colour. A team led by Helena Bailes...

Cassini's new view of land of lakes and seas

The best views of the hydrocarbon lakes and seas on Saturn's moon Titan taken by the Cassini spacecraft are being released today. A new radar image comprised from seven Titan fly-bys over the last year and a half shows a north pole pitted with giant lakes and seas, at least one of them larger t...

Marines land at UO, leave with plans to wear Oregon-made training suits

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Oct. 10, 2007) -- A few came. They ran. They left. As a result of their August visit the U.S. Marine Corp begins training in 2008 in new running suits chosen after tests of competing products in the University of Oregon's environmental chamber. The experience was enough to make...

Conquest of land began in shark genome

GAINESVILLE, Fla. When the first four-legged animals sprouted fingers and toes, they took an ancient genetic recipe and simply extended the cooking time, say University of Florida scientists writing in Wednesdays issue of the journal PLoS ONE. Even sharks which have existed for more than hal...

A quarter of the world's population depends on degrading land

March 2009 - A new study published in the journal Soil Use and Management attempts for the first time to measure the extent and severity of land degradation across the globe and concludes that 24% of the land area is degrading often in very productive areas. Land degradation - the decline in...

Brown-led team offers first look at how bats land

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] People have always been fascinated by bats, but the scope of that interest generally is limited to how bats fly and their bizarre habit of sleeping upside down. Until now, no one had studied how bats arrive at their daytime perches. A Brown University-led re...

Early whales gave birth on land

Two newly described fossil whales--a pregnant female and a male of the same species--reveal how primitive whales gave birth and provide new insights into how whales made the transition from land to sea. The 47.5 million-year-old fossils, discovered in Pakistan in 2000 and 2004, are described in...

Stanford study: Bioenergy potential of reviving abandoned agricultural land

Across the globe, hundreds of millions of acres of once-productive agricultural land lie abandoned, according to a new report from researchers at Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution for Science. If this land was used to grow crops for conversion into biofuel, it could help ease the en...

Reproductive plasticity revealed: Neotropical treefrog can choose to lay eggs in water or on land

(Boston) When frogs reproduce, like all vertebrates, they either lay their eggs in water or on land with one exception, according to new research by a team of Boston University scientists who discovered a treefrog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus) in Panama that reproduces both ways. The neotropical fr...

'Terror bird' arrived in North America before land bridge, study finds

A University of Florida-led study has determined that Titanis walleri, a prehistoric 7-foot-tall flightless "terror bird," arrived in North America from South America long before a land bridge connected the two continents. UF paleontologist Bruce MacFadden said his team used an established geoche...

West Australian fossil find rewrites land mammal evolution

A fossil fish discovered in the West Australian Kimberley has been identified as the missing clue in vertebrate evolution, rewriting a century-old theory on how the first land animals evolved. Monash University PhD students Mr Erich Fitzgerald and Mr Tim Holland were part of the research team, le...

Steep oxygen decline halted first land colonization by Earth's sea creatures

Vertebrate creatures first began moving from the world's oceans to land about 415 million years ago, then all but disappeared by 360 million years ago. The fossil record contains few examples of animals with backbones for the next 15 million years, and then suddenly vertebrates show up again, this ...

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: Many of 2 billion dryland dwellers at risk as land degrades

Growing desertification worldwide threatens to swell by millions the number of poor forced to seek new homes and livelihoods. And a rising number of large, intense dust storms plaguing many areas menace the health of people even continents away, international experts warn in a new report. Thick s...

AGU journal highlights -- Aug. 6, 2009

...ning Scientists identify lake shorelines on Mars land cover changes influence regional climate An overv...http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009GL038854 6. land cover changes influence regional climate Human-induced land cover changes (LCCs), such as the clearing of fore...

Climate-caused biodiversity booms and busts in ancient plants and mammals

...s ago) and that only at the end of the Eocene, when Antarctic glaciations began, did Earth's climate deteriorate enough to cause observable changes in land mammal diversity. "Our paper documents the fact that global change affected plants and animals on a wide scale," said Gunnell, an associate researc...

'Green' energy from algae

... high carbon dioxide concentrations and, hence, produce more biomass for energy production. However, this is not their only advantage: "Compared to land plants, algae produce five times as much biomass per hectare and contain 30 to 40% oil usable for energy production", says Professor Cle-mens Posten, ...

Venomous sea snakes play heads or tails with their predators

...en. Similar defence mechanisms have been discovered in lizards, and some land snakes have developed ingenious camouflage deterrent behaviour strategies, ...pped Sea Krait and other sea snakes is that they spend almost equal time on land and in the sea," said Rasmussen. "They therefore live in two worlds where t...

Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique

... to walk by before catching and killing them. This stance is seen in modern day crab spiders, which sit on the edge of flowers and wait for insects to land so that they can grab them. The scientists also discovered that Cryptomartus hindi had ball-like growths at the base of its limbs, called coxal ...

Plankton Power and RTDC announce proposed algae-to-biofuels pilot facility on Cape Cod

...eum- and vegetable-based fuels, with improved performance characteristics. The planned biorefinery is proposed for construction on five acres of land on the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) in Bourne, Massachusetts, supported by the Massachusetts National Guard pending legal and regulatory r...

Sustainable agriculture at the ESA Annual Meeting

...ther hand, contain plants that live longer than one year despite being harvested annually. Many agricultural scientists, including Jerry Glover of The land Institute, say that perennial crops are the key to creating more sustainable agricultural systems. "Across agricultural history, we've fundamentall...

August 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights

...iv. of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E3, Canada Declining sea level during the last great glacial event resulted in the exposure of a continuous land bridge extending from Siberia in the west to Yukon in the east. Lying in the rain shadow of the St. Elias Mountains, this great region, now known as B...

Douglas-fir, geoducks make strange bedfellows in studying climate change

...nd the geoduck to tell us about climate prior to the start of instrumental records," Black pointed out. Sea surface temperatures affect climate on land and when there is a spike in average yearly temperatures, such as during an El Nino year, it can have a profound impact on both trees and marine life....

University of Toronto helps to 'barcode' the world's plants

...nces; and ability to tell species apart based on a sample of 550 species of land plants", says Barrett. "Based on this global analysis we recommended that matK and rbcL two chloroplast genes are adopted as the DNA barcode for land plants." The primary application of the methodology will be the identifi...

Wildfires set to increase 50 percent by 2050

... are predicting that the area burnt by wildfires will almost triple by 2050." Scientists used data documenting the area of forest burned on federal land since 1980 along with weather data from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, to construct a computer model that takes into acco...

UBC researchers help push for standard DNA barcodes for plants

...rt of an international team recommending standards for the DNA barcoding of land plants, a step they hope will lead to a universal system for identifying ov...uencing and retrieving the correct information. The researchers used 400 land plant samples to test the two-site solution. In 72% of cases they were imme...

Key OSU water research receives national funding

...und," Zou said. "However, the degree of difference in water use between grasslands without redcedar and those with redcedar encroachment is not known. land managers could benefit greatly from having this information." The study will also examine the degree to which eastern redcedar encroachment can red...

DOE-funded research projects win 46 R&D 100 Awards for 2009

...event terrorists from smuggling nuclear materials into the country. The land Mine Locator is a humanitarian aerial land mine detection system designed to lower the time and cost of demining opera...

Carnegie Mellon team makes sequestration recommendations

...gislation that would limit the trespass liability of a sequestration project developer operating pursuant to a valid UIC permit. Modify the Federal land Policy Management Act to specifically authorize the use of federal lands for geologic sequestration. Create a Federal Geologic Sequestration Board (...

Salt marshes: A natural and unnatural history

...the Gulf regions, and the San Francisco Bay Area, calling attention to their historical and economic legacies. SALT MARSHES frames the politics of land use and how outcomes affect the survival of the wetlands. Weis and Butler explain how salt marshes shield and protect coastal areas from storms and fl...
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