Even in this digital age, paper is still everywhere. Often, printed materials get used once and are then discarded, creating waste and potentially pollution. Now, scientists report in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the development of an easy-to-make 'rewritable' paper that can be drawn or printed on over and over again. The messages can last more than half a year, compared to other rewritable papers whose messages fade after a few days or a few months.
The ash dieback epidemic, caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, has swept across Europe over the past 20 years and caused widespread damage and death in ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) populations. A recent analysis of surveys of ash dieback across Europe, published in Plants, People, Planet, reveals mortality rates as high as 85 percent in plantations and 70 percent in woodlands.
In the summers of 2017 and 2018, heat waves and drought conditions spawned hundreds of wildfires in the western US and in November, two more devastating wildfires broke out in California, scorching thousands of acres of forest, destroying homes and even claiming lives. Now, researchers studying ash from recent California wildfires report in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology that burned material in forests might help sequester mercury that otherwise would be released into the environment.
Only a fraction of the microbes residing in, on and around soils have been identified through efforts to understand their contributions to global nutrient cycles. Soils are also home to countless viruses that can infect microbes, impacting their ability to regulate these global cycles. In Nature Communications, giant virus genomes have been discovered for the first time in a forest soil ecosystem by researchers from the DOE Joint Genome Institute and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Which plant species grow where -- and why? In a new study in Nature Ecology & Evolution, an international research team presents the world's first global vegetation database which contains over 1.1 million complete lists of plant species for all terrestrial ecosystems.
Demand for biofuels to fight climate change clouds the future for biodiversity, says the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The demand could cause a 10- to 30-fold expansion of green energy-related agricultural land use, adding crushing pressure on habitat for plants and animals and undermining the essential diversity of species on Earth. Anne Larigauderie made the remarks at a major UN biodiversity meeting in Egypt.
Up to 15 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon is at risk of losing its legal protection, according to a new study from researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This is equivalent to more than 4 times the entire forest area of the UK.
The physical presence of trails has less impact on forest birds than how frequently the trails are used by people, finds the first study to disentangle the effect of forest trails from the presence of humans. This is also the case when trails have been used for decades, suggesting that forest birds do not get used to human activity. To minimize disturbance, people should avoid roaming from designated pathways.
Two recent studies by ecologists from the National University of Singapore have shed light on the relationship between the slender pitcher plant and its 'tenant', the crab spider Thomisus nepenthiphilus, providing insights to the little known foraging behaviours of the spider.
Based on data from Costa Rica spanning 1947 -- 2014, the authors of a new study found 50 percent of secondary forest patches were re-cleared within 20 years, and 85 percent were re-cleared within 54 years. This suggests that committing to reforesting lands for the long term, even if smaller in total area, may provide greater benefits (habitat, carbon storage, etc.) than quickly reforesting large areas (as many nations have promised under the Bonn Challenge).