How do trees die from drought? Plant ecophysiologists are studying air bubbles in tree water columns to understand hydraulic failure: in other words, when tree water columns stop working. Their goal is to improve forecasts for tree responses in a changing climate future. Here is a brief summary of how hydraulic failure works and an introduction to three recent papers on the topic.
Bison expert Jeff Martin wears many hats: geologist, rancher, paleontologist, ecologist, and research director. Using his impressive background, he’s taking a “hooves on the ground” approach to bison conservation to restore herds throughout North America.
Biofuels have been a cornerstone of U.S. climate mitigation policy, but new research on outcomes of the Renewable Fuel Standard—the country’s flagship biofuels policy—suggests that its costs may outweigh its benefits. Land-use impacts of growing more crops for fuel have likely resulted in higher greenhouse gas emissions, water contamination, and soil degradation.
A long-term study of bison grazing in tallgrass prairie shows that bison create richer, more resilient grasslands. Bison enhance biodiversity, support native plants and help prairies withstand severe drought.
Nearly 2.4 billion people (about 40 percent of the world’s population) live within 100 kilometers of the coast. As coastal cities continue to grow, so too will their influence as actors in shaping sustainable development. A new paper highlights the largely overlooked role of ocean cities in international legal frameworks to address environmental degradation in marine and coastal environments.
Public land management often neglects to consider intertwined ecological and human histories. Assessing both ecological data and Indigenous history, new research suggests that co-management offers a pathway towards better honoring traditional practices and increasing forest resiliency.
Solar geoengineering– a technology that reflects incoming sunlight back into space –has gainedattention as a potentialsolution for preventingglobal temperature rise and reducingthe risk of the worst global warming impacts. Recent research shows thatsolar geoengineering has the capacity to immediately cool the atmosphere, but also calls attention to the fact that it can beextremely controversial and excessively risky.
Climate change is one of the gravest threats to global agriculture. New research reveals that historical climate change has already made its mark on the productivity of our food system, eliminating 20 percent of potential productivity growth.
In cities around the world, there are vast networks of streams hidden below the ground surface. Through a process called daylighting, some cities are looking to rediscover these buried urban waterways.A new study provides a window into this hidden side of cities and tracks how daylighting affects the ecology and water quality of a stream in Norway.