Tag Archives: landscape

Bumblebees do Best Where There is Less Pavement and More Floral Diversity

AUSTIN, Texas — Landscapes with large amounts of paved roads and impervious construction have lower numbers of ground-nesting bumblebees, which are important native pollinators, a study from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Berkeley shows.

The study suggests that management strategies that reduce the local use of pavement and increase natural habitat within the landscape could improve nesting opportunities for wild bees and help protect food supplies around the word. (more…)

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Grand Canyon as Old as the Dinosaurs, Suggests New Study Led by CU-Boulder

An analysis of mineral grains from the bottom of the western Grand Canyon indicates it was largely carved out by about 70 million years ago — a time when dinosaurs were around and may have even peeked over the rim, says a study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The new research pushes back the conventionally accepted date for the formation of the Grand Canyon in Arizona by more than 60 million years, said CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Rebecca Flowers. The team used a dating method that exploits the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium atoms to helium atoms in a phosphate mineral known as apatite, said Flowers, a faculty member in CU-Boulder’s geological sciences department. (more…)

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Non-native Plants Show a Greater Response Than Native Wildflowers to Climate Change

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Warming temperatures in Ohio are a key driver behind changes in the state’s landscape, and non-native plant species appear to be responding more strongly than native wildflowers to the changing climate, new research suggests.

This adaptive nature demonstrated by introduced species could serve them well as the climate continues to warm. At the same time, the non-natives’ potential ability to become even more invasive could threaten the survival of native species already under pressure from land-use changes, researchers say. (more…)

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New Book Explores Noah’s Flood; Says Bible and Science Can Get Along

“I doubt the historic truth about Noah’s Flood will ever be known with certainty. And I don’t think it really matters. The discoveries of science have revealed the world and our universe to be far more spectacular than could have been imagined by Mesopotamian minds. To still see the world through their eyes is to minimize the wonder of creation.”

David Montgomery, “The Rocks Don’t Lie”

David Montgomery is a geomorphologist, a geologist who studies changes to topography over time and how geological processes shape landscapes. He has seen firsthand evidence of how the forces that have shaped Earth run counter to some significant religious beliefs.

But the idea that scientific reason and religious faith are somehow at odds with each other, he said, “is, in my view, a false dichotomy.” (more…)

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Ancient Story of Dartmoor Tors Has an Ice-Cold Twist

Ice extended further across the UK than previously thought and played a part in sculpting the rocky landscape of Dartmoor in South West England during the last Ice Age, according to new research which challenges previously held theories.

A study of the National Park area of Dartmoor, UK, shows for the first time that an ice cap and valley glaciers were present in its centre and that the naturally castellated stone outcrops, known as tors, were survivors.

The new research by the Universities of Durham and Exeter, and Stockton Riverside College, is published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews.

Researchers, who carried out detailed observations on the ground and using aerial photography, say the evidence includes glacial features such as elongated rounded mounds or drumlins and hummocky landforms or moraines. Similar features may also exist in other upland areas of southwest England, indicating that small upland glaciers were regularly hosted in the region during periods of glaciation. (more…)

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New Technologies (and Tires) Reconstruct Ancient Bison Hunts

*UA researchers are looking for, among other things, how fire changed the landscape of the Northern Great Plains as ancient hunters went after big game.*

Researchers from the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona are investigating the complex relationship between climate change and modifications that humans have made to the landscape. And among the tools they are using in the pursuit of this knowledge are a bunch of old tires.

Led by Maria Nieves Zedeño from the UA Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, the Kutoyis Archaeological Project is a four-year collaboration focused on prehistoric bison hunting societies in the Northern Great Plains. The project is funded by the National Park Service and the National Science Foundation. (more…)

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Border Fences Pose Threats to Wildlife on U.S.-Mexico Border, Study Shows

AUSTIN, Texas — Current and proposed border fences pose significant threats to wildlife populations, with those animals living in border regions along the Texas Gulf and California coasts showing some of the greatest vulnerability, a new study from The University of Texas at Austin shows.

“Our study is the first comprehensive analysis of threats to species across the entire U.S.-Mexico border,” says Jesse Lasky, a graduate student in the laboratory of Tim Keitt, associate professor of integrative biology. “The scale at which these fences stretch across the landscape is large, so it’s important for us to also have a large-scale view of their effects across the continent.” (more…)

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High Numbers of Barred Owls Likely in Pacific Northwest Forests

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Barred owls may be more abundant in coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest than previously recognized, according to research published today in the Journal of Wildlife Management.

This finding likely has implications for the recovery of the federally threatened northern spotted owl. Related studies about the competitive interactions between barred owls and spotted owls are under way, with results anticipated this summer. (more…)

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