Archive by category | Biodiversity and Ecology

Climate change hits loveable lemmings

Climate change hits loveable lemmings

Cross posted from the Great Beyond Let us get one thing clear right at the start: lemmings do not commit mass suicide by leaping off cliffs into the sea. However, their populations do undergo massive size fluctuations, leading to mass migrations where the cute critters may go swimming to find new food sources. At least, they used to undergo massive population explosions. In a paper published this week in Nature a group of researchers analyse the absence of such events since 1994. The culprit, you guessed it, is climate change. Nils Stenseth and colleagues show that changes in winter weather  … Read more

Biodiversity vs. carbon sinks – an Oregon tale

Biodiversity vs. carbon sinks - an Oregon tale

When I tell people I grew up in Oregon, they usually have one of two reactions. Some faces tense as they try to place the state on their mental US map somewhere around Nevada (actually it’s on the Pacific coast, above California). Others light up because they’re about to say, “Oh, it’s beautiful there!” If you don’t mind drizzling rain or hay fever – so much grass seed is grown in my native Willamette Valley that in summer the local paper prints the pollen count next to the weather forecast – it really can be pretty nice. There’s a new  … Read more

A tribute to the trees

A tribute to the trees

For all tree huggers out there, this week’s Science is dedicated to ‘forests in flux’, paying tribute to the trees and their contribution to the greater good. A special collection of articles in print, with complementary and online material, examines the fate of the world’s forests, in the face of climate change and an escalating human population. If it’s been a while since you’ve had the chance to appreciate the languid leafiness of forest foliage, check out the online video. Or for those of you hoping for a more ‘hands on’ experience, there’s a whole section of Science Careers dedicated  … Read more