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Dune flora can emerge from seed islands (Concon, Chile)

Farías Giusti-Bilz et al. | Dec 07, 2020

Dune flora can emerge from seed islands (Concon, Chile)

In the field of ecology, little is known about how plant communities originate. Through the process of characterizing dunes, mounds of sand formed by the wind, and their plant communities we can get to know the physiognomy and floristic composition of the territory. Based on the hypothesis that dune flora can emerge from seed islands: holes in the sand 6 cm deep containing a mixture of seeds, broken branches of shrubbery, and rabbit feces, during spring, the authors determined the composition of 20 seed islands in the sand dunes of Concon, Chile and measured how many seeds germinated in each one.

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Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Wang et al. | Mar 14, 2022

Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Here the authors used morphological characters and DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found within a residential house. With this method they identified their species and compared them against pests lists provided by the US government. They found that none of their identified species were considered to be pests providing evidence against the misconception that arthropods found at home are harmful to humans. They suggest that these methods could be used at larger scales to better understand and aid in mapping ecosystems.

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Mathematical modeling of plant community composition for urban greenery plans

Fang et al. | Jul 05, 2023

Mathematical modeling of plant community composition for urban greenery plans
Image credit: CHUTTERSNAP

Here recognizing the importance of urban green space for the health of humans and other organisms, the authors investigated if mathematical modeling can be used to develop an urban greenery management plan with high eco-sustainability by calculating the composition of a plant community. They optimized and tested their model against green fields in a Beijing city park. Although the compositions predicted by their models differed somewhat from the composition of testing fields, they conclude that by using a mathematical model such as this urban green space can be finely designed to be ecologically and economically sustainable.

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Creating a Phenology Trail Around Central Park Pond

Flynn et al. | Jul 16, 2020

Creating a Phenology Trail Around Central Park Pond

This study aimed to determine whether the life cycle stages, or phenophases, of some plants in the urban environment of Central Park, New York, differ from the typical phenophases of the same plant species. The authors hypothesized that the phenophases of the thirteen plants we studied would differ from their typical phenophases due to the urban heat island effect. Although the phenophases of five plants matched up with typical trends, there were distinct changes in the phenophases of the other eight, possibly resulting from the urban heat island effect.

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Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Srebnik et al. | Jan 20, 2021

Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Does the overuse of plastic in Japan poses an ecological risk to marine species and their consumers? Using visual and chemical dissection, all fish in this study were found to have microplastics present in their gastrointestinal tract, including two species that are typically eaten whole in Japan. Overall, these results are concerning as previous studies have found that microplastics can carry persistent organic pollutants. It is presumed that the increasing consumption of microplastics will have negative implications on organ systems such as the liver, gut, and hormones.

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Thermoelectric Power Generation: Harnessing Solar Thermal Energy to Power an Air Conditioner

Lew et al. | Jul 06, 2021

Thermoelectric Power Generation: Harnessing Solar Thermal Energy to Power an Air Conditioner

The authors test the feasibility of using thermoelectric modules as a power source and as an air conditioner to decrease reliance on fossil fuels. The results showed that, at its peak, their battery generated 27% more power – in watts per square inch – than a solar panel, and the thermoelectric air conditioner operated despite an unsteady input voltage. The battery has incredible potential, especially if its peak power output can be maintained.

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Pressure and temperature influence the efficacy of metal-organic frameworks for carbon capture and conversion

Lin et al. | May 07, 2023

Pressure and temperature influence the efficacy of metal-organic frameworks for carbon capture and conversion

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising new nanomaterials for use in the fight against climate change that can efficiently capture and convert CO2 to other useful carbon products. This research used computational models to determine the reaction conditions under which MOFs can more efficiently capture and convert CO2. In a cost-efficient manner, this analysis tested the hypothesis that pressure and temperature affect the efficacy of carbon capture and conversion, and contribute to understanding the optimal conditions for MOF performance to improve the use of MOFs for controlling greenhouse CO2 emissions.

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Towards an Integrated Solution for Renewable Water and Energy

Chen et al. | Jan 09, 2015

Towards an Integrated Solution for Renewable Water and Energy

An integrated plant that would generate energy from solar power and provide clean water would help solve multiple sustainability issues. The feasibility of such a plant was investigated by looking at the efficacy of several different modules of such a plant on a small scale.

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Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Acton et al. | Apr 02, 2018

Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Ecological corridors are geographic features designated to allow the movement of wildlife populations between habitats that have been fragmented by human landscapes. Corridors can be a pivotal aspect in wildlife conservation because they preserve a suitable habitat for isolated populations to live and intermingle. Here, two students simulate the effect of introducing a safety corridor for cheetahs, based on real tracking data on cheetahs in Namibia.

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