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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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An analysis of the distribution of microplastics along the South Shore of Long Island, NY

Sanderson et al. | Sep 21, 2020

An analysis of the distribution of microplastics along the South Shore of Long Island, NY

This study is focused on the distribution of microplastics in Long Island, NY. Microplastics are plastic particles that measure less than 5 mm in length and pose an environmental risk due to their size, composition, and ubiquitous location in the marine environment. Focusing on the South Shore of Long Island, the authors investigated the locations and concentrations of microplastics at four locations along the shore line. While they did not find significant differences in the number of microplastics per location, there were microplastics at all four locations. This finding is important to drive future research and environmental policy as well.

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An Analysis of Soil Microhabitats in Revolutionary War, Civil War, and Modern Graveyards on Long Island, NY

Caputo et al. | May 05, 2019

An Analysis of Soil Microhabitats in Revolutionary War, Civil War, and Modern Graveyards on Long Island, NY

Previously established data indicate that cemeteries have contributed to groundwater and soil pollution, as embalming fluids can impact the microbiomes that exist in decomposing remains. In this study, Caputo et al hypothesized that microbial variation would be high between cemeteries from different eras due to dissimilarities between embalming techniques employed, and furthermore, that specific microbes would act as an indication for certain contaminants. Overall, they found that there is a variation in the microbiomes of the different eras’ cemeteries according to the concentrations of the phyla and their more specific taxa.

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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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Variations in Heat Absorption and Release of Earth Surfaces During Fall in Laramie, Wyoming

Ramesh et al. | Sep 08, 2020

Variations in Heat Absorption and Release of Earth Surfaces During Fall in Laramie, Wyoming

Here the authors investigate the contributions of man-made surfaces in Laramie, Wyoming to the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. Heat absorption and release by five surfaces were measured in the autumn of 2018. By recording temperatures of man-made and natural surfaces at early morning, mid-afternoon, and evening using an infrared thermometer, the authors determined that man-made surfaces retained more heat in fall than natural surfaces.

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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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Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

Nunn et al. | Feb 10, 2017

Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

In many areas of the world’s oceans, diatoms such as Thalassiosira pseudonana are limited in growth by the availability of iron (Fe), which is an essential nutrient for diatoms. The authors of this study examined if Fe-limitation makes a significant difference in the proteins expressed within the chloroplast, the power source for diatoms, utilizing a new plastid isolation technique specific to diatoms and completing 14 mass spectrometry experiments.

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