Browsing All Posts filed under »climate change«

Unravelling trends in stream nitrogen

March 27, 2017

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Oxides of nitrogen derived from agriculture, industry and emissions from the burning of fossil fuels fall out from the atmosphere and enter terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Over the last century the deposition of reactive nitrogen has increased three to five times, and this is reflected in a general global increase in stream nitrogen concentrations. However, at […]

Factoring history into threat assessments

December 13, 2016

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Genetic variation allows populations to adapt to environmental changes, and it’s often the case that threatened species exhibit low genetic diversity. Human-produced habitat fragmentation is a well-recognised cause of genetic bottlenecks, but the additional effects of larger-scale biogeographic factors are rarely considered. As an example of such biogeographic impacts, populations that have managed to survive […]

Emergent wetland plants as conduits for methane

December 13, 2016

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Wetlands release more methane to the atmosphere than other any other type of ecosystem and wetland plants, especially those in the shallow fringing zones, play an important role in methane dynamics. However, aquatic plants can be damaged by the grazing activities of herbivorous animals. To examine the impacts of grazing damage on the release of […]

Advantages of rough wetland designs

June 1, 2016

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In natural wetlands, the unevenness of the ground creates variation in environmental factors such as soil moisture and temperature, and this variability is a positive influence on the range of plant species that are able to colonise the area. As they become established, plants such as sedges and rushes slowly create tussocks, which further increase […]

Inequity creates a water crisis

December 18, 2015

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Lake Urmia, in western Iran, is a Ramsar-listed Biosphere Reserve and one of the world’s most significant salt lakes. Until recent times it had a length of 140 km. However, its size has been reduced by 90% as a result of forest destruction and short-sighted water policies. A recently-published case study of Lake Urmia offers […]

Increasing the benefits of climate adaptation

March 23, 2015

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In the last few years, a number of countries have instigated projects to climate-proof their water management activities. For example, the former Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment developed a national climate adaptation strategy to assist local communities. To identify the characteristics of successful climate adaptation programmes, Dutch researchers used a semi-structured […]

Drainage and river erosion

March 23, 2015

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Land-use changes and climatic trends have been held responsible for historical increases in river flow, such as those recorded in the USA over the last half-century. Higher flow rates are linked to increases in sediment load and stream turbidity, with consequent declines in the habitat quality and recreational value of rivers. To disentangle the factors […]