Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

This complex theme deals primarily with interactions between organisms and the environmental factors that impact them, but to a greater extent between individual inanimate environmental factors.

innovations-report offers informative reports and articles on topics such as climate protection, landscape conservation, ecological systems, wildlife and nature parks and ecosystem efficiency and balance.

Free trade can benefit environment

With the help of biologists and in a radical reversal of roles, the environment could exploit free trade. But with the World Trade Organisation`s legitimacy being challenged as never before, this opportunity is at risk.

“In the prevailing climate, trade protectionism gets equated with environmental protection, free trade with freedom to plunder”, says Dr Douglas Yu at the University of East Anglia`s School of Biological Sciences. “But the WTO could actually drive fundamental environmental re

Marine Reserves Have Rapid and Lasting Effects

Marine reserves have rapid and lasting impacts on organisms inside reserves, according to scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

In a paper published in the current issue of ECOLOGY LETTERS, the researchers reviewed 80 studies from `no-take` reserves, where it is illegal to extract organisms in any way. These showed that density, biomass, average size and diversity of organisms inside these reserves reach much higher levels within a short period of time, usually one to th

Space technology disposes of sludge

Research funded by the European Space Agency into ways of feeding future astronauts on missions to Mars is about to find a very down-to-earth application – how to dispose of the sewage sludge left over after wastewater treatment.

The MELISSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support Alternative) project, which ESA is funding in companies and research institutes throughout Europe, is developing a system of recycling as much of the waste as possible produced by astronauts on long-duration space missions

Sound cleans up water purification

High-energy bubbles scour municipal water filters.

Sound waves could provide a greener way to make tap water taste better.

Ultrasound can make bubbles in water that could clean ceramic filters quickly and cheaply, say Linda Weavers and colleagues of Ohio State University, Columbus 1 . When the bubbles burst, they release energy that makes tiny, but fiercely powerful, jets of water that scour the filter’s surface and flush away debris.

Most municipa

Scientists predict slump in Falklands squid stocks

Record low numbers of highly-prized squid have devastated the Falkland Islands fishery this year. Less than 10,000 tonnes have been caught so far, making this the worst year since the fishery began in 1987. As described in this week`s SCIENCE British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists believe unfavourable oceanographic conditions in squid spawning grounds caused the slump in the fishery which is normally worth £17 million ($US 25 million) in licence fees.

The flying squid Illex argentinu

Scientists Debate Wisdom of Plan to Save Venice From Flooding

The Italian government recently decided to move forward with planning for the construction of underwater, mobile floodgates to mitigate flooding in Venice, situated on islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. The soundness of the plan is discussed by several scientists in the May 14 issue of Eos, published by the American Geophysical Union.

The approved plan to protect Venice, called MOSE (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, or Experimental Electromechanical Module), involves the construct

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