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.

Scientists use llama droppings to help combat water pollution

Scientists from Newcastle University are using llama droppings to help combat environmental problems caused by polluted water seeping from abandoned silver and tin mines in the Bolivian Andes.

The project is being spearheaded by Paul Younger, Professor of Hydrogeochemical Engineering at Newcastle University. It has been adapted from a community-based natural regeneration technique which uses waste materials to treat polluted mine waters. Professor Younger pioneered the technique, along with

Darwin and the world’s first ecological experiment

Scientists examining the work that influenced Charles Darwin have rediscovered the details of what may be the world’s first ecological experiment.

Darwin, in his Origin of Species of 1859, referred to an experiment investigating the biology of grassland plants that showed how a greater diversity of grasses planted in experimental plots was responsible for greater production of plant matter. This subject, the relationship between biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems, is curre

Clean forests prompt pollution rethink

South American streams call current nitrogen-cycle theory into question.

Pollution may have altered northern hemisphere forests dramatically. The surprise finding that clean forests use nitrogen differently to polluted ones emphasizes the effect that humans have on the planet’s nitrogen cycle 1 . It may even prompt a rethink of the way that this cycle works.

Humans have added vast amounts of nitrogen to the earth’s ecosystems. The element fertilizes plants. T

Atmosphere and Oceans Finely Balanced

The atmosphere and oceans exist in a delicate state of balance according to research co-ordinated by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and published this month by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The recently completed five year research programme of Atmospheric Chemistry Studies in the Oceanic Environment (ACSOE) concludes that atmospheric pollution travels much further than previously thought and that this has important consequences for global chemistry and climate.

Recycled plastic – the fashion fabric of the future

A novel research project is looking at ways to recycle plastic bottles for use in the fashion industry in a bid to halt the landfill crisis.

Although recycled PET (Polyethylene terepthalate) has been used in a limited way in the fashion industry, Northumbria University PhD student Yukie Nakano is working to identify the barriers affecting the wider introduction of recycled textile products. Yukie, who is also a research assistant in the Centre for Design Research, is also experimenting with

Ozone and UV over Europe: no sign of improvement

“The occurrence of ozone mini-holes over Europe increases and any ozone layer recovery could only become measurable around 2010 at the earliest” concludes an assessment report, released today, on European research in the stratosphere. The report concerns loss of ozone, increases in ultraviolet radiation as well as the impact of aircraft on the atmosphere. It covers European research efforts during the period 1996-2000 including the Third European Stratospheric Experiment on Ozone – THESEO, which is t

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