Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The BBVA Foundation commits 2.4 million euros to research in Ecology and Conservation Biology

21.06.2007
The BBVA Foundation approves funding for 12 major research projects in Ecology and Conservation Biology, with a total allocation of 2.4 million euros.

Among the projects selected in the 4th BBVA Foundation Call for Research Proposals we can single out a scientific study into the impact of climate change on populations of shorebirds (birds living mainly in coastal or wetland areas on marshes, mudflats or beaches). Many shorebird species migrate long distances and can cover thousand of kilometers in each annual cycle between their breeding and their wintering areas. This makes them highly vulnerable to changing climatic conditions in different zones: with 48% of the world’s known populations suffering decline. And there are reasons to fear that the trend will accelerate, with most climate change analysts auguring a rise in sea level in the shorebirds’ habitats that will send populations into continuous decline until the end of the 21st century.

The goal of this research project is to analyze the quality of some of the main coastal ecosystems in South America and identify the short- and medium-term effects of climate change and other potential threats facing these species and their habitats. The team conducting the research includes scientists from Spain, Argentina and Chile.

THE WORLD’S MOST PRIMITIVE MARSUPIAL

The BBVA Foundation Research Grants Program in Ecology and Conservation Biology will also be lending its support to a two-year study into the conservation status of the world’s oldest known marsupial species, the “monito del monte” (literally little mountain monkey) inhabiting the temperate forests of Southern Chile. The fact the species has survived thus far owes to the exceptional combination of ecological and evolutionary circumstances that characterize these forests, which have conserved their ancestral botanical and ecological legacy through major climate changes and tectonic shifts.

EFFECTS OF NOISE POLLUTION ON TROPICAL BIRDS

It has recently been shown that birds living in urban environments and exposed to high levels of acoustic pollution alter the tone and length of their calls so they can overcome background noise and communicate effectively. This adaptation has been found in several species of European birds, whose songs are varied in pattern and learned by imitation.

The goals of the study on the “Vulnerability to noise pollution of neotropical avifauna” are to analyze how acoustic pollution is affecting a large group of topical species – the suboscines – who are less able to adapt to high noise levels because their songs are innate rather than acquired. This limitation could impair the biological adaptation of these birds – making up 30% of all neotropical avifauna – in areas and centers exposed to noise pollution.

ASSESSMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF MERCURY IN AREAS OF HIGH ECOLOGICAL VALUE

The last few decades have witnessed a growing concern about the environmental problems associated with mercury. Its long residence time and long-range atmospheric transport mean the element inevitably finds its way into food chains, and thus becomes a global threat to health and the environment.

The BBVA Foundation will fund a project whose aim is to design an integral method for assessing the environmental impact of mercury in biodiversity hotspots. As such, study areas have been selected for their high ecological value and potential exposure to mercury contamination, among them the Mato Grosso Pantanal in Brazil, declared a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. The project will also be looking at possible strategies for remedying mercury pollution in zones where its levels exceed the limits laid down by governments and environmental agencies. The priority of this remedial effort will be to eliminate the risk to exposed populations, with an evaluation of the associated economic cost.

CREATION OF PROTECTED MARINE AREAS

The selected projects include a study on marine conservation and management and another on the conservation of cyprinids – a family of freshwater fish – in arid and semiarid zones of the Iberian Peninsula and North America. Others have flora as their subject matter, among them a study into the interactions between plants and the functioning of extreme ecosystems exposed to global change; a research project exploring the relations between indigenous rural populations and rainforest conservation; and a study into the ecological causes and genetic processes of plant invasions.

Javier Fernández | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fbbva.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>