189 news posts related to Ecology

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Permanent daylight saving time would reduce deer-vehicle collisions, study shows

Deer along a highway

In much of the United States, there is a twice-yearly shift in timekeeping between standard time and daylight saving time, or DST, which delays both sunrise and sunset to make mornings darker and evenings brighter. Recently, scientists, policy experts, lawmakers and citizens have debated abandoning the twice-a-year switch and adopting either year-round standard time or DST. A team of researchers at the University of Washington — led by postdoctoral researcher Calum Cunningham and Laura Prugh, an associate professor of quantitative wildlife sciences — have found that one of those options would sharply reduce a hazard common to much of the country: deer-vehicle collisions. 

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Fish, Forests and Fungi

Salmon River

Mushrooms have a long-standing history as a culturally and nutritionally significant food source, yet we still have much to learn about our fungal friends. Enter the wondrous world of mushrooms: some toxic, some colorful; some cap-tipped, some mimicking a wave in the ocean. Regardless of how much research has been done on fungi, we have only scratched the surface, with only four percent of fungi species characterized. 

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Animals in national parks impacted by even just a few people

Brown Bear on Alaskan shore.

People often visit U.S. national parks to catch a glimpse of wildlife. But how does our presence impact the animals we hope to see? National park traffic has grown steadily over the past decade, and popular parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone can easily see over a million visitors a year. In these heavily used areas, one might expect animals to change their behavior to avoid humans. 

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Beach trash accumulates in predictable patterns on Washington and Oregon shores

This litter collected at Devil’s Punchbowl on the Oregon coast in December 2012 shows a mix of bottle tops, fishing gear and plastic fragments. Analysis of larger items collected by volunteers from 2017 to 2021 shows that beaches have “sticky zones” where both organic material and litter tends to accumulate.

Citizen scientists recorded trash on Pacific Northwest beaches, from southern Oregon to Anacortes, Washington, to contribute to the growing study of marine trash. A study by the University of Washington analyzed 843 beach surveys and found that certain beaches, and certain areas of a single beach, are “sticky zones” that accumulate litter. The study was published online Aug. 11 in Marine Pollution Bulletin. 

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