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Environment - 09.10.2020
Researching ecosystems from the air
Researching ecosystems from the air
It looks absolutely idyllic, watching the Heck cattle and Konik horses grazing in the meadows in the Emsaue wet meadows near the village of Vadrup. This pasture landscape, covering an area of 33 hectares and used all year round, lies in the Emsaue nature conservation area and was set up in 2004 as part of the implementation of the plan to protect the wet meadows by the River Ems.

Environment - Life Sciences - 07.10.2020
Are there hydroelectric power plants that are fish-friendly?
Are there hydroelectric power plants that are fish-friendly?
Complex investigation of new hydropower plants Modern hydroelectric power plants do not always protect fish better than conventional ones. In addition to the technologies employed, the specific location of the plant and the fish species being present at that location also play a role in fish protection.

Environment - 06.10.2020
A New Look at Soil Health: How Healthy Is Our Soil?
An International Research Team Partnered with Freie Universität Berlin Analyzes Current Research on "Soil Health" No 185/2020 from Oct 06, 2020 Soil experts and ecologists, including Freie Universität Berlin biologist Professor Matthias Rillig, have been analyzing the current state of research on soil health in a new study.

Environment - 28.09.2020
Artificial Intellegence Can Help Protect Orchids
Artificial Intellegence Can Help Protect Orchids
Orchids may be decorative, but many orchid species are also threatened by land conversion and illegal harvesting. However, only a fraction of those species are included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, because assessments require a lot of time, resources and expertise. A new approach, an automated assessment developed under the lead of biodiversity researchers from Central Germany, now shows that almost 30 per cent of all orchid species are possibly threatened.

Environment - 28.09.2020
Hand pollination, not agrochemicals, increases cocoa yield and farmer income
Hand pollination, not agrochemicals, increases cocoa yield and farmer income
Agroecologists from Göttingen University compare pesticides, fertilisers, manual pollination and farming costs in Indonesia Cocoa is in great demand on the world market, but there are many different ways to increase production. A research team from the University of Göttingen has now investigated the relative importance of the use of pesticides, fertilisers and manual pollination in a well replicated field trial in Indonesian agroforestry systems.

Life Sciences - Environment - 23.09.2020
Genome Duplications as Evolutionary Adaptation Strategy
Genome duplications play a major role in the development of forms and structures of plant organisms and their changes across long periods of evolution. Heidelberg University biologists under the direction of Marcus Koch made this discovery in their research of the Brassicaceae family. To determine the scope of the different variations over 30 million years, they analysed all 4,000 species of this plant family and investigated at the genus level their morphological diversity with respect to all their characteristic traits.

Environment - 22.09.2020
Ecologists confirm Alan Turing's theory for Australian fairy circles
Ecologists confirm Alan Turing’s theory for Australian fairy circles
International research team led by Göttingen University shows patterned vegetation regenerates by -ecosystem engineering- of the grasses Fairy circles are one of nature's greatest enigmas and most visually stunning phenomena. An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has now, for the first time, collected detailed data to show that Alan Turing's model explains the striking vegetation patterns of the Australian fairy circles.

Environment - 15.09.2020
Reforestation can only partially restore tropical soils
Reforestation can only partially restore tropical soils
Research team from Göttingen and the USA investigates subsoil in deforested forest areas Tropical forest soils play a crucial role in providing vital ecosystem functions. They provide nutrients for plants, store carbon and regulate greenhouse gases, as well as storing and filtering water, and protection against erosion.

Physics - Environment - 15.09.2020
4-dimensional images from tiny cavities
4-dimensional images from tiny cavities
How pollutants spread in so-called partially saturated porous media - for example in sand or gravel - is difficult to compute due to the complex processes involved. A team led by Holger Steeb, Head of Research in the SimTech Cluster of Excellence as well as in the Collaborative Research Center 1313 of the University of Stuttgart, has now been able to visualize solute transport in the pore space using high-resolution synchrotron-based X-ray tomography.

Environment - 14.09.2020
Satellite images display changes in the condition of European forests
Satellite images display changes in the condition of European forests
Newly created map indicates openings in the European forest canopy The forest canopy (the closed vegetation cover consisting of treetops) is rapidly declining according to a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna.

Environment - 10.09.2020
Bumblebees benefit from faba bean cultivation
Bumblebees benefit from faba bean cultivation
Research team led by the University of Göttingen investigates influence of -greening measures- on pollinators About one third of the payments received by farmers are linked to specific -greening measures- to promote biodiversity. The cultivation of nitrogen-fixing legumes is very popular. However, these measures have been criticized because the benefits for biodiversity are unclear.

Environment - 09.09.2020
Downward Trend Is Reversible
Downward Trend Is Reversible
Ambitious, integrated action combining conservation and restoration efforts with a transformation of the food system. This is the recipe for turning the tide of biodiversity loss by 2050 or earlier, a new study led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) with participation of researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) suggests.

Environment - 08.09.2020
Consequences of the 2018 summer drought
Research team with participation from Göttingen University investigates effects on plants, forests and grassland The drought that hit central and northern Europe in summer 2018 had serious effects on crops, forests and grasslands. Researchers from the European Research Infrastructure Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS), including researchers from the University of Göttingen, are showing what effects this had and what lessons can be learned.

Environment - 27.08.2020
Land use change leads to increased flooding in Indonesia
Land use change leads to increased flooding in Indonesia
International team led by Göttingen University investigates effects on local water cycle While high greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss are often associated with rapid land-use change in Indonesia, impacts on local water cycles have been largely overlooked. Researchers from the University of Göttingen, IPB University in Bogor and BMKG in Jakarta have now published a new study on this issue.

Environment - 27.08.2020
Rapid evolution under climate change
Rapid evolution under climate change
Ecosystems are threatened worldwide by rapid climate change. Plants play a critical role in all ecosystems because they are at the basis of all food webs. For many regions that are already very dry today, such as deserts or semi-deserts, climate scenarios predict even lower precipitation levels. A team of researchers led by Katja Tielbörger from the University of Tübingen has now discovered that certain plant species can evolve very quickly under drought conditions.

Chemistry - Environment - 25.08.2020
Hydrochloric acid boosts catalyst activity
Hydrochloric acid boosts catalyst activity
Hydrochloric acid treatment improves catalysts for removing sulfur from crude oil A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) led by chemist Johannes Lercher has developed a synthesis process which drastically increases the activity of catalysts for the desulfurization of crude oil.

Environment - 25.08.2020
Findings From Experimental Biodiversity Sites Are Reliable
Findings From Experimental Biodiversity Sites Are Reliable
Much of our knowledge of how biodiversity benefits ecosystems comes from experimental sites. These sites contain combinations of species that are not found in the real world, which has led some ecologists to question the findings from biodiversity experiments. But the positive effects of biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems are more than an artefact of experimental design.

Environment - 24.08.2020
Biodiversity: Findings of experimental sites are reliable
Biodiversity: Findings of experimental sites are reliable
Much of our knowledge of how biodiversity benefits ecosystems comes from experimental sites. These sites contain combinations of species that are not found in the real world, which has led some ecologists to question the findings from biodiversity experiments. But the positive effects of biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems are more than an artefact of experimental design.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 21.08.2020
Artificial Carbohydrates for Sustainable Food Production
What alternatives to conventional agriculture exist to produce carbohydrates for food and feed? Scientists at Heidelberg University performed model calculations for artificial sugar production with a view towards synthesis of other carbohydrates such as starch. They are looking into whether a part of the human calorie requirement could be met by resource-saving, synthetically produced foods.

Environment - Life Sciences - 19.08.2020
Antidepressants Make Fish Easy Prey: Loss of Natural Reaction to Stress
Antidepressants Make Fish Easy Prey: Loss of Natural Reaction to Stress
Residues of pharmaceuticals in surface waters - in this case an antidiabetic and two antidepressants - also have effects on fish. Drugs for the treatment of depression have particularly strong effects, with fish losing their natural reaction to stress when substance concentration in the water is above a certain level.