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News from the Lab (news.myScience.ch)

  • News from the Lab’ is a selection of scientific works that are significant or interesting for a broad readership. 
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Environment



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Environment - Life Sciences - 25.11.2022
Animals are key to restoring the world's forests
Animals are key to restoring the world’s forests
By dispersing seeds, animals can rapidly reestablish plant diversity in degraded forests As UN climate talks close in Egypt and biodiversity talks begin in Montreal, attention is on forest restoration as a solution to the twin evils roiling our planet. Forests soak up atmospheric carbon dioxide and simultaneously create habitat for organisms.

Environment - 25.11.2022
Climate change in the forests of northern Germany
Climate change in the forests of northern Germany
Research team from the University of Göttingen demonstrates widespread drought stress in copper beech More and more trees are suffering the consequences of the man-made climate change of recent decades. The growth of the copper beech - mainly at home in Central Europe and Germany's most important native forest tree species - has so far declined mainly in southern Europe.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 25.11.2022
Biodiversity in drylands can mitigate climate change
Biodiversity in drylands can mitigate climate change
International team of researchers completes first global field study on the ecological impact of grazing in drylands Grazing is a form of land use which sustains the livelihood for billions of people. It is especially important in drylands, which cover around 41 percent of the Earth's land surface, hosts one in three humans inhabiting our planet and over 50 % of all livestock live.

Environment - 24.11.2022
Vegetation-free areas encourage ground-nesting wild bees
Vegetation-free areas encourage ground-nesting wild bees
New methods for conservation management of wild bees on calcareous grasslands investigated . Relatively little is known about the nesting requirements of ground-nesting wild bees, although nesting sites are of central importance for the support of most wild bee species. Of the nearly 600 wild bee species in Germany, 75 percent nest in the soil, but studies to date have mainly focused on wild bee species nesting above ground in cavities.

Environment - 24.11.2022
Fireworks have long-lasting effects on wild birds
Fireworks have long-lasting effects on wild birds
Changes in the behavior of birds persist well after the fireworks end Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz, Germany, and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology GPS tracked Arctic migratory geese in Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands over the New Year period to examine the long-term impact of fireworks.

Environment - 23.11.2022
Low-cost sensor records the level of rivers
Low-cost sensor records the level of rivers
Measurement method developed at the University of Bonn could be suitable for flood warning systems Researchers at the University of Bonn have developed a method that allows the water level of rivers to be monitored around the clock. The cost-effective sensor is for instance suitable for area-wide flood warning systems.

Environment - 21.11.2022
Ice Age temperatures and precipitation reconstructed from earthworm granules
Ice Age temperatures and precipitation reconstructed from earthworm granules
New method for determination of past climate data on land applied comparatively for the first time / Ice Age summers in Central Europe were at times warmer than previously known Scientists from an international research project led by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have applied a new method to reconstruct past climate.

Environment - 17.11.2022
Pesticide risks also in nature reserves
Pesticide risks also in nature reserves
The risks pesticides pose to insects and other small animals in waters in protected areas are almost comparable to those in waters outside protected areas - even if the concentrations of pesticides in waters in protected areas are lower. This was found by scientists at the University of Koblenz-Landau in a recent study.

Environment - 15.11.2022
A world map of plant diversity
A world map of plant diversity
International research team led by Göttingen University use advanced machine learning to model biodiversity Why are there more plant species in some places than in others? Why is diversity highest in the tropics? What is the connection between biodiversity and environmental conditions? To help answer these questions, an international team led by researchers at the University of Göttingen has reconstructed the distribution of plant diversity around the world and made high-resolution predictions of where and how many plant species there are.

Chemistry - Environment - 02.11.2022
Iodine accelerates formation of cloud condensation nuclei in the atmosphere
Iodine accelerates formation of cloud condensation nuclei in the atmosphere
International research team reports effect of iodine-organic chemistry on the generation of new particles in the marine atmosphere and the recycling of iodine during particle growth The natural cycles of exchange of substances between the biosphere and the atmosphere are of major relevance to the Earth's climatic system.

Environment - 31.10.2022
Sustainable and climate-resilient urban development
Sustainable and climate-resilient urban development
Research project "Urban Oases in Times of Climate Change" investigates green spaces in Munich Sophie Arzberger is passionate about urban climate and ecology.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.10.2022
Iodine accelerates formation of cloud condensation nuclei in the atmosphere
Iodine accelerates formation of cloud condensation nuclei in the atmosphere
International research collaboration shows influence of iodine chemistry on formation of new particles in marine atmosphere and recycling of iodine during particle growth The natural cycling of materials between the biosphere and the atmosphere is of great importance to the Earth's climate system. The best known example is the cycling of carbon between the atmosphere, the land biosphere and the ocean.

Environment - 27.10.2022
New Study Links Graffiti to Soil Pollution
Research team from Freie Universität Berlin demonstrates that spray paints are responsible for high levels of microplastic pollution in soil Public awareness is growing around the subject of microplastics as harmful pollutants. To date, this problematic source of pollution has primarily been investigated in bodies of water.

Environment - 20.10.2022
Secrets of Namibia's fairy circles demystified: plants self-organise
Secrets of Namibia’s fairy circles demystified: plants self-organise
Researchers led by Göttingen University show that plant water stress not termites causes mysterious circles Scientists have puzzled over the origin of Namibia's fairy circles for nearly half a century. It boiled down to two main theories: either termites were responsible, or plants were somehow self-organizing.

Environment - Computer Science - 20.10.2022
Smartphone data can help create global vegetation maps
Smartphone data can help create global vegetation maps
INaturalist app users play a significant role in helping researchers create global maps of plant traits <p><strong>Leipzig. Missing knowledge in the global distribution of plant traits could be filled with data from species identification apps. Researchers from Leipzig University, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and other institutions were able to demonstrate this based on data from the popular iNaturalist app.

Environment - Life Sciences - 18.10.2022
The Mona Lisa effect: How eyespots deter predators that approach from different directions
The Mona Lisa effect: How eyespots deter predators that approach from different directions
Chicks are intimidated by eyespots that appear to gaze at them, providing an explanation for why eyespots are often symmetrical The eyespots of many prey animals deter predators from attacking, like those of the peacock butterfly. In a new study, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the University of Newcastle show that the configuration of eyespots have an impact on the prey's survival.

Psychology - Environment - 17.10.2022
Birdsong is good for mental health
Birdsong is good for mental health
Study investigates the influence of birdsong on mood, paranoia, and cognition When you next hear cheerful twittering of birds, you should stop and listen. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf have shown that birdsong reduces anxiety and irrational thoughts.

Environment - 17.10.2022
Land tenure drives deforestation rates in Brazil
Land tenure drives deforestation rates in Brazil
Tropical deforestation causes widespread degradation of biodiversity and carbon stocks. Researchers from the German Center of Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Leipzig University were now able to test the relationship between land tenure and deforestation rates in Brazil. Their research, which was published in Nature Communications, shows that poorly defined land rights go hand in hand with increased deforestation rates.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.10.2022
Gene activity in a test tube
When searching for the causes of illnesses and developing new treatments, it is absolutely vital to have a precise understanding of the genetic fundamentals. Würzburg researchers have devised a new technique for this purpose. Pathological processes are usually characterised by altered gene activity in the cells affected.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.10.2022
Commander in the cell's production room
Commander in the cell’s production room
How do cells manage to quickly adapt their growth to changing environmental conditions? A new study by a research team from Würzburg provides an answer to this question. Regardless of whether it is a single-celled organism or a mammal, a plankton, or a sequoia: growth is a basic principle of all life on this earth.
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