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Preview: EurekAlert! - Agriculture

EurekAlert! - Agriculture



The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Last Build Date: Sat, 27 May 2017 21:03:01 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Marine species distribution shifts will continue under ocean warming

Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center) Scientists using a high-resolution global climate model and historical observations of species distributions on the Northeast US Shelf have found that commercially important species will continue to shift their distribution as ocean waters warm two to three times faster than the global average through the end of this century. Projected increases in surface to bottom waters of 6.6 to 9 degrees F (3.7 to 5.0 degrees C) from current conditions are expected.



Why communication is vital -- even among plants and fungi

Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Cambridge) A plant protein vital to chemical signalling between plants and fungi has been discovered, revealing more about the communication processes underlying symbiosis. Understanding this important relationship could have major consequences for developing more efficient and sustainable agricultural practices around the world.



Ontario town's 10-year, $2.7 million effort to save endangered turtles offers global lessons, template

Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Terry Collins Assoc) With C$2.7 million in government and private funding from Canada and the US, a 10-year community-led project on the north shore of Lake Erie has dramatically reduced roadkill on a thoroughfare running through a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. A new paper estimates 89 percent fewer turtles and 28 percent fewer snakes now venture onto Ontario's Long Point Causeway, an important achievement in protecting at-risk species offering a model for other communities worldwide.



Government transparency limited when it comes to America's conserved private lands

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Wisconsin-Madison) A new study led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined why private-land conservation data is sometimes inaccessible and found that limited capacity within some federal agencies as well as laws prohibiting others from disclosing certain information are to blame.



Changing climate could have devastating impact on forest carbon storage

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of New Mexico) New research from a multi-university team of biologists shows what could be a startling drop in the amount of carbon stored in the Sierra Nevada mountains due to projected climate change and wildfire events.



Tiny shells indicate big changes to global carbon cycle

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Davis) Experiments with tiny, shelled organisms in the ocean suggest big changes to the global carbon cycle are underway, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.



USDA invests $17.7 million in plant health and production workforce

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Institute of Food and Agriculture ) The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 54 grants totaling more than $17.7 million for plant research that helps optimize crop production, mitigate disease, and increase yield. The funding is made possible through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.



Ancient genetic markers in sockeye salmon can help manage healthier fish stocks

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of British Columbia Okanagan campus) A recent study from UBC's Okanagan campus identifies new genetic markers in sockeye salmon that can help improve management of fish populations.



Scientists to probe dolphin intelligence using an interactive touchpad

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Rockefeller University) Using optical technology specifically developed for this project, dolphins at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD, are at the center of research from an interdisciplinary team from Hunter College and Rockefeller University. The system involves an underwater computer touchscreen through which dolphins are able to interact and make choices. The system, the first of its kind, will be used to investigate dolphin intelligence and communication by providing them choice and control over a number of activities.



MIT researchers engineer shape-shifting food

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Researchers from MIT's Tangible Media Group have concocted something akin to edible origami, in the form of flat sheets of gelatin and starch that, when submerged in water, instantly sprout into three-dimensional structures, including common pasta shapes such as macaroni and rotini.



Nation's beekeepers lost 33 percent of bees in 2016-17

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Maryland) Beekeepers across the United States lost 33 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2016 to April 2017, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. Rates of both winter loss and summer loss -- and consequently, total annual losses -- improved compared with last year. Winter losses were the lowest recorded since the survey began in 2006-07.



Summer rainfall in vulnerable African region can be predicted

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Exeter) Summer rainfall in one of the world's most drought-prone regions can now be predicted months or years in advance, climate scientists at the Met Office and the University of Exeter say.



New species of bus-sized fossil marine reptile unearthed in Russia

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Liege) A new species of a fossil pliosaur (large predatory marine reptile from the 'age of dinosaur') has been found in Russia and profoundly change how we understand the evolution of the group, says an international team of scientists.



Researchers find crucial clue to manipulating reproduction in plants

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Riverside) A team of researchers, led by a UC Riverside plant cell biologist, has for the first time identified a small RNA species and its target gene that together regulate female germline formation in plants -- crucial knowledge for manipulating plant reproduction in order to improve agriculture. The new work not only identifies a regulatory module for an important developmental process, it also implies that there is likely cell-to-cell communications via RNA or protein in this process.



Modeling invasive activity: Zebra mussels' infiltration of North American rivers

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) The invasion of nonnative species has widespread and detrimental effects on local and global ecosystems. These intruders often spread and multiply prolifically, displace native species, alter the intended interactions between flora and fauna, and damage the environment and economy. In a paper publishing in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, Qihua Huang, Hao Wang, and Mark Lewis present a continuous-discrete hybrid population model that describes the invasive dynamics of zebra mussels in North American rivers.



How do blind cavefish find their way? The answer could be in their bones

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Cincinnati) Blind cavefish typically have skulls that bend slightly to the left. A study by UC suggests this orientation might help them find food as they navigate in a perpetual counter-clockwise direction around a cave.



Helping plants pump iron

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Salk Institute) Salk researchers identify genetic variants that help plants grow in low-iron environments, which could improve crop yields.



Grant to fund research of microplastics in Delaware Bay

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Delaware) University of Delaware researchers have received funding to study the distribution and concentration of microplastics in the Delaware Bay. This small debris can cause problems in the aquatic food chain. The UD team is hoping their findings can help government regulators shape new policy to protect the environment.



MSU doctor to help eradicate malaria in Malawi with $8.5 million grant

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Michigan State University) Terrie Taylor, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor of internal medicine and an osteopathic physician, will use a 7-year, $8.5 million federal grant to study why previous malaria prevention and eradication methods in Malawi Africa have been unsuccessful and how progress can be made.



Tree-climbing goats disperse seeds by spitting

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ecological Society of America) Spanish ecologists have observed an unusual way in which treetop-grazing goats may be benefiting the trees: the goats spit out the trees' seeds. Miguel Delibes, Irene Castañeda, and José M Fedriani reported their discovery in the latest Natural History Note in the May issue of the Ecological Society of America's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.



USDA invests $2.5 million in commodity board projects to support Ag industry

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Institute of Food and Agriculture ) The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced five grants totaling more than $2.5 million for agricultural research that is funded jointly with national or state commodity boards. The funding is made possible through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.



Where you grow what you grow

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Society of Agronomy) A new study looks at how three varieties of camelina perform when grown in two different regions within the Great Plains. The end goal is to find the camelina variety that performs best in each location or environment -- beyond the genetics involved.



Research in Los Angeles shows water loss

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Science Foundation) In the summer of 2010, Los Angeles lost about 100 gallons of water per person per day to the atmosphere through evaporation, mostly from overwatering of lawns and trees.



L.A. lawns lose lots of water: 70 billion gallons a year

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Utah) In summer 2010, Los Angeles was losing about 100 gallons of water per person per day to the atmosphere through the evaporation and plant uptake of lawns and trees. Lawns accounted for 70 percent of the water loss, while trees accounted for 30 percent, according to a University of Utah study published in Water Resources Research.



Scientists develop new device to overcome pig genome flaw

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Kent) Scientists at the University of Kent, working with colleagues from the genetics research industry, have developed a new genetic screening device and protocol that helps pig breeding.Through her work, Dr. Rebecca O'Connor in the School of Biosciences, found previously undiscovered, fundamental flaws in the pig genome, the results of which have contributed to improved mapping of the pig genome.