Science news: Mathematical models provide critical information to save salmon; A unified vision for for water and ecosystem studies in the Central Valley; The secret world of life beneath winter snows; The weird side of species conservation; and more …

Microbial community in the rhizosphere.

Microbial community in the rhizosphere.

In science news this week: Mathematical models provide critical information to save salmon; CVIFMS – A unified vision for for water and ecosystem studies in the Central Valley; Insights into controls on hexavalent chromium in groundwater provided by environmental tracers in Sacramento Valley; Into the breach: Paddlers and Ducks Return to Cullinan Ranch; Peering into the secret world of life beneath winter snows; Science-driven strategies for more effective endangered species recovery; Human activities trigger hypoxia in freshwaters around the globe; and lastly … Weird conservation: The strange side of saving endangered species

Mathematical models provide critical information to save salmon:NOAA Fisheries scientists from the West Coast Region and the Southwest Fisheries Science Center recently presented their research on advanced technologies to protect and understand behavior of endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon to an independent academic panel.  Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon in California’s Central Valley are one of the most endangered federal marine species in the country. They were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1989, and reclassified as endangered in 1994. The species continues to struggle to regain footing as a viable and sustainable population despite conservation efforts. NOAA Fisheries recently highlighted their fragile existence in the Agency’s new Species in the Spotlight initiative to bring even greater attention to the challenges this species faces to survive. ... ” Read more from NOAA here:  Mathematical models provide critical information to save salmon

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CVIFMS – A unified vision for for water and ecosystem studies in the Central Valley: Synergy between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Water Resources and local government leaders is powering a unified vision to lower flood risk, restore ecosystems and aid water conservation in California’s Central Valley.  Despite its unwieldy title, the Central Valley Integrated Flood Management Study has a razor-sharp focus: start with existing data from previous studies and existing requests (authorities) from Congress and address problems at the watershed level in order to produce systemwide improvements within the Sacramento River Basin. … ”  Read more from the Army Corps of Engineers here:  CVIFMS – A unified vision for for water and ecosystem studies in the Central Valley

Insights into controls on hexavalent chromium in groundwater provided by environmental tracers in Sacramento Valley: Environmental tracers are useful for determining groundwater age and recharge source, yet their application in studies of geogenic Cr(VI) in groundwater has been limited. Environmental tracer data from 166 wells located in the Sacramento Valley, northern California, were interpreted and compared to Cr concentrations to determine the origin and age of groundwater with elevated Cr(VI), and better understand where Cr(VI) becomes mobilized and how it evolves along flowpaths. … ”  Continue reading from the USGS here: Insights into controls on hexavalent chromium in groundwater provided by environmental tracers, Sacramento Valley, California, USA

Into the breach: Paddlers and Ducks Return to Cullinan Ranch:A restored tidal marsh might be described as a primal mud pie, rich and fertile enough to sprout a meringue of fresh toppings. An array of native critters is then lured to the meal, where they proceed to feed, nest, roost, and breed as in ages past. The shoreline of San Francisco Bay’s northernmost lobe—called San Pablo Bay—has begun to dish out an ample buffet of such sites.  The result is a swath of refreshed habitat that forms a major way station for waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway in the near term and will provide the Bay Area with one of its last, best chances for helping wildlife adapt to climate change and sea level rise over the long term. … ”  Read more from Bay Nature here:  Into the breach: Paddlers and Ducks Return to Cullinan Ranch

Peering into the secret world of life beneath winter snows:  “Snow covers some 40 percent of Earth’s land masses year in and year out. And, as scientists are discovering, snow is critical to animals and plants that live in northern latitudes, as well as those in far southern latitudes like Patagonia at the tip of South America. It ensures their — and our — survival.  “Without snow, plant and animal life would be completely different,” says biologist Jonathan Pauli of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Pauli and scientists such as Ben Zuckerberg, also of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, are members of a new breed of researchers called winter ecologists. The field, which focuses on relationships among animals, plants and their snow-covered environments, is relatively new. … ”  Read more from the NSF here:  Peering into the secret world of life beneath winter snows

Science-driven strategies for more effective endangered species recovery: The Endangered Species Act (ESA), which quietly passed its 42nd birthday last week, has shielded hundreds of species in the United States from extinction and dramatically achieved full recovery for a celebrated few. Flexibility of implementation is one of the ESA’s great strengths, allowing for adaptation in response to new knowledge and changing social and environmental conditions.  In a report released by the Ecological Society of America today, 18 conservation researchers and practitioners propose six broad strategies to raise the effectiveness of the ESA for endangered recovery, , based on a thorough review of the scientific literature on the status and performance of the law. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Science-driven strategies for more effective endangered species recovery

Human activities trigger hypoxia in freshwaters around the globe:  “A new study shows that the increase in human activities and nutrient release have led to the current rise in the number of hypoxic lakes worldwide.  This finding has just been released in the journal Global Change Biology. The international research team has found out that the onset of lacustrine hypoxia is mainly due to direct and local anthropogenic impacts rather than to recent climate change. The study also showed that aquatic rehabilitation programs have failed so far to return lake bottoms to their original well-oxygenated status. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Human activities trigger hypoxia in freshwaters around the globe

And lastly … Weird conservation: The strange side of saving endangered species:  “Nature is weird. But conservation is weirder.  When scientists need to save an endangered species, sometimes the solution is straightforward: protect habitat, reduce threats, or stop overfishing. But sometimes, conservation requires that you built a robot, search for poop, or devise a seemingly endless variety of techniques to collect animal semen.  Below are some of our favorite stories from the (weird) annals of conservation, and we hope you’ll share yours ... ” Read more from the Cool Green Science blog here:  Weird conservation: The strange side of saving endangered species

Maven’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …

 

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About Science News and Reports: This weekly feature, posted every Thursday, is a collection of the latest scientific research and reports with a focus on relevant issues to the Delta and to California water, although other issues such as climate change are sometimes included. Do you have an item to be included here? Submissions of relevant research and other materials is welcome. Email Maven

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