In science news this week: Can salmon eat their way out of climate change?; Integrated approach for managing aquatic invasive species in California; Naturally, 2019 Closes with Thousands of 10-Inch Pulsing “Penis Fish” Stranded on a California Beach; River management on a changing planet; How Snacking Suckers Engineer An Ecosystem; How are Utah’s dry lakes impacting air quality and human health?; How to Use Social Media Without Harming Nature; What We Know (And Don’t Know) About Cities & Biodiversity; and more…
Can salmon eat their way out of climate change?: “Warm waters are a threat to cold water fish like salmon and trout. But a study led by researchers at University of California, Davis suggests that habitats with abundant food sources may help buffer the effects of increasing water temperature. The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences today, Dec. 10, shows that the availability of food in a natural system — not just stream temperature and flows — is an essential component of fish habitat. … ” Read more from UC Davis here: Can salmon eat their way out of climate change?
Integrated approach for managing aquatic invasive species in California: “Though small and somewhat nondescript, quagga and zebra mussels pose a huge threat to local rivers, lakes and estuaries. Thanks to aggressive measures to prevent contamination, Santa Barbara County’s waters have so far been clear of the invasive mollusks, but stewards of local waterways, reservoirs and water recreation areas remain vigilant to the possibility of infestation by these and other non-native organisms. Now, UC Santa Barbara-based research scientist Carolynn Culver and colleagues at UCSB’s Marine Science Institute are adding to this arsenal of prevention measures with a pair of studies that appear in a special edition of the North American Journal of Fisheries Management. … ” Read more from Science Daily here: Integrated approach for managing aquatic invasive species in California
They Can’t Stand Air or Rain. They Live Exposed to Both. How do Tidepool Creatures Survive?: “Although the world’s oceans cover approximately 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, most humans interact with only the narrow strip that runs up onto land. This bit of real estate experiences terrestrial conditions on a once- or twice-daily basis and create a unique challenge for tidepool life…” Read more from Bay Nature here: They Can’t Stand Air or Rain. They Live Exposed to Both. How do Tidepool Creatures Survive?
Naturally, 2019 Closes with Thousands of 10-Inch Pulsing “Penis Fish” Stranded on a California Beach: “You could be forgiven for being offended by the above photo: thousands of 10-inch wiggly pink sausages strewn about Drakes Beach. The same phenomenon has been reported over the years at Pajaro Dunes, Moss Landing, Bodega Bay, and Princeton Harbor. I’ve heard my share of imaginative theories from beachcombers, such as flotsam of a wrecked bratwurst freighter. In truth, these are living denizens of our beaches rudely, yet also mercifully, mostly called “fat innkeeper worms…” Read more from Bay Nature here: Naturally, 2019 Closes with Thousands of 10-Inch Pulsing “Penis Fish” Stranded on a California Beach
River management on a changing planet: “River management is inherently complex, demanding mastery of constantly dynamic conditions even when the climate is stable. As the climate changes, however, river management will become even more difficult and unpredictable—and old models and techniques are likely to fail more often. Now, researchers from around the world are calling for attention and change to how we manage and model the rivers of the world. Dr. Jonathan Tonkin, a Rutherford Discovery Fellow at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, spoke to EM about why he is arguing that current tools for river management are no longer enough as even historical baseline river ecosystem conditions themselves are changing. … ” Read more from Environmental Monitor here: River management on a changing planet
Dropped Connection: DNA Reveals A Fragmented Fish Population: “Lakes and streams are naturally isolated, acting as “islands” of aquatic habitat. However, humans have amplified this isolation by creating physical barriers and turning once suitable habitat into disconnected patches. Isolated populations of animals face a number of risks, including loss of genetic diversity and an inability to recolonize areas after a population decline. Understanding how changes to watersheds have impacted fish populations can be difficult given a lack of information on what things were like prior to centuries of human activity. Fortunately, scientists have molecular tools that can assess the current status of populations while also granting a glimpse into the past…” Read more from FishBio here: Dropped Connection: DNA Reveals A Fragmented Fish Population
How Snacking Suckers Engineer An Ecosystem: “Environmental engineering is a growing industry, but many species of plants and animals have been experts at modifying ecosystems for millennia. A classic example is the industrious beaver, who turns flowing streams into species-rich pond habitats…” Read more from FishBio here: How Snacking Suckers Engineer An Ecosystem
How are Utah’s dry lakes impacting air quality and human health?: “A new study reveals that 90 percent of Utah urban dust comes from dry lakebeds, which not only impacts air quality but also impacting soil and what can grow in it…” Read more from Science Daily here: How are Utah’s dry lakes impacting air quality and human health?
Invasive Animals Pose “Deep and Immediate Threat” to U.S. National Parks, Study Finds: “More than half of all U.S. National Parks are overrun with invasive animal species, such as rats, pythons, and feral hogs, according to a new study published in the journal Biological Invasions. These invasive species severely threaten native plants and animals and pose a “deep and immediate threat” to the mission of the National Park Service (NPS), and yet there is no comprehensive program in place to deal with the problem, the research found…” Read more from Yale Environment 360 here: Invasive Animals Pose “Deep and Immediate Threat” to U.S. National Parks, Study Finds
Underwater telecom cables make superb seismic network: “In a paper appearing this week in the journal Science, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and Rice University describe an experiment that turned 20 kilometers of undersea fiber-optic cable into the equivalent of 10,000 seismic stations along the ocean floor. During their four-day experiment in Monterey Bay, they recorded a 3.5 magnitude quake and seismic scattering from underwater fault zones…” Read more from UC Berkeley here: Underwater telecom cables make superb seismic network
How to Use Social Media Without Harming Nature: “As an avid photographer, Instagram helps me engage with that passion in my daily life. Following pro photographers and studying their work makes me a better photographer. I learn about beautiful places, species, and cultures I wouldn’t otherwise know about. And I can share my own photos and love of nature with family and friends…” Read more from Cool Green Science here: How to Use Social Media Without Harming Nature
What We Know (And Don’t Know) About Cities & Biodiversity: “Humans have lived in cities for more than 2000 years. The majority of humanity now lives in cities, and cities around the world have worked for decades to manage their environmental impacts. Given our urban lifestyle, you’d think that scientists would know a great deal about how our cities affect the other species on the planet. But it turns out that’s not the case…” Read more from Cool Green Science here: What We Know (And Don’t Know) About Cities & Biodiversity
Lisa’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