ScienceDaily: Top Environment News Jan. 14

Jay Owen Nature/Biomimicry

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Ladybugs diet influences effectiveness as biocontrol agent

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 08:09 AM PST

Ladybugs are deployed as biological controls of insect pests like aphids and Colorado potato beetles. By examining what lady beetles eat, scientists are learning more about the movement of these beneficial insects in farm fields — and whether they’ll actively feed on crop pests.

Clamorous city blackbirds: Birds can sing louder at higher frequencies to make themselves heard over traffic noise

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 08:09 AM PST

Birds can sing louder at higher frequencies and thereby make themselves heard over traffic noise.

Cheating, and getting away with it: Works for amoeba

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 06:27 AM PST

We would all like to believe that there is a kind of karma in life that guarantees those who cheat eventually pay for their bad behavior, if not immediately, then somewhere down the line. But a study of a new gene in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum suggests that, at least for amoebae, it is possible to cheat and get away with it. Scientists have found a gene that allows amoebae to pass on more than their fair share of their genes but doesn’t make them less fit in other ways.

Bugs reveal the richness of species on Earth

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 06:25 AM PST

Researchers have carried out a survey of the biological diversity in a tropical rainforest. Their efforts have helped them find the key to one of the existential questions to which people have long sought an answer: how many species exist on Earth?

Salinization of rivers: A global environmental problem

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 06:25 AM PST

The salinisation of rivers is a global problem that affects to countries all over the world and it causes a high environmental and economic cost, and poses a high risk to global health. Climate change and the increasing water consumption can worsen even more the future scene, according to a new article.

Saline hiding places for bacteria in Río Tinto could be like those on Mars

Posted: 11 Jan 2013 06:24 AM PST

Researchers have identified microorganisms that live inside salt deposits in the acidic and ferrous environment of the Tinto River in Huelva, Spain. The extreme conditions of these microniches appear to be similar to those of the salt deposits on Mars and Jupiter’s moon, Europa. This possibility should be borne in mind on missions operating in these places.

Bengali forests are fading away

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 06:23 PM PST

RAPID deterioration in mangrove health is occurring in the Sundarbans, resulting in as much as 200m of coast disappearing in a single year.