Environment

Migratory Birds Track Climate Across the Year

February 18, 2021

As climate change takes hold across the Americas, some areas will get wetter, and others will get hotter and drier. A new study of the yellow warbler, a widespread migratory songbird, shows that individuals have the same climatic preferences across their migratory range. The work is published Feb. 17 in Ecology Letters.

Arctic Shrubs Add New Piece to Ecological Puzzle

February 03, 2021
Implications for Carbon Exchange in a Warming, Drying Tundra

15-year experiment on Arctic shrubs in Greenland lends new understanding to an enduring ecological puzzle: How do species with similar needs and life histories occur together at large scales while excluding each other at small scales? The answer to this question has important implications for how climate change might shift species’ distributions across the globe.

Dead Trees Fuel Wildfire Severity in Sierra Nevada

January 13, 2021
Study Highlights the Role of Forest Fuels Amid a Warming Climate

California’s drought of 2012-2016 killed millions of trees in the Sierra Nevada — mostly by way of a bark beetle epidemic — leaving a forest canopy full of dry needles. A study published from the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Forest Service helps answer concerns about what effect dense, dead foliage could have on subsequent wildfires and their burn severity. 

Identifying Where to Reforest After Wildfire

January 06, 2021
A Future of Fewer Christmas Trees? Conifers Expected to Decline

In the aftermath of megafires that devastated forests of the western United States, attention turns to whether forests will regenerate on their own or not. Forest managers can now look to a newly enhanced, predictive mapping tool to learn where forests are likely to regenerate on their own and where replanting efforts may be beneficial.  

Roadmap to Renewables Unites Climate and Sustainability Goals

January 06, 2021
Vision and Research Gaps for a Low-Carbon, Biodiverse Future

While the pressures of climate change bring a sense of urgency to renewable energy development, a new study serves as a roadmap toward uniting the goals of a low-carbon future with that of ecological sustainability and conservation.

Grazing and Riparian Restoration Are Compatible When You Put in the Work

November 18, 2020
Even Small Efforts to Keep Cows From Creeks Can Significantly Improve Riparian Health

With a little time and effort, rangeland managers can have a dramatic impact on the resilience of California’s riparian areas, which are important to the state’s human, environmental and economic well-being. Rangeland ecologists at the University of California, Davis, found that when ranchers invest even one week a year in practices that keep cows away from creeks — like herding, fencing and providing supplemental nutrition and water — they can improve riparian health by as much as 53 percent.

A Fixed-Effort Fishery More Sustainable for Economy and Environment

November 04, 2020
Study Considers Food Web, Extinction Cascades and Human Dynamics

For a truly sustainable fishery, more needs to be considered than just the abundance of the harvested species. Harvesting even abundant species can create indirect extinction cascades down the food web that can harm the long-term economic and ecological sustainability of a fishery. 

That is according to a study from the University of California, Davis, published today in the journal Science Advances. 

The Distance Local Energy Goes to Bring Power to the People

October 12, 2020
Study Comparing Energy Providers Finds Parallels to Local Foods Movement

When you go to the grocery store, you can look at an apple and know if it was grown in Chile, Washington or somewhere closer to you by a quick glance at its sticker. But consumers have largely been in the dark when it comes to energy, and how far it has traveled to reach them.