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Sat, 24 Oct 2020
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Tropical Reforestation Aided By Bats

German scientists are engaging bats to kick-start natural reforestation in the tropics by installing artificial bat roosts in deforested areas. This novel method for tropical restoration is presented in a new study published online in the science journal Conservation Biology this week.

Detlev Kelm from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin (IZW) and Kerstin Wiesner and Otto von Helversen from the University of Erlangen - Nuremberg report that the deployment of artificial bat roosts significantly increases seed dispersal of a wide range of tropical forest plants into their surroundings, providing a simple and cheap method to speed up natural forest regeneration.

bat
©iStockphoto/Gijs Bekenkamp
Many bats eat fruits or nectar, and thus are key species for seed dispersal and flower pollination.

Fish

Will Corals Survive The Stormy Future?

Hurricanes and storms limit the ability of corals in Belize to "recruit" new coral into their communities, according to an Earthwatch-supported study published in Marine Environmental Research.
"Increasing evidence now shows that storms are becoming more intense due to climate change," said lead author and Earthwatch scientist Dr. James Crabbe from the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom.

Coral area in Belize
©James Crabbe
A view of part of the survey area in Belize, where James Crabbe and his Earthwatch team measured more than 520 corals.

Bug

Legless Lizard And Tiny Woodpecker Among New Species Discovered In Brazil

Researchers discovered a legless lizard and a tiny woodpecker along with 12 other suspected new species in Brazil's Cerrado, one of the world's 34 biodiversity conservation hotspots.

species of lizard of the genus Bachia
©CI/Cristiano Nogueira
This species of lizard of the genus Bachia is one of the new species discovered during the expedition. Although there are other species of the genus in the Cerrado (almost all discovered and described only recently), this new species has only been recorded in the Ecological Station. The absence of legs and the sharply pointed snout help in locomotion over the surface layer of sandy soil, predominating in all the Jalapao, formed by the natural erosion of the escarpments of the Serra Geral plateaus.

The Cerrado's wooded grassland once covered an area half the size of Europe, but is now being converted to cropland and ranchland at twice the rate of the neighboring Amazon rainforest, resulting in the loss of native vegetation and unique species.

Target

Japan: Fairly strong earthquake jolts southern Hokkaido, northern Aomori

A fairly strong earthquake jolted southern Hokkaido and northern Aomori Prefecture Tuesday afternoon, the Meteorological Agency said.

There was no report of casualties or damage to property, police said. No tsunami warning was issued following the quake.

Cloud Lightning

Storm brewing for William Gray - Will University Silence Him?

By pioneering the science of seasonal hurricane forecasting and teaching 70 graduate students who now populate the National Hurricane Center and other research outposts, William Gray turned a city far from the stormy seas into a hurricane research mecca.

Dr. William Gray
©Associated Press
Dr. William Gray, a top hurricane researcher, questions the impact of global warming on Earth's climate

Roses

"Extinct" Plants Discovered Blooming in Australia



Extinct plants
©Bruce Wannan (left) and Paul Forster (right), courtesy Queensland Herbarium, Environmental Protection Agency.
Two supposedly extinct plants - the pink-flowered mint Teucrium ajugaceum, (left) and Rhaphidospora cavernarum, (right) - have been rediscovered on a peninsula in northern Australia, scientists announced recently.

Two woodland plants long thought extinct have reappeared in far northern Australia, experts announced recently.

Teucrium ajugaceum, a pink-flowered mint that lives in eucalypt woodlands, had not been seen since 1891 and was listed as extinct in 1992.

Rhaphidospora cavernarum, not seen since 1873, also frequents eucalypt forests. Though it grows to almost 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall and boasts white and purple flowers, the plant had somehow evaded surveyors until now.

Cloud Lightning

US: 200 Injured in Virginia Storms



Virginia tornado
©Mandana Marsh/Progress-Index, Associated Press
A firefighter checks inside cars in Colonial Heights, Va.

Houses were flattened and cars were thrown against buildings when tornadoes ripped across central and southeast Virginia on Monday, injuring more than 200.

Bizarro Earth

Australia: Homes evacuated after ground collapse

A number of homes have been evacuated after the ground caved-in on a suburban road in south-east Queensland.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pissale says parts of Duncan Road in Ipswich have fallen away, leaving big cracks in the road and causing structural damage to homes.

He says three people have been evacuated and the road has been closed while engineers test the area.

Mr Pissale says there is a history of ground movement in the suburb.

Health

After Quake, Reno Told to Brace for Stronger One

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A day after a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck northern Nevada's largest city, scientists urged residents to prepare for a larger temblor as the area continued to rumble on Saturday.

Evil Rays

Moderate earthquake hits southern Mexico

A moderate earthquake of a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale rocked southern Mexico Sunday, but no major injuries or damages have been reported.

The quake, which was centered 154 kilometers north of the port city of Acapulco, shook the southern Mexican state of Guerrero and was felt in the capital.