Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Ecosystem Conservation (56 found)

Global health community is needed to help fight climate change

A team of medical professionals and scientists says that experts from different disciplines need to work together in order to prevent, diminish, or adjust to the negative consequences of climate change. 

Ocean acidification: A pressing threat to coral reefs

Climate change is making oceans more acidic. Will coral reefs survive in those conditions? A new publication investigates the effects of ocean acidification on corals, and the results are terrifying.

Quantifying regional climate trends in the U.S.

A recent study quantified climate change trends across the U.S.’s National Ecological Observatory Network regions, informing future efforts to research and mitigate climate change. 

What is happening with the bees?

The diversity of bees and other pollinator populations has declined, leading to a potential global pollination crisis. Many factors influence this crisis, researchers say, making it necessary to find a variety of solutions. 

Deadlier than intended? Pesticides might be killing beneficial insects beyond their targets

Insecticides are used widely with the objective of protecting crops from insects and increasing agricultural yields. A new study suggests that with some insecticides the opposite may be happening.

Protected, but how well? Evaluating management effectiveness of protected areas

Managing protected areas is a challenge. While creating new areas for protection is the first step, the pace of biodiversity conservation will be determined by specific management actions. A new study reveals which ones.

Ethnic migration in protected area landscapes: The causes and consequences

Population growth in the areas near a national park in western Uganda has transformed the landscape surrounding the park. A recent study explores the consequences of this population growth, and the need for appropriate policies to manage how humans interact with the park.

Designing more sustainable hiking trails

How can natural areas managers foster ecotourism while protecting the health of natural systems? A recent study shows how emphasizing different features of trails can help spread out visitor impacts over space and time.

Investment banks: An unlikely ally for conservation

Financial institutions like banks historically have played a critical role in the face of global challenges, from restructuring industry after World War II to the financing of the industrial revolutions. A new study argues that banks can play a similar role in helping society transition to a low-carbon footprint model.

Can an invasive species actually help lemurs in Madagascar?

Tropical forests are being lost due to timber harvest and cultivation, and ecosystems are being threatened by the spread of exotic and invasive species that outcompetes native ones. A recent study shows how an exotic plant species can be beneficial in connecting forest fragments, which promotes healthy wildlife populations.

Does your Colombian coffee endanger species?

What coffee did you choose this morning? A new study shows that shade coffee can help endangered monkeys conservation in the Colombian forests.

What does ecology ‘restoration’ mean? It depends who you ask

Environmental science guides the design of environmental policies and regulations. But what  happens when science does not align with law and policy? A recent study shows that a mismatch between the science of ecological “restoration” and the policy mechanism of environmental interventions has unintended consequences.

Bridging the gap between ecology and law

Environmental management is an interdisciplinary art. One important topic is the relationship between science and policy. A recent article identifies the barriers of integrating ecology and law in environmental management, and proposes “resilience-based adaptive governance” as a way to facilitate integration.

Taboo trade offs in ecosystem services and human well-being

Management of multiple ecosystem services involves balancing multiple stakeholders and their respective value systems. This involves making trade offs, but not all trade offs are equal. A recent article analyzes how these decisions affect management decisions in a small-scale tropical fishery.

The unexpected role of rural farmers in promoting environmental protection

Many view agriculture as a major threat to the environment. But by integrating conservation techniques with agriculture and ranching, farmers movements can promote the protection of the environment while securing their food production.

Using innovation to ‘green’ national accounting

A recent study explores how to value and map ecosystem services in a way that can be consistent with national accounts. 

Lessons learned from large-scale river restoration

Public-private partnership approaches to natural resource management are on the rise. Members of the Dolores River Restoration Partnership share how they collectively work toward large-scale river restoration.

A (free-flowing) river runs through it

Every water management decision is a tradeoff: Scientists argue that the cost of ecosystem services lost when free-flowing rivers are modified should make its way into decision-making tools and assessment protocols.

Protecting the flow: Study explores market scenarios for water

Existing systems for allocating water could leave some rivers high and dry. A recent study explored how a marketplace for water might better protect critical water resources.

Land degradation in war and conflict regions

What happens to land under years of war and conflict? Satellite data and integrated modelling are helping to predict land degradation in war-torn regions of northern Lebanon.

A business case for ecosystem service valuation: Water in the Brazos

A recent study explored how businesses might value the critical ecosystem services provided by water — and how valuations could drive decision-making.

Hunting animals kills forest trees, too

Overhunting animal consumers of seeds increases extinction risk in tropical trees, and could change structure and ecological dynamics of tropical forests.

Earth’s biodiversity is declining faster than ever before

Species are going extinct 1,000 times faster than at any point in Earth’s history, and even with protected areas, biodiversity preservation remains sub-optimal due to knowledge gaps and low representation of ecological habitats.

Human population and a sustainable future

Population reduction will likely benefit the planet in the long-term, but can it address our most pressing environmental concerns?

Global study tells us how human land-use affects species and why

Across the world, animals are consistently imperiled by human land-use, but the magnitude of impact varies between species based on their innate features.

Fungus in the forest:
How pathogens drive rainforest diversity

Miniscule fungi and diminutive insects that eat up seeds and seedlings of trees may hold the key to understanding the mindboggling diversity of tropical rainforests.

Measuring ecosystem services at multiple scales

Can different methods of measuring ecosystem services for a region provide coherent, complementary results?

Wind, oil, and gas—categorizing the ecological footprint of energy sprawl

Spatial analysis can be utilized as a decision-support tool to make sure energy development occurs in the least ecologically sensitive areas.

Animals as carbon-cycle mediators

Animals likely play a more instrumental role in carbon cycling and storage than previously understood, making wildlife management a potential avenue for mitigating carbon emissions. 

Manifesto for new dimensions in large carnivore conservation

Human prosperity relies on functioning ecosystem processes. Large carnivores play an integral role in their human and natural surrounding; integrative conservation strategies are warranted to ensure their persistence.

Ecology drones: New methods for capturing low-cost tropical forest conservation data

Attaching the cameras to aerial drones allows conservation researchers to observe everything from illegal logging activity to elephant migrations.

Arsenic control during aquifer storage and recovery cycle tests in the Floridan aquifer

Aquifer storage and recovery may represent an efficient, effective, and safe water storage option for maintaining drinking water and environmental supplies in Florida.

Property tax incentives benefit forest connectivity

Forest property tax incentives are effective tools for ensuring landscape connectivity, yet what type of program forest owners participate in differs by type of forest and owners. Policymakers can use this information to tailor programs and policies to increase forest conservation programs.

Does river restoration help reptiles and amphibians?

Scientists examine how riparian restoration projects influence amphibian and reptile species and suggest several methods that natural resource managers can use to improve river rehabilitation projects.

Are wolves and road construction compatible?

Wolf movement is negatively affected by road construction, but more due to human activity than the presence of human infrastructure and machinery.

Diving tourists with environmental awareness can conserve oceans

Diving tourism can help conserve marine wildlife and coastal ecosystems. To live up to its potential to conserve nature as well as to sustain popularity diving management including environmental education is key.

Orchids flourish with assisted migration

Assisted migration is hotly debated as an aid for species adapting to climate change, but new research reveals survival success for orchids.

Invasive species follow in human wake

Human population density is the strongest driving force behind invasive species in protected areas.

Identifying Waste Currents in Hawai’i

Local waste sources, accumulation points, and marine pathways around Hawai’i Island were determined to address the origin of the debris accumulating in Kamilo Point through the deployment of debris-catching booms and wooden drifter blocks.  

Fukushima radiation found in food webs in the Pacific

Radioactive material from the Fukushima disaster was detected in food webs in the Pacific. However, it isn’t substantial enough to be dangerous to humans or animals.

Developing national plans of action to protect sharks saves threatened species

Little is known about whether regional shark management plans are robust enough to sustainably manage shark stocks. However, implementing national action plans that adhere to international guidelines and that build on experiences from other fisheries can help save endangered shark species from extinction.

Using Land Use Policy and Zoning to protect environmentally sensitive areas from informal settlements

Scientists examine how zoning and land use policy can protect environmentally sensitive areas at the fringe of the cities from damage by shantytowns. Political and social factors can often cause these policies to fail.

Local solutions for local problems

In the search for effective adaptations to climate change, governments and international organizations may have little need to cast their nets far from home.

Finding wildlife habitat in urban areas

Scientists find that golf courses can be suitable nesting habitat for turtles.

Can cultural conservation pay biodiversity dividends?

Regions containing much of the biological diversity on Earth should be conserved for reasons beyond the plant and animal species within them.

Siting wind without the negative impacts

In Kansas, researchers are finding easy ways to minimize the negative impacts of wind energy while greatly surpassing the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2030 goals. 

Keeping track of storms to protect endangered turtles

Coastal managers must anticipate and follow tropical storm patterns to protect endangered sea turtle species more effectively.

Economic impact of invasives in the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes – our largest global reserve of freshwater – are under attack from invasive species, and a new study provides an estimate of what this will cost us. 

Prior engineering exacerbated effects of 'BP-Deepwater Horizon'

Recent studies at one of the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill sites has revealed that, preceding engineering activities diminished the resilience of the salt water marshes.

The challenge of solidifying safeguards in REDD+

The policies and measures aiming at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) have proliferated, resulting in varying interpretations of “safeguards”. Now that REDD+ is maturing, direct trade-offs between monetized emissions reductions and social and biodiversity values call for more explicit regulations in this approach to climate change mitigation.

Invasive snakes threaten biodiversity in Florida

The invasive Burmese python has been linked to mammal declines Florida’s Everglades National park. Researchers fear that some of the endangered species of the region may be in danger. 

The current rate of ocean acidification has no precedent in 300 million years of Earth history

Peering into the past can help us to discern the future.  But, when it comes to ocean acidification, past events may offer little indication of what is in store. 

Jellyfish blooms cause marine ecosystems to leak energy

Jellyfish blooms are an increasingly frequent problem in many parts of the world.  While it has long been understood that these blooms deprive fish and other species of food, new research sheds light on how they disrupt the ecosystem in ways that reduce the productivity of the oceans.

Biodiversity left behind in climate change scenarios

Climate change predictions are classifying species in the wrong way – putting biodiversity at risk.

Untreated wastewater kills coral

Coral reefs are one of the most critically endangered ecosystems on the planet, and untreated human waste is contributing to their decline.