Biology focuses on a single living organism at a time, examining the life stages, reproduction, morphology and range. In the case of fauna, there is considerable attention to the motor and social behavior of each species. For both animals and plants, biologists examine carefully the relationship of organisms to nutrient sources. Subject species may be microscopic as small as bacteria, or include the largest creatures ever known, such as present day cetaceans or extinct dinosaurs. Some biology studies focus on the reconstruction of events deep back into prehistory, while other research is preoccupied with events that are happening today and forward into the future.
Wind turbine bird mortality is a by-product of large scale wind farms, which are increasingly promoted as an alternative to fossil fuel derived energy production. To adequately...
Cactaceae: The cactus familyLast Updated on 2015-03-06 11:23:17The Cactaceae is a family belonging to the order Caryophyllales. Cacti typically are found in dry and arid desert or semi-desert regions with high average daytime temperatures and cold nights, and high evaporation rates. Cacti range from Canada to Argentina, predominantly occurring in the warm and arid reaches of the continents of both North and South America across a wide range of different habitats like deserts, sandy coastal stretches, scrublands, dry deciduous forests, high alpine steppes and tropical rain forests (Barthlott and Hunt, 1993; Gibson and Nobel, 1986; Nyffeler, 2001). The main diversity centers are Mexico and south-west USA, central Andes, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina with Mexico being the richest and most endemic region (Boyle and Anderson, 2002; Ortega-Baes and Godínez-Alvarez, 2006). The family is... More »
WildlifeLast Updated on 2014-12-07 15:36:41Wildlife refers to the animals and related plants in a state of nature, or the species of fauna that are not domesticated or tame and are also indigenous to an area, region or range. The expression is relatively recent in origin dating to Richard Jefferies' 1879 work discussing the various animal species in the Wiltshire Downs in southern Britain. Jefferies insisted, “glance into the hedgerow, the copse, or stream,” and “there" you find "nature’s children as unrestrained in their wild, free life as they were in the …backwoods of primitive England.”
The term wildling is much older, however, as is wildness from which wildlife is derivative, being used for example by William Shakespeare to refer to those qualities of living things not under the influence or control of humans. Charles Darwin when referring to artificial selection... More »
Wind turbine bird mortalityLast Updated on 2014-11-30 21:32:32Wind turbine bird mortality is a by-product of large scale wind farms, which are increasingly promoted as an alternative to fossil fuel derived energy production. To adequately assess the extent of impact to avian populations, deeper factors than gross mortality by turbine action must be assessed. In particular, one must examine: (a) impacts to threatened bird species, (b) total impacts due to avian habitat loss as well as direct mechanical kill, (c) ecological impacts due to apex predator bird loss and (d) future siting decisions for windfarms, since much of the prior bird mortality is due to poor siting decisions.
Bird mortality from wind turbines is a significant adverse ecological impact, and threatens to expand in scope dramatically with the rush to develop new energy sources. This impact is measured as high due to the loss of threatened species and due to... More »
Asteraceae: The sunflower familyLast Updated on 2014-10-07 21:50:48Asteraceae, also called Compositae, is one of the largest angiospermic plant families among the dicotyledonous, based on the large number of species (1,620 genera and 23,600 species) that represent this plant family with cosmopolitan distribution (Funk et al.,2005). Constituting almost 10% of all flowering plants worldwide, Asteraceae is usually divided into 12 subfamilies (Funk et al., 2009). Except for Antarctica, the family is most abundant in the sub-tropical and temperate latitudes, occurring commonly across meadows, valleys, grassy plains, rolling plateaus, and mountainous slopes (Funk et al., 2005 ; Bayer et al., 2007). It includes edible, medicinal, noxious, invasive and endangered species (Heywood et al., 2007). The majority of plant members representing this family are herbaceous in nature, but shrubs and trees, as well as creepers and climbers, are also... More »
BiomassLast Updated on 2014-09-30 22:09:21
Biomass is a term in ecology for the mass of living organisms in a given ecosystem. Biomass can refer to the living stock of species in a given habitat, but can also refer to a harvested subset or to a decaying subset (especially in the case of forest floor detritus). Biomass may refer to the total mass of all species within the study area, and is thus sometimes called community biomass; but biomass may also refer to a taxonomic subset. Biomass can be expressed as the average mass per unit area or unit volume, or simply as the total mass in the community. Plants characteristically comprise the greatest part of the biomass of terrestrial system. In the animal kingdom, iIronically, the smallest creatures in an ecosystem typically represent the largest quantity of its biomass. It is important to note that the relative biomass species mix may change considerably from season... More »
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