Scientists studying eight salt marshes in the US found they are losing ground because of erosion from increases in the sea level, land development, dammed rivers and natural disintegration. Half of the salt marshes, which provide vital habitat for animals, may disappear in 350 years if no preservation measures are taken, the research shows.
Scientists in Cambodia are documenting rare plant species and other biodiversity that has thrived in unique limestone habitats called karsts, which are threatened by cement quarrying. The karsts "are the last refuges of what made it to the Mekong Delta, natural harbors for a specialized kind of vegetation that has very little timber value, sanctuaries of rare species," says J. Andrew McDonald of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
The recent flooding threat at the Oroville Dam in Northern California, which forced nearly 200,000 people to evacuate, has raised questions about the condition of aging infrastructure and whether it can handle extreme weather patterns exacerbated by climate change. Meanwhile, in Oregon, seven dams have been found to be in "unsatisfactory" condition.
The Amazon's wide diversity of trees is likely due to wide-ranging dispersal throughout geological time, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Our study used a phylogenetic, evolutionary approach to show the basin has essentially acted as a sloshing bowl of green soup, with tree lineages dispersing back and forth across the basin repeatedly, throughout the last Glacial Maximum and deeper into time," said Kyle Dexter, co-author of the study.
Seven charts show how 25 million immigrants affect the economy, in which many occupy hard-to-fill positions in construction and programming. Among the data: Immigrants earn less on average than native-born workers, and they are more likely to start a business.
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Satellite images may be an option for estimating crop yields in poor regions and determining which farmers need help, per a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Inexpensive satellites could also be used to test interventions, Stanford University researchers said.
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Plan your schedule for AAG 2017 with the online preliminary program
The preliminary program for the AAG Annual Meeting is now available online. The searchable program includes a preliminary agenda of sessions, plenary speakers, and specialty group meetings. You can browse the program by presenter, keyword, title, or specialty group. You can also view sessions by day using the calendar of events. Please note that sessions and events for the 2017 Annual Meeting begin on Wednesday and conclude on Sunday. Browse the program.