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"Mutant" Fossils Reveal Toxic Metals May Have Contributed to World's Largest Extinctions

Released: 8/31/2015 10:29:49 AM
A malformed (’teratological’) chitinozoan specimen of the genus Ancyrochitina (a) and a morphologically normal specimen (b) of the same genus. Both of these Silurian microfossils are from the A1-61 well in Libya and are about 415 Ma old. Scale bars are 0.1 mm. (High resolution image) Toxic metals such as iron, lead and arsenic may have helped cause mass extinctions in the world’s oceans millions of years ago, according to recent research from the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Center for Scientific Research, France; and Ghent University, Belgium. These findings largely came from studying “teratological” or malformed fossil plankton assemblages corresponding to the initial stages of extinction events approximately 420 million years ago that killed off most marine species

New Sea-Level Rise Handbook Highlights Science and Models for Non-Scientists

Released: 8/27/2015 9:29:46 AM
Coastal managers and planners now have access to a new U.S. Geological Survey handbook that, for the first time, comprehensively describes the various models used to study and predict sea-level rise and its potential impacts on coasts.

Increasingly Severe Disturbances Weaken World's Temperate Forests

Released: 8/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
A new paper published today in Science magazine has synthesized existing studies on the health of temperate forests across the globe and found a sobering diagnosis.

Mercury and Selenium are Accumulating in the Colorado River Food Web of the Grand Canyon

Released: 8/19/2015 1:24:35 PM
Although the Grand Canyon segment of the Colorado River features one of the most remote ecosystems in the United States, it is not immune to exposure from toxic chemicals such as mercury according to newly published research in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

New Cowboy State Maps Add U.S. Forest Service Data

Released: 8/19/2015 10:00:00 AM
Newly released US Topo maps for Wyoming now feature more trails using data provided by the U.S. Forest Service such as the recreational trails in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Insecticides Similar to Nicotine Found in about Half of Sampled Streams across the United States

Released: 8/18/2015 11:00:00 AM
USGS discovered insecticides known as neonicotinoids in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the United States and Puerto Rico, according to a study by the agency published today in Environmental Chemistry.

Global Vulnerability of Forests to Climate Change-Related Tree Mortality is Widely Underestimated

Released: 8/10/2015 10:00:00 AM
BALTIMORE -- Forests worldwide are vulnerable to growing risks of drought- and heat-induced tree mortality and forest die-off because of a rapidly warming Earth, according to just-published research in the scientific journal Ecosphere. The paper is an invited “ESA Centennial Paper” to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Ecological Society of America.

USGS Science at Ecological Society of America's Conference

Released: 8/10/2015 10:00:00 AM
BALTIMORE -- This year, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will present their research at the 100th annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting from Aug. 9-14, 2015, in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme is "Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating ESA’s Centennial." ESA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915 to promote ecological science.


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