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news-queue · a day ago
Vast networks of underground fungi – the “circulatory system of the planet” – are to be mapped for the first time, in an attempt to protect them from damage and improve their ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide.
Fungi use carbon to build networks in the soil, which connect to plant roots and act as nutrient “highways”, exchanging carbon from plant roots for nutrients. For instance, some fungi are known to supply 80% of phosphorus to their host plants.
Underground fungal networks can extend for many miles but are rarely noticed, though trillions of miles of them are thought to exist around the world. These fungi are vital to the biodiversity of soils and soil fertility, but little is known about them.
Many hotspots of mycorrhizal fungi are thought to be under threat, from the expansion of agriculture, urbanisation, pollution, water scarcity and changes to the climate.
The new project, from the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN), will involve the collection of 10,000 samples around the world, from hotspots that are being identified through artificial intelligence technology.
Jane Goodall, the conservationist, who is advising the project, said: “An understanding of underground fungal networks is essential to our efforts to protect the soil, on which life depends, before it is too late.”
The Society for the Protection of Underground Networks comprises scientists from the Netherlands, Canada, the US, France, Germany and the University of Manchester in the UK.
The first collections will take place next year in Patagonia, and continue for about 18 months, to create maps of potential underground mycorrhizal fungi that can be used for further research. Using the maps, the scientists hope to pinpoint the ecosystems facing the most urgent threats, and partner with local conservation organisations to try to create “conservation corridors” for the underground ecosystems.
This is believed to be the first major effort to map an underground ecosystem in this way. Climate science has focused on above-ground ecosystems, and although we know that fungi are essential for soil structure and fertility, and the global carbon cycle – as ecosystems with thriving mycorrhizal fungi networks have been shown to store eight times as much carbon as ecosystems without such networks – much of the role of fungi in the soil nutrient cycle remains mysterious.
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ceruleanwarbler · 2 days ago
(video source)
seedballs are seeds covered in charcoal. the charcoal is so that animals don't eat them.
- lets you pay for seedballs to be grown in kenya!
how to make homemade seedballs, from u/CowboyAndIndian:
"These are also called seed-bombs in the US. Basically, a package with seed and fertilizer which will not blow away and not get eaten by any birds.
This recipe worked for me. I used it to seed-bomb my town with milkweed, which is needed for the Monarch caterpillar.
Four parts compost,
One part clay
A tiny bit of water. Just enough to dampen the mixture.
Mix all the ingredients. Make it into a quarter-sized ball with seeds in the middle.
Let the balls dry for a couple of weeks before spreading in the wild.
Make sure you spread the balls in the right season. Milkweed seeds need one winter before they germinate (stratification). Others can be spread in early spring."
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Broad-based scientific team from government, academia and industry joins forces to identify new opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of polyurethane -- one of the most widely used but little recycled plastic materials.
Polyurethane is one of the world's most widely used plastic materials, but it's often overlooked in our daily lives. Yet whether you're at home, at work or in your vehicle, it is usually not far away, with common end uses ranging from mattresses and furniture cushioning to building insulation, car parts and even the soles of shoes.
But as with other plastics that go largely unrecycled, the widespread use of polyurethane is generating concerns about its environmental impact. To better understand the opportunities for recovering polyurethane for recycling and for replacing the chemicals used in its production with plant-based alternatives, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, Northwestern University and The Dow Chemical Company joined together to conduct the first comprehensive assessment of "Material Flows of Polyurethane in the United States." The study was recently published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
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hari-satch · 2 days ago
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Here's both the creatures I designed living together in an ecosystem, I'm not as keen how the blue posca work came out but this is still super cool and I enjoy it as a snapshot of these creatures living in the same environment
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climatecalling · 2 days ago
Mycorrhizal fungal networks make up between a third and a half of the living mass of soils and are a major global carbon sink. When we destroy them, we sabotage our efforts to limit global heating. Plants supply carbon to their fungal partners in exchange for nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus – much of the phosphorus that makes up the DNA in your own body will have passed through a mycorrhizal fungus. In their exchange, plants and fungi engage in sophisticated trading strategies, striking compromises and resolving dizzyingly complex trade-offs. The influence of these quadrillions of microscopic trading decisions spills out over whole continents.
Globally, at least 5bn tons of carbon dioxide are sequestered within mycorrhizal networks each year, a quantity roughly equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted annually by the US (unpublished data suggests this figure is closer to 17bn tons). Even small reductions in the prevalence of fungal networks have significant consequences: a release of just 0.1% of the carbon now stored in Europe’s soils is equal to the annual emissions from 100m cars.
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how2skinatiger · a day ago
The red list of Britain’s most endangered birds has increased to 70 species with the swift, house martin, greenfinch and Bewick’s swan added to the latest assessment.
The red list now accounts for more than a quarter of Britain’s 245 bird species, almost double the 36 species given the status of “highest conservation concern” in the first review 25 years ago.
Birds are placed on the red list of the Birds of Conservation Concern report by a coalition of government wildlife bodies and bird charities either because their populations have severely declined in Britain or because they are considered under threat of global extinction.
It’s not just small mammals that are in trouble in the UK, many birds are also in serious decline
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thoughtlessarse · a day ago
According to a study published on Tuesday (30 November), the cost of pesticides may far outweigh the economic benefits.
The Bureau for the Appraisal of Social Impacts for Citizen Information (BASIC), a Paris-based NGO, found pesticide producers cost the EU €2.3bn in subsidies.
At the same time, the sector makes about €900m in profits, and the study argues this is not an efficient way of spending agricultural funds.
"Tripling organic farms by 2030 would cost €1.85bn per year - less than the annual subsidies being spent on pesticides," a group of researchers connected to BASIC wrote.
The study also mentions other costs to society that are used to benefit pesticide producers, including the big four - BASF, Bayer, ChemChina, Corteva - which represent 60 percent of global sales.
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The full cost to human health cannot be known if the agrichemical businesses hide the results of studies into their pesticides like Bayer Monsanto does.
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intelligentliving · 2 days ago
Why 2050 Is A Bad Net-Zero Climate Goal Most countries have adopted a net-zero by mid-century climate goal. Unfortunately, a 2050 goal covers politicians, big oil, and other polluting mega-companies to preserve the status quo. The far-off target facilitates inaction and consequently catastrophically high levels of irreversible climate breakdown. A...
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goldhornsandblackwool · 21 hours ago
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amishsicario · a day ago
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tentacion1999 · a month ago
In the equator, when the sun forms a right angle with the earth, the tree and its shadow.
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erysium · 2 months ago
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Happy autumn equinox! 🍂
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violetsandshrikes · 5 months ago
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If you really want to help indigenous people, now is your time.
Ngati Paoa and other protestors have been occupying Putiki Bay after resource consent was given to develop it without consent from the local iwi. Today, they are blocked by police as developers being to destroy Little Blue Penguin habitat, a species on the decline with climate change and habitat destruction.
Public outrage and eyes on Putiki may be the only thing that can save Putiki now after every route has failed. Spread information about Putiki every where you can - Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, your local group chat, whatever. Please please please help save Putiki Bay, Aotearoa NZ!
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adrenaline-revolver · 11 months ago
since microplastics have now been found in plACENTAS allow me to reiterate: 
faux fur is plastic
pleather literally has plastic in the name
synthetic wool is plastic
stop implying that plastic is good for anything.
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