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100 Acre Wood
Our natural habitat
Curated by David Rowing
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Do neonicotinoids harm organisms other than insects? - Science Omega

Do neonicotinoids harm organisms other than insects? - Science Omega | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

The threat posed to bees by neonicotinoid insecticides ‘may be just the tip of the iceberg’, according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. Research conducted by the University of Sussex’s Professor Dave Goulson reveals that soil organisms, aquatic life and farmland birds might also be harmed by these pesticides.

The study is based upon information taken from a diverse range of sources, including that provided by the agrochemical industry’s own research. Professor Goulson found that if used regularly, neonicotinoids accumulate in soil at concentrations far higher than those required to kill bees.

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Incredible bug photos: Portraits of insects up close

Incredible bug photos: Portraits of insects up close | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Photographer Francis Prior puts insects under his macro lens and snaps portraits with amazing detail.

 

Prior's interest in macro insect photography stems from a source familiar to us -- a fellow photographer named Thomas Shahan. We have featured Shahan's work here on TreeHugger, and he has even been on the Today Show showing off his amazing photography. So it is no wonder that other photographers would want to try their hand at documenting this fascinating world of bugs.

 

Prior has taken his love of the natural world and the inspiration of other photographers and created a wonderful following of his own with his detailed portraits of a world we rarely see, let alone appreciate. Enjoy the photos in this slideshow, and learn more about how Prior creates these images.

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Less Lawn, More Butterflies

Less Lawn, More Butterflies | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Shrinking your lawn may be the best way to invite butterflies into your yard. Here are three strategies to convert picture-perfect turf, which provides no habitat for butterflies, into abutterfly-friendly landscape offering opportunities for your family and friends to interact with these winged wonders.

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Ash dieback disease: a lament for a lost landscape - Telegraph

Ash dieback disease: a lament for a lost landscape - Telegraph | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

As ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea) takes hold, the indications are that the effects on our landscape could be even worse than the outbreak of Dutch elm disease in the Seventies. There are far more ash trees in Britain than there were elms – at least 125 million. Ash is the third most common tree species in the UK – only oak and birch rank higher – and it is found in just about every region from Caithness to Cornwall, Norfolk to Pembrokeshire.

 

Ashbourne in Derbyshire, Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, Ashford in Kent, Ashtead in Surrey and Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester all take their name from the tree and if you look at any British atlas you will find scores of other locations where this tree was predominant.

 

Ash is a member of the olive family, although this is not immediately obvious from its leaves, seeds and fruit. It is a large, elegant deciduous tree with light grey, relatively smooth bark and distinctive velvety black buds.

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Pesticides decimating dragonflies and other aquatic insects

Pesticides decimating dragonflies and other aquatic insects | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

While recent research (and media attention) has focused on the alleged negative impacts of pesticides on bees, the problem may be far broader according to a new study in the Proceedings of the US Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Looking at over 50 streams in Germany, France, and Australia, scientists in Europe and Australia found that pesticide contamination was capable of undercutting invertebrate biodiversity by nearly half.

"Pesticide use has not decreased in the last decade [...] and is predicted to increase in the next decades due to climate change and thus may be a more important driver of biodiversity loss in the future," the scientists write.

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Why bioluminescent fungi glow in the dark

Why bioluminescent fungi glow in the dark | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Aristotle (384–322 BC) reported a mysterious light, distinct from fire, emanating from decaying wood. Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) mentioned feasting on a glowing, sweet fungus found on trees in France and, in the late fifteenth century, a Dutch consul gave accounts of Indonesian peoples using fungal fruits to illuminate forest pathways. Bioluminescent fungi have intrigued generations of observers, and a handful of scientists still carry that torch of curiosity, answering questions about how and why these mushrooms glow.

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Nature Blows My Mind! 3D printing found in nature with this strange cocoon

Nature Blows My Mind! 3D printing found in nature with this strange cocoon | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Have you ever seen a cocoon quite like this?! Looking more like a net, or open-weave basket, this cocoon has an interesting reason for its surprising structure.

 

This is the cocoon of the Urodid Moth, and it is entirely unlike other cocoons you're probably used to seeing. The pupa is housed within what looks like something that came off a 3D Printer. Just another example of how we're lagging behind the art already found in nature!

 

But why does this species prefer a cocoon that seems so, well, vulnerable? Destin from Smarter Every Day talked to a butterfly farmer to find out why the strategy of building a net, rather than a shell, works for this type of moth.

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Food as Medicine: 9 Food Cures You Can Grow at Home: Organic Gardening

Food as Medicine: 9 Food Cures You Can Grow at Home: Organic Gardening | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Why burn a quarter-tank of gas running out to the drugstore for Pepto when you can pluck some relief from your windowsill herb garden?

 

Besides adding another dimension to your cooking, freshly harvested herbs can soothe dozens of common health problems, and it’s possible to grow a selection of home remedies in a couple of pots placed in a sunny spot. 

 

Look for seedlings of these plants and herbs at any garden store, or if you’re really ambitious, buy a packet of seeds and try sprouting your own.

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Bats And Man: Our Love-Hate Relationship

Bats And Man: Our Love-Hate Relationship | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

With more than 1,200 different species, bats make up about a quarter of all the Earth's mammals. Their numbers, however, are declining due to threats that include deforestation, disease and hunting. Meanwhile, many people are actually seeing morebats as changes in land use, agriculture, food industry practices, climate change and human population growth actually bring the remaining animals -- and their viruses -- closer to us.

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Nature Studies: Meadows are the wildflower experience taken to the ultimate power

Nature Studies: Meadows are the wildflower experience taken to the ultimate power | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

We live in a largely post-Christian age, but imagine this: what if between 1930 and 1980, nearly all the medieval churches of Britain, let us say 97 per cent of them, had been destroyed? ...

 

I suggest ... there was a loss that did take place in those years, of such a scale and order, yet it went almost wholly unremarked-upon; and that was the nearly-complete vanishing of a series of wonderful and ancient human-creations whose true worth we are only just beginning to recognise: our hay meadows.

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Is flowering sward the death knell for the English lawn? - Telegraph

Is flowering sward the death knell for the English lawn? - Telegraph | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

The floral, scented lawn in Avondale Park in Kensington and Chelsea park is mown three to nine times a year as opposed to the 20 or 30 times that is standard for a standard British lawn.

 

It also provides better habitat for bees and other insects, is resilient to drought and requires no weed killers and sprays.

 

The lawn was planted by Lionel Smith from the University of Reading as part of a wider project sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Society.

 

Mr Smith set out to find an alternative to the traditional lawn amid fears that grass needs too many chemicals and water to sustain in a warming world of hosepipe bans and rising prices for fertiliser.

 

It has even been suggested the English lawn will become a sign of "social and moral decadence" as climate change makes it difficult to maintain grass.

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Une « guérilla potagère » dans les rues de Lille

Une « guérilla potagère » dans les rues de Lille | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Dans une grande rue de Lille : un panneau, un platane, un panneau, un platane, une salade, un plata… Une salade ? Une salade. Et même des pommes de terre. Et même des tomates. Depuis quelques mois, des micro-potagers ont germé dans Lille là où on ne les attend pas. Sur des bouts de terre que plus personne ne regarde, comme les carrés au pied des arbres qui bordent les routes. Pas grand-chose, un ou deux mètres carrés de liberté.

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State of Nature

State of Nature | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

For the first time ever, the UK’s wildlife organisations have joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK and its Overseas Territories.

 

Working side-by-side, 25 wildlife organisations have compiled stock take of all our native wildlife. The report reveals that 60 per cent of the species studied have declined over recent decades. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.

 

However, the report illustrates that targeted conservation has produced inspiring success stories and, with sufficient determination, resources and public support, we can turn the fortunes of our wildlife around.

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Would you magically reset your country to only its native species?

Would you magically reset your country to only its native species? | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Inglis-Arkell points out an important element of the question: "The first thing to consider would be the method by which they would 'be gone.'" The point is made that there would be a variety of problems presented, based on how integrated the species is in its non-native environment, and how dependent other species (ahem, humans) have become on them. If so many domestic animals -- non-native to a country but raised as livestock for hundreds, if not thousands of years -- up and disappeared, there would be a lot of very hungry people. Similarly, many food crops would no longer be available.

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6 Tips for Designing With Native Plants

6 Tips for Designing With Native Plants | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

As a landscape designer, one of the most common complaints I hear about native plants is that they are too messy, weedy-looking, unstructured and unkempt to be used in a designed landscape.  While there are plenty of native plant gardens that unfortunately live up to that reputation, it’s simple to incorporate native plants into any garden to increase it wildlife value while also adding to its overall beauty.

 

There are appropriate native plants for every gardening style from formal to informal, fromcottage to contemporary and any style in between. By following some simple steps – let’s call them the six S’s of wildlife garden design – you can create a lush, beautiful garden that is more than just a collection of pretty faces.

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Get Wild About Soil

Get Wild About Soil | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

A healthy wildlife garden has about a gazillion life forms in it, and you will never see most of them — just their effects. I am speaking of the trillions and trillions of soil microbes that are needed for good growth in any garden.


Microbes are not “germs!”  Microbes are simply microscopic life.  And microbes are myriad —in both shear numbers and variety of species.  Technically there are five kingdoms of organisms on Earth: bacteria, algae, fungi, plants, and animals.  Every kingdom has a whole suite of microbes.  And every microbe has an important, even momentous, role to play.

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Buzzkill: Huge bee die-off in Oregon parking lot blamed on insecticide spraying

Buzzkill: Huge bee die-off in Oregon parking lot blamed on insecticide spraying | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

National Pollinator Week began grimly Sunday when tens of thousands of dead bumblebees, honeybees, ladybugs, and other insects were discovered blanketing a shopping plaza’s parking lot just off Interstate 5 in Wilsonville, Ore.

Bumblebees were the species hardest hit, with an estimated 25,000 dead and 150 colonies lost outside a Target store. “They were literally falling out of the trees,” said Rich Hatfield, a conservation biologist with the nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. “To our knowledge this is one of the largest documented bumblebee deaths in the Western U.S. It was heartbreaking to watch.”

It turns out that landscapers had sprayed the lot’s 65 European linden trees on Saturday with the insecticide Safari. The insecticide is marketed by manufacturer Valent as “a super-systemic insecticide with quick uptake and knockdown.”

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Conserving top predators results in less CO2 in the air

Conserving top predators results in less CO2 in the air | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

What does a wolf in Yellowstone National Park have in common with an ambush spider on a meadow in Connecticut? Both are predators and thus eat herbivores, such as elk (in the case of wolves) and grasshoppers (in the case of spiders). Elk and grasshoppers also have more in common than you probably imagine: they both consume large quantities of plant matter. While scientists have long-known that predators lead to carbon storage by reducing herbivore populations, a new study reveals a novel way in which top predators cause an ecosystem to store more carbon.

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Birds 'show value of conservation'

Birds 'show value of conservation' | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

The plights of the world's threatened birds show the value of investing in conservation, according to campaigners.

One in eight of the world's birds is currently considered threatened.

A report by the Birdlife Partnership links continuing declines to deteriorating biodiversity, but it also highlights successfully protected species and habitats.

Conservationists suggest this shows how the estimated $80bn (£50bn) price tag of conserving nature is worthwhile.

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The Xerces Society » Mystery Bee Kill: Causes Being Sought

The Xerces Society » Mystery Bee Kill: Causes Being Sought | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Wilsonville OR. — Tens of thousands of bumble bees and other pollinators were found dead under trees at the Target store in Wilsonville on Monday, June 17th. The discovery was a strange and ironic start to National Pollinator Week, a symbolic annual event intended to raise public awareness about the plight of bees.

 

The massive bee kill was first documented on Monday by Rich Hatfield, a conservation biologist with the Portland-based Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Several shoppers at the store called him to report that there were dead and dying bees all over the parking lot. Specifically, the bees were clustered under dozens of European linden trees. The Xerces Society is internationally known for their work on bee conservation.


Rich Hatfield estimated there were at least 25,000 dead bumble bees at the site, a number that likely represents the loss of more than 150 colonies. There were also dead honey bees, lady bird beetles and other beneficial insects. Bumble bees are especially important to agriculture in western Oregon, where they are considered vital pollinators of many berry crops and Willamette Valley seed crops.

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Identify and Control the Top 10 Garden Pests: Organic Gardening

Identify and Control the Top 10 Garden Pests: Organic Gardening | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

The following list of pest descriptions and control measures provides a good starting point for tackling pest control in gardens throughout the United States and Canada. Control solutions are listed in order of environmental friendliness. Botanical sprays, which can have detrimental effects on beneficial insects and other animals, should be used only as a last resort.

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Why Are Bees Dying Off? | Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

Why Are Bees Dying Off? | Bee Colony Collapse Disorder | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

For several years now, scientists have been struggling to determine why bee colonies across the world are disappearing—a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD).

 

As reported by Dan Rather, the US has recently experienced the highest loss of honeybee populations so far, with most of the nation’s beekeepers losing anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of their bee population.

 

Honeybees are perhaps one of the least recognized workers in the agricultural industry. They contribute $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the US economy alone, as a full one-third of the American food supply depends on them pollinating crops.

 

Just about every fruit and vegetable you can imagine is dependent on the pollinating services of bees. Apple orchards, for instance, require one colony of bees per acre in order to be adequately pollinated. So, unless the mysterious disappearance of bees is reversed, major food shortages could result.

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Phone app highlights threat to birds

Phone app highlights threat to birds | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

A smartphone app has been released that can measure the impact of construction work on waterbirds in protected areas.

 

The software offers advice on how development projects, in the guise of noise levels and other disturbances, can affect birds' behaviour.

 

Researchers from the University of Hull, UK, developed the app that built on a study carried out on behalf of the Environment Agency.

 

The team hopes it will minimise the disruption from flood prevention work.

Researchers say the app is designed to help planners assess the possible effects of proposed work before they consent to a development going ahead.

 

It also will allow contractors to measure noise levels on the site and offer advice on the degree of disturbance the work will have on bird species.

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Bad winter sees 'huge loss of bees'

Bad winter sees 'huge loss of bees' | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

This winter's losses of honey bee colonies were the worst since records began six years ago, according to a survey carried out by the British Beekeepers Association.

 

It says more than a third of hives did not survive the cold, wet conditions.

All regions of England saw dramatic declines with the numbers lost more than double the previous 12 months.

 

This year's poor winter, following on from a disastrous summer, is said to be the main reason for the losses.

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The Best Edible Flowers: Organic Gardening

The Best Edible Flowers: Organic Gardening | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Edible flowers add a special touch to salads. Once the salad has been tossed with dressing, pick off petals from edible flowers and toss them on top. Many flowers have a strong flavor, so use a light hand when adding them to your greens.

 

And they make wonder edible bouquets too. Try growing Edible flowers in your organic garden. Edible flower arrangements make wonderful gifts, too.

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