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A View Of How We’ll Use Our Land In 2051

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by Michael Keller

It’s the year 2051. Welcome to a view of the American landscape. Urban areas have swollen with people. Range and pasturelands have shrunk. There’s a bit more forest than there was back in 2014, a result of economic incentives driving more timber production.

These are a few of the predictions of a new study on how people will use privately held U.S. lands in coming decades. Economists and ecologists from several universities and the World Wildlife Fund put their expertise together to come up with an econometric model, which looked at how market forces surrounding the cost of agricultural goods are likely to shape land-use across the country.

The research, published May 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was designed to help scientists and policymakers better understand the drivers of land-use change and how policies can alter use.

“Providing food, timber, energy, housing, and other goods and services, while maintaining ecosystem functions and biodiversity that underpin their sustainable supply, is one of the great challenges of our time,” the authors write.

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Healthy Ecosystems Provide Expensive Services For Free

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by Txchnologist staff

Agricultural research center Bioversity International created this infographic to draw attention to Resilience 2014, an international conference taking place in France this week. The meeting focuses on the science of adapting, transforming and developing social and ecological systems to endure coming challenges.

The graphic shows examples of how ecosystem services contribute to agricultural productivity and agricultural practices that can improve the delivery of such services. See it bigger at Visual.ly.

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Ancient Frozen Moss Revived
This is a picture of an Antarctic moss that started to grow again after being frozen for as long as 1,700 years.
A 4.5-foot-long core of frozen bank containing the plant, Chorisodontium aciphyllum, was taken from the South Orkney Islands in the Southern Ocean. Samples were exposed to daily light and temperatures that reached 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
The moss regenerated from the deepest part of the core thanks to a process called cryptobiosis, a state of suspended animation that allows some organisms to live indefinitely through extreme conditions. 
British scientists reported the discovery this week in the journal Current Biology. Their finding extends the known time that organisms can remain in cryptobiosis. Previous studies had found that some plants could maintain a non-metabolic state for two decades at most. [[MORE]]

Ancient Frozen Moss Revived

This is a picture of an Antarctic moss that started to grow again after being frozen for as long as 1,700 years.

A 4.5-foot-long core of frozen bank containing the plant, Chorisodontium aciphyllum, was taken from the South Orkney Islands in the Southern Ocean. Samples were exposed to daily light and temperatures that reached 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

The moss regenerated from the deepest part of the core thanks to a process called cryptobiosis, a state of suspended animation that allows some organisms to live indefinitely through extreme conditions. 

British scientists reported the discovery this week in the journal Current Biology. Their finding extends the known time that organisms can remain in cryptobiosis. Previous studies had found that some plants could maintain a non-metabolic state for two decades at most. 

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science tech 3_d_printing soil ct_scan x_ray microbiology ecology fungi bacteria computer_modeling

CT Scans And 3-D Printer Show World Beneath Our Feet

Researchers at Scotland’s Abertay University are getting a brand new look at the seemingly nondescript world hidden in plain sight—the soil beneath our feet. 

Using computed tomography, an imaging technique that takes virtual slices of a subject using X-rays, computer modelling and a 3-D scanner, the team is revealing the previously hidden complex structures of soil.

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