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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
Until recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) kept its plans for its $70 million portion of the...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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What is Happening to Coastal Ecosystems?
20 May 2010 3:36 pm
Coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico have been under siege for decades. Chronic exposure to large amounts of oil could worsen their plight, killing marsh grasses and the creatures that live in the coastal sediment.
Three weeks ago, academic researchers took sod samples from an established field site just east of the Mississippi River. Now they plan to collect oiled sods from the same site and, in a greenhouse lab, compare processes such as plant growth, photosynthesis, and soil respiration. In June or early July, the same team plans to survey sedimentation rates at 18 sites along the wetlands west of the Mississippi, an area likely to be hit by oil. A third study would assess the effects of fresh and weathered oil on different species of marsh plants; scientists say oil that has seeped into the soil and comes in contact with roots could have greater long-term impacts on vegetation than oil slicked on the surface.
In the shallow waters of Louisiana's Breton Sound, where oil has already intruded, effects on marine life may already be visible. A team will collect live mollusks for tissue analysis, examine their shells for changes in growth rates, and look for deformities in the husks of foraminifera, an amoebalike bottom-dweller, and for large numbers of hibernating dinoflagellates in the soil.