The Global Fool

our planet is our village


Official blog for the journal Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management: Timely news, discussions, and thoughts

Neonicotinoid Pesticides: New Findings Highlight Their Role in the Disappearance of Bees  – By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor – Bees have been declining for years worldwide—this is a well-accepted fact. However, the “why” of this decline is still a matter of debate. Although it is likely that a combination of different factors is contributing to the global bee die-offs, increasing attention is now devoted to the toxic effects of a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short. They are systemic pesticides—their solubility in water allows them to reach leaves, flowers, roots and stems, even pollen and nectar. One could therefore infer that these pesticides will likely kill not only the insects that farmers want to eliminate, but also pollinators. (August 15, 2014)

Resurrection Ecology: Extinct Species and the Changing Environment — By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor — Extinction is, sometimes, merely a life stage. The resurrection of extinct species is not only possible with modern science, but it is also helpful to study evolutionary changes that occur because of natural events or anthropogenic stressors. As long as their dormant propagules are preserved in permafrost, soils or sediments, species can be brought back to life—sometimes. Resurrection ecology allows researchers to identify various stages of evolution by comparing extinct, resurrected species with their living descendants. (March 18, 2014)

Bristol Bay: The Impact of Potential Large-Scale Mining on Salmon and Wetlands — By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor — The development of the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay could cause major risks to salmon, wildlife and Native Alaska cultures. Depending on the size of the mine, EPA estimates 24 to 94 miles of salmon-supporting streams and 1,300 to 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds, and lakes would be destroyed. EPA estimates an additional 9 to 33 miles of salmon-supporting streams would experience altered streamflows likely to affect ecosystem structure and function. (February 25, 2014)

Exposure to Pesticides May Contribute to the Development of Parkinson’s disease — By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor — Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects nearly one million individuals in the U.S. In individuals with Parkinson’s disease, the decrease in dopamine production caused by neuron death leads to impaired movement and coordination. Results from a new study show that several pesticides inhibit an enzyme that converts a toxic compound to a less toxic one in neurons, thus leading  to neuron death and development of Parkinson’s disease. The risk of developing disease increases according to increasing levels of exposure. (February 10, 2014)

The Die-Off of Bottlenose Dolphins: Unusual Mortality Events — By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor — During the past year, bottlenose dolphins have been dying at an alarming rate along the US East and Gulf Coasts, albeit for apparently different causes. The deaths  prompted the declaration of an Unusual Mortality Event – an unexpected event that involves a significant die-off and demands immediate response under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. (January 3, 2014) 



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