Monday, August 14, 2006
Scientists have discovered that removing just one fish species from a tropical river can have deleterious effects. This contradicts the till now held belief that the greater abundance and diversity of other species would compensate for the loss. Researchers removed the flannelmouth fish (Prochilodus mariae) from a stretch of Venezuela's Orinoco River and measured how this affected the level of carbon in the ecosystem. The researchers found that the river's carbon cycle was disrupted within 48 hours of them removing the fish. The effect lasted for at least 40 days. The amount of organic carbon on the riverbed rose by 450 per cent. Full details appear in Science today (11 August).
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Oil pollution in Lebanese coastal waters following Israel bombing has created an environmental crisis in Lebanon. International organisations are assisting the Lebanese government as it attempts to contain thousands of tonnes of oil believed to be on a scale during the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker incident in Alaska. The spill could be well over 35,000 tonnes endangering marine wildlife and posing a threat to the livelihood of thousands of people.