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Articles on Ecosystem services

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Eelgrasses covered with small snails, which keep the leaves clean by feeding on algae that live on them. Jonathan Lefcheck

Restoring seagrasses can bring coastal bays back to life

Healthy seagrasses form underwater meadows teeming with fish and shellfish. A successful large-scale restoration project in Virginia could become a model for reseeding damaged seagrass beds worldwide.
A mixed-conifer forest in the central Sierra Nevada after restoration, with unthinned forest in the background. Roger Bales

Restoring California’s forests to reduce wildfire risks will take time, billions of dollars and a broad commitment

Restoring western forests – thinning out small trees and dead wood – is an important strategy for reducing the risk of massive wildfires. But these projects aren't fast, easy or cheap.
Wildflowers proliferating in overgrown roadsides during the coronavirus pandemic are providing habitat for pollinators. (Shutterstock)

COVID-19 shutdowns will give wildlife only short-term relief from climate change and other threats

Temporary reductions in carbon dioxide during the pandemic won’t turn the tide on climate change or biodiversity loss, but summon the need for action.
Investing in natural assets like ponds can help prevent cities from flooding — and save municipalities money. (Shutterstock)

How investing in green infrastructure can jump-start the post-coronavirus economy

Natural assets produce important city services and complement engineered infrastructure. Investing in natural assets can help protect our environment, reduce municipal service costs and create jobs.
Cities can prepare for climate change emergencies by adding green spaces to help manage stormwater, heat stress and air quality. (Shutterstock)

How cities can add accessible green space in a post-coronavirus world

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the lack of green space available to those living in urban areas. Cities must be managed as ecosystems to make them more liveable and resilient.
Framing nature in terms of kinship can motivate people to care about the loss of biodiversity. from www.shutterstock.com

Why a sense of kinship is key to caring about the living world

Our prevailing relationship with nature is based on framing the living world as a set of natural resources. This utility-based worldview perpetuates the drivers of ongoing biodiversity loss.
Underwater view of waves breaking over a healthy coral reef, reducing wave energy at the shoreline that can cause flooding. Curt Storlazzi, USGS

Coral reefs provide flood protection worth $1.8 billion every year – it’s time to protect them

A new report shows that coral reefs reduce damage from floods across the United States and its trust territories by more than $1.8 billion every year – and pinpoints that value state by state.
Marine parks are good for fish - especially if they’re in the right areas. Epstock/Shutterstock

More fish, more fishing: why strategic marine park placement is a win-win

With strategic planning, the marine protected area network could be a third smaller, cost half as much, and still meet the international target of protecting 10% of every ecosystem.
Eastern quolls have been introduced in Booderee Nation Park as part of a rewilding project. Oisin Sweeney

We can ‘rewild’ swathes of Australia by focusing on what makes it unique

Rewilding is gaining popularity around the world, as a means to restore ecosystems to their ancient state. But just like Vegemite, Australian rewilding projects need to have a unique flavour.
The West Moberly First Nation would like to see biodiversity-rich riparian areas in the Peace River Valley, in northeastern British Columbia protected. They will be destroyed by the Site C hydro dam, currently under construction. Garth Lenz

Protecting not-so-wild places helps biodiversity

Countries can protect biodiversity and recognize Indigenous peoples as conservation partners.
Wetlands are feeding, nesting and breeding sites for migratory birds, such as these sandhill cranes in Minnesota. USFWS/Kris Spaeth

What good are wetlands? 5 essential reads

The Trump administration is sharply reducing environmental protection for wetlands and streams across the US. This roundup of stories spotlights the many benefits that such water bodies provide.

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