Article published by Sue Palminteri Leafy pondweed (Potamogeton foliosus) just under the surface, on left, and the seeds of the leafy pondweed up close, on right. Scientists have traditionally needed to see reproductive parts (fruits, seeds) of some pondweed species to tell them apart. Images by Rob Curtis, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored data, DNA, Freshwater Ecosystems, Monitoring, Research, Surveying, surveys, Technology, Wildtech Traditional ecological surveys of freshwater communities require many hours of painstaking work, usually by species experts and trained assistants, to identify the species of many specimens collected in the field. With pondweeds, they normally examine the physical features, such as fruiting structures, under a microscope to determine the species.A research team in Canada has tested the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) to speed the process of identifying and surveying these and other aquatic plants.The project study site near the confluence at the Grand and Speed Rivers in Ontario, Canada. Image by Don Drews/YouTubeThe researchers in the current study developed and tested new genetic markers and methods to detect pondweeds using eDNA, which is made up of the fragments of genetic material left behind by plants and animals. It is plentiful in water and soil: cells of tiny organisms, blood, saliva, fish scales, as well as plant spores, pollen, and resin all contain the organism’s unique genetic material that can potentially be obtained from water or soil samples.A key component of analyzing the DNA of an unknown plant or animals is a reference library of sample DNA sequences of known species to use as a comparison. Unlike animal DNA, no universal plant DNA markers exist that can be applied across a wide number of plant species and still effectively identify samples to the species level.Stuckenia pectinata, a.k.a. sago pondweed or fennel pondweed, is a submerged aquatic plant that occurs across the globe which has no floating or emerged leaves. It provides food for a number of swans and ducks and tolerates brackish water and high levels of nitrates and phosphates. Image by Christian Fischer CC BY-SA 3.0.Lead author Maria Kuzmina and colleagues at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph focused on pondweeds to make their markers as effective as possible in identifying species from the samples.“The goal was to design a method that can be used to detect rare or endangered species of pondweeds,” Kuzmina said in a statement. “Narrowing the search allowed the method to be more sensitive and interpretation of the results more reliable.”The scientists tested their method on Ontario’s 30 species of pondweeds (of the roughly 40 found in North America), for which they had to develop the reference library themselves. For each target species, the researchers extracted DNA from three confirmed specimens and designed primers based on regions of the DNA. Finding these sequences in the water samples would indicate the presence of that species. They combined the successful primers into a reference DNA barcode library for the 30 species, which are members of three plant genera: Potamogeton (26 species), Stuckenia (3), and Zannichellia (1).Zannichellia palustris, or horned pondweed. The little brown seeds have a distinctive horned shape and are about 1–2 mm long. Image by Christian Fischer CC BY-SA 3.0Armed with the reference library, the research team collected water samples from the Grand River in a local research reserve. eDNA is often comprised of short fragments of genetic material. The researchers amplified these fragments, using their pondweed primers, and recorded species using the local DNA reference library and GenBank, a secure and publicly accessible reference database that houses the Barcode of Wildlife Project’s collection of barcodes.The research team detected five of the pondweed species in their samples, three of which were new to the reserve, demonstrating that eDNA analysis can detect plant species in water samples, including those missed by earlier studies.The curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), one of three species detected by its eDNA that had not been previously recorded in the reserve. It is unusual for having leaves with serrated edges. This species only produces leaves underwater. Image by Christian Fischer CC BY-SA 3.0.The scientists state in their paper that effectively detecting species using eDNA “strongly” depends on the completeness and accuracy of the reference libraries. With targeted markers and sufficient reference data, though, eDNA analysis has the potential to identify locations of rare and protected species or locations where sensitive species are absent, as well as changes in species presence over time.“In broader application, the combination of pondweed species may be used as a ‘fingerprint’ of freshwater ecosystems,” Kuzmina said, “indicating quality of water and showing how this system is suitable for other freshwater organisms such as fishes and invertebrates.”Importantly for researchers is the efficiency that eDNA analysis may be able to provide. Once the primers and reference library exist, scientists can analyze more eDNA samples relatively inexpensively and thus be able to broaden the scale of a given study.Aquatic habitats along the Grand River. Image by Don Drews/YouTubeNevertheless, Kuzmina said, while “eDNA definitely becomes more and more cost-effective for ecological monitoring, it will never replace an expert for accurate identification of an individual specimen. These two approaches exist in two different dimensions, ideally complementing each other.”CitationKuzmina, M. L., Braukmann, T. W., & Zakharov, E. V. (2018). Finding the pond through the weeds: eDNA reveals underestimated diversity of pondweeds. Applications in Plant Sciences, 6(5), e01155. Scientists have developed genetic markers to help identify plant species using environmental DNA (eDNA), the traces of biological material (pollen, spores, skin, scales, etc.) that contains an organism’s unique genetic material. Unlike animal DNA, no universal plant DNA markers exist that can be applied across many plant species and still effectively identify specimens to the species level.Researchers focused on one diverse aquatic plant group, pondweeds, which function as effective indicators of water conditions and quality, to make their markers as effective as possible in identifying species from water samples.The team detected five of the pondweed species in samples from a research reserve in Ontario, three of which were new to the reserve, demonstrating that eDNA analysis can detect plant species in water samples, including those not known from earlier studies to be present. What do you call seaweed that grows in ponds? Pondweed, of course. This diverse group of freshwater plants provides food and shelter for freshwater fish, birds, invertebrates, and plankton. And it’s the focus of high-tech genetic analysis.The various pondweed species are tuned to certain water conditions, making them excellent indicators of water quality and habitat. The temperature, flow, and chemical composition of the water in a given spot all influence which pondweeds grow there. This variability makes them effectively small green canaries in an aquatic coal mine, and a gauge of the water’s expected biological community.However, identifying them by sight is difficult for non-experts, and getting to them in the middle of a lake is a challenge even for scientists.