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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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The Conservation Alliance

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Lionfish, an update

Here at Riled Up we pay particular attention to the major environmental issue of invasive species, critters that come from one place to become a massive weed in another. Sadly, the number of invaders is long and growing. Besides all the ecological damages they cause, controlling invasive species is very expensive. A short list of plant and animal invaders would include: the 'frankenfish' carp in the Mississippi River; feral camels in outback Australia; salt cedar along western rivers; ...
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Nemo goes deaf

Pixar Animation Studios can really tell a great story. Their track record is chock full of movie treats like Toy Story, Cars, Wall-E, Up, and the wonderful Finding Nemo. In Nemo, Pixar's screenwriters used the creative storytelling device of trying to rescue an acquarium captured Clownfish to showcase issues in marine conservation. Their animated film charmed kids and adults alike. [caption id="attachment_4447" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Clown fish with anemone source: file ...
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Reefs on the move

Corals cover less than 1 percent of the world's oceans — an area smaller than France or Germany — but the reefs provide habitat for maybe 25 percent of the world's marine biodiversity. Corals develop from a symbiosis between an algae and a coral polyp, an animal that produces the hard structures of the reef. Only tropical rain forests compete with the volume of life in these marine gardens. [caption id="attachment_4251" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Philippine coral reef.   ...
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Record keeping

I once used a boring instrument to take core samples from trees at timberline in the Rocky Mountains. When the cores were examined, they showed growth rings over decades and, in some cases, centuries. Counting the rings, I could determine how much time had elapsed since fires had burned through the forest and allowed surviving trees to regrow. The "record keeping" of the rings helped me understand the long-term ecological events I was trying to interpret. Counting layers in various ...
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Palau shows externalities matter

Traditional economics has always had problems dealing with externalities -- costs or benefits that are not included in the price for a good or service. A tree has "no value" economically unless it is turned into board feet and a tuna has none either unless it is turned into sushi. The price for the wood or the fish fillet does not include the services the two biological resources provide: hydrological and erosion control in the case of forests and ecosystem stability in the case of large ...
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