» Plants and Animals

WildCam Gorongosa

Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique was once among the most diverse places on earth, but decades of war decimated the park’s large animal populations. Now, an international conservation effort is working to restore the park’s wildlife — and we need you to help document this incredible recovery. Join us in identifying Gorongosa’s animals in trail camera photos and become part of our conservation team! Read More

Maine's Interactive Field Guide to Aquatic Invaders and Their Native Look Alikes

An online resource for Maine’s common native and invasive aquatic plants and animals. Read More

International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) : message from the President of the United States transmitting International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), adopted at the Conference of the Food

This treaty updates a previous international agreement aimed at promoting international cooperation to control and prevent the spread of harmful plant pests. Read More

Convention for the Protection of Plants : message from the President of the United States transmitting the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of December 2, 1961, a

This treaty takes action to control the introduction and spread of pests of plants and plant products. The treaty protects natural as well as cultivated plants, so it has implications for agriculture as well as biodiversity. While the IPPC’s primary focus is on plants and plant products moving in international trade, the convention also covers research materials, biological control organisms, and anything else that can act as a vector for the spread of plant pests including containers, soil, vehicles, and machinery. Read More

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region’s future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Read More

Seafood Safety: Background and Issues

Although seafood consumption can contribute to a healthy diet, some fish and shellfish can cause foodborne illnesses or contain environmental contaminants. This report discusses whether current food safety programs are sufficiently protecting consumers, and if not, what changes should be considered. Read More

BudBurst in the Classroom.

Educator resources for use in informal and formal learning environments. Activities in phenology, data collection, and analysis that can be shared with other students and educators around the world. Read More

Thresholds in Avian Communities at Multiple Scales: RelationshipsBetween Birds, Forests, Habitats, and Landscapes in the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton

Environmental management agencies make efforts to reduce pollution loading in streams and rivers by promoting vegetated buffer zones between human activity and water. Most of these efforts do not mesh water quality-based buffer zone width requirements with conservation and wildlife values, specifically, the use of these riparian forest corridors for wildlife dispersal between habitats in highly fragmented landscapes. Forest interior birds are of the most concern to management in riparian forests due to their population declines across much of their breeding range. This dissertation investigates the role that landscape-level and habitat-level factors play on the presence of breeding birds in riparian forests, particularly the landscape and habitat factors that are influenced by human-caused fragmentation. This study describes research at the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton, Texas, that explores the relationships between the landscape and forest habitats of the Greenbelt with its breeding bird community. The major findings of this study are that bird communities in the corridor forests are associated with a greater array of factors than are bird communities in patches, suggesting that the birds of patch forests are somewhat insulated from landscape-scale effects. Also, habitat values can be maintained in corridors, but there does not seem to be a significant relationship between the bird communities and the habitat. Forest factors are the primary influences (as inferred from the number of associations and the relative strength of these associations) on the bird communities of the Ray Roberts Greenbelt. Thresholds of richness or abundance in the amount of forest as compared with the forest interior bird community suggest that patches are better than corridors to support this community, and that the more interior forest available, the better for forest interior birds. The suggested minimum amount of forest derived from these thresholds is 35% of the amount of forest within 1 kilometer of any given part of the Greenbelt. Thresholds in forest width for avian communities suggest a minimum width of 200 m for any corridor. Thresholds in distance from interior forest suggest that the forest interior bird community can be best supported by shorter corridors that connect larger patches, with a suggested maximum corridor length of 125 m. Read More

Integration of Field-based Analysis of PlantCommunity Dynamics with Quantitative Analysis of LandscapeChange in the Ray Roberts Lake area, 1987-1997

This study focused on the effectiveness of integrating traditional plant community analyses with landscape ecological analyses based on remotely sensed data. A temporal analysis of plant community diversity was conducted for major plant communities of the Ray Roberts Lake area using transect monitoring data collected between 1987 and 1997. Landscape analyses were performed with FRAGSTATS*ARC using classified SPOT satellite imagery for 1987 and 1997. Although the methodology developed in this work was exploratory, it was found that characterizing the dynamics of major plant communities in the study area produced a more effective and insightful analysis of Ray Roberts Lake area landscape dynamics. Read More

An Assessment of the Use of Seeding, Mowing, and Burning in the Restoration of an Oldfield to Tallgrass Prairie in Lewisville, Texas

An examination of the effectiveness of seeding, burning, and mowing in the reestablishment of tallgrass prairie species on overgrazed and abandoned pastureland. The study site is a 20 acre tract on U.S. Corps of Engineers land below Lake Lewisville in Denton County, Texas. The site was partitioned into thirty-nine 40 by 40 meter plots with seeding (carried out in 1996) and management treatment (burning, mowing, and no maintenance carried out in 1998) randomly applied following a two level design. For each plot, nine stratified-random 0.1 m2 subplots were examined and shoot counts for each species recorded. The effects of the treatments on individual species and species richness were analyzed with a two-way ANOVA followed by a SNK multiple range test, both on ranked data. Community level analysis was conducted with both a MANOVA on ranked data and a Canonical Correspondence Analysis on raw data. Results indicate that seeding positively affected species richness, particularly when combined with either burning or mowing in the early spring. Mowing also significantly increased species richness in areas that were not seeded, while burning negatively affected species richness on unseeded plots. Treatments significantly affected community composition with treatments having the most clear effect on spring and summer forbs. Read More


EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.


EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu