Birlingham wetland to double in size

Planners have agreed to a proposal to double the size of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust wetland to 34 hectares. The wetland in Birlingham is set to increase biodiversity and increase water flora and fauna. The water will be supplied by a wind pump the river Avon into the wetland of four ponds. The land to be used for the wetland is currently a meadowland that was flooded regularly and attempted cultivation for farming has failed.

SOURCE: Eversham Journal

Seeing the tree from the forest

SERA Simulation of Tree Canopies - Credit: Sean T. Hammond

Sean Hammond and Karl Niklas have published a paper in the August 2009 edition of  American Journal of Botany presenting an algorithm that could be used to predict plant communities. The algorithm known as spatially explicit, reiterative algorithm, or SERA explores whether changes occurring in plant communities, such as self-thinning and the competitive displacement of one species by another, can be attributed to the characteristics of the individual plants that comprise the community.

“Remarkably, our model predicts the behavior of real plant populations, and thus suggests to us that many ‘complex’ ecological interactions emerge as a result of a few very ‘simple’ processes,” commented Dr. Niklas. SERA may be very useful in predicting changes in community development and composition as environmental and climatic variability increases.

The full article is available for until the 20 September 2009 at www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/full/96/8/1430. The SERA program can be accessed at www.botany.org/downloads/HammondandNiklas.zip.

Biking ‘fastest growing’ way to get around NYC

Newsday.com reports

Despite the dangers, biking is New York City’s “fastest growing mode of transportation,” says City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who herself bikes to work in lower Manhattan, about a mile from her Greenwich Village home.

The number of cyclists has jumped by 80 percent in the past decade — to 185,000 among the more than 8 million city denizens.

[SOURCE: Newsday - Biking 'fastest growing' way to get around NYC]

IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr – xurde

Creative Urban Gardeners in Washington D.C.

Adrian Higgins of the washingtonpost.com reports

Suzanna Dennis surveys the fruits of months of tender care: a vegetable garden of vigor, health and bounty………………
All this can be found in the meager 9 by 5 feet of a sidewalk bed on Capitol Hill that, until Dennis transformed it this spring, held the rotting stump of a fallen street tree. “I saw this space lying fallow,” she said. “I decided to turn it into a vegetable garden.”

Read the full article at the SOURCE: washingtonpost.com – Adrian Higgins: Squeezed for Space in the City, Green Thumbs Get Inventive

Urban Wind Turbines installed in Portland

The first set of small-scale urban wind turbines in the U.S. are being installed in Portland atop the new Twelve|West tower this week. Today the Hoffman Construction should raise the final blades to the top of  Twelve|West a 22 storey office and residential building. Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP, which designed the tower, has moved its corporate headquarters to the building.

SOURCE: Portland Business Journal

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