November 2021 Research Summaries and Sustainability Tips

Please enjoy Everblue's research summaries and sustainability tips for the month of November. Read on to learn about sea slugs and wildfires!

NOVEMBER 4: RESEARCH SUMMARY - SEA SLUG KLEPTOPLASTY

Just like the microalgae we talked about in our last post, did you know some animals can photosynthesize?? Elysia rufescens is a sea slug from Hawai’i that eats algae and keeps the photosynthesizing part of the plant cells (chloroplasts) - this form of taking cells for the slug’s own use is called kleptoplasty. These “stolen” chloroplasts allow the sea slug to create food through photosynthesis when there is not enough algae to eat!


But the chloroplast repurposing isn’t the only thing about this squishy little sea slug that has scientists interested; bacteria found in their mucus might have a future in medicine!


RESEARCH // Characterization of the bacterial community of the chemically defended Hawaiian sacoglossan Elysia rufescens. Jeanette Davis et al. 2013. https://journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/AEM.01568-13


NOVEMBER 5: SUSTAINABILITY TIP - SHARES OF POWER

We’ve talked about making a difference for the ocean as a voter, as a consumer, and as a person with your everyday choices. What about your power as a shareholder in the stock market? FossilFreeFunds.org allows you to find funds that avoid/reduce fossil fuel investments and reduce ocean acidification from climate change, just like the microalgae we talked about last week.

Initial search results include fossil fuel investments, clean energy investments, and carbon footprints. Sustainability mandates are identified and financial performance data can be compared to a variety of stock market benchmarks.


Funds aren’t just analyzed for fossil fuel and carbon emissions impact! There are various environmental and social justice scorecards from @_AsYouSow_ built into each fund summary page so you can invest your values.




NOVEMBER 11: RESEARCH SUMMARY - WILDFIRE AND OCEAN SURFACE TEMPERATURE

As wildfires become more and more common, it becomes even more important that we understand the influence wildfires have on ecosystems not directly attached to the burning site. In British Columbia scientists evaluated fire data from 1950-2006 and found that wildfires can lead to spikes in ocean surface temperature. These spikes can cause unhealthy conditions, leading to massive die-offs of sensitive species supporting important ocean ecosystems.

RESEARCH: Correlations between forest fires in British Columbia, Canada, and sea surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean. Y. Wang et al. 2010.


NOVEMBER 12: SUSTAINABILITY TIP - BE FIRE SAFE

Wildfires can have a detrimental effect on our oceans, and while not all wildfires are started by humans, we can diminish the amount of wildfires we do start by being more careful with fire. This fire season, let’s be fire safe by knowing and following local guidelines, using extreme caution when starting ATV’s, fireworks, and/or discharging firearms, and lighting or dousing campfires. By doing so, we can continue to #keeptheoceaneverblue. For more suggestions on fire safety, check out the U.S. Department of the Interior Wildfire Prevention https://www.doi.gov/blog/10-tips-prevent-wildfires


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