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CU-Boulder-led Team Gets First Look at Diverse Life Below Rare Tallgrass Prairies

Published: October 31, 2013.
Released by University of Colorado at Boulder  

America's once-abundant tallgrass prairies—which have all but disappeared—were home to dozens of species of grasses that could grow to the height of a man, hundreds of species of flowers, and herds of roaming bison.

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More news from University of Colorado at Boulder

Consumers' Trust in Online User Ratings Misplaced, Says CU-Boulder Study
The belief that online user ratings are good indicators of product quality is largely an illusion, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study. Yet almost all retailers provide user ratings on their websites and many consumers rely on the information when making purchase decisions, according to the paper, published this month in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Study Shows How to Make Fertilizer from Sunlight
A group of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden and involving the University of Colorado Boulder has developed a new, eco-friendly method to produce ammonia, the main ingredient of fertilizer, using light.

Islands Facing a Dry Future
Island nations could be forgiven for feeling slighted. They already face the brunt of the effects of climate change: Rising sea levels, dwindling resources, threats to infrastructure and economic foundations. But to add insult to injury, thousands of these islands are too small to be accounted for in the global climate models (GCMs) used by scientists to measure the effects of climate change.

CU Study: Ancient Mars Bombardment Likely Enhanced Life-supporting Habitat
The bombardment of Mars some 4 billion years ago by comets and asteroids as large as West Virginia likely enhanced climate conditions enough to make the planet more conducive to life, at least for a time, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Monetary Incentives for Healthy Behavior Can Pay Off, Says CU-Boulder Study
Monetary rewards for healthy behavior can pay off both in the pocketbook and in positive psychological factors like internal motivation, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Atmospheric Nitrogen Leads to Loss of Plant Diversity in Sites Across US
Rising levels of atmospheric nitrogen pollution threaten plant diversity at nearly one-quarter of sites across a widespread portion of the U.S., according a new study led by University of Colorado Boulder researchers. The findings, which were published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are the first to examine ecosystem-specific vulnerabilities to atmospheric nitrogen pollution on a continental scale.

CU Study: Fires, Drought in Changing Climate Affecting High-altitude Forests
Large, severe fires in the West followed by increasing drought conditions as the planet warms are leading to lower tree densities and increased patchiness in high-elevation forests, according to a new study involving the University of Colorado Boulder.

CU-Boulder Student-built Dust Counter Got Few 'Hits' on Pluto Flyby
A student-built University of Colorado Boulder instrument riding on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft found only a handful of dust grains, the building blocks of planets, when it whipped by Pluto at 31,000 miles per hour last July. Data downloaded and analyzed by the New Horizons team indicated the space environment around Pluto and its moons contained only about six dust particles per cubic mile, said CU-Boulder Professor Fran Bagenal, who leads the New Horizons Particles and Plasma Team.

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