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  • California plain shows surprising winners and losers from prolonged drought
    on August 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    A long-term study has tracked how hundreds of species in the Carrizo Plain National Monument fared during the historic drought that struck California from 2012 to 2015. […]

  • To float or not to float? Mystery solved as to why algae balls float and sink
    on August 20, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Scientists have uncovered the age-old mystery of why marimo algae balls sink at night and float during the day. […]

  • Genetic differences in trees untouched by mountain pine beetles
    on August 16, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    A researcher has discovered that mountain pine beetles may avoid certain trees within a population they normally would kill due to genetics in the trees. […]

  • Illinois' imperiled eastern massasauga rattlesnakes retain genetic diversity
    on August 14, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    A long-term study of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in Illinois reveals that -- despite their alarming decline in numbers -- the few remaining populations have retained a surprising amount of genetic diversity. […]

  • Sea stars critical to kelp forest resilience
    on August 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    A study by a resource and environmental management researcher reveals that sunflower sea stars play a critical role in the resilience of B.C.'s kelp forests, which are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth. Similar to land-based forests, kelp forests provide essential habitat for species and also help remove CO2 from the atmosphere. […]

  • Deep in the weeds: Using eDNA sequencing to survey pondweed diversity
    on August 10, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Researchers have developed a protocol using environmental DNA (eDNA) to identify aquatic plant diversity, making ecological biodiversity surveys of these plant communities faster and less expensive. Their study on pondweeds -- an important bioindicator of aquatic ecosystem health -- allows researchers to overcome difficulties in monitoring and identification, and draw conclusions regarding plant diversity and water quality. eDNA is a rapidly emerging technique, but its use in aquatic habitats has been understudied. […]

  • 'Biological passport' to monitor Earth's largest fish
    on August 9, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Whale sharks, the world's largest fish, roam less than previously thought. This new study used stable isotope analysis to demonstrate that whale sharks feeding at three disparate sites in the Western Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf rarely swim more than a few hundred kilometers north or south from these areas according to researchers. […]

  • Models may help reduce bycatch from longline fishing
    on August 8, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Hundreds of thousands of sharks, sea birds and other marine species are accidentally killed each year after becoming snagged or entangled in longline fishing gear. New models may help reduce the threat by giving regulatory agencies a new tool to predict the month-by-month movements of longline fleets on the high seas and determine where and when by-catch risks are greatest. […]

  • For the first time, scientists are putting extinct mammals on the map
    on August 8, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Researchers have produced the most comprehensive family tree and atlas of mammals to date, connecting all living and recently extinct mammal species (nearly 6,000 in total) and overturning many previous ideas about global patterns of biodiversity. The atlas shows where species occur today as well as where they would occur, if they had not been driven away or extinct. […]

  • Capturing elephants from the wild shortens their lives
    on August 7, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Humans have been capturing wild Asian elephants for more than 3,000 years, and this still continues today despite the fact that the populations are declining. An international team of researchers has now analysed records of timber elephants in Myanmar to understand the effects of capture. The study shows that even years after their capture, wild-caught elephants' mortality rate remains increased, and their average life expectancy is several years shorter compared to captive-born animals. […]

  • Abandoned farmlands enrich bird communities
    on August 3, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Abandoned farmlands hold potential for the preservation of wetland and grassland birds as rehabilitation zones. […]

  • The end-Cretaceous extinction unleashed modern shark diversity
    on August 2, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    A study that examined the shape of hundreds of fossilized shark teeth suggests that modern shark biodiversity was triggered by the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event, about 66 million years ago. […]

  • Trees travelling west: How climate is changing our forests
    on August 1, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Many studies on the impacts of global temperature rise have suggested that the range of trees will migrate poleward and upward. However, new research suggests that more tree species have shifted westward than poleward. […]

  • Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
    on August 1, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    In addition to the diversity of tree species, the variety of animal and fungus species also has a decisive influence on the performance of forests. Forest performance comprises many facets besides timber production, such as carbon storage and climate regulation. The study is based on ten years of research in species-rich subtropical forests. […]

  • Scientists discover why elusive aye-aye developed such unusual features
    on August 1, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    A new study has, for the first time, measured the extent to which the endangered aye-aye has evolved similar features to squirrels, despite being more closely related to monkeys, chimps, and humans. […]

  • Recreational fisheries pose threat to skittish sea turtles
    on July 31, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    When recreational scallopers flocked to Florida's Crystal River region, native sea turtles turned tail. Researchers say that sudden behavioral disruption could mean trouble the turtles overall health. […]

  • Diet matters less than evolutionary relationships in shaping gut microbiome
    on July 30, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    In the largest published comparative dataset of non-human primate gut microbiomes to date, a new study set out to find whether leaf-eating primates have similar gut microbes that help them break down their leafy diet, which is full of fiber and toxins. […]

  • Do bacteria ever go extinct? New research says yes, bigtime
    on July 30, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Bacteria go extinct at substantial rates, although appear to avoid the mass extinctions that have hit larger forms of life on Earth, according to new research. The finding contradicts widely held scientific thinking that microbe taxa, because of their very large populations, rarely die off. […]

  • Madagascar's lemurs use millipedes for their tummy troubles
    on July 30, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Madagascar's red-fronted lemurs may have a secret weapon from nature's medicine cabinet: millipedes. Biologists believe that lemurs chew on millipedes to treat and prevent conditions such as itching or weight loss which are caused by parasites that might live in and around their guts. […]

  • NE Australian marine heatwave shakes up coral reef animal populations
    on July 26, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Research describes upheaval among fish and invertebrate communities after a marine heatwave hit Australia's Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea in early 2016. The study analyzed data collected across these areas by the Reef Life Survey (RLS) citizen science program. It identified important changes in reef-animal communities that may affect the resilience of coral reefs, potentially reducing the capacity of corals to rebuild after mass bleaching. […]

 

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