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  • Climate change linked to more flowery forests
    on January 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    New research has revealed a surprising relationship between surging atmospheric carbon dioxide and flower blooms in a remote tropical forest. […]

  • A survival lesson from bats: Eating variety keeps species multiplying
    on January 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    A new study reveals that omnivorous New World noctilionoid bats, those species with diets including both plant and animal materials, produce more new species in the long run than specialized vegetarian or insectivorous species. […]

  • 20 percent more trees in megacities would mean cleaner air and water, lower carbon and energy use
    on January 18, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Planting 20 percent more trees in our megacities would double the benefits of urban forests, like pollution reduction, carbon sequestration and energy reduction. The authors of the study say city planners, residents and other stakeholders should start looking within cities for natural resources and conserve the nature in our urban areas by planting more trees. […]

  • Post-fire logging harms Spotted owls
    on January 18, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Post-fire logging, rather than the wildfires themselves, is responsible for the steep decline in territory occupancy of the rare Spotted owls living in the forests of California. The study's results coincide with the strong consensus among hundreds of US scientists opposing post-fire logging operations due to a wide range of ecological harms. […]

  • Hybridization can give rise to different genome combinations
    on January 18, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Researchers have for the first time determined that hybridization between two bird species can give rise to several novel and fully functional hybrid genomic combinations. This could potentially be because hybrid species emerged through independent hybridization events between the same parent species on different islands. […]

  • Exposure to water that is both salty and fresh is key to future success
    on January 17, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    According to Charles Darwin the ability to adapt to new conditions is essential for survival of species. The capacity to cope with altered conditions is becoming increasingly important in the face of climate change. New evidence on salt water tolerance in spawning migrating pike from the Baltic Sea suggests that not being adapted to specific local environments may promote persistence in an uncertain, rapidly changing world. […]

  • Michigan's sugar maples will struggle in a warmer, drier future despite help from nitrogen pollution
    on January 17, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Though Michigan's sugar maples benefit from the growth-promoting effects of nitrogen compounds in the environment, those gains will not fully offset the added stresses of growing under a drier climate in the future, according to a new study. […]

  • Genetic drift caught in action in invasive birds
    on January 17, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Studies of island bird populations have taught us a lot about evolution, but it's hard to catch birds in the act of naturally colonizing new islands. Instead, a new study examines what's happened by looking at the genetics of a species that arrived in Hawaii in the twentieth century through decidedly unnatural means--us. […]

  • Great scat! Bears -- not birds -- are the chief seed dispersers in Alaska
    on January 16, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    In southeastern Alaska, brown and black bears are plentiful because of salmon. Their abundance also means they are the primary seed dispersers of berry-producing shrubs, according to a new study. […]

  • Europe's lost forests: Coverage has halved over 6,000 years
    on January 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Research shows more than half of the forests across Europe have been lost over the past 6,000 years. […]

  • Species identification in the water bottle
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Environmental DNA analysis makes it possible to detect water organisms without having to capture them first. For the first time, researchers systematically investigated the effect of various environmental factors on environmental DNA analyses. By doing so, the researchers have made an important step towards the standardized application of this method for the monitoring of water bodies. […]

  • Marijuana farms expose spotted owls to rat poison in northwest California
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Spotted owls and barred owls are being exposed to high levels of rat poison in northwest California, with illegal marijuana farms the most likely source point, according to a new study. Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state, went into effect this month and is expected to intensify the issue. […]

  • Protecting corridors is critical to preserving genetic diversity in tigers, and mizimising extinction, study finds
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Tigers have lost 95% of their historical range, and what remains is highly fragmented. According to a new study, high traffic roads and densely populated urban areas are a severe impediment to tiger movement between fragments. Unplanned development in the future will result in loss of connectivity and an increased possibility of extinction for several tiger populations. To ensure future persistence, tiger populations need to be managed as a network of protected areas connected by corridors. […]

  • Closed marriage: An orchid that never blooms
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    A flower identified as Lecanorchis nigricans has been revealed to be a different identity, Lecanorchis nigricans var. patipetala. Both species are self-pollinating, but the flowers of the true L. nigricans never open. […]

  • New hope for critically endangered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey
    on January 11, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Eight years after the discovery of a new primate species in Myanmar, scientists have released a new report revealing how the 'snubby' is faring. […]

  • Hiding from a warmer climate in the forest
    on January 11, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Global warming threatens forest plants adapted to cooler temperatures. An international team of scientists have unraveled where these species could survive within colder spots in the same forest. The findings can help to understand the effect of climate change on forest biodiversity and what we can do to protect it. […]

  • Dramatic decline in genetic diversity of Northwest salmon
    on January 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Columbia River Chinook salmon have lost as much as two-thirds of their genetic diversity, researchers have found. The researchers reached this conclusion after extracting DNA from scores of bone samples -- some harvested as many as 7,000 years ago -- and comparing them to the DNA of Chinook currently swimming in the Snake and Columbia rivers. The work is 'the first direct measure of reduced genetic diversity for Chinook salmon from the ancient to the contemporary period.' […]

  • Between the lines: Tree rings hold clues about a river's past
    on January 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    By analyzing centuries-old tree rings, researchers are extracting data about monthly streamflow trends from periods long before the early 1900s when recorded observations began. […]

  • Worldwide importance of honey bees for natural habitats captured in new report
    on January 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    An unprecedented study integrating data from around the globe has shown that honey bees are the world's most important single species of pollinator in natural ecosystems and a key contributor to natural ecosystem functions. The report weaves together information from 80 plant-pollinator interaction networks. The results clearly identify the honey bee (Apis mellifera) as the single most frequent visitor to flowers of naturally occurring (non-crop) plants worldwide. […]

  • Giant extinct burrowing bat discovered in New Zealand
    on January 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    The fossilized remains of a giant burrowing bat that lived in New Zealand millions of years ago have been found by a UNSW Sydney-led international team of scientists. Teeth and bones of the extinct bat -- which was about three times the size of an average bat today -- were recovered from 19 to 16-million-year-old sediments near the town of St Bathans in Central Otago on the South Island. […]

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