Exotic Species News

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  • Woolly star plants need catastrophes to live
    on March 19, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    The endangered Santa Ana Woolly Star depends on catastrophic floods. Thanks to a huge dam, natural floods are now nonexistent in its home turf. Researchers use different soil treatments mimicking flood effects in its preferred habitat, exploring the effectiveness of each towards plant survival. […]

  • Floodplain forests under threat
    on March 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Researchers warn of the effects of summer drought and competition for ground water. […]

  • Rising global shipping traffic could lead to surge in invasive species
    on March 18, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Rising global maritime traffic could lead to sharp increases in invasive species around the world over the next 30 years, according to a new study. The findings suggest that shipping growth will far outweigh climate change in the spread of non-indigenous pests to new environments in coming decades. […]

  • Nitrogen pollution's path to streams weaves through more forests (and faster) than suspected
    on March 15, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Scientists have completed one of the largest and longest examinations to trace unprocessed nitrate movement in forests. The team found that some nitrate occasionally moves too fast for biological uptake, resulting in 'unprocessed' nitrate bypassing the otherwise effective filter of forest biology. […]

  • Using Thoreau, scientists measure the impact of climate change on wildflowers
    on March 14, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    A new study is using observations made by Henry David Thoreau -- 19th-century American naturalist, social reformer, and philosopher -- to explore the effects of climate change on tree leaf-out and, as a result, the emergence of spring wildflowers. […]

  • Pests and the plant defenses against them drive diversity in tropical rainforests
    on March 14, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Researchers have been baffled by tropical rainforest diversity for over a century; 650 different tree species can exist in an area covering two football fields, yet similar species never grow next to each other. It seems like it's good to be different than your neighbors, but why? […]

  • Sea otters' tool use leaves behind distinctive archaeological evidence
    on March 14, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Researchers have analyzed the use by sea otters of large, shoreline rocks as 'anvils' to break open shells, as well as the resulting shell middens. The researchers used ecological and archaeological approaches to identify patterns that are characteristic of sea otter use of such locations. By looking at evidence of past anvil stone use, scientists could better understand sea otter habitat use. […]

  • Pesticides influence ground-nesting bee development and longevity
    on March 13, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Results from a new study suggest that bees might be exposed to pesticides in more ways than we thought, and it could impact their development significantly. The study looks at the non-target effects of pesticides on ground-nesting bees, a group that actually makes up the majority of bee species. […]

  • Climate change limits forest recovery after wildfires
    on March 12, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    New research suggests climate change makes it increasingly difficult for tree seedlings to regenerate following wildfires in low-elevation forests, which could contribute to abrupt forest loss. […]

  • Little owls on the move
    on March 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    New study on an owl's re-colonization of northern Switzerland. […]

  • Meet India's starry dwarf frog, lone member of newly discovered ancient lineage
    on March 12, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    The starry dwarf frog is an expert hider. Plunging into leaf litter at the slightest disturbance, it has successfully evaded attention for millions of years -- until now. The thumbnail-sized species, now named Astrobatrachus kurichiyana, was discovered in India's Western Ghats. It's the sole member of an ancient lineage, a long branch on the frog tree of life that researchers have classified as a new subfamily, Astrobatrachinae. […]

  • Impacts of marine and freshwater predators on ecosystems and society
    on March 12, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    A new study reports on the diverse ways that aquatic predators, such as sharks and alligators, can impact ecosystems and also benefit human society. The study shows how these important ecological processes and ecosystem services to society can break down or recover from population losses and recoveries of aquatic predators. […]

  • Unprecedented number of warm-water species moved northward during marine heatwave
    on March 12, 2019 at 11:59 am

    A new study documents an unprecedented number of southern marine species moving northward into California and as far north as Oregon during the 2014-2016 marine heatwave. Of 67 rare, warm-water species sightings observed, 37 had never been documented so far north before. […]

  • New species of stiletto snake capable of sideways strikes discovered in West Africa
    on March 11, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    During surveys in the Upper Guinea forest zone of Liberia and Guinea, scientists discovered snakes later identified as a new to science species. It belongs to the stiletto snakes, spectacular for their unusual skulls, allowing them to stab sideways with a fang sticking out of the corner of their mouths. The discovery is further evidence supporting the status of the region as unique in its biodiversity. […]

  • THOR wrangles complex microbiomes into a model for improving them
    on March 8, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Researchers have developed a community they named THOR, three species of bacteria isolated from soybean roots and grown together. The complex community of microbes developed new behaviors together that couldn't be predicted from the individual members alone -- they grew tougher structures known as biofilms, changed how they moved across their environment, and controlled the release of a novel antibiotic. […]

  • 'Specialized' microbes within plant species promote diversity
    on March 7, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Researchers conducted an experiment that suggests microbes can specialize within plant species, which can promote plant species diversity and increased seed dispersal. […]

  • Insects in decline: On farmland, latecomers lose out
    on March 7, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Wild bees in Europe are in trouble -- more than 50 percent of local species are now classified as endangered. Recent findings indicate that, in farming areas, species that emerge in late summer are most acutely threatened. […]

  • Transcription factor network gets to heart of wood formation
    on March 6, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    Research on high-level switches that control wood formation has applications in timber, paper and biofuels, as well as making forests healthier. […]

  • Culturally sensitive conservation approaches needed to protect Ethiopian church forests
    on March 6, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Human disturbance reduces forest density, biomass, and richness of species in sacred church forests of northern Ethiopia, according to new research. […]

  • Impact of urbanization on wild bees underestimated
    on March 6, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Wild bees are indispensable pollinators, supporting both agricultural productivity and the diversity of flowering plants worldwide. […]

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