Exotic Species News

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  • A new species of spider
    on September 16, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    During a research stay in the highlands of Colombia conducted as part of her doctorate, a PhD student has discovered and zoologically described a new species of spider.

  • Colorado's famous aspens expected to decline due to climate change
    on September 16, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Using computer modeling, researchers simulated how the distribution of quaking aspen, a native tree known for its brilliant yellow and orange foliage in fall and the sound of its trembling leaves, will change amid rising temperatures over the next 100 years.

  • Coconut rhinoceros beetle makes unexpected 'host shift' to Guam's cycad trees
    on September 16, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Researchers have documented what biologists call a 'host shift' of the coconut rhinoceros beetle in Guam. The beetle, first documented as an invasive species in Guam in 2007, has been devastating the island's ubiquitous coconut palms and is now also burrowing into Guam's endangered native cycad tree, Cycas micronesica.

  • Rising temperatures could shift US West Nile virus transmission
    on September 15, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    West Nile virus spreads most efficiently in the US at temperatures between 24-25 degrees Celsius (75.2-77 degrees Fahrenheit), a new study shows.

  • Human activities promote disease-spreading mosquitoes; more study needed for prevention
    on September 14, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Disease-spreading mosquitoes may be more likely to occupy areas impacted by human activities like pesticide use and habitat destruction, than they are areas less disturbed by humans, a recent study found.

  • New rules for algae species classification
    on September 14, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    A team of evolutionary biologists and ecologists has a new idea for how scientists should classify algae species.

  • Dams exacerbate the consequences of climate change on river fish
    on September 14, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    A potential response of river fish to environmental changes is to colonize new habitats. But what happens when dams and weirs restrict their movement? And are native and alien species similarly affected?

  • Mediterranean and tropical biodiversity most vulnerable to human pressures
    on September 14, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Animals in tropical and Mediterranean areas are the most sensitive to climate change and land use pressures, finds a new study.

  • Hitchhiking seeds pose substantial risk of nonnative plant invasions
    on September 14, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    A team of researchers conducted a study over two seasons at the Port of Savannah, Georgia to inventory nonnative plant seeds that entered the U.S. on refrigerated shipping containers; determine their viability as potential invasive species; and propose strategies for reducing risk to native ecosystems and agricultural commodities.

  • Odors produced by soil microbes attract red fire ants to safer nest sites
    on September 10, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    Newly mated queens of the red fire ant select nest sites with a relatively low pathogen risk by detecting odors produced by soil bacteria that inhibit the growth of ant-infecting fungi, according to a new study.

  • Trees living fast die young
    on September 8, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    A global analysis reveals for the first time that across almost all tree species, fast growing trees have shorter lifespans. This international study further calls into question predictions that greater tree growth means greater carbon storage in forests in the long term.

  • New insight into mammalian stem cell evolution
    on September 8, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    The genes regulating pluripotent stem cells in mammals are surprisingly similar across 48 species, researchers report. The study also shows that differences among these 'gene regulating networks' might explain how certain features of mammalian pluripotent stem cells have evolved.

  • Why rats would win Australian survivor
    on September 8, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Australian rodents skulls all correspond to one simple, size-dependent shape that is more than ten million years old but it turns out this lack of change is the secret behind their survivor reputation.

  • Changing what we eat could offset years of climate-warming emissions
    on September 7, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Plant protein foods -- like lentils, beans, and nuts --c an provide vital nutrients using a small fraction of the land required to produce meat and dairy. By shifting to these foods, much of the remaining land could support ecosystems that absorb CO2, according to a new study.

  • Natural pest control saving billions
    on September 3, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Biological control of insect pests - where 'natural enemies' keep pests at bay - is saving farmers in Asia and the Pacific billions of dollars, according to new research. Biological control involved the careful release of an exotic natural enemy from a pest's native habitat.

  • Many forests scorched by wildfire won't bounce back
    on September 2, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    A study of 22 burned areas across the Southern Rocky Mountains found that forests are becoming less resilient to fire, with some converting to grasslands after burning. By 2050, as little as 3.5% to 6.3% of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine forests in the region will be suitable for recovery post-fire, the study found.

  • Birds can learn from others to be more daring
    on September 2, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    New research into highly social yet invasive house sparrows reveals that they can learn from each other and adapt their behavior.

  • Globalization is reweaving the web of life
    on September 2, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Networks of interactions among species are becoming increasingly similar across ecosystems, according to a global analysis. Data collected over the last 75 years show the accelerating pace that introduced species are reshaping mutualistic relationships and creating new ecological links between previously disconnected ecosystems. These changes to mutualistic networks will influence which species are winners and losers in future ecosystems and may expose ecological networks to collapse.

  • Biodiversity: In a mite-y bit of trouble
    on September 2, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Mite extinctions are occurring at least 1,000 times the 'natural' rate - a finding a researcher says is another warning that global biodiversity is in deep trouble. The 1.25 million mite species around the planet occupy an enormous variety of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, from the equator, to polar regions and high altitude areas.

  • Fish invasions follow Panama and Suez canal expansions
    on September 1, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    Following recent canal expansions, marine fish are entering the Panama and Suez Canal waterways. Researchers are concerned that they may invade new habitat on the other side, causing unforeseen environmental or economic disasters.

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