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  • Native California medicinal plant may hold promise for treating Alzheimer's
    on February 20, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    The medicinal powers of aspirin, digitalis, and the anti-malarial artemisinin all come from plants. A discovery of a potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory chemical in a native California shrub may lead to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease based on a compound found in nature. […]

  • Zebra stripes are not good landing strips
    on February 20, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    The stripes of a zebra deter horse flies from landing on them, according to a new study. […]

  • Complete world map of tree diversity
    on February 20, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Researchers have succeeded in constructing, from scattered data, a world map of the diversity of tree species. Climate plays a central role for its global distribution; however, the number of species in a specific region also depends on the spatial scale of the observation, the researchers report. The new approach could help improve conservation. […]

  • Foreign bees monopolize prize resources in biodiversity hotspot
    on February 20, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    New research revealed that foreign honey bees often account for more than 90 percent of pollinators observed visiting flowers in San Diego, considered a global biodiversity hotspot. The non-native bees have established robust feral populations and currently make up 75 percent of the region's observed pollinators. Their monopoly over the most abundantly blooming plant species may strongly affect the ecology and evolution of species that are foundational to the stability of the region's plant-pollinator interactions. […]

  • Forest fires as an opportunity for ecosystem recovery
    on February 19, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    It is estimated that globally there are more than two million hectares of land in need of restoration. The fires that occurred in those places provided the people who manage them with an opportunity to change, via a suitable process of ecological restoration, the previous bad forestry practices. […]

  • World's biggest terrestrial carbon sinks are found in young forests
    on February 18, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    More than half of the carbon sink in the world's forests is in areas where the trees are relatively young -- under 140 years old -- rather than in tropical rainforests, research shows. […]

  • Indigenous hunters have positive impacts on food webs in desert Australia
    on February 17, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinction in the world. Resettlement of indigenous communities resulted in the spread of invasive species, the absence of human-set fires, and a general cascade in the interconnected food web that led to the largest mammalian extinction event ever recorded. In this case, the absence of direct human activity on the landscape may be the cause of the extinctions, according to an anthropologist. […]

  • The widow next door: Where is the globally invasive noble false widow settling next?
    on February 11, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    The noble false widow spider, Steatoda nobilis, native to Madeira and the Canary Islands, has been introduced accidentally to countries around the globe, causing considerable concerns. Thus, a team of researchers sought to understand how the species became so widespread and predict where it could appear next. According to a recent study the countries which are at an immediate risk of invasions are South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. […]

  • Brazil-endemic plant genus Mcvaughia highlights diversity in a unique biome
    on February 11, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    A new species of the Brazil-endemic small genus Mcvaughia described as part of a extended revision of this unique group. Mcvaughia is a genus of the plant family Malpighiaceae comprising just three known species, all of which endemic to the unique and recently recognized Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests biome found in the Atlantic Forest and Caatinga domains in northeastern Brazil. […]

  • Marine scientists find toxic bacteria on microplastics retrieved from tropical waters
    on February 11, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    A team of marine scientists had uncovered toxic bacteria living on the surfaces of microplastics (which are pieces of plastic smaller than 5 millimeters in size) collected from the coastal areas of Singapore. These bacteria are capable of causing coral bleaching, and triggering wound infections in humans. The team also discovered a diversity of bacteria, including useful organisms - such as those that can degrade marine pollutants like hydrocarbons - in the plastic waste. […]

  • You are what you eat: A color-changing insect modifies diet to become distasteful
    on February 11, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    When young spotted lanternflies grow they become brightly red. Around this time, they also begin to feed almost exclusively on the tree of heaven, from which they suck bitter juices into their bodies. In this way, they coordinate the moment when they become bright and visible to predators with the time when they become distasteful to predators. Birds learn to avoid bitter prey when the prey are brightly colored. […]

  • Climate change may destroy tiger's home
    on February 11, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    A scientist says the last coastal stronghold of an iconic predator, the endangered Bengal tiger, could be destroyed by climate change and rising sea levels over the next 50 years. […]

  • Rating riverside corridors -- the 'escape routes' for animals under climate change
    on February 8, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    While riverside habitats are known to be important for species migrating under climate change, this is the first study to rank riparian areas as targets for restoration and conservation efforts. […]

  • DNA traces on wild flowers reveal insect visitors
    on February 8, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Researchers have discovered that insects leave tiny DNA traces on the flowers they visit. This newly developed eDNA method holds a vast potential for documenting unknown insect-plant interactions, keeping track of endangered pollinators, such as wild bees and butterflies, as well as in the management of unwanted pest species. […]

  • Bee dispersal ability may influence conservation measures
    on February 7, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    The abilities of various bee species to disperse influences the pattern of their population's genetic structure, which, in turn, can constrain how they respond to environmental change, researchers report. […]

  • Species 'hotspots' created by immigrant influx or evolutionary speed depending on climate
    on February 6, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    New research reveals that biodiversity 'hotspots' in the tropics produced new species at faster rates over the last 25 million years, but those in temperate regions are instead full of migrant species that likely sought refuge from shifting and cooling climates. […]

  • Underwater forests threatened by future climate change, new study finds
    on February 6, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Climate change could lead to declines of underwater kelp forests through impacts on their microbiome. New research has found predicted ocean warming and acidification can change microbes on the kelp surface, leading to disease and potentially putting fisheries at risk. […]

  • Humans' meat consumption pushing Earth's biggest fauna toward extinction
    on February 6, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    At least 200 species of large animals are decreasing in number and more than 150 are under threat of extinction, according to new research that suggests humans' meat consumption habits are primarily to blame. […]

  • Tree loss from bark-beetle infestation impacts elk habitat
    on February 6, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Although elk typically adapt to forest disturbances such as forest fires and logging, a new study found that during the summer, elk avoided areas with extensive tree mortality that has occurred due to the bark-beetle epidemic in the northern portions of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. […]

  • Rattlesnake venom: Mild, medium and wicked hot
    on February 6, 2019 at 1:40 am

    In a surprising evolutionary twist, a new study suggests that while one rattlesnake may routinely feast on lizard meat, its seemingly identical neighbor snake might strike and strike and never kill its would-be reptilian prey. […]

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