Ecology Research

Ecology Research News -- ScienceDaily Learn about recent research into biodiversity reduction and how it affects ecosystems. Read news articles on coral bleaching, deforestation and wetland ecology.

  • Dune ecosystem modelling
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Acacia longifolia, which is native to Australia, is a species which was cultivated in Portugal primarily to stabilize dunes and as an ornamental plant; now it has spread out uncontrollably in Portugal and into many ecosystems around the world. Using the acacia as an example, researchers show that the location has an effect on interaction with other species. […]

  • Previously unknown pine marten diversity discovered
    on June 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    The elusive American pine marten, a little-studied member of the weasel family, might be more diverse than originally thought, according to new research. […]

  • Satellite data to map endangered monkey populations on Earth
    on June 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Using a combination of satellite and ground data, a research team can map multiple indicators of monkey distribution, including human activity zones as inferred from roads and settlements, direct detections from mosquito-derived iDNA, animal sound recordings, plus detections of other species that are usually found when monkeys are present, such as other large vertebrates. […]

  • Ecology insights improve plant biomass degradation by microorganisms
    on June 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Microbes are widely used to break down plant biomass into sugars, which can be used as sustainable building blocks for novel biocompounds. Getting the right microbial community for this process is still a matter of trial and error. New insights by ecologists could make a rational design possible. […]

  • Critical gaps in our knowledge of where infectious diseases occur
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Scientists have called for action to a serious lack of data on the worldwide distribution of disease-causing organisms. Without this knowledge, predicting where and when the next disease outbreak will emerge is hardly possible. Macroecologists hold the expertise to create the needed data network and close the knowledge gaps. […]

  • Pollinator extinctions alter structure of ecological networks
    on June 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    The absence of a single dominant bumblebee species from an ecosystem disrupts foraging patterns among a broad range of remaining pollinators in the system -- from other bees to butterflies, beetles and more, field experiments show. […]

  • Algae: The final frontier
    on June 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Algae dominate the oceans that cover nearly three-quarters of our planet, and produce half of the oxygen that we breathe. And yet fewer than 10 percent of the algae have been formally described in the scientific literature, as noted in a new review. […]

  • Over 150 Asian Giant Softshell Turtles Return to the Wild
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Biologists have just released 150 Endangered Asian giant softshell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii) hatchlings into their natural habitat along the Mekong River. […]

  • Deaths of migrating wildebeests key to Serengeti's vibrant ecosystem
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Wildebeest carcasses, casualties of the world's largest overland animal migration, pile up annually on the banks of the Mara River in Africa and play a crucial role in vibrant ecosystem of the Serengeti plains, a new study has found. […]

  • Three chameleon species discovered
    on June 19, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    A doctoral candidate liked to catch lizards when he was little, but never imagined he would be catching and discovering new species of chameleons. He has now discovered three new species of chameleons. The reptile trio, historically thought to be a single species, was found in different parts of the Albertine Rift in Central Africa. […]

  • 150-year records gap on Sulawesi ends with five new species in the world's largest tree genus
    on June 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Coming 150 years after the last description from Sulawesi, five new species from the world's largest genus of trees, Syzygium, highlight the extent of unexplored botanical diversity on the Indonesian island. […]

  • Alternative hypothesis on the faunal colonization of the Himalayas?
    on June 15, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Until now, the fauna of the Himalayas was considered to be an “immigration fauna," with species that have immigrated primarily from neighboring regions since the geological formation of this mountain range. Using molecular-genetic methods, a research team has now tested an alternative colonization hypothesis on lazy toads. The findings indicate that this group arose earlier than assumed in southern Tibet, and went on to colonize the Himalayas from there after its formation. […]

  • Distant fish relatives share looks
    on June 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Scientists have found evidence that even distantly related Australian fish species have evolved to look and act like each other, which confirms a central tenet of evolutionary theory. […]

  • Earning a living in a changing climate: The plant perspective
    on June 14, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Some of the world's plants are using 'last-stand' strategies to survive rather than thrive as global climate change gathers apace. Ecologists assessed plant strategies in less suitable climates by tapping into big data collated from 16 different countries in 3 different continents over the past 50 years. […]

  • Genetic differences across species guide vocal learning in juvenile songbirds
    on June 12, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Juvenile birds discriminate and selectively learn their own species’ songs even when primarily exposed to the songs of other species, but the underlying mechanism has remained unknown. A new study shows that song discrimination arises due to genetic differences between species, rather than early learning or other mechanisms. […]

  • Bats are the major reservoir of coronaviruses worldwide
    on June 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Results of a five-year study in 20 countries on three continents have found that bats harbor a large diversity of coronaviruses (CoV), the family of viruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS). PREDICT is a globally coordinated effort to detect and discover viruses of pandemic potential and reduce risk for future epidemics. […]

  • Lost ecosystem found buried in mud of southern California coastal waters
    on June 9, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Paleontologists investigating the sea bed off California have discovered a lost ecosystem that for thousands of years had nurtured communities of scallops and shelled marine organisms called brachiopods. They had died off by the early 20th century, replaced by the mud-dwellling burrowing clams that inhabit this seabed today. […]

  • Scientists advancing hope for reefs in the Philippines
    on June 8, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Researchers have returned from the Philippines with new species discoveries and deeper insights into threatened coral reef ecosystems. […]

  • Natural capital: Holistic management makes ecosystems healthier, people wealthier
    on June 8, 2017 at 2:24 am

    A new study puts a price on ecosystems by recognizing the value of a 'natural capital' asset -- in this case, fish in the Baltic Sea -- and connecting it with holistic ecosystem management to calculate asset values for the interacting parts of an ecosystem. […]

  • Seeing inside coral
    on June 7, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    New technologies are making it possible to see inside coral, to examine the skeleton cores for devastation caused by humans. Scientists are racing the clock to assess the true extent of the damage before it becomes irreversible. […]

  • Reshaping Darwin's tree of life
    on June 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    In 1859, Charles Darwin included a novel tree of life in his trailblazing book on the theory of evolution, On the Origin of Species. Now, scientists want to reshape Darwin's tree. […]

  • Newly discovered methane consumers in lakes
    on June 7, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    When decaying organic matter sinks to the bottom of a lake or ocean, methane is produced as the biomass is broken down. Some of the methane is released from the surface into the atmosphere, where it acts as a potent greenhouse gas, while some is broken down by microorganisms in the water column. In a new study, an international research group reports that, as well as the “classical” methane consumers, filamentous bacteria of the genus Crenothrix – previously little studied in the environment – are also involved in the methane removal process. […]

  • Why do Antarctic krill stocks fluctuate?
    on June 6, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    It is only six centimeters long, but it plays a major role in the Antarctic ecosystem: the small crustacean Euphausia superba (Antarctic krill). It's one of the world's most abundant species and the central diet of a number of animals in the Southern Ocean. For a long time, scientists have been puzzled why the size of krill stocks fluctuates so widely. […]

  • Census shows which mammals survive in forests surrounded by sugarcane plantations
    on June 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    A census of medium and large mammals found in 22 forest remnants surrounded by sugarcane plantations in the state. They found approximately 90% of all the species of mammals expected for São Paulo State but in smaller forest fragments, the researchers recorded only 20 percent - 50 percent of the species expected to occur across the region. This means that up to 80 percent were locally extinct in some cases. […]

  • Stony corals more resistant to climate change than thought
    on June 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Stony corals may be more resilient to ocean acidification than once thought, according to a Rutgers University study that shows they rely on proteins to help create their rock-hard skeletons. […]

  • Video shows invasive lionfish feasting on new Caribbean fish species
    on June 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Researchers have reported the first observed case of lionfish preying upon a fish species that had not yet been named. Their results may indicate an uncertain future for other fish found in the largely unexplored deep-ocean coral reefs. […]

  • Big fish in big trouble in Europe
    on June 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Many large fish species, including many of the sharks and rays of Europe, are threatened with extinction. Confirming the findings of previous studies, scientists highlight regional differences in fish stock status in Europe and point to overfishing in the Mediterranean. […]

  • Pollution 'devastating' China's vital ecosystem, research shows
    on June 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    A pioneering new international study has looked at the true impact air pollutants have in impeding the local vegetation's ability to absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. […]

  • Outnumbered and on others' turf, misfits sometimes thrive
    on May 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Evolutionary biologists have long assumed that when an individual of a species wanders into a different environment than it is adapted to, it will be at a competitive disadvantage compared to natives of the same species which are adapted to that environment. Studying fish in Canada, scientists found the opposite. […]

  • Spotted owls benefit from forest fire mosaic
    on May 31, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Fire is a crucial part of the forest ecosystem on which threatened spotted owls rely, but climate change and decades of fire suppression are changing the dynamics of these forests. A new study examines California spotted owl habitat use and shows that while owls avoid the badly burned areas left behind by massive stand-replacing fires, they benefit from habitat that includes a mosaic of burned patches of different sizes and degrees of severity. […]