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.

  • Tiny globetrotters: Bacteria which live in the Arctic and the Antarctic
    on December 13, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Geoscientists have compared micro-organisms in the polar regions, noting that some bacteria can be found in both regions of Earth. […]

  • Urban Cooper's hawks outcompete their rural neighbors
    on December 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Depending on whether a species flourishes in a city environment, urban wildlife populations can be 'sources' or 'sinks,' either reproducing so quickly that individuals leave to colonize the surrounding area or needing constant immigration from outside to stay viable. A new study examines the population dynamics of Cooper's hawks in urban Albuquerque, N.M., and finds that city-born birds aren't just thriving -- they're actually forcing their rural neighbors out of their nest sites. […]

  • Using drones to estimate crop damage by wild boar
    on December 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Growing populations of wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) are causing more and more damage to agricultural land in Europe, requiring hundreds of thousands of Euros in compensation. A new drone-based method allows estimating crop damage in a fast, standardized and objective manner. […]

  • How fires are changing the tundra’s face
    on December 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Climate change takes a heavy toll on the tundra, increasing the probability of extreme droughts. As a result, the frequency of fires in forests, bogs and even wetlands continues to rise. In addition, the northern areas of the tundra have also become more accessible and negatively impacted by human activities in recent years. […]

  • Suburban ponds are a septic buffet
    on December 12, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Human waste accounts for a high percentage of nutrients consumed by some animals and plants in suburban ponds, new research indicates. Researchers found that residential, suburban land use is altering the dynamics of the food chain, as well as where nutrients originate and how they move through pond ecosystems. […]

  • Native fish species at risk following water removal from the Colorado River
    on December 12, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Agriculture and domestic activities consume much of the Colorado River water that once flowed to the Colorado Delta and Northern Gulf of California. The nature and extent of impact of this fresh-water loss on the ecology and fisheries of the Colorado Delta and Gulf of California is controversial. A recent publication reveals a previously unseen risk to the unique local biodiversity of the tidal portion of the Delta. […]

  • Cyanobacteria in lakes: Risks linked to loss of diversity
    on December 11, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    The composition of cyanobacterial communities in peri-alpine lakes has become increasingly similar over the past century. Climate warming and a period of eutrophication have favored in particular potentially toxic species which can adapt rapidly to environmental changes. These are the findings of an study analyzing DNA extracted from sediment cores. […]

  • African deforestation not as great as feared
    on December 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    The loss of forests in Africa in the past century is substantially less than previously estimated, an analysis of historical records and paleontology evidence shows. […]

  • World-first uses satellites, ocean models to explain Antarctic seafloor biodiversity
    on December 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    In a world-first, a research team has used data collected by satellites and an ocean model to explain and predict biodiversity on the Antarctic seafloor. […]

  • Novel framework to infer microbial interactions
    on December 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Inferring the underlying ecological networks of microbial communities is important to understanding their structure and responses to external stimuli. But it can be very challenging to make accurate network inferences. Scientists now detail a method to make the network inference easier by utilizing steady-state data without altering microbial communities. […]

  • Study finds ways to avoid hidden dangers of accumulated stresses on seagrass
    on December 8, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    A new study has found ways to detect hidden dangers of repeated stresses on seagrass using statistical modelling. The research found cumulative maintenance dredging which affected the light on the sea floor increased risks on seagrass survival. It found, globally, seagrass meadows can be at risk of collapse from accumulated effects of repeated dredging and natural stress. […]

  • Life under the surface in live broadcast
    on December 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Researchers have invented new systems to study the life of microorganisms in the ground. Without any digging, the researchers are able use microchips to see and analyze an invisible world that is filled with more species than any other ecosystem. […]

  • Optimal amount of rainfall for plants
    on December 6, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Researchers have determined what could be considered a 'Goldilocks' climate for rainfall use by plants: not too wet and not too dry. But those landscapes are likely to shrink and become less productive in the future through climate change. […]

  • Deadly cryptococcal fungi found in public spaces in South Africa
    on December 6, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii have been found large numbers on trees in South Africa. […]

  • It's good to be rare, for some species
    on December 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    For many species, rarity is not a guarantee of impending extinction. Instead, the traits that enable some species to be rare may hold the ticket to their survival. A new paper predicts what these traits might be and how having them could place chronically rare species at an advantage during crises. […]

  • Head start through human intervention: Study on the spread of European plant species on other...
    on December 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    A new study has investigated the spread of European plant species on other continents. […]

  • Freezing trees, finding answers
    on December 6, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Ice storms can wreak havoc on communities. Frozen limbs, dragged down by the weight of the ice, can snap off and fall on cars, homes, and power lines. But scientists aren't sure how ice storms affect long-term forest health. Researchers are changing that. […]

  • Dahl's toad-headed turtle threatened by fragmented habitat, shrinking populations
    on December 5, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    A recent study shows that the Dahl's Toad-headed Turtle (Mesoclemmys dahli), a rare reptile found only in Colombia, is threatened with extinction due to alarmingly small and fragmented populations and high levels of inbreeding. […]

  • Amazon floodplain trees emit as much methane as all Earth’s oceans combined
    on December 5, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    New research solves mystery of missing methane source in the Amazon Rainforest. […]

  • Variation within species is critical aspect of biodiversity
    on December 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Concerns about biodiversity tend to focus on the loss of species from ecosystems, but a new study suggests that the loss of variation within species can also have important ecological consequences. […]

  • Lemurs maintain gut health through 'huddling' together
    on December 5, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Scientists have found a direct link between physical contact and gut bacteria in red-bellied lemurs. Likely passed through 'huddling' behavior and touch, the new research has implications for human health. […]

  • Despite city tree benefits, California urban canopy cover per capita lowest in US
    on December 4, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Trees in California communities are working overtime. From removing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air, intercepting rainfall and increasing property values, California's 173.2 million city trees provide ecosystem services valued at $8.3 billion a year. However, according to a recent study, more benefits could be realized if the Golden State's urban forests didn't have the lowest canopy cover per capita in the nation. […]

  • The Patterns of climate change
    on December 4, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Researchers have developed a technique to monitor and predict how plant species will respond to climate change. The experiment was conducted in an area the size of two football pitches within the Garraf National park south west of Barcelona. The landscape is mostly a Mediterranean scrubland, featuring thickets of low rise shrubs and herbs such as rosemary and thyme, and home to many protected species. […]

  • Invasive plants have unprecedented ability to pioneer new continents and climates
    on December 4, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    It's no secret that globalization, aided by climate change, is helping invasive species gain a foothold across the planet. What came as something of a surprise to researchers was just how mutable these invaders are. […]

  • Belowground fungal interactions with trees help explain non-native plant invasions
    on December 1, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    The invasion of nonnative plants above-ground is strongly related to what type of mycorrhizal fungi are dominant below-ground in forest ecosystems. […]

  • African protected area saving endangered megafauna
    on December 1, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    One of Africa's last remaining wilderness areas is in good shape and could potentially support 50,000 elephants and 1000 lions, a study has found. Niassa National Reserve is Mozambique's largest protected area and has large populations of threatened species, but it's one of the least biologically explored places on Earth. […]

  • Despite forest loss, African protected area can support 10s of thousands of elephants
    on November 30, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Despite some forest loss, Mozambique's sprawling Niassa National Reserve has the potential to support tens of thousands of elephants and 1,000 lions according to a new land-use study. […]

  • Drone photos offer faster, cheaper data on key Antarctic species
    on November 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Scientists flying drones in Antarctica have demonstrated a cheaper, faster and simpler way to gauge the condition of leopard seals, which can weigh more than a half ton and reflect the health of the Antarctic ecosystem that they and a variety of commercial fisheries rely on. […]

  • Loss of breeding grounds hits a sad note for common songbird
    on November 29, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    A decline in the number of wood thrushes is probably due to deforestation in Central America, a new study has concluded. […]

  • The enigmatic endangered whale shark: 22-year-long global citizen science project sheds light on...
    on November 29, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Vital scientific information about whale shark behavior, biology and ecology is being uncovered by an unlikely source -- ecotourists and other citizens. Thanks to modern advancements in technology and the burgeoning field of 'citizen science,' new information about gregarious and mysterious whale sharks is being revealed in a study. […]