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.

  • Measuring global biodiversity change
    on August 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    A new article shows how Essential Biodiversity Variables can be produced to measure biodiversity change at a global scale. […]

  • Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
    on August 16, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    As corals face threats from ocean warming, a new study uses the latest genetic-sequencing tools to help unravel the relationships between three similar-looking corals. […]

  • A decade of monitoring shows the dynamics of a conserved Atlantic tropical forest
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Characterized with high levels of biodiversity and endemism, the Atlantic Tropical Forest has been facing serious anthropogenic threats over the last several decades. Having put important ecosystem services at risk, such activities need to be closely studied as part of the forest dynamics. Thus, a Brazilian team of researchers spent a decade monitoring a semi-deciduous forest located in an ecological park in Southeast Brazil. […]

  • Ants dominate waste management in tropical rainforests
    on August 10, 2017 at 1:40 am

    A study has found that ants are responsible for moving more than half of food resources from the rainforest floor, playing a key role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. […]

  • Salamanders that breed in the fall are less likely to disperse
    on August 9, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    With changing environments, pond-breeding salamanders face increasingly hazardous treks as the space between breeding ponds and their non-breeding habitat widens or is degraded. A study now suggests that a salamander's success may depend more on when it breeds than on the landscape obstacles it might face. Scientists believe that knowing the patterns in which salamanders move back and forth could lead to better forest management and conservation strategies. […]

  • Incomplete drought recovery may be the new normal
    on August 9, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    The amount of time it takes for an ecosystem to recover from a drought is an important measure of a drought's severity. During the 20th century, the total area of land affected by drought increased, and longer recovery times became more common, according to new research published by Nature by a group of scientists including Carnegie's Anna Michalak and Yuanyuan Fang. […]

  • Sea urchins: From pest to plate
    on August 9, 2017 at 11:40 am

    The genital gland of a sea urchin, the so-called gonad, is found inside the urchin. This organ stores nutrients, and contains milt and roe during the spawning season in spring. The gonads are very popular in sushi dishes in especially Asia, but also in other parts of the world. […]

  • Afforestation with non-native trees alters island soils
    on August 7, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    A healthy global debate has occurred concerning the benefits of using non-native trees for restoring some aspects of ecosystem function in degraded habitats. In many cases, the stresses associated with establishing seedlings disallow most native tree species from becoming successfully established in harsh planting sites. The tolerant non-native trees enable successes that would otherwise be unachievable. […]

  • Desert tortoises can't take the heat of roadside fencing
    on August 5, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Desert tortoises pace back and forth and can overheat by roadside fencing meant to help them, according to a study new study. […]

  • Payments to rural communities offer a new opportunity to restore China's native forests
    on August 3, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Despite massive efforts at reforestation, China's native forests continue to be displaced by plantations. A new study argues that rural communities could help reverse this trend if they were given incentives to protect and restore native forests on their own land. A proposed new umbrella policy for environmental protection in China currently falls short of the measures needed, but if amended, could provide a unique opportunity to benefit rural communities and the environment. […]

  • A dolphin diet
    on August 2, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    The health of dolphin populations worldwide depends on sustained access to robust food sources. Marine biologists have now studied the diets of dolphin species to understand the animals' foraging habits and how they share ocean resources. […]

  • Changes in biodiversity: Better assessment
    on August 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Assessing the state of an ecosystem solely on the basis of short-term changes in the number of different species it contains can lead to false conclusions. […]

  • Climate change could put rare bat species at greater risk
    on August 2, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    An endangered bat species with a UK population of less than 1,000 could be further threatened by the effects of global warming, according to a new study. […]

  • Ecosystem cascades affecting salmon
    on August 1, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    New research reveals that shifts in ocean conditions in the Gulf of the Farallones leads to changes in bird predation, affecting the number of California salmon that return as adults. […]

  • Size matters, and so do temperature and habitat, to scavengers and the carcasses they eat
    on August 1, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Size matters in the carrion world, and so do habitat and temperature. New research has shed fresh light on the largely understudied area of vertebrate scavenging ecology. […]

  • Understanding how fishers fish on coral reefs can inform fishery management strategies
    on July 31, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    A study of spearfishing on a Caribbean coral reef illustrates how understanding the process of fishing can help in developing management strategies to address overfishing and coral reef protection worldwide. Understanding which fish are targeted, when, why and where in a coral reef habitat, are important details that extend beyond catch limits or even bans that so often define fishing regulations. […]

  • Seeing in the dark: Minus sunlight, a general theory reveals universal patterns in ecology
    on July 27, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    By omitting mechanistic drivers such as sunlight, a statistical theory accurately describes broad ecological patterns in a Panama forest, as well as other natural systems and communities. […]

  • Circles in the sand reveal boating damage to marine biodiversity
    on July 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    New findings highlight the need for boating activities along the UK's beautiful coastlines to be conducted in a more environmentally friendly manner. […]

  • Scientists identify optimal areas for conservation and agriculture in the tropics
    on July 27, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    A team of researchers has recently completed a global study on the trade-offs between the benefits provided by tropical forests and its conversion for agricultural use. The team examined deforestation activities of more than 50 countries in the tropics between 2000 to 2012, and identified regions where deforestation is most and least beneficial. […]

  • Coral gardening is benefiting Caribbean reefs, study finds
    on July 25, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    A new study found that Caribbean staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis) are benefiting from 'coral gardening,' the process of restoring coral populations by planting laboratory-raised coral fragments on reefs. […]

  • Dodder: A parasite involved in the plant alarm system
    on July 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Parasitic plants of the genus Cuscuta (dodder) not only deplete nutrients from their host plants, but also function as important 'information brokers' among neighboring plants, when insects feed on host plants, a team of scientists has discovered. […]

  • Better plant carbon-cycle models
    on July 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    In the summer of 2012, two undergraduate students tackled a problem that plant ecology experts had overlooked for 30 years. The students demonstrated that different plant species vary in how they take in carbon dioxide and emit water through the pores in their leaves. The data boosted the accuracy of mathematical models of carbon and water fluxes through plant leaves by 30 to 60 percent. […]

  • New non-photosynthesizing plant species discovered on Ishigaki island, Japan
    on July 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    A new species of non-photosynthesizing parasitic plant has been discovered on the subtropical island of Ishigaki in Okinawa, Japan and named Sciaphila sugimotoi. […]

  • Seagrass meadows: Critical habitats for juvenile fish and dugongs in the east coast Johor islands
    on July 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Seagrass meadows in Johor harbor have three times more juvenile fish than coral reefs, scientists have found. They also found that the dugong herds there prefer certain types of meadows over others. […]

  • Shale gas development spurring spread of invasive plants in Pennsylvania forests
    on July 20, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Vast swaths of Pennsylvania forests were clear-cut circa 1900 and regrowth has largely been from local native plant communities, but a team of researchers has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with unconventional natural gas development. […]

  • Grasslands restoration is working in the soil, too
    on July 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    A new study finds that tallgrass prairie restoration at a large Illinois preserve is working at a foundational level -- in the soil. Bacteria in the soil are recolonizing and recovering on their own to resemble soil found in remnant prairies. The study shows that a carefully managed restoration can produce successes even beyond easily-recognized plant and animal biodiversity. […]

  • Coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba may survive global warming, new study finds
    on July 20, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Coral reefs in the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba can resist rising water temperatures, suggests new research. If they survive local pollution, these corals may one day be used to re-seed parts of the world where reefs are dying. The scientists urge governments to protect the Gulf of Aqaba Reefs. […]

  • Reintroduced Przewalski's horses have a different diet
    on July 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    The preferred fodder of horses is grass. This is true for domestic horses and wild horses in the Gobi Desert. Researchers have now found through tail hair analysis that before their extinction in the wild Przewalski's horses had been on a different diet than today. Thanks to improved societal attitude, the horses have now access to richer pastures. In former times, the wild horses were hunted and chased away. […]

  • A super-algae to save our seas? Genetic engineering species to save corals
    on July 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Solutions to climate change, and particularly its effects on the ocean, are needed now more than ever. Coral bleaching caused by climate change is a huge threat to coral reefs. Recent extreme bleaching events have already killed corals worldwide and permanent destruction of reefs is projected within the century if immediate action is not taken. However, genetically engineering a group of microalgae found in corals may enhance their stress tolerance to ocean warming and save coral reefs. […]

  • Bornean orangutans' canopy movements flag conservation targets
    on July 18, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Bornean orangutans living in forests impacted by human commerce seek areas of denser canopy enclosure, taller trees, and sections with trees of uniform height, according to new research. These orangutans are critically endangered, and despite intense conservation efforts, their numbers continue to decline. Additional habitat management strategies that account for their presence in forests affected by logging and other human activity are needed to ensure the species' survival. […]