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.

  • Prozac in ocean water a possible threat to sea life
    on October 20, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Oregon shore crabs exhibit risky behavior when they're exposed to the antidepressant Prozac, making it easier for predators to catch them, according to a new study. […]

  • Waterside lighting drastically disrupts wildlife in the surrounding ecosystem
    on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Streetlights near waterways attract flying insects from the water and change the predator community living in the grass beneath the lights, new research has found. The findings show that artificial night-time lighting could have implications for the surrounding ecosystem and biodiversity, which should be considered when designing new lighting concepts. […]

  • Life goes on for marine ecosystems after cataclysmic mass extinction
    on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    One of the largest global mass extinctions did not fundamentally change marine ecosystems, scientists have found. […]

  • Climate shifts shorten marine food chain off California
    on October 19, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Environmental disturbances such as El Niño shake up the marine food web off Southern California, new research shows, countering conventional thinking that the hierarchy of who-eats-who in the ocean remains largely constant over time. […]

  • Maintaining fish biomass the key to conserving reef fish biodiversity
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    A new study has found that conserving fish diversity in Madagascar's coral reef systems may depend on maintaining fish biomass above critical levels. […]

  • More than 75 percent decrease in total flying insect biomass over 27 years across Germany
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    The total flying insect biomass decreased by more than 75 percent over 27 years in protected areas in Germany, according to a new study. […]

  • DNA tests on albatross excrement reveal secret diet of top predator
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A study that used DNA tests to analyse the scats of one of the world's most numerous albatrosses has revealed surprising results about the top predator's diet. DNA analysis of 1460 scats from breeding sites around the Southern Ocean has shown that the diet of black-browed albatrosses contains a much higher proportion of jellyfish than previously thought. […]

  • Hardy corals make their moves to build new reefs from scratch
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Resilient species of coral can move to inhospitable areas and lay the foundations for new reefs, a study shows. […]

  • How many golden eagles are there?
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    For conservation to be effective, wildlife managers need to know how many individuals of a species are out there. When species are spread out over large areas and occur at low densities, this can be tricky. However, a new study applies an old technique called 'mark-recapture' in a novel way to count golden eagles, eliminating the need to actually capture and mark eagles with math that allows scientists to turn individual observations into population estimates. […]

  • New Amazon threat? Deforestation from mining
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Sprawling mining operations in Brazil have caused roughly 10 percent of all Amazon rainforest deforestation between 2005 and 2015 -- much higher than previous estimates -- says the first comprehensive study of mining deforestation in the iconic tropical rainforest. Surprisingly, the majority of mining deforestation (a full 90%) occurred outside the mining leases granted by Brazil's government, the new study finds. […]

  • Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies
    on October 16, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects -- much like human societies. A major new study has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains. […]

  • Gutters teem with inconspicuous life
    on October 13, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Scientists have shown that Parisian street gutters are oases of microscopic life, home to microalgae, fungi, sponges, and mollusks. Grouped into communities, these microorganisms may help clean rainwater and urban waste by decomposing solid debris and pollutants. A deeper understanding of the role and composition of these communities could help elucidate the services rendered by gutter ecosystems. The researchers' findings are the first to reveal the unsuspected biodiversity of microscopic life in Paris city streets. […]

  • Scientists uncover a centuries-old case of mistaken identity in the Chesapeake Bay
    on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Scientists recently discovered that some jellyfish in the Bay are quite different from their ocean cousins. This led scientists to declare them as two different species. […]

  • Herbivores help protect ecosystems from climate change
    on October 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Plant-eating critters are the key ingredient to helping ecosystems survive global warming, finds new research that offers some hope for a defense strategy against climate change. […]

  • New conservation method empowers indigenous peoples
    on October 11, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Environmental social scientists worked with indigenous people in the rural Peruvian Amazon and determined that local people meet their basic needs through diverse subsistence activities, such as hunting, fishing, and farming, and over centuries they have developed sophisticated natural resource management systems that protect the robust rainforest ecosystem. Through the study, the scientists hope to overturn traditional notions about development and industrialization. […]

  • Tracking the viral parasites of giant viruses over time
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    In freshwater lakes, microbes regulate the flow of carbon and determine if the bodies of water serve as carbon sinks or carbon sources. Viruses exist amidst all bacteria, usually in a 10-fold excess and include virophages which live in giant viruses and use their machinery to replicate and spread. Researchers have effectively doubled the number of known virophages. […]

  • Year-to-year volatility of penguin population requires new approaches to track marine health
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    A study using data on Adélie penguin populations over the last 35 years has found that only a small fraction of year-to-year changes in Adélie penguin populations can be attributed to measureable factors such as changes in sea ice. […]

  • Climate change predicted to reduce size, stature of dominant Midwest plant, study finds
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Researchers are involved in a study that found climate change may reduce the growth and stature of big bluestem -- a dominant prairie grass and a major forage grass for cattle. […]

  • Removing invasive plants can increase biodiversity in stream waters
    on October 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Restoration projects to remove invasive plants can make a positive impact on native plant species. But a new study shows restoration has an additional benefit. Removal of invasive species growing alongside a stream or river can also improve the biodiversity of aquatic organisms. […]

  • Forest grazing counteracts the effectiveness of trees to reduce flood risk
    on October 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Planting trees can reduce flood risk, but a high intensity forest land use, such as grazing, can counteract the positive effect of the trees, a recently published study suggests. The study investigated the rate that water infiltrated the soil under trees at an experimental agroforestry site in Scotland. […]

  • Salt marsh research warns of pumpkin-colored 'zombies'
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Salt marsh research shows that growing abundance of tiny shrimp infected by a microscopic parasite may portend future threats to humankind through disease. […]

  • Diversity of large animals plays an important role in carbon cycle
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    With abundant data on plants, large animals and their activity, and carbon soil levels in the Amazon, research suggests that large animal diversity influences carbon stocks and contributes to climate change mitigation. […]

  • Disease-carrying mosquitoes abound in deforested lands
    on October 9, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    UF scientists synthesized and examined data from prior studies that had looked at how many pathogen-carrying mosquito species made their homes in forested lands vs. non-forested lands in 12 countries worldwide, including the United States. […]

  • DNA barcoding technology helping monitor health of all-important boreal forest
    on October 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    The Boreal forest is essential to Canada and the world, storing carbon, purifying water and air and regulating climate. But keeping tabs on the health of this vulnerable biome has proven to be a painstaking and time-consuming undertaking - until now. Cutting-edge DNA metabarcoding technology can help speed up and improve the monitoring process, according to a new study. […]

  • Deer prefer native plants leaving lasting damage on forests
    on October 6, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    When rampant white-tailed deer graze in forests, they prefer to eat native plants over certain unpalatable invasive plants, such as garlic mustard and Japanese stiltgrass. These eating habits lower native plant diversity and abundance, while increasing the proportion of plant communities made up of non-native species, according to a new study. […]

  • Predicting insect feeding preferences after deforestation
    on October 6, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Understanding how parasitoids and hosts interact, and how their interactions change with human influence, is critically important to understanding ecosystems. New research finds mathematical models can predict complex insect behavioral changes using a simple description of insect preferences. […]

  • Meet Madagascar's oldest animal lineage, a whirligig beetle with 206-million-year-old origins
    on October 4, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    A new study suggests the Malagasy striped whirligig beetle Heterogyrus milloti boasts a genetic pedigree stretching back to the late Triassic period. […]

  • Win-win for spotted owls and forest management
    on October 4, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Remote sensing technology has detected what could be a win for both spotted owls and forestry management, according to a study. […]

  • In Iceland stream, possible glimpse of warming future
    on October 4, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    When a normally cold stream in Iceland was warmed, the make-up of life inside changed as larger organisms thrived while smaller ones struggled. The findings carry implications for life in a warming climate. […]

  • Albatross feces show diet of fishery discards
    on October 4, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    The first-ever analysis of fish DNA in albatross scat indicates a high level of interaction between seabirds and commercial fisheries. This non-invasive method could be used to assess whether fisheries are complying with discard policies. Extending the analysis to other marine predators could help monitor marine biodiversity and broader marine ecosystem changes. […]