Invasive Species

Exotic Species News -- ScienceDaily Learn how invasive species threaten ecosystems. Read current research on biodiversity loss due to introduced species and more.

  • When every fish counts: Genetic tools can ensure accuracy of identification of endangered fish
    on February 22, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Genetic analysis showed about one-third of endangered delta smelt were misidentified in surveys of the Yolo Bypass. Their study found that genetic tools can be a powerful complement to visual identification of endangered fish. […]

  • Drier conditions could doom Rocky Mountain spruce and fir trees
    on February 22, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Drier summers and a decline in average snowpack over the past 40 years have severely hampered the establishment of two foundational tree species in subalpine regions of Colorado's Front Range, suggesting that climate warming is already taking a toll on forest health in some areas of the southern Rocky Mountains. […]

  • Climate warming causes local extinction of Rocky Mountain wildflower species
    on February 21, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    New research has established a causal link between climate warming and the localized extinction of a common Rocky Mountain flowering plant, a result that could serve as a herald of future population declines. […]

  • Scientists create 'Evolutionwatch' for plants
    on February 21, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Using a hitchhiking weed, scientists reveal for the first time the mutation rate of a plant growing in the wild. […]

  • Tropical trees use unique method to resist drought
    on February 21, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Tropical trees in the Amazon Rainforest may be more drought resistant than previously thought, according to a new study. That's good news, since the Amazon stores about 20 percent of all carbon in the Earth's biomass, which helps reduce global warming by lowering the planet's greenhouse gas levels. […]

  • Theory suggests root efficiency, independence drove global spread of flora
    on February 21, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Researchers suggest that plants spread worldwide thanks to root adaptations that allowed them to become more efficient and independent. As plant species spread, roots became thinner so they could more efficiently explore poor soils for nutrients, and they shed their reliance on symbiotic fungi. The researchers report that root diameter and reliance on fungi most consistently characterize the plant communities across entire biomes such as deserts, savannas and temperate forests. […]

  • Are flamingos returning to Florida?
    on February 21, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Flamingos are a Florida cultural icon, and sightings in the state have been on the rise in recent decades. However, whether they're truly native to the US or only arrive via escape from captivity has long been subject to debate, making developing a plan for managing Florida's flamingo population challenging. A new study reviews the evidence and provides a fresh argument that the birds should be considered part of the Sunshine State's native fauna. […]

  • Beluga whales dive deeper, longer to find food in Arctic
    on February 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Beluga whales that spend summers feeding in the Arctic are diving deeper and longer to find food than in earlier years, when sea ice covered more of the ocean for longer periods, according to a new analysis. […]

  • Grey squirrels beat reds in 'battle of wits'
    on February 20, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Problem-solving powers may help to explain why grey squirrels have taken over from native red squirrels in the United Kingdom, according to new research. […]

  • Study of mollusk epidemic could help save endangered sea snail
    on February 20, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Overfishing and environmental change have pushed abalone species on the US west coast to the edge of extinction. Now a fatal disease threatens their recovery. But new research shows that some abalone species may be less susceptible to the disease than others, providing initial data that could help map where abalone could survive and thrive despite the disease. […]

  • Texas' first federally endangered mussel species
    on February 16, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Scientists are working to understand the ecology and taxonomy of Texas' first federally endangered mussel species. […]

  • Birds and beans: Study shows best coffee for bird diversity
    on February 16, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    It's an age-old debate for coffee lovers. Which is better: Arabica beans with their sweeter, softer taste, or the bold, deep flavor of Robusta beans? A new study has taken the question to unlikely coffee aficionados: birds. […]

  • Hunting is changing forests, but not as expected
    on February 15, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    In many tropical forests, over-hunting is diminishing the populations of animals who are vital for dispersing the seeds of woody plants. Those same plants are vital for carbon storage and previous theoretical modeling studies predicted dire consequences to defaunation, this research suggests otherwise. Instead the data shows the effects on the ecosystem are less straightforward and less immediately devastating. […]

  • For tropical forest birds, old neighborhoods matter
    on February 15, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Old, complex tropical forests support a wider diversity of birds than second-growth forests and have irreplaceable value for conservation, according to an exhaustive analysis of bird diversity in the mountains of southern Costa Rica. […]

  • Fracking tied to reduced songbird nesting success
    on February 14, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    The central Appalachian region is experiencing the country's most rapid growth in shale gas development, or 'fracking,' but we've known almost nothing about how this is affecting the region's songbird populations -- until now. A new study demonstrates that the nesting success of the Louisiana waterthrush -- a habitat specialist that nests along forested streams, where the potential for habitat degradation is high -- is declining at sites impacted by shale gas development in northwestern West Virginia. […]

  • Building a DNA barcode library for the Canadian flora using herbarium collections
    on February 13, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Researchers have built a DNA barcode library for the vascular plant flora of Canada based entirely on herbarium collections. DNA barcode libraries are important to facilitate plant identification for a variety of studies including analysis and regulation of supplements, food, and environmental or ancient DNA. The scale of the study surpasses previous library-building efforts, providing barcodes for 98 percent of Canada's vascular plant species (5,076 of 5,190). […]

  • Longer-lived animals have longer-lived proteins
    on February 13, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Researchers studying half-lives of evolutionarily related proteins in different species uncovered a link between species lifespan and protein lifespan. […]

  • Ocean winds influence seal pup migration
    on February 13, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Scientists have confirmed what native Alaskans have observed for centuries -- maritime winds influence the travel patterns of northern fur seal pups. New research shows strong winds can potentially displace seal pups by hundreds of kilometers during their first winter migration. […]

  • Tasmanian devil populations continue to decline
    on February 12, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Ongoing monitoring of wild Tasmanian devils shows that overall population numbers are continuing to decline, due to the presence of devil facial tumor disease. […]

  • Deep-sea fish use hydrothermal vents to incubate eggs
    on February 12, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    An international team of researchers have discovered egg cases of deep-sea fish near hydrothermal vents. The team believes that deep-sea skates, a relative of sharks and rays, use the warm water near the vents to accelerate the typically years-long incubation time of their eggs. […]

  • Alien honeybees could cause plant extinction
    on February 8, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    New research indicates that introduced 'alien' honeybees are competing for resources with native bees and threatening the survival of plants that rely on interactions with specific pollinators. […]

  • Nursery stock, homeowner preferences drive tree diversity in Salt Lake Valley
    on February 8, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    What factors shape the formation of a new urban forest? Researchers' survey of tree species diversity in the Salt Lake Valley found that diversity can be shaped by the species available in nurseries, the preferences of the homeowners, and even the tree selections of their neighbors. […]

  • First report in decades of a forgotten crop pathogen calls for critical close monitoring
    on February 8, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Scientists, breeders, farmers and conservation groups must continue to work in close collaboration to prepare for the potential re-emergence of a forgotten crop pathogen, a new study advises today. […]

  • Double trouble: Invasive insect species overlooked as a result of a shared name
    on February 8, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    An invasive leaf-mining moth, feeding on cornelian cherry, has been gradually expanding into northern Europe under the cover of a taxonomic confusion for a period likely longer than 60 years. It has been sharing a name with another species. For the first time, a recent article properly distinguishes between the two insects and tries to reconstruct the invasion of the 'true' moth behind the name of Antispila treitschkiella. […]

  • Sick bees eat healthier
    on February 7, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Scientists have shown that sick bees try to look after themselves by eating healthy food. […]

  • New light shed on antibiotics produced by ants
    on February 7, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Ants, like humans, deal with disease. To deal with the bacteria that cause some of these diseases, some ants produce their own antibiotics. A new comparative study identified some ant species that make use of powerful antimicrobial agents -- but found that 40 percent of ant species tested didn't appear to produce antibiotics. The study has applications regarding the search for new antibiotics that can be used in humans. […]

  • Emerald ash borer: How cities and towns can prepare for invasion
    on February 6, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    In Pennsylvania, where emerald ash borer has been present since 2007, municipalities have found successful ash-management plans under guidance of the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and they offer a model for other regions to follow. A new guide outlines a set of four options for communities to choose from as they plan for the impact of the emerald ash borer. […]

  • Venus flytraps don't eat the insects that pollinate them
    on February 6, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    While most people are familiar with Venus flytraps and their snapping jaws, there is still a lot that scientists don't know about the biology of these carnivorous plants. Researchers have for the first time discovered which insects pollinate the rare plants in their native habitat -- and discovered that the flytraps don't dine on these pollinator species. […]

  • Duck faeces shed light on plant seed dispersal
    on February 6, 2018 at 3:34 am

    Mallards are among the most abundant and widespread duck species in the world, yet little attention has been paid to date to their role in spreading plant seeds. A new study in the Journal of Ecology reveals a number of plants that were not previously known to be part of the diet of waterbirds. […]

  • New alien species invasions still rising globally
    on February 5, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Up to 16 percent of all species on Earth could qualify as potential alien species and if they invade new regions, impacts will be difficult to predict. […]