Invasive Species

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

  • 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. […]

  • How honey bee gut bacteria help to digest their pollen-rich diet
    on December 12, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    The honey bee gut is colonized by specialized bacteria that help digest components of the floral pollen diet and produce molecules that likely promote bee health. Researchers have now uncovered which bacterial species perform which specific digestive functions in the bee gut. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Forest resilience declines in face of wildfires, climate change
    on December 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    The forests you see today are not what you will see in the future. That's the overarching finding from a new study on the resilience of Rocky Mountain forests. […]

  • Marine organisms can shred a plastic bag into 1.75 million pieces, study shows
    on December 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    A single plastic grocery bag could be shredded by marine organisms into 1.75 million microscopic fragments, according to new research. […]

  • It's all in the ears: Inner ears of extinct sea monsters mirror those of today's animals
    on December 7, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    A new study has revealed that an extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals. […]

  • One wet winter can shake up San Francisco Bay's invasive species
    on December 7, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    For many Californians, last year's wet winter triggered a case of whiplash. After five years of drought, rain from October 2016 to February 2017 broke more than a century of records. In San Francisco Bay, biologists discovered a hidden side effect: All that freshwater rain can turn the tables on some of the bay's invasive species. […]

  • Invasive 'supervillain' crab can eat through its gills
    on December 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Invasive green shore crabs can 'eat' by absorbing nutrients across its gills -- the first demonstration of this ability in crustaceans -- scientists have found. […]

  • 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. […]

  • New species discovered in Malaysian rainforest during unprecedented, top-to-bottom survey
    on December 6, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    This fall, the California Academy of Sciences partnered with The Habitat Penang Hill and colleagues to conduct a rainforest survey on Malaysia's island state of Penang. A 117-member team documented flora and fauna from the tops of trees to the dark reaches of caves and discovered several species previously unknown to science living just miles from a major metropolis. Survey results will contribute to this ancient rainforest's nomination as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. […]

  • Recently discovered fossil shows transition of a reptile from life on land to life in the sea
    on December 6, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Using modern research tools on a 155-million-year-old reptile fossil, scientists report they have filled in some important clues to the evolution of animals that once roamed land and transitioned to life in the water. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Tigers cling to survival in Sumatra's increasingly fragmented forests
    on December 5, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    A research expedition tracked endangered tigers through the Sumatran jungles for a year and found tigers are clinging to survival in low density populations. The study found that well-protected forests are disappearing and are increasingly fragmented: Of the habitat tigers rely on in Sumatra, 17 percent was deforested between 2000 to 2012 alone. Their findings have renewed fears about the possible extinction of the elusive predators. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Smaller branches pack the fastest, biggest fire-spreading punch
    on December 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    The diameter of the branches that are burning is the biggest single factor behind which ones will form embers the most quickly and how much fire-starting energy they'll pack, preliminary findings of a new study indicate. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Why are there no sea snakes in the Atlantic?
    on November 29, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    There is a glaring gap in sea snakes' near-global distribution: the Atlantic Ocean. Biologists chalk up the absence of sea snakes in the Atlantic to geography, climate and timing. […]

  • Invasive frogs give invasive birds a boost in Hawaii
    on November 29, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Puerto Rican coqui frogs were accidentally introduced to Hawaii in the 1980s, and today there are as many as 91,000 frogs per hectare in some locations. What does that mean for native wildlife? Concerns that ravenous coquis could reduce the food available for the islands' native insect-eating birds, many of which are already declining, spurred researchers to examine the relationship between frog and bird populations -- but their results weren't what they expected. […]

  • Long-term logging study demonstrates impacts on chimpanzees and gorillas (Republic of Congo)
    on November 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Research has shown human disturbance can have detrimental effects on great ape populations but now there is new evidence showing how selective logging impacts chimpanzees and gorilla populations differently. […]

  • EU trade ban brings down global trade in wild birds by 90 percent
    on November 22, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Trade of wild birds has dropped 90 percent globally since EU banned bird imports in 2005. A new study demonstrates how it decreased the number of birds traded annually from 1.3 million to 130,000. International trade of wild birds is a root cause of exotic birds spreading worldwide. […]

  • Ribbed mussels could help improve urban water quality
    on November 22, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Ribbed mussels can remove nitrogen and other excess nutrients from an urban estuary and could help improve water quality in other urban and coastal locations, according to a study in New York City's Bronx River. The findings are part of long-term efforts to improve water quality in the Bronx River Estuary. […]

  • Ocean acidification affects mussels at early life stages
    on November 22, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Mussels protect themselves against environmental disturbances and enemies through a hard, calcareous shell. Increased ocean acidification makes it difficult for organisms to form their shells. Scientists now show that mussel larvae react sensitively to ocean acidification, which leads to reduced calcification rates and shell dissolution. […]

  • Felling pines: Doing it sooner rather than later is better for fynbos
    on November 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Here's some advice for landowners wanting to remove pine trees in the hope of seeing fynbos plants on their properties again: do so before the trees have grown there for more than 30 years. The longer they wait, the less likely the chances that any fynbos seeds will be left in the soil to sprout successfully, according to researchers. […]

  • Common jellyfish is actually two species, scientists find
    on November 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Sea nettle jellyfish found in Rehoboth and Chesapeake Bay are actually two species, researchers have discovered. […]

  • Species may appear deceptively resilient to climate change
    on November 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Natural habitats play a vital role in helping other plants and animals resist heat stresses ramping up with climate change -- at least until the species they depend on to form those habitats become imperiled. […]

  • Tiger bones? Lion bones? An almost extinct cycad? On-the-spot DNA checks at ports of entry
    on November 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Wildlife species are going extinct faster than humankind can reliably keep track of. Meanwhile, wildlife crime evolves quickly, with new tricks fueling a lucrative illegal global trade. As a result, customs and other port-of-entry officials confronted with unidentifiable bits of animals and plants need to make rapid decisions based on reliable information. LifeScanner LAB-IN-A-BOX, a portable DNA barcoding lab can serve as a new tool for rapid on-site species identification, adding to law enforcement's arsenal. […]

  • eDNA tool detects invasive clams before they become a nuisance
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    When seeking a cure for a disease, early detection is often the key. The same is true for eliminating invasive species. Identifying their presence in a lake before they are abundant is vital. A recent study successfully used environmental DNA to detect invasive clams in California and Nevada lakes. Researchers believe this tool can help identify pests before they become a problem. […]