Invasive Species

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

  • Dune ecosystem modelling
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Acacia longifolia, which is native to Australia, is a species which was cultivated in Portugal primarily to stabilize dunes and as an ornamental plant; now it has spread out uncontrollably in Portugal and into many ecosystems around the world. Using the acacia as an example, researchers show that the location has an effect on interaction with other species. […]

  • Australian origin likely for iconic New Zealand tree
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Ancestors of the iconic New Zealand Christmas Tree, Phutukawa, may have originated in Australia, new fossil research suggests. […]

  • Biologist develops new method to calculate populations of elusive species
    on June 22, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    An innovative new method of estimating the density of snake populations without employing the capture-mark-recapture technique has been created by a biologist. […]

  • Pollinator extinctions alter structure of ecological networks
    on June 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    The absence of a single dominant bumblebee species from an ecosystem disrupts foraging patterns among a broad range of remaining pollinators in the system -- from other bees to butterflies, beetles and more, field experiments show. […]

  • Small variations in breeding pools make for big differences in Yosemite toad use
    on June 20, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    The Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus) is a rare species found exclusively in California's Sierra Nevada. While its range encompasses hundreds of miles, spanning five national forests and two national parks, the livelihood and future survival of this federally threatened species may come down to mere centimeters. Pools within alpine meadows to be suitable habitat for laying eggs and sustaining tadpoles, little things mean a lot. […]

  • African plant extract offers new hope for Alzheimer's
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    A plant extract used for centuries in traditional medicine in Nigeria could form the basis of a new drug to treat Alzheimer's disease, researchers have found. […]

  • Birds of all feathers work together to hunt when army ants march
    on June 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    When army ants move out, a new study found that, instead of chasing each other away, birds work together to follow the column and hunt the insects that marching ants scare out of hiding. […]

  • Spineless creature studied in DC swamp
    on June 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Its name is Stygobromus hayi, the Hay's Spring amphipod. It is spineless. It lacks vision. It is an opportunistic feeder, consuming whatever resources are available -- perhaps including the remains of its own kind. That is where its similarities to some of Washington, D.C.'s more notorious megafauna end. Researchers report on a way to survey it without threatening its existence, as other studies had done. […]

  • 150-year records gap on Sulawesi ends with five new species in the world's largest tree genus
    on June 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Coming 150 years after the last description from Sulawesi, five new species from the world's largest genus of trees, Syzygium, highlight the extent of unexplored botanical diversity on the Indonesian island. […]

  • Distant fish relatives share looks
    on June 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Scientists have found evidence that even distantly related Australian fish species have evolved to look and act like each other, which confirms a central tenet of evolutionary theory. […]

  • Muscle fibers alone can't explain sex differences in bird song
    on June 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Male birds tend to be better singers than females -- but does the basis for this difference lie in the brain or in the syrinx, their equivalent of our larynx? The researchers behind a new study analyzed the muscle fibers in the syrinxes of male and female birds from a range of species and found, to their surprise, that the amount of 'superfast' muscle didn't explain differences in vocal ability between the sexes. […]

  • Fighting fire blight and detecting Salmonella
    on June 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Researchers have created an effective weapon against the plant disease fire blight and a new method for detection of Salmonella. Both are based on particular viruses that attack only one species of bacteria. […]

  • Floodplain farm fields benefit juvenile salmon
    on June 12, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Central Valley rice fields managed as floodplains during the winter can create surrogate wetland habitat for native fish, study shows. […]

  • Late-nesting birds, bees face habitat threat
    on June 12, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Bird and bumblebee species that nest late in the year are suffering more from the destruction of habitats, new research suggests. With habitats such as hedgerows and hay meadows in decline in many countries, fewer nest sites are available -- leading to more competition. […]

  • Worldwide hotspots for alien plants and animals: Islands and coastal regions
    on June 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    The distribution of established alien species in different regions of the world varies significantly. Until now, scientists were uncertain about where the global hotspots for established alien species are located. Most alien species can be found on islands and coastal regions. […]

  • Lianas stifle tree fruit and seed production in tropical forests
    on June 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Vines compete intensely with trees. Their numbers are on the rise in many tropical forests around the world. A new study shows that lianas prevent canopy trees from producing fruit, with potentially far-reaching consequences for rainforest animals. […]

  • World's oldest fossil mushroom found
    on June 7, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Roughly 115 million years ago, when the ancient supercontinent Gondwana was breaking apart, a mushroom fell into a river and began an improbable journey. Its ultimate fate as a mineralized fossil preserved in limestone in northeast Brazil makes it a scientific wonder, scientists report. […]

  • Reshaping Darwin's tree of life
    on June 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    In 1859, Charles Darwin included a novel tree of life in his trailblazing book on the theory of evolution, On the Origin of Species. Now, scientists want to reshape Darwin's tree. […]

  • How can you tell deep-sea octopuses apart? Check their warts
    on June 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Until now, there'd been no rigorous framework for telling apart two species of deep-sea octopuses -- they're both pink and warty. A new study, though, shows that the distribution of warts is an important means of telling the two species apart -- the octopuses from the Pacific are wartier than the ones from the Atlantic. That little piece of information could be a big help in ongoing deep-sea research. […]

  • Hiding in plain sight: New species of flying squirrel discovered
    on June 6, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    A new study describes a newly discovered third species of flying squirrel in North America -- now known as Humboldt's flying squirrel, or Glaucomys oregonensis. It inhabits the Pacific Coast region of North America, from southern British Columbia to the mountains of southern California. […]

  • Genetic study shakes up the elephant family tree
    on June 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago -- ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct -- is more closely related to today's African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant. Understanding elephant evolution is key to protecting present-day elephants from extinction, researchers say. […]

  • New way to detect Palmer amaranth in contaminated seedlots
    on June 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Some seed mixtures planted on Conservation Reserve Program acres have been contaminated with Palmer amaranth, an aggressive weed. Seed producers must choose between time-consuming or expensive options to certify that their products are free of Palmer amaranth. A new assay can quickly detect Palmer amaranth in mixed seed lots at a comparatively low cost. […]

  • Census shows which mammals survive in forests surrounded by sugarcane plantations
    on June 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    A census of medium and large mammals found in 22 forest remnants surrounded by sugarcane plantations in the state. They found approximately 90% of all the species of mammals expected for São Paulo State but in smaller forest fragments, the researchers recorded only 20 percent - 50 percent of the species expected to occur across the region. This means that up to 80 percent were locally extinct in some cases. […]

  • Forensic chemical analysis of wood could stop illegal logging
    on June 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    A new technique has been developed to tackle illegal logging by pinpointing the wood's origin to a smaller area than ever before ( […]

  • Papua New Guinea expedition discovers largest trees at extreme altitudes
    on June 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    The first field campaign surveying Papua New Guinea's lush primary forests from the coast to clouds has revealed the high mountain tops may house the largest trees recorded globally at such extreme altitudes. […]

  • Video shows invasive lionfish feasting on new Caribbean fish species
    on June 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Researchers have reported the first observed case of lionfish preying upon a fish species that had not yet been named. Their results may indicate an uncertain future for other fish found in the largely unexplored deep-ocean coral reefs. […]

  • Steep declines in Kauai's seabird populations, radar reveals
    on June 1, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    The island of Kauai is home to two endangered seabirds, the Hawaiian Petrel and the Newell's Shearwater. Monitoring these birds, which are nocturnal and nest in hard-to-access areas, is challenging, but observing the movements of birds via radar offers a solution. A new study takes a fresh look at two decades of radar data -- and comes to worrying conclusions about the status of both species. […]

  • Decoded genome may help Mojave Desert tortoise win race to survive
    on May 31, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Researchers may have a new tool to help conserve the Mojave Desert tortoise -- an iconic desert reptile in the Southwestern US For the first time, they have decoded the animal's genome and expect their findings to help direct conservation efforts in the future. This tortoise species is currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and is facing serious threats to its survival. […]

  • We're on the brink of mass extinction -- but there's still time to pull back
    on May 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Imagine being a scuba diver and leaving your air tank behind you on a dive. That's essentially what humans are doing as we expand our footprint on the planet without paying adequate attention to impacts on other living things, according to researchers. Both ominous and hopeful, a new report paints a picture of the value of biodiversity, the threats it faces and the window of opportunity we have to save species before it's too late. […]

  • New details on nest preferences of declining sparrow
    on May 31, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Theory says that birds should choose nest sites that minimize their risk of predation, but studies often fail to show a connection between nest site selection and nest survival. Understanding these relationships can be key for managing declining species, and a new study. […]