Invasive Species

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

  • Climate change and habitat conversion combine to homogenize nature
    on August 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Climate change and habitat conversion to agriculture are working together to homogenize nature. In other words, the more things change, the more they are the same. […]

  • In search of Edwards' pheasant: Amost extinct?
    on August 17, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Scientists say we need to improve our information about little-known species to reduce the risk of one going extinct just because no-one is interested in looking for it. […]

  • Antillean manatee count informs policy recommendations
    on August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Scientists use sonar to estimate Antillean Manatee populations in the murky waters of Panama's internationally protected San San Pond Sak wetlands. […]

  • Changing tides: Lake Michigan could best support lake trout and steelhead
    on August 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Invasive mussels and less nutrients from tributaries have altered the Lake Michigan ecosystem, making it more conducive to the stocking of lake trout and steelhead than Chinook salmon, according to a recent US Geological Survey and Michigan State University study. […]

  • New plant discovered in Shetland
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Scientists have discovered a new type of plant growing in Shetland -- with its evolution only having occurred in the last 200 years. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Can previous exposure to West Nile alter the course of Zika?
    on August 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone now? […]

  • Seven complete specimens of new flower, all 100 million years old
    on August 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    A Triceratops or Tyrannosaurus rex bulling its way through a pine forest likely dislodged flowers that 100 million years later have been identified in their fossilized form as a new species of tree. […]

  • Chemical profile of ants adapts rapidly
    on August 11, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Biologists recently established that ants can adapt their hydrocarbon profile quickly during the course of evolution and rapidly adapt to external selection pressures. […]

  • The only way is up: Trees help reptiles thrive
    on August 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    If graziers leave trees in place on their land, all types of reptiles will benefit, investigators suggest in a new report. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Extinction mystery solved? Evidence suggests humans played a role in monkey's demise in Jamaica
    on August 9, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Radiocarbon dating of a fossilized leg bone from a Jamaican monkey called Xenothrix mcgregori suggests it may be the one of the most recent primate species anywhere in the world to become extinct, and it may solve a long-standing mystery about the cause of its demise. The short answer: human settlement of its island home. […]

  • Novel poxvirus threatens juvenile squirrels
    on August 9, 2017 at 11:40 am

    A previously unknown poxvirus causes severe disease in European red squirrels from Germany. Molecular genetic investigations revealed a new virus species in the family of Poxviridae. […]

  • Asian hornet to colonize UK within 2 decades without action
    on August 8, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    The yellow legged or Asian hornet -- a voracious predator of honey bees and other beneficial insects -- could rapidly colonize the UK unless its spread is combated, according to new research. […]

  • Drought-affected trees die from hydraulic failure and carbon starvation
    on August 7, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Drought-caused tree deaths are produced by a combination of hydraulic failure and carbon starvation, shows new research. The finding, based on a meta-analysis by 62 scientists from across the world, will improve predictive models of how trees die in response to heat, drought, and other climate stresses. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Mangroves vital for environmental decontamination
    on August 3, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Mangrove trees, particularly their leaf litter, filter copper out of soil and water in Indonesia. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Cockroach gardeners: Spreading plant seeds across the forest floor
    on August 3, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Researchers have discovered that cockroaches can disperse seeds like birds and mammals. A variety of seed dispersing animals had been identified, including birds, monkeys, ants, and even slugs, but no cockroaches. This unexpected discovery was made during a study of the seed dispersal mechanism of Monotropastrum humile, a small herb that thrives in the same temperate forests of Japan that the Blattella nipponica cockroach inhabits. […]

  • Tree-of-heaven's prolific seed production adds to its invasive potential
    on August 2, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Tree-of-heaven -- or Ailanthus -- is an invasive triple threat, according to a team of plant pathologists. The species produces seeds early in its lifespan, tends to make millions of viable seeds during its life, and continues to produce seeds for decades and, in some cases, for more than a century. […]

  • Financial incentives could conserve tropical forest diversity
    on August 2, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    The past few decades have seen the rise of global incentive programs offering payments to landowners to help reduce tropical deforestation. In what might be a first of its kind study, researchers have integrated forest imaging with field-level inventories and landowner surveys to assess the impact of conservation payments in Ecuador's Amazon Basin forests. They found that conservation payment programs are making a difference in the diversity of tree species in protected spaces. […]

  • 'Invasive' species have been around much longer than believed
    on July 31, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    The pollen record of a plant that is currently being eradicated extends much further back than the 100 years it is believed to be growing in the Lesotho Highlands, a new study concludes. The research confirms that a shrub believed to be an invasive in the eastern Lesotho Highlands has been growing in the region for over 4,000 years. […]

  • The new yellow sea snake assumes an unusual ambush posture
    on July 31, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Carrying its petite frame and all-yellow skin, the recently scrutinized sea snake populations from Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, already seem different enough to be characterized as a new subspecies. However, their most extraordinary trait is only exposed at night when the serpents go hunting for small fish as they hang upside down just below the water surface assuming a peculiar sinusoidal ambush posture. […]

  • 'Omnipresent' effects of human impact on England's landscape revealed
    on July 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    The Anthropocene has transformed England, outline researchers in a new report. The Anthropocene -- the concept that humans have so transformed geological processes at Earth's surface that we are living in a new epoch -- was formulated by Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen in 2000. […]

  • Can Florida mosquitoes transmit new strains of painful chikungunya virus?
    on July 28, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Researchers used a baseline comparison of infection and transmission rates of Florida mosquitoes to those from the Dominican Republic, a region associated with numerous human cases. Experts measured mosquito infection and transmission of the emergent strains of chikungunya -- Asian and Indian Ocean – in Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. […]

  • New bird that humans drove to extinction discovered in Azores
    on July 26, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Inside the crater of a volcano on Graciosa Island in the Azores archipelago, in the Atlantic Ocean, an international team of researchers has discovered the bones of a new extinct species of songbird, a bullfinch which they have named Pyrrhula crassa. The remains were found in a small cavity through which time ago the lava flowed. This bird disappeared a few hundreds of years ago due to human colonization of the islands and the introduction of invasive species. […]

  • 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. […]