Invasive Species

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

  • Logged tropical rainforests still support biodiversity even when the heat is on
    on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Tropical rainforests continue to buffer wildlife from extreme temperatures even after logging, a new study has revealed. […]

  • Rare tree species safeguard biodiversity in a changing climate
    on October 18, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Rare species of trees in rainforests may help safeguard biodiversity levels as the environment undergoes change, research shows. […]

  • Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report
    on October 18, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say. […]

  • Amazonian hunters deplete wildlife but don't empty forests
    on October 17, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Conservationists can be 'cautiously optimistic' about the prospect of sustainable subsistence hunting by Amazonian communities, according to new research. The research team spent over a year working with 60 Amazonian communities and hiked for miles through trackless forests to deploy nearly 400 motion-activated camera traps -- in a bid to understand which species are depleted by hunting and where. […]

  • Tropical beetles face extinction threat
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Climate change is putting many tropical high altitude beetles at risk of extinction, warn an international team of scientists. […]

  • 'Hiding in plain sight:' Discovery raises questions over scale of overlooked biodiversity
    on October 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Scientists have used cutting edge DNA technology to demonstrate that one of Europe's top freshwater predators is actually two species rather than one. […]

  • Invasive ladybird species threatens other ladybirds in England
    on October 16, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    The harlequin ladybird was widely introduced across continental Europe to limit the population of pest insects. […]

  • When lemons give you life: Herpetofauna adaptation to citrus orchards in Belize
    on October 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Reptile and amphibian communities exhibit a promising level of resilience to agricultural lands. In a new study, herpetologists compared forested areas to manicured citrus orchards and reclaimed orchard forests in Belize. Further intriguing discoveries were made when the Category 1 Hurricane Earl hit the study site. […]

  • Tropical tree roots represent an underappreciated carbon pool
    on October 12, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Estimates of the carbon stored by tropical forests rarely take tree roots into consideration. Scientists report that almost 30 percent of the total biomass of tropical trees may be in the roots. […]

  • Luring hornets: Scientists unlock sex pheromone of notorious honey bee predator
    on October 12, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Biologists have developed a solution for controlling the invasive Asian hornet Vespa velutina based on the insect's natural chemical mating instincts. They deciphered the sex pheromone of the insect and devised a method of luring males into traps baited with synthesized versions of the pheromones. Vespa velutina has recently spread its presence with invasions in Europe and Korea, posing risks to honey bees, humans and related economics. […]

  • An evolving sticky situation
    on October 12, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    While many animals try to avoid sticky situations, lizards evolved to seek them out. An evolutionary biologist shows how different groups of lizards -- geckos and anoles -- took two completely different evolutionary paths to developing the beneficial trait of sticky toe pads. […]

  • New way to prevent genetically engineered and unaltered organisms from producing offspring
    on October 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    A major obstacle to applying genetic engineering to benefit humans and the environment is the risk that organisms whose genes have been altered might produce offspring with their natural counterparts, releasing the novel genes into the wild. Now, researchers have developed a promising way to prevent such interbreeding. The approach, called 'synthetic incompatibility,' effectively makes engineered organisms a separate species unable to produce viable offspring with their wild or domesticated relatives. […]

  • Bycatch responsible for decline of endangered New Zealand sea lion
    on October 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Getting caught in fishing nets is a major cause of death for the increasingly endangered New Zealand sea lion, according to new research. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Indigenous Nations' environmental stewardship in tackling invasive species
    on October 8, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    As invasive species are threatening ecological habitats throughout the US and Canada, the role of Indigenous nations as environmental stewards has often been overlooked, according to a new study. The findings provide examples of the many ways Indigenous nations are adapting to invasive species, documenting their impact and implementing active response strategies based on an online survey of over 140 Indigenous respondents. […]

  • US Olympians at 2016 Rio Games were infected with West Nile virus, not Zika
    on October 7, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    US Olympic and Paralympic athletes and staff who traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Summer Games did not become infected with Zika virus but did test positive for other tropical, mosquito-borne viral infections, including West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever and Chikungunya. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Key plant species may be important for supporting wildflower pollinators
    on October 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Increased agricultural production has likely led to loss, fragmentation, and degradation of flower-rich habitats for pollinators. To counteract these negative effects of modern agricultural practices, efforts to maintain and restore diverse plants in agricultural landscapes -- called agri-environmental schemes -- have been implemented in numerous European countries. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Burmese python’s hungry escapades may have consequences for human health
    on October 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    As the large, invasive Burmese python eats its way through south Florida's mammals, the mosquitoes in the area have fewer types of animals to bite. Now, more mosquitoes are drawing blood from a rat that carries a virus dangerous to humans. […]

  • Durian industry could suffer without the endangered fruit bat
    on October 3, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Scientists have discovered that Southeast Asia's endangered fruit bats -- commonly known as flying foxes -- play an important part in the pollination of the iconic and economically important durian tree. […]

  • Prioritized list of invasive alien species threatening the UK's environment
    on October 3, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    More species urgently need to be considered for inclusion on the EU’s ‘List of Invasive Alien Species of Union Concern’, stresses a new study. […]

  • Strips of prairie plants slow loss of soil, nutrients and water from ag fields, double biodiversity
    on October 2, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Prairie strips integrated in rowcrops reduce soil and nutrient loss from steep ground, provide habitat for wildlife, and improve water infiltration, a decade of research is demonstrating. […]

  • Tropical diversity takes root in relationships between fungi and seeds
    on October 2, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Scientists in Panama exposed a key to understanding tropical tree diversity by studying how fungi interact with seeds that linger in the ground. Despite a smorgasbord of species available to choose from, tropical fungi and seeds are picky about associating with one another. Early pairings with a particular fungus may influence whether a seed survives and also may help explain how tropical forests remain so diverse. […]