Nature News -- ScienceDaily Nature. Read the latest scientific research on the natural world, ecology and climate change.

  • Planet's smallest microbes examined at nation's largest aquarium
    on April 24, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Biologists have advanced a new scientific frontier -- study of the aquarium microbiome -- to better understand the millions of marine microorganisms living in the water and what role they play in keeping the ecosystem healthy. […]

  • Land use and pollution shift female-to-male ratios in snapping turtles
    on April 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Current research shows that increasing global temperatures as a result of climate change are expected to produce more female turtles since their offspring are influenced by the nest's temperature. But now, a team of biologists has found that the nesting environment of turtles in agricultural habitats, which can ultimately lower nesting temperatures, can actually produce more males. […]

  • Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence genomes of 1.5 million species
    on April 23, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Scientists is proposing a massive project to sequence, catalog and analyze the genomes of all eukaryotic species on the planet, an undertaking the researchers say will take 10 years, cost $4.7 billion and require more than 200 petabytes of digital storage capacity. Eukaryotes include all organisms except bacteria and archaea. There are an estimated 10-15 million eukaryotic species on Earth. […]

  • Light at end of the tunnel for world's wildlife and wild places
    on April 23, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    A new article finds that the enormous trends toward population stabilization, poverty alleviation, and urbanization are rewriting the future of biodiversity conservation in the 21st century, offering new hope for the world's wildlife and wild places. […]

  • Hungry birds as climate change drives food 'mismatch'
    on April 23, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Warmer springs create a 'mismatch' where hungry chicks hatch too late to feast on abundant caterpillars, new research shows. […]

  • 'Environmental DNA' used to identify killer whales in Puget Sound
    on April 23, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    When endangered killer whales swim through the sheltered waters of Puget Sound, they leave behind traces of 'environmental DNA' that researchers can detect as much as two hours later has found. […]

  • Trichomonosis discovered amongst myna birds in Pakistan
    on April 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    A strain of the disease responsible for killing nearly two thirds of the UK's greenfinch population has spread to myna birds in Pakistan. In 2011, the disease was discovered to have reached European finch populations. Now it has been found in an entirely separate songbird species -- the common myna, native to India and one of the world's most invasive species. Although it is not generally fatal to them, they may pass it on to other species. […]

  • Trees with grassy areas soften summer heat
    on April 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Trees cool their environment and 'heat islands' benefit from it. However, the degree of cooling depends greatly on the tree species and the local conditions. In a recent study, scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) compared two species of urban trees. […]

  • Tiny microenvironments in the ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cycle
    on April 20, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    A new study shows that nitrogen-feeding organisms exist all over the deep ocean, and not just in large oxygen-depleted 'dead zones,' changing the way we think about the delicate nitrogen cycle. […]

  • Grassland plants react unexpectedly to high levels of carbon dioxide
    on April 20, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Plants are responding in unexpected ways to increased carbon dioxide in the air, according to a 20-year study. […]

  • Trees are not as 'sound asleep' as you may think
    on April 20, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    High-precision three-dimensional surveying of 21 different species of trees has revealed a yet unknown cycle of subtle canopy movement during the night. The 'sleep cycles' differed from one species to another. Detection of anomalies in overnight movement could become a future diagnostic tool to reveal stress or disease in crops. […]

  • Unprecedented wave of large-mammal extinctions linked to prehistoric humans
    on April 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and other recent human relatives may have begun hunting large mammal species down to size -- by way of extinction -- at least 90,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study. The magnitude and scale of the extinction wave surpassed any other recorded during the last 66 million years, according to the study. […]

  • Great Barrier Reef coral predicted to last at least 100 years before extinction from climate change
    on April 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    A common Great Barrier Reef coral species has enough genetic diversity to survive at least 100 years before succumbing to global warming, researchers predict. […]

  • Using the right plants can reduce indoor pollution and save energy
    on April 19, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    A plant physiologist concludes that a better knowledge of plant physiology, along with integration of smart-sensor-controlled air cleaning technologies, could improve indoor air quality in a cost-effective and sustainable way. […]

  • Small changes in rainforests cause big damage to fish ecosystems
    on April 19, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Using lasers, researchers have connected, arranged and merged artificial cells, paving the way for networks of artificial cells acting as tissues. […]

  • 'Rip Van Winkle' plants hide underground for up to 20 years
    on April 19, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Scores of plant species are capable of living dormant under the soil for up to 20 years, enabling them to survive through difficult times, a new study has found. […]

  • Better species mapping can improve conservation efforts
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    The scientific models that ecologists and conservation biologists rely on to determine which species and habitats to protect lack critical information to help them make effective decisions, according to a new study. […]

  • Global warming is transforming the Great Barrier Reef
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    A new study shows that corals on the northern Great Barrier Reef experienced a catastrophic die-off following the extended marine heatwave of 2016. […]

  • Solving a pollinator puzzle
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Welsh scientists piecing together the giant jigsaw puzzle of plant pollination are a step closer to knowing how it all fits thanks to a new article. […]

  • Coal mining reduces abundance, richness of aquatic life
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Coal mining, under current US regulations, has significantly reduced the abundance and variety of fish, invertebrates, salamanders, and other aquatic life in streams, according to a new study. […]

  • How well does the greater sage grouse habitat protects other species?
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Protected areas for sage grouse don't necessarily serve the needs of other species that depend on sagebrush habitat, showing that the bird might not be as much of an umbrella species as had been assumed. […]

  • Evolution: Urban life leaves behind traces in the genome of bumblebees
    on April 18, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Bumblebees living in the city have genes that differ from their relatives in the countryside. Although genetic differences are minor, they may influence how well the insects adapt to their habitat. These differences in genetic makeup are an indication that urban life does impact the evolutionary trajectory of a species, write researchers. […]

  • Competition between males improves resilience against climate change
    on April 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Animal species with males who compete intensively for mates might be more resilient to the effects of climate change, according to new research. […]

  • How to improve habitat conservation for migrating cranes
    on April 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Every year, endangered whooping cranes travel along a 4,000-kilometer corridor linking their Canadian nesting grounds and their winter home in Texas. Habitat in their path through the northern Great Plains is being lost at an alarming rate, but identifying key spots for protection is a challenge. Now, researchers behind a new study have created a model of whooping crane habitat use with the potential to greatly improve the targeting of conservation efforts during their migration. […]

  • Marine fish won an evolutionary lottery 66 million years ago
    on April 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Why do the Earth's oceans contain such a staggering diversity of fish of so many different sizes, shapes, colors and ecologies? The answer, biologists report, dates back 66 million years ago, when a six-mile-wide asteroid crashed to Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and approximately 75 percent of animal and plant species worldwide. […]

  • Studying oxygen, scientists discover clues to recovery from mass extinction
    on April 17, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    A research team is helping to understand why the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event happened and why it took life so long to recover. […]

  • The microbiome of a native plant is much more resilient than expected
    on April 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    The microbiome, which consists of all microorganisms that live on or in plants, animals and also humans, is important for the health and development of these organisms. Scientists investigated how a plant responds to manipulations of its microbial associations. The results indicate that the enormous bacterial diversity residing in natural soils may account for the stability of the plant-microbiome relationship. […]

  • Warming climate could speed forest regrowth in eastern US
    on April 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Warming climate could speed the natural regrowth of forests on undeveloped or abandoned land in the eastern United States, according to a new study. Previous research has shown that the succession from field to forest can happen decades sooner in the southeastern US than in the Northeast. But it wasn't obvious why. A new study points to temperature as the major factor influencing the pace of reforestation. […]

  • Logging in tropical forests jeopardizing drinking water
    on April 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Researchers have found that increasing land clearing for logging in Solomon Islands -- even with best management strategies in place -- will lead to unsustainable levels of soil erosion and significant impacts to downstream water quality. […]

  • We think we're the first advanced earthlings -- but how do we really know?
    on April 16, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Imagine if, many millions of years ago, dinosaurs drove cars through cities of mile-high buildings. A preposterous idea, right? In a compelling thought experiment, scientists wonder how we would truly know if there were a past civilization so advanced that it left little or no trace of its impact on the planet. […]