Nature

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

  • 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. […]

  • Life goes on for marine ecosystems after cataclysmic mass extinction
    on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    One of the largest global mass extinctions did not fundamentally change marine ecosystems, scientists have found. […]

  • Maintaining fish biomass the key to conserving reef fish biodiversity
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    A new study has found that conserving fish diversity in Madagascar's coral reef systems may depend on maintaining fish biomass above critical levels. […]

  • Declining baby songbirds need forests to survive drought
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    A new study aimed to identify characteristics that promote healthy wood thrush populations on US Department of Defense land. […]

  • Salmon sex linked to geological change
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    It turns out that sex can move mountains. Researchers have found that the mating habits of salmon can alter the profile of stream beds, affecting the evolution of an entire watershed. The study is one of the first to quantitatively show that salmon can influence the shape of the land. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network
    on October 18, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Coevolution, which occurs when species interact and adapt to each other, is often studied in the context of pair-wise interactions between mutually beneficial symbiotic partners. But many species have mutualistic interactions with multiple partners, leading to complex networks of interacting species. […]

  • Hardy corals make their moves to build new reefs from scratch
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Resilient species of coral can move to inhospitable areas and lay the foundations for new reefs, a study shows. […]

  • Space greens beat the blues
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Where people will go in the cosmos, plants will go, say researchers. Plants may also play a key role in maintaining the psychological well-being of space crews. The next frontier of space plant experimentation is to examine the psychological impact of plant life on astronauts. […]

  • New Amazon threat? Deforestation from mining
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Sprawling mining operations in Brazil have caused roughly 10 percent of all Amazon rainforest deforestation between 2005 and 2015 -- much higher than previous estimates -- says the first comprehensive study of mining deforestation in the iconic tropical rainforest. Surprisingly, the majority of mining deforestation (a full 90%) occurred outside the mining leases granted by Brazil's government, the new study finds. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Dinosaur dung fertilizes planet, new research shows
    on October 16, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Dinosaurs were, and large animals are, important not for the quantity of dung they produce, but for their ability to move long distances across landscapes, effectively mixing the nutrients, outline researchers in a new report. […]

  • Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies
    on October 16, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects -- much like human societies. A major new study has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Fanged kangaroo research could shed light on extinction
    on October 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Fanged kangaroos -- an extinct family of small fanged Australian kangaroos -- might have survived at least five million years longer than previously thought. A new study has found the species might have competed for resources with ancestors of modern kangaroos. […]

  • Giant sea bass worth more alive as undersea wonders than as commercial catch
    on October 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    An investigation of the different economic values of giant sea bass finds they are worth more alive as undersea wonders than as commercial catch. […]

  • Baltic clams, worms release as much greenhouse gas as 20,000 dairy cows
    on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Ocean clams and worms are releasing a significant amount of potentially harmful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, scientists have shown. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Herbivores help protect ecosystems from climate change
    on October 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Plant-eating critters are the key ingredient to helping ecosystems survive global warming, finds new research that offers some hope for a defense strategy against climate change. […]

  • New conservation method empowers indigenous peoples
    on October 11, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Environmental social scientists worked with indigenous people in the rural Peruvian Amazon and determined that local people meet their basic needs through diverse subsistence activities, such as hunting, fishing, and farming, and over centuries they have developed sophisticated natural resource management systems that protect the robust rainforest ecosystem. Through the study, the scientists hope to overturn traditional notions about development and industrialization. […]

  • Year-to-year volatility of penguin population requires new approaches to track marine health
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    A study using data on Adélie penguin populations over the last 35 years has found that only a small fraction of year-to-year changes in Adélie penguin populations can be attributed to measureable factors such as changes in sea ice. […]

  • Climate change predicted to reduce size, stature of dominant Midwest plant, study finds
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Researchers are involved in a study that found climate change may reduce the growth and stature of big bluestem -- a dominant prairie grass and a major forage grass for cattle. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Mass extinctions led to low species diversity, dinosaur rule
    on October 10, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Two of Earth's five mass extinction events -- times when more than half of the world's species died -- resulted in the survival of a low number of so-called 'weedy' species that spread their sameness across the world as the Earth recovered from these dramatic upheavals. The findings could shed light on modern high extinction rates and how biological communities may change in the future. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Diversity of large animals plays an important role in carbon cycle
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    With abundant data on plants, large animals and their activity, and carbon soil levels in the Amazon, research suggests that large animal diversity influences carbon stocks and contributes to climate change mitigation. […]

  • What soot-covered, hundred-year-old birds can tell us about saving the environment
    on October 9, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Birds in museum collections from Rust Belt cities around the turn of the century are covered with black soot from air pollution at the time. Scientists have compared the amount of soot on birds through the years to track envioronmental pollution over the last 135 years. […]