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  • Mathematician's study of 'swarmalators' could direct future science
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    How does the Japanese tree frog figure into the latest work of a noted mathematician? As it turns out, quite prominently. Researchers used the curious mating ritual of male Japanese tree frogs as inspiration for their exploration of 'swarmalators' -- their term for systems in which both synchronization and swarming occur together. […]

  • Asthma attacks reduced in tree-lined urban neighborhoods
    on November 17, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    People living in polluted urban areas are far less likely to be admitted to hospital with asthma when there are lots of trees in their neighborhood, a new study has found. […]

  • European forests might not be realizing their full potential
    on November 17, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    European forest managers can have their cake and eat it, because according to a new study maximizing timber production in a forest does not necessarily have to come at a cost of reduced species diversity or the capacity to regulate climate change by the same forest. However most European forests fall well below their possible maximum levels of these three capacities. […]

  • Are petite poplars the future of biofuels? Studies say yes
    on November 15, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Scientists are trying to make poplar a viable competitor in the biofuels market by testing the production of younger poplar trees that could be harvested more frequently — after only two or three years — instead of the usual 10- to 20-year cycle. […]

  • Pine and poplar wood improve sunlight-driven water purification
    on November 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Engineers have found that porous types of wood from trees like poplar and pine can greatly increase the efficiency of water-to-steam conversion under sunlight. The findings could be used in a simple and inexpensive biodegradable device for water purification. […]

  • Eating regular variety of nuts associated with lower risk of heart disease
    on November 14, 2017 at 12:51 am

    People who regularly eat nuts, including peanuts, walnuts and tree nuts, have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease compared to people who never or almost never eat nuts, according to a new study. The study is the largest to date looking at frequency of nut consumption in relation to incident cardiovascular disease. […]

  • Geologists uncover Antarctica’s fossil forests
    on November 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Prehistoric polar forests were built for survival, but were not hardy enough to live in ultra-high concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A geologist is studying the tree fossil record in Antarctica from a mass extinction 250 million years ago, looking for clues to how greenhouse gases affected plants -- then and now. […]

  • Poison-ivy an unlikely hero in warding off exotic invaders?
    on November 13, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    The invasive Japanese knotweed causes much more severe damage to floodplain forests along the Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania, USA, than previously thought. Furthermore, the researchers point to a key role for the often-maligned poison-ivy as a native species that can not only compete with knotweed but also help sustain the growth of new trees. […]

  • Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
    on November 13, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Trees in metropolitan areas have been growing faster than trees in rural areas worldwide since the 1960s. This has been confirmed for the first time by a study on the impact of the urban heat island effect on tree growth. The analysis shows that the growth of urban trees has already been exposed to changing climatic conditions for longer, which is just beginning to happen for trees in rural areas. […]

  • Mapping functional diversity of forests with remote sensing
    on November 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Productivity and stability of forest ecosystems strongly depend on the functional diversity of plant communities. Researchers have developed a new method to measure and map functional diversity of forests at different scales -- from individual trees to whole communities -- using remote sensing by aircraft. Their work paves the way for future airborne and satellite missions to monitor global plant functional diversity. […]

  • How to manage forest pests in the Anthropocene? Bring theory
    on November 13, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    A survivor's guide to why forests around the world are being impacted by invasive pests and what can be done about it in an era of overwhelming human activity and climate change. […]

  • It takes a microclimate to raise a pinyon tree
    on November 7, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    New research shows that the microclimate is an important factor in regional pinyon pine tree recovery after drought. […]

  • Périgord black truffle cultivated in the UK for the first time
    on November 6, 2017 at 12:30 am

    The Mediterranean black truffle, one of the world's most expensive ingredients, has been successfully cultivated in the UK, as climate change threatens its native habitat. […]

  • What do piranhas and goldfish have in common?
    on November 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Researchers including some of the biggest names in ichthyology from universities and museums across the US and Mexico used highly conserved regions of animal genomes, called ultraconserved elements (UCEs), to compile one of the most data-rich phylogenies of fishes to date. Here's what they found. […]

  • Native trees, shrubs provide more food for birds
    on October 31, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Plant native trees and shrubs in your yard, and you can really help songbirds. In a study of the Carolina chickadee in the metropolitan DC area, researchers found that native trees and shrubs support much more 'bird food' -- caterpillars -- than non-natives do. […]

  • White rot fungi's size explained by breadth of gene families involved
    on October 30, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Armillaria fungi are among the most devastating fungal pathogens, causing root rot disease in more than 500 plant species found in forests, parks and vineyards. As white rot fungi, they are capable of breaking down all components of plant cell walls, a capability that interests bioenergy researchers. Biologists have now analyzed and compared four Armillaria fungal genomes with those of related fungi to better understand the evolution of Armillaria's abilities. […]

  • Tropical forest reserves slow down global warming
    on October 27, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    National parks and nature reserves in South America, Africa and Asia, created to protect wildlife, heritage sites and the territory of indigenous people, are reducing carbon emissions from tropical deforestation by a third, and so are slowing the rate of global warming, a new study shows. […]

  • 21 percent increase in childhood peanut allergy since 2010
    on October 27, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    New research suggests that peanut allergy in children has increased 21 percent since 2010, and that nearly 2.5 percent of US children may have an allergy to peanuts. […]

  • Fossils from the world's oldest trees reveal complex anatomy never seen before
    on October 23, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    The first trees to have ever grown on Earth were also the most complex, new research has revealed. […]

  • Reduced impact logging still harms biodiversity in tropical rainforests
    on October 23, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Even low levels of logging in the Amazon rainforest may lead to great losses in biodiversity, new research has found. The research looked at 34 different plots in the state of Pará -- a focal point for Amazon protection efforts in the last decades. They found that even low levels of logging leaded to negative effects on dung beetle diversity and rates of dung beetle-mediated […]

  • 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. […]

  • Research yields test to predict bitter pit disorder in Honeycrisp apples
    on October 19, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    A test to determine whether bitter pit -- a disorder that blindsides apple growers by showing up weeks or months after picking -- will develop in stored Honeycrisp apples was developed by a team of researchers, promising to potentially save millions of dollars annually in wasted fruit. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Last common ancestor of humans and apes weighed about five kilograms
    on October 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    New research suggests that the last common ancestor of apes -- including great apes and humans -- was much smaller than previously thought, about the size of a gibbon. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, are fundamental to understanding the evolution of the human family tree. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]