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  • Trees can make or break city weather
    on July 26, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Even a single urban tree can help moderate wind speeds and keep pedestrians comfortable as they walk down the street, according to a new study that also found losing a single tree can increase wind pressure on nearby buildings and drive up heating costs. […]

  • Evolutionary biologists solve puzzle of evolutionary relationships among vertebrates
    on July 24, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Using the largest and most informative molecular phylogenetic dataset ever analysed, evolutionary biologists were able to construct a new phylogenetic tree of jawed vertebrates. This new tree resolves several key relationships that have remained controversial, including the identification of lungfishes as the closest living relatives of land vertebrates. The evolution of jawed vertebrates is part of our own history since humans belong to the tetrapods more specifically we are mammals, or, even more specifically, primates. […]

  • Paying people to protect forests is worth it
    on July 20, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    A new study suggests that paying people to conserve their trees could be a highly cost-effective way to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions and should be a key part of the global strategy to fight climate change. The study sought to evaluate how effective 'Payments for Ecosystems' (PES) is at reducing deforestation. […]

  • Gene drives likely to be foiled by rapid rise of resistance
    on July 20, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    A study in fruit flies suggests that existing approaches to gene drives using CRISPR/Cas9, which aim to spread new genes within a natural population, will be derailed by the development of mutations that give resistance to the drive. […]

  • Bornean orangutans' canopy movements flag conservation targets
    on July 18, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Bornean orangutans living in forests impacted by human commerce seek areas of denser canopy enclosure, taller trees, and sections with trees of uniform height, according to new research. These orangutans are critically endangered, and despite intense conservation efforts, their numbers continue to decline. Additional habitat management strategies that account for their presence in forests affected by logging and other human activity are needed to ensure the species' survival. […]

  • Nesting in cavities protects birds from predators, to a point
    on July 12, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Nesting in cavities provides birds with some protection from predators -- but it isn't foolproof. A new study explores how Poland's cavity-nesting marsh tits deal with predator attacks and finds that while tactics such as small entrances and solid walls do help, adaptations like this can only take the birds so far. […]

  • Litter bugs may protect chocolate supply
    on July 8, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Mother's microbiome seems to protect baby cacao plants, a result with important implications for protecting the world's chocolate supply. […]

  • Beech trees native to Scotland after all, scientists discover
    on July 4, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Beech trees should be considered native to Scotland -- despite a long-running debate over their national identity, researchers report. […]

  • The Black Forest and climate change
    on June 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Silver and Douglas firs could replace Norway spruce in the long run due to their greater resistance to droughts. […]

  • Size not important for fish in the largest mass extinction of all time
    on June 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Understanding modern biodiversity and extinction threats is important. It is commonly assumed that being large contributes to vulnerability during extinction crises. However, researchers have found that size played no role in the extinction of fish during the largest mass extinction of all time. […]

  • Why there are so many species of tropical trees and other organisms
    on June 29, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Why does biodiversity grade from exuberance at the equator through moderation at mid-latitudes toward monotony at higher ones? Data from an international network of long-term forest dynamics research sites is finally providing an answer. […]

  • Slow-growing ponderosas survive mountain pine beetle outbreaks
    on June 28, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Slow-growing ponderosa pines may have a better chance of surviving mountain pine beetle outbreaks in western Montana as climate change increases the frequency of drought and insect pests, according to new research. […]

  • Valuable substances extracted from conifer stumps and roots
    on June 28, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    The stumps and roots of coniferous trees contain extractives which can be processed into highly valuable products. […]

  • Remote sensing technologies key to the future of the oil palm industry
    on June 28, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Remote sensing technologies, using satellite and aerial data, could revolutionize the management of the oil palm industry, bringing both business and environmental benefits, say environmental experts. […]

  • Predicting future outcomes in the natural world
    on June 26, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    When pesticides and intentional fires fail to eradicate an invasive plant species, declaring biological war may be the best option, say researchers. […]

  • Panda love spreads to benefit the planet
    on June 26, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Loving pandas isn't just a feel-good activity. Recent work shows China's decades of defending panda turf have been good not just for the beloved bears, but also protects habitat for other valuable plants and animals, boosts biodiversity and fights climate change. […]

  • Australian origin likely for iconic New Zealand tree
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Ancestors of the iconic New Zealand Christmas Tree, Phutukawa, may have originated in Australia, new fossil research suggests. […]

  • 'Star dust' wasp is a new extinct species named after David Bowie's alter ego
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    During her study on fossil insects at China's Capitol Normal University, a student visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, USA, carrying two unidentified wasp specimens that were exceptionally well-preserved and 100 million years old. Close examination revealed that both were species new to science. Furthermore, one of them was found to belong to a genus of modern wasps. […]

  • Is it sometimes OK to cheat?
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    When both partners benefit from a relationship -- husband and wife or pollinator and flower -- the relationship is known as a mutualism. Sometimes partners do not deliver their side of the bargain while still reaping the rewards. New research shows that unless unfaithful partners are severely punished by the other member of the relationship cheaters may become more common. […]

  • 150-year records gap on Sulawesi ends with five new species in the world's largest tree genus
    on June 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Coming 150 years after the last description from Sulawesi, five new species from the world's largest genus of trees, Syzygium, highlight the extent of unexplored botanical diversity on the Indonesian island. […]

  • Like a moth to a flame: The spread of the spruce budworm
    on June 15, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    In the last decade, 7 million hectares of boreal forest in Eastern Canada have been destroyed by the voracious insect known as the spruce budworm. And the outbreak is heading south again this spring. And the outbreak is heading south again this spring, leaving devastation and fires in its wake, warn researchers. […]

  • Gender dictates camouflage strategy in this newly identified praying mantis group
    on June 14, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Adult females and males in a new genus of Latin American praying mantises have sharply different approaches to camouflage. Males retain the stick-like appearance they employ as nymphs, while females morph into a leaf's shape and color. […]

  • Lianas stifle tree fruit and seed production in tropical forests
    on June 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Vines compete intensely with trees. Their numbers are on the rise in many tropical forests around the world. A new study shows that lianas prevent canopy trees from producing fruit, with potentially far-reaching consequences for rainforest animals. […]

  • World's oldest fossil mushroom found
    on June 7, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Roughly 115 million years ago, when the ancient supercontinent Gondwana was breaking apart, a mushroom fell into a river and began an improbable journey. Its ultimate fate as a mineralized fossil preserved in limestone in northeast Brazil makes it a scientific wonder, scientists report. […]

  • Protein target to halt citrus tree disease
    on June 7, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Researchers may have come a step closer to finding a treatment for a disease called Huanglongbing, or citrus greening, that has been decimating citrus trees in the state. […]

  • Reshaping Darwin's tree of life
    on June 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    In 1859, Charles Darwin included a novel tree of life in his trailblazing book on the theory of evolution, On the Origin of Species. Now, scientists want to reshape Darwin's tree. […]

  • Forensic chemical analysis of wood could stop illegal logging
    on June 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    A new technique has been developed to tackle illegal logging by pinpointing the wood's origin to a smaller area than ever before ( […]

  • Papua New Guinea expedition discovers largest trees at extreme altitudes
    on June 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    The first field campaign surveying Papua New Guinea's lush primary forests from the coast to clouds has revealed the high mountain tops may house the largest trees recorded globally at such extreme altitudes. […]

  • We're on the brink of mass extinction -- but there's still time to pull back
    on May 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Imagine being a scuba diver and leaving your air tank behind you on a dive. That's essentially what humans are doing as we expand our footprint on the planet without paying adequate attention to impacts on other living things, according to researchers. Both ominous and hopeful, a new report paints a picture of the value of biodiversity, the threats it faces and the window of opportunity we have to save species before it's too late. […]

  • Climate change can alter the impact of forest pathogens in trees
    on May 30, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    New research on projected climate changes indicates that climate change has an alarming potential to increase the damage caused to Norway spruce trees by a naturally circulating disease spreading fungus. […]