Biodiversity

Biodiversity News -- ScienceDaily Learn about the loss of biological diversity - biodiversity - in forests, rainforests, aquatic environments and open land. What are the biodiversity hotspots? Read about biodiversity conservation efforts.

  • Two-and-a-half-year expedition ends in world's most biodiverse protected area
    on May 22, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    After a two-and-a-half-year expedition through the world's most biodiverse protected area, the Identidad Madidi explorers have concluded their epic quest of completing a massive biological survey of Madidi National Park, uncovering more than 120 potentially new species of plants, butterflies and vertebrates in the process. […]

  • First record of large-antlered muntjac in Vietnam
    on May 22, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    In November 2017 -- under a biodiversity monitoring and assessment activity supported by the US Agency for International Development -- scientists and conservationists captured photographs of one of the rarest and most threatened mammal species of Southeast Asia, the large-antlered muntjac, in Quang Nam province, central Vietnam. […]

  • Giant invasive flatworms found in France and overseas French territories
    on May 22, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    One of the consequences of globalization is the introduction of invasive species. Giant hammerhead flatworms, or land planarians, up to 40 cm (over 1 foot) in length, are reported from France and overseas French territories. […]

  • Giant Chinese salamander is at least five distinct species, all heading toward extinction
    on May 21, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    With individuals weighing in at more than 140 pounds, the critically endangered Chinese giant salamander is well known as the world's largest amphibian. But researchers now find that those giant salamanders aren't one species, but five, and possibly as many as eight. The bad news is that all of the salamanders now face the imminent threat of extinction in the wild, due to demand for the amphibians as luxury food. […]

  • Shocking study shows one third of world's protected areas degraded by human activities
    on May 17, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    A shocking study confirms that one third of the world's protected areas -- an astonishing 2.3 million square miles or twice the size of the state of Alaska -- are now under intense human pressure including road building, grazing, and urbanization. […]

  • Limiting warming to 1.5 degree C would save majority of global species from climate change
    on May 17, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    New research finds that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C would save the majority of the world's plant and animal species from climate change. Species across the globe would benefit -- particularly those in Southern Africa, the Amazon, Europe and Australia. Examples of animals to benefit include the critically endangered black rhinoceros. Reducing the risk to insects is important because they are vital for 'ecosystem services' such as pollinating crops and being part of the food chain. […]

  • Monitoring of tropical trees in face of climate change
    on May 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Experts have challenged the principle that tropical ecosystems are aseasonal -- after discovering regular cycles in fruiting, flowering and leafing in such climates. […]

  • Explaining the history of Australia's vegetation
    on May 17, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    New research has uncovered the history of when and why the native vegetation that today dominates much of Australia first expanded across the continent. […]

  • Diverse and abundant megafauna documented at new Atlantic US Marine National Monument
    on May 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Airborne marine biologists were dazzled by the diversity and abundance of large, unusual and sometimes endangered marine wildlife on a recent trip to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, about 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod. […]

  • Climate change in Quebec equals a much greater diversity of species?
    on May 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    A team of researchers believe that, paradoxically, climate change may result in Quebec's national and provincial parks becoming biodiversity refuges of continental importance as the variety of species present there increases. […]

  • New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
    on May 16, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Do you know someone who's so caught up in the details of a problem that they 'can't see the forest for the trees?' Scientists seeking to understand how forests recover from wildfires sometimes have the opposite problem. […]

  • Forest loss in one part of US can harm trees on the opposite coast
    on May 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    If a whole forest disappears, new research shows, this has ricocheting effects in the atmosphere that affect vegetation on the other side of the country. […]

  • Worm-eating mice reveal how evolution works on islands
    on May 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    When animals are isolated on islands, they can evolve into strange new species found nowhere else on Earth. But what's the cut-off -- how small can an island be and still support the evolution of multiple new species from a single common ancestor? A family of worm-eating mice from a tiny island in the Philippines have set a new lower limit for island size and evolution. […]

  • China's program 'riskiest environmental project in history,' researcher warns
    on May 15, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    A global expert on infrastructure says that China's plan to crisscross half of the Earth with massive transportation and energy projects is environmentally the riskiest venture ever undertaken. […]

  • Hippos: Global change may alter the way that hippos shape the environment around them
    on May 14, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Community ecologists have found that global change may alter the way that hippos shape the environment around them. […]

  • American tropics, Amazon origins
    on May 14, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    A new study is suggesting many of the plants and animals that call Latin America home may actually have their roots in the Amazon. Researchers found that a dynamic process of colonization and speciation led to the formation of the American tropics, which is today the most species-rich region on the planet. […]

  • Location of protected areas vital to wildlife survival
    on May 14, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    A new study, by conservation scientists and environmental scholars, say the exact location of protective wild spaces is just as vital as committing to set these areas aside. […]

  • For lemurs, size of forest fragments may be more important than degree of isolation
    on May 9, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Occurrence probability of three lemur species in tropical dry forest increases with fragment size but can increase or decrease with fragment isolation depending on the species, according to a new study. […]

  • Rapid evolution fails to save butterflies from extinction in face of human-induced change
    on May 9, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    The evolution of wild species, adapting them to human management practices, can cause localized extinctions when those practices rapidly change. And in a new study, biologists have used more than 30 years of research to fully document an example of this process. […]

  • New shrew species discovered on 'sky island' in Philippines
    on May 9, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    A team of scientists recently identified Palawanosorex muscorum, a new species of shrew known more informally as the Palawan moss shrew. This shrew, found on what Heaney calls a 'sky island,' may help explain why the Philippines is such a hotbed for mammalian biodiversity. […]

  • Climate change threatens Marine Protected Areas
    on May 8, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    New research found that most marine life in Marine Protected Areas will not be able to tolerate warming ocean temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The study found that with continued 'business-as-usual' emissions, the protections currently in place won't matter, because by 2100, warming and reduced oxygen concentration will make Marine Protected Areas uninhabitable by most species currently residing in those areas. […]

  • Inequality is normal: Dominance of the big trees
    on May 8, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    The top 1 percent of the forest has been sharing some vital information with researchers. Ninety-eight scientists and thousands of field staff have concluded the largest study undertaken to date with the Smithsonian Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO), and what they have found will have profound implications toward ecological theories and carbon storage in forests. […]

  • Scientists dive into museum collections to reveal the invasion route of a small crustacean
    on May 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    While studies on biological invasions tend to focus on new records, two researchers went on to clarify a biological invasion at the Atlantic European coast. It turned out that a non-native crustacean has established its population 24 years prior to the available records. […]

  • Novel scientific method to derive water quality criteria of metals
    on May 7, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Increasing contamination of marine ecosystems by metals such as mercury, cadmium, chromium and nickel has been a global environmental concern, because elevated concentrations of metals can pose hazards to marine organisms, and humans who may consume contaminated seafood. […]

  • How land use and climate change are driving species distribution shifts
    on May 7, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Climate change is altering where species live all over the planet. With global warming, species are moving towards the poles and up elevation where temperature is lower. However, along with global climate change, the world is also experiencing massive changes in land use which may also impact where species live. Could both of these forces be influencing current changes in species distributions? […]

  • May the forest be with you: GEDI moves toward launch to space station
    on May 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    GEDI (pronounced like 'Jedi,' of Star Wars fame) is a first-of-its-kind laser instrument designed to map the world's forests in 3-D from space. These measurements will help fill in critical gaps in scientists' understanding of how much carbon is stored in the world's forests, the potential for ecosystems to absorb rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, and the impact of forest changes on biodiversity. […]

  • Agroecology: A better alternative in Sub-Saharan Africa
    on May 4, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Agroecology is a better alternative than large-scale agriculture, both for the climate and for small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to researcher. This agricultural model preserves biodiversity and safeguards food supply while avoiding soil depletion. […]

  • Greenhouse gas 'feedback loop' discovered in freshwater lakes
    on May 4, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Latest research finds plant debris in lake sediment affects methane emissions. The flourishing reed beds created by changing climates could threaten to double the already significant methane production of the world's northern lakes. […]

  • Weeds will take over from kelp in high CO<sub>2</sub> oceans
    on May 3, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Weedy plants will thrive and displace long-lived, ecologically valuable kelp forests under forecast ocean acidification, new research shows. The researchers describe how kelp forests are displaced by weedy marine plants in high carbon dioxide conditions, equivalent to those predicted for the turn of the century. […]

  • The true 'value' of biodiversity
    on May 3, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Planning conservation policies to protect biodiversity using single core 'values' such as the 'usefulness' of a species could put 'less useful' species at risk. […]