Ecology Research

Ecology Research News -- ScienceDaily Learn about recent research into biodiversity reduction and how it affects ecosystems. Read news articles on coral bleaching, deforestation and wetland ecology.

  • New research on avian response to wildfires
    on June 22, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    New research explores the effects fire has on ecosystems and the wildlife species that inhabit them. Scientists examined the impacts of fires of different severity levels on birds and how that changes as the time since fire increases. Scientists looked across 10 fires after they burned through forests in the Sierra Nevada. A key finding was that wildfire had strong, but varied, effects on the density of many of the bird species that were studied. […]

  • Wolf reintroduction: Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' not so scary after all
    on June 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    After wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s, some scientists thought the large predator reestablished a 'landscape of fear' that caused elk, the wolf's main prey, to avoid risky places where wolves killed them. But according to recent findings, Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' is not as scary as first thought. […]

  • Climate change to overtake land use as major threat to global biodiversity
    on June 20, 2018 at 3:08 am

    Climate change will have a rapidly increasing effect on the structure of global ecological communities over the next few decades, with amphibians and reptiles being significantly more affected than birds and mammals, a new report finds. […]

  • Palm oil: The carbon cost of deforestation
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Palm oil has become part of our daily lives, but a recent study serves as a reminder that intensive farming of this crop has a major impact on the environment. Both short- and long-term solutions exist, however. The article analyzed the carbon costs and benefits of converting rainforests into oil palm plantations. […]

  • Museum collection reveals distribution of Carolina parakeet 100 years after its extinction
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    While 2018 marks the centenary of the death of the last captive Carolina parakeet -- North America's only native parrot, a team of researchers have shed new light on the previously known geographical range of the species. […]

  • Lion conservation research can be bolstered by input from a wide-range of professionals
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    To tackle the sharp decline in lion numbers, conservation research should consider wild prey, livestock and the environment, not just human-lion interaction, a new review suggests. […]

  • Is the sky the limit? On the expansion threshold of a species' range
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    What stops a species adapting to an ever-wider range of conditions, continuously expanding its geographic range? A biomathematician now explains the formation of species' range margins. The theory shows that just two compound parameters, important for both ecology and evolution of species, are fundamental to the stability of their range: the environmental heterogeneity and the size of the local population. […]

  • Light pollution a reason for insect decline
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Climate change, pesticides and land use changes alone cannot fully explain the decline in insect populations in Germany. Scientists have now discovered that regions that have experienced a sharp decline in flying insects also have high levels of light pollution. Many studies already suggest that artificial light at night has negative impacts on insects, and scientists should pay greater attention to this factor when exploring the causes of insect population declines in the future. […]

  • Coral reef 'oases' offer glimmer of hope
    on June 19, 2018 at 2:24 am

    Scientists have discovered small communities of corals that are flourishing against the odds while so many around the world are dying. […]

  • Local interventions boost coral's resilience to bleaching
    on June 19, 2018 at 2:24 am

    Local conservation actions can significantly boost coral's resilience to, and recovery from, climate-induced thermal bleaching by reducing other energy-sapping stresses the coral faces, a new study finds. Scientists found they could reduce the extent of bleaching by half if they removed or reduced populations of coral-eating snails from affected reefs. The coral's recovery from bleaching was also enhanced. […]

  • Large outdoor study shows biodiversity improves stability of algal biofuel systems
    on June 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    A diverse mix of species improves the stability and fuel-oil yield of algal biofuel systems, as well as their resistance to invasion by outsiders, according to the new findings. […]

  • Life in the fast lane: Ecologist says dispersal ability linked to plants' life cycles
    on June 18, 2018 at 12:44 am

    Ecologists say seed dispersal is an essential, yet overlooked, process of plant demography, but it's difficult to empirically observe, measure and assess its full influence. […]

  • Agricultural intensification not a 'blueprint' for sustainable development
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:38 am

    New research suggests that the combined social and ecological results of increased agricultural intensification in low and middle-income countries are not as positive as expected. The study is the first to bring together current knowledge on how agricultural intensification affects both the environment and human wellbeing in these countries. […]

  • Amber fossils provide oldest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests
    on June 14, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    99-million-year-old amber fossils from Myanmar provide the earliest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests. […]

  • Large fenced reserves an effective way to bring wolves back to Scotland
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Research indicates that for wolves to be effective at directly reducing red deer numbers and allowing nature to recover in the Scottish Highlands they may need to be reintroduced to very large fenced reserve. […]

  • Original habitat is best, but restoration still makes a big difference
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    A new study presents some of the best evidence to date that restoration efforts in Missouri's Ozark Highlands make a difference for nesting songbirds that breed there. Recent studies support that these efforts are making a positive impact on the ecosystem and increasing the survival of bird species that breed there. […]

  • New technology has bright prospects for understanding plant biodiversity
    on June 12, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Biologists get a new look at plant biodiversity and function with new imaging technology. […]

  • Large-scale study indicates novel, abundant nitrogen-fixing microbes in surface ocean
    on June 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    A large-scale study of the Earth's surface ocean indicates the microbes responsible for fixing nitrogen there -- previously thought to be almost exclusively photosynthetic cyanobacteria -- include an abundant and widely distributed suite of non-photosynthetic bacterial populations. […]

  • Secrets of fish population changes revealed
    on June 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Populations of fish in the ocean are notoriously variable, waxing and waning in often unpredictable ways. Knowing what drives changes in fish population sizes is important for managing fisheries and conserving species. For the first time, scientists have linked the ecology of adult fish populations inhabiting coral reefs with the dispersal of baby fish between reefs, reporting the dynamics of a living network called a 'marine metapopulation.' […]

  • Camouflaged plants use the same tricks as animals
    on June 6, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Plants use many of the same methods as animals to camouflage themselves, a new study shows. […]

  • Nutrient pollution makes ocean acidification worse for coral reefs
    on June 6, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    A new study showed that local impacts of humans -- nutrient pollution from activities on land -- may accelerate the negative impacts of global ocean acidification on coral reefs. […]

  • Use artificial intelligence to identify, count, describe wild animals
    on June 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Photographs that are automatically collected by motion-sensor cameras can be automatically described by deep neural networks. The result is a system that can automate animal identification for up to 99.3 percent of images while still performing at the same 96.6 percent accuracy rate of crowdsourced teams of human volunteers. […]

  • What the size distribution of organisms tells us about the energetic efficiency of a lake
    on June 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    The size distribution of organisms in a lake facilitates robust conclusions to be drawn on the energy efficiency in the food web, as researchers have now demonstrated empirically. This relationship enables scientists to gain a better and more direct understanding of biological processes and disturbances that impact aquatic ecosystems. […]

  • Thousands of turtles netted off South America
    on June 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Tens of thousands of sea turtles are caught each year by small-scale fishers off South America's Pacific coast, new research shows. […]

  • Rare aquatic beetles: Species distribution models guide field surveys
    on June 4, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    The known range of the narrow-footed Hygrotus diving beetle, which also can fly, is in central Wyoming, in the Powder River Basin and one site in the Wind River Basin. The sites are small, intermittent streams with disconnected pools and contain high concentrations of salt. These streams are in shortgrass prairie ecosystems that receive less than 400 millimeters of precipitation each year. […]

  • New approach boosts effort to scale up biodiversity monitoring
    on June 1, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    The value of ecological biodiversity for maintaining ecosystem stability and function is well established, but a recent study points to a novel way to fine-tune our ability to measure it at larger scales. […]

  • Biosecurity reduces invasions of plant pathogens over a national border
    on May 31, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    A new study examines more than a century of fungal pathogens, finding well-aimed biosecurity measures cut the spread of unwanted fungi into a nation, even in the face of increased globalized trade. […]

  • New tool improves fishing efficiency and sustainability
    on May 30, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    New software targets most abundant fishing grounds and reduces catch of unwanted or protected species using satellite data, maps and observations. […]

  • Prehistoric teeth dating back two million years reveal details on Africa's paleoclimate
    on May 29, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    New research shows that the climate of the interior of southern Africa almost two million years ago was much wetter than the modern environment. This first extensive paleoenvironmental sequence for the interior of southern Africa suggests that human ancestors were living in environments other than open, arid grasslands known from East African research of the same time period. […]

  • Minimising the impacts of palm oil plantations
    on May 29, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    With palm oil production exploding around the world, a new study of a leading producer has found ways to make the process easier on the environment. […]