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

  • Deep-diving scientists say shallow reefs can't rely on twilight zone systems for recovery
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    A team of highly trained scientific divers explored Pacific and western Atlantic reefs to test a widely held hypothesis that climate-stressed life from shallow reefs can take refuge at mesophotic depths (100-500 feet beneath the ocean's surface). The results are clear: deep and shallow reefs are different systems with their own species, and deep reefs are just as threatened by climate impacts, storms, and pollution. […]

  • Learning from 'little monsters'
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    By studying deep and shallow water zones of streams and their resident invertebrates, researcher reveals mysteries of fresh water life. […]

  • New insights into plants' conquest of land
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    The ancestors of land plants were string-like (2D), aquatic green algae that looked very different from the three-dimensional (3D), upright stems and leaves of plants we are familiar with today. Now, researchers have revealed exciting insights into how land plants evolved these 3D forms that were crucial for their advancement onto land. […]

  • From cradle to grave: Factors that shaped evolution
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    This study brings us closer to knowing the complex interactions between topography and climate change, and how these factors influence the evolutionary histories and biodiversity of species in natural ecosystems. […]

  • Vast majority of Americans support Endangered Species Act despite increasing efforts to curtail it
    on July 19, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Roughly four out of five Americans support the Endangered Species Act, and only one in 10 oppose it, found a survey of 1,287 Americans. Support has remained stable for the past two decades. […]

  • Colombia peace deal brings new threat to country's rainforest
    on July 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    The historic peace treaty in Colombia which brought an end to half a century of violence has led to mass deforestation. Once FARC soldiers were disarmed, it led to a vacuum of power which is being exploited by large landowners who are now deforesting the area at an alarming rate to make way for farms and for the illegal growth of coca crops. An ecologically significant region of Colombia, is now at risk of disappearing. […]

  • In the ocean's twilight zone, tiny organisms may have giant effect on Earth's carbon cycle
    on July 18, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    In a new study that challenges scientists' presuppositions about the carbon cycle, researchers find that tiny organisms may be playing in outside role in the way carbon is circulated throughout the ocean. […]

  • Cities as study proxies for climate change
    on July 18, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Cities can serve as useful proxies to study and predict the effects of climate change, according to a research review that tracks urbanization's effects on plant and insect species. […]

  • For one tropical tree, effective seed dispersal relies especially on elephants
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Deer, bears, gibbons, but especially elephants, play an important role in seed dispersal for a large-fruited tree in the forests of Thailand, according to a new study. The data illustrate the complexity of forest ecology and hint that, at least for this one species, changes have occurred that have diminished its overall reproductive success. […]

  • Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas
    on July 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    A first-of-its-kind survey of the world's sandy shorelines with satellite data found that they have increased slightly on a global scale over the past three decades but decreased in protected marine areas, where many beaches are eroding. […]

  • Novel approach studies whale shark ages the best way -- while they are swimming
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    A new study of whale sharks, using a novel approach to gathering data, shows these endangered animals can live longer and grow larger than previously believed. […]

  • Effort to preserve lory population shows success
    on July 18, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    A long-term plan to preserve the Rimatara lorikeet by restoring an extirpated population of the species on a neighboring island that is free of predatory ship rats is demonstrating the importance of this kind of protective program for the sustainability of endangered bird species.&nbs […]

  • 5,000 percent increase in native trees on rat-free palmyra atoll
    on July 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    New research demonstrates dramatic positive benefits for native trees following rat removal at Palmyra Atoll, a magnificent National Wildlife Refuge and natural research laboratory located about 1000 miles south of Hawaii. For five native tree species, including Pisonia grandis, fewer than 150 seedlings were counted in the presence of rats, and more than 7700 seedlings were counted five years after rats were removed. […]

  • Social isolation: Animals that break away from the pack can influence evolution
    on July 17, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    For some animals -- such as beetles, ants, toads, and primates -- short-term social isolation can be just as vital as social interaction to development and long-term evolution. Evolutionary biologists describe approaches for testing how an animal's isolation might impact natural selection and evolution. This framework can help design more effective breeding, reintroduction, and conservation strategies. […]

  • Protecting tropical forest carbon stocks may not prevent large-scale species loss
    on July 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    As the world seeks to curb human-induced climate change, will protecting the carbon of tropical forests also ensure the survival of their species? A study suggests the answer to this question is far from straightforward. Forests with the greatest carbon content do not necessarily house the most species, meaning carbon-focused conservation can miss large swathes of tropical forest biodiversity. […]

  • How foreign kelp surfed to Antarctica
    on July 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    A research team has found the first proof that Antarctica is not isolated from the rest of the Earth, with the discovery that foreign kelp had drifted 20,000 kilometers before surfing to the continent's icy shores. […]

  • Thawing permafrost microbiomes fuel climate change
    on July 16, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    A new study could lead to more accurate predictions or the rate of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions produced by thawing permafrost in the next 100 years. The study of the microorganisms involved in permafrost carbon degradation links changing microbial communities and biogeochemistry to the rise of greenhouse gas emissions. […]

  • Indigenous peoples own or manage at least one quarter of world's land surface
    on July 16, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Indigenous Peoples have ownership, use and management rights over at least a quarter of the world's land surface according to a new study. […]

  • Mangroves to mudflats and not back again
    on July 16, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    The long-term conversion of mangroves to mudflats can lead to destabilization of shorelines, negatively impacting their resilience to extreme weather events. […]

  • Missing bones and our understanding of ancient biodiversity
    on July 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Fossils come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from isolated fragments of bones and teeth to complete skeletons. […]

  • Getting to know the microbes that drive climate change
    on July 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    A new understanding of the microbes and viruses in the thawing permafrost in Sweden may help scientists better predict the pace of climate change. […]

  • Particulate matter increases drought vulnerability of trees
    on July 16, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Particulate matter deposits on leaves increase plant transpiration and the risk of plants suffering from drought. Particulate matter could thus be contributing more strongly to tree mortality and forest decline than previously assumed. This is suggested by results from a greenhouse study, in which tree seedlings grown in almost particulate matter free air or in unfiltered air were compared. […]

  • Growing a dinosaur's dinner
    on July 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Scientists have measured the nutritional value of herbivore dinosaurs' diet by growing their food in atmospheric conditions similar to those found roughly 150 million years ago. […]

  • Capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon
    on July 13, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Researchers have calculated the capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon in a detailed analysis that for the first time integrates natural processes and climate changes that are likely to alter growth over the next 60 years. […]

  • Fuzzy yellow bats reveal evolutionary relationships in Kenya
    on July 12, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    DNA analysis of fuzzy yellow bats in Kenya revealed at least two new species unknown to science. It's important because Africa's biodiversity is often under-studied and poorly understood, even though bats play a crucial role in agriculture and public health. […]

  • Tree shrews can tolerate hot peppers: Mutation in pain receptor makes peppery plant palatable
    on July 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Almost all mammals avoid eating chili peppers and other 'hot' foods, because of the pain they induce. But not the tree shrew, according to a new study. The researchers found that this close relative of primates is unaffected by the active ingredient in chili peppers due to a subtle mutation in the receptor that detects it. […]

  • Growth rates of loblolly pine trees
    on July 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Researchers used ecological forecasting to predict how changes in temperature, water, and concentrations of carbon in the atmosphere in the Southeastern United States may affect the future growth rates of trees. […]

  • Climate change-induced march of treelines halted by unsuitable soils
    on July 12, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Researchers have discovered unsuitable soil at higher altitudes may be halting the advancement of treelines. This finding dispels the commonly held assumption that climate change is enabling trees to move farther uphill and northward. The researchers looked at plant growth at higher altitudes in the Canadian Rockies, grew spruce and fir seedlings at varying elevations and collected soil samples from the same areas to grow spruce seeds in growth chambers . […]

  • New evidence of two subspecies of American pikas in Rocky Mountain National Park
    on July 12, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Rocky Mountain National Park provides habitat for not one, but two subspecies of the American pika. […]

  • Mapping species range shifts under recent climatic changes
    on July 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    The inclusion of taxon-specific sensitivity to a shifting climate helps us understand species distributional responses to changes in climate. […]