Rain Forests

Rainforests News -- ScienceDaily Rain Forest News. Current science articles on rainforest animals, rainforest plants, and ecosystems of old-growth forests.

  • Damning evidence of dam's impacts on rainforest birds
    on December 7, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Conservation scientists have found that a dam built in Thailand 31 years ago has caused the local bird population to collapse. […]

  • Missing the forest for the trees: An unexpected picture of New York City forests
    on December 6, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    An inventory of New York City's expansive yet overlooked 'forested natural areas' reveals that, contrary to previous reports, native species still comprise about 82 percent of the city's forest stands. In the forests' mid- and understory, however, the proportion of native species fell significantly, suggesting that their dominance could decline in coming decades. […]

  • Wildfire ash could trap mercury
    on December 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Researchers studying ash from recent California wildfires report that burned material in forests might help sequester mercury that otherwise would be released into the environment. […]

  • Colombia tropical forest fires spike after 2016 Peace Accords
    on December 4, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Fires that contribute to deforestation spiked six-fold in Colombia in the year after an historic 2016 peace agreement ended decades of conflict between FARC guerrilla and government forces, according to a new study. […]

  • Development threatens tropical forests
    on December 3, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    While infrastructure expansion has been broadly investigated as a driver of deforestation, the impacts of extractive industry and its interactions with infrastructure investment on forest cover are less well studied. These challenges are urgent given growing pressure for infrastructure investment and resource extraction. The authors use geospatial and qualitative data from Amazonia, Indonesia, and Mesoamerica to explain how infrastructure and extractive industry lead directly and indirectly to deforestation, forest degradation, and increasingly precarious rights for forest peoples. […]

  • Snowpack declines may stunt tree growth and forests' ability to store carbon emissions
    on December 1, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Researchers conducting a 5-year-long study examining snow cover in a northern hardwood forest region found that projected changes in climate could lead to a 95 percent reduction of deep-insulating snowpack in forest areas across the northeastern United States by the end of the 21st century. The loss of snowpack would likely result in a steep reduction of forests' ability to store climate-changing carbon dioxide and filter pollutants from the air and water. […]

  • Forest fragmentation disrupts parasite infection in Australian lizards
    on November 29, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    In a study with implications for biodiversity and the spread of infectious diseases, ecologists have demonstrated that deforestation and habitat fragmentation can decrease transmission of a parasitic nematode in a particular species of Australian lizard, the pale-flecked garden sunskink. […]

  • A fresh look at winter footprints: Environmental DNA improves tracking of rare carnivores
    on November 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    A new project shows that animal footprints contain enough DNA for species identification. The study extracted DNA from snow samples collected within animal tracks and applied newly developed molecular genetic assays. The assays positively detected the DNA of each species, outperforming traditional lab techniques on previously undetectable genetic samples. This method could revolutionize winter surveys of rare species by greatly reducing or eliminating misidentifications and missed detections. […]

  • PNW woodlands will be less vulnerable to drought, fire than Rocky Mountain, Sierra forests
    on November 16, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Forests in the Pacific Northwest will be less vulnerable to drought and fire over the next three decades than those in the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada, computer modeling shows. […]

  • Tropical trees in the Andes are moving up -- toward extinction
    on November 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    In the most comprehensive study of its kind, biologists have found that tropical and subtropical forests across South America's Andes Mountains are responding to warming temperatures by migrating to higher, cooler elevations, but probably not quickly enough to avoid the loss of their biodiversity, functional collapse, or even extinction. […]

  • Large areas of the Brazilian rainforest at risk of losing protection
    on November 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Up to 15 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon is at risk of losing its legal protection, according to a new study. […]

  • Streamside forests store tons of carbon
    on November 12, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Researchers have compiled carbon storage data from 117 publications, reports, and other data sets on streamside forests around the world. Researchers found that the average amount of carbon stored in mature streamside forest rivals the highest estimates for any other forest type around the world, such as tropical or boreal forests. […]

  • Con­ser­va­tion areas help bird­life ad­apt to cli­mate change
    on November 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    A warming climate is pushing organisms towards the circumpolar areas and mountain peaks. A recently conducted study on changes in bird populations reveals that protected areas slow down the north-bound retreat of species. […]

  • Short stature in rainforest hunter-gatherers potentially linked to cardiac adaptations
    on November 12, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    African and Asian rainforest hunter-gatherers share short stature, and now an international team of researchers has shown that this is an example of convergent adaptation that may also be linked to changes in cardiac development pathways. […]

  • It's not trails that disturb forest birds, but the people on them
    on November 12, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    The physical presence of trails has less impact on forest birds than how frequently the trails are used by people, finds the first study to disentangle the effect of forest trails from the presence of humans. This is also the case when trails have been used for decades, suggesting that forest birds do not get used to human activity. To minimize disturbance, people should avoid roaming from designated pathways. […]

  • Mangroves can help countries mitigate their carbon emissions
    on November 9, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Geographers have found that coastal vegetation such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes may be the most effective habitats to mitigate carbon emissions. […]

  • Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru
    on November 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Small-scale gold mining has destroyed more than 170,000 acres of primary rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon in the past five years, according to a new analysis. […]

  • Amazon forests failing to keep up with climate change
    on November 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    New research has assessed the impact of global warming on thousands of tree species across the Amazon to discover the winners and losers from 30 years of climate change. The analysis found the effects of climate change are altering the rainforest's composition of tree species but not quickly enough to keep up with the changing environment. […]

  • Climate change causing more severe wildfires, larger insect outbreaks in temperate forests
    on November 7, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    A warmer, drier climate is expected is increase the likelihood of larger-scale forest disturbances such as wildfires, insect outbreaks, disease and drought, according to a new study. […]

  • Financial giants can have a pivotal role for climate stability
    on November 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Banks, pension funds and other institutional investors have a key role to play in efforts to avoid dangerous climate change. A limited number of these investors have considerable influence over the Amazon rainforest and boreal forests that are known 'tipping elements' in the climate system. Protecting these 'tipping elements' should be a priority for investors to help reduce both climate change and systemic financial risks created by it. […]

  • Tropical mountain species in the crosshairs of climate change
    on November 6, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Lack of varied seasons and temperatures in tropical mountains have led to species that are highly adapted to their narrow niches, creating the right conditions for new species to arise in these areas, according to a new study. Still, the same traits that make tropical mountains among the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth also make the species that live there more vulnerable to rapid climate changes, the study finds. […]

  • More affordable and effective conservation of species
    on November 5, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    No one had reported seeing the strange creature -- a cross between a bear and a monkey -- since before the Great Depression. Then, this past summer, an amateur biologist stumbled upon the presumed-extinct Wondiwoi tree kangaroo while trekking through Papua New Guinea. The revelation underscored how little we still know about the natural world -- a major obstacle to conservation. […]

  • Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased
    on November 5, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Orangutan populations are still declining rapidly, despite claims by the Indonesian Government that things are looking better for the red apes. Scientists criticize the use of inappropriate methods for assessing management impacts on wildlife trends. The researchers call for scientifically sound measures to be employed in order to ensure that wildlife monitoring provides reliable numbers. […]

  • 'Cryptic' interactions drive biodiversity decline near the edge of forest fragments
    on November 1, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    The fragmentation of tropical forests weakens the effects of the 'natural enemies' of some tree species, reducing their ability to maintain biodiversity, a new Yale-led study found. In an experiment, researchers found that fragmentation weakens the impact of fungal pathogens and insect herbivores, enabling some tree species to thrive near the forest edges in ways that they could not deeper in the forest, a phenomenon with major implications for tropical biodiversity. […]

  • Bee diversity and richness decline as anthropogenic activity increases, scientists confirm
    on November 1, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Researchers compared wild bee communities in the tropical dry forest of Mexico living in three habitat conditions: preserved vegetation, agricultural sites and urbanized areas. […]

  • Roadmap for filling the gaps in forest pollinator research
    on November 1, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Actively managed conifer forests may also provide important habitat for the pollinators that aid the reproduction of food crops and other flowering plants around the globe. […]

  • Salvage logging, planting not necessary to regenerate Douglas firs after Klamath fires
    on October 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Researchers looking at the aftermath of wildfires in southwestern Oregon and northern California found that after 20 years, even in severely burned areas, Douglas fir grew back on its own without the need for salvage logging and replanting. […]

  • Estonian soil is surprisingly rich in species, researchers find
    on October 31, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Due to its biodiversity and probably huge number of taxa waiting to be discovered, soil fauna has been called the poor man's rain forest. A new research article analyses the biodiversity of Myriapoda and their habitat preferences in Estonia. […]

  • Are we losing one of our biggest CO2 sinks?
    on October 31, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Seagrasses help to buffer against climate change, but we are losing a soccer field size seagrass area every 30 minutes. […]

  • Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
    on October 30, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    A future with stormier seas may bring strong changes to the biodiversity of coastal sea life, according to new research. […]