Rain Forests

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

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • NASA surveys hurricane damage to Puerto Rico's forests
    on July 11, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    On Sept. 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria barreled across Puerto Rico with winds of up to 155 miles per hour and battering rain that flooded towns, knocked out communications networks and destroyed the power grid. In the rugged central mountains and the lush northeast, Maria unleashed its fury as fierce winds completely defoliated the tropical forests and broke and uprooted trees. Heavy rainfall triggered thousands of landslides that mowed over swaths of steep mountainsides. […]

  • Mapping climate corridors
    on July 11, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    The corridors of land vital for many wildlife species in the face of climate change often are unprotected. Now, a recent study has tracked these shifting North American habitats. […]

  • Eradicate rats to bolster coral reefs
    on July 11, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    New research has confirmed that invasive rats decimate seabird populations, with previously unrecognized consequences for the extensive coral reefs that encircle and protect these islands. Invasive predators such as rats -- which feed on bird eggs, chicks, and even adults birds -- are estimated to have decimated seabird populations within 90 percent of the world's temperate and tropical island groups, but until now the extent of their impact on surrounding coral reefs wasn't known. […]

  • Birds eat 400 to 500 million tons of insects annually
    on July 9, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Birds around the world eat 400 to 500 million metric tons of beetles, flies, ants, moths, aphids, grasshoppers, crickets and other anthropods per year. The research highlights the important role birds play in keeping plant-eating insect populations under control. […]

  • Some of the world's poorest people are bearing the costs of tropical forest conservation
    on July 5, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Researchers show that new conservation restrictions in Madagascar bring very significant costs to local people (representing up to 85 percent of local annual incomes). The researchers estimate that 27,000 people have been negatively impacted by the conservation project. […]

  • Southeast Asian forest loss greater than expected, with negative climate implications
    on July 3, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Researchers using satellite imaging have found much greater than expected deforestation since 2000 in the highlands of Southeast Asia, a critically important world ecosystem. The findings are important because they raise questions about key assumptions made in projections of global climate change as well as concerns about environmental conditions in Southeast Asia in the future. […]

  • Plants in Africa 'green up' ahead of rainy season
    on July 2, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    A study has shown the greening up of vegetation prior to the rainy season in Africa is more widespread than previously understood. […]

  • Loss of lemurs might endanger many of Madagascar's largest tree species
    on July 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Widespread logging and hunting have endangered virtually all of Madagascar's 100-plus species of iconic lemurs, and a new study by ecologists illustrates how saving the animals may also be key to saving the island's largest trees. […]

  • How mangroves help keep the planet cool
    on July 2, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    In a new global framework, scientists have developed a more accurate assessment of how mangroves store carbon in their soil. The researchers found that previous studies have underestimated the blue carbon levels in mangroves by up to 50 percent in some regions and overestimated levels by up to 86 percent in others. This study will help countries develop and evaluate their carbon footprint and blue carbon inventory that potentially can be used in the global marketplace. […]

  • Forests may lose ability to protect against extremes of climate change
    on June 29, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    A recent study suggests that a warming climate in the Pacific Northwest would lessen the capacity of many forest microclimates to moderate climate extremes in the future. […]

  • It's go time for Hawaiian bird conservation, and luckily there's a playbook
    on June 27, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    A new study presents some of the best guidance to date on the priorities and actions that can be taken to help Hawaii's endemic birds. This article lays out a plan to better guide and empower conservation efforts for Hawaiian birds. […]

  • Orangutan: How 70,000 years of human interaction have shaped an icon of wild nature
    on June 27, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    The evolution of the orangutan has been more heavily influenced by humans than was previously thought, new research reveals. Scientists have shed new light on the development of the critically endangered species. […]

  • Finnish forest management guidelines fail to protect the flying squirrel
    on June 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    A new study determined the habitat requirements for flying squirrels and compared them to those included in the recently amended Forest Act. The main finding was that the Finnish Nature Conservation Act does not adequately protect the old growth forests where flying squirrels live. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Surprising resurgence of red spruce likely result of cleaner air and warmer winters
    on June 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    When scientists found a resurgence of red spruce in northeastern forests, they had a lot of questions. Fifty years ago, red spruce was the equivalent of a canary in the coalmine signaling the effects of acid rain on forests. Researchers have identified two factors behind the tree's surprising recovery: reduced inputs of acid rain and warmer fall, winter and spring temperatures. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Tree species vital to restoring disturbed tropical forests
    on May 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    A family of trees with high drought tolerance could be crucial in restoring the world's deforested and degraded tropical lands, according to new research. […]

  • Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt
    on May 29, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant. Now the researchers know that the choice of leaves or twigs is related to climate and that climate change forced the fungi to adapt to local conditions. […]

  • Tall and older Amazonian forests more resistant to droughts
    on May 28, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    A new study shows that photosynthesis in tall Amazonian forests -- forests above 30m -- is 3x less sensitive to precipitation variability than in shorter forests of less than 20m. Taller Amazonian forests were also found to be older, have more biomass and deeper rooting systems that enable them to access deeper soil moisture, making them more resilient to drought. The findings suggest that forest height + age are an important regulator of photosynthesis in response to droughts. […]

  • 'Deforestation-free' palm oil not as simple as it sounds
    on May 25, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Genuinely 'deforestation-free' palm oil products are problematic to guarantee, according to a new study. […]

  • When the dinosaurs died, so did forests -- and tree-dwelling birds
    on May 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Sixty-six million years ago, the world burned. An asteroid crashed to Earth with a force one million times larger than the largest atomic bomb, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs. But dinosaurs weren't the only ones that got hit hard -- in a new study, scientists learned that the planet's forests were decimated, leading to the extinction of tree-dwelling birds. […]

  • Long-term study reveals one invasive insect can change a forest bird community
    on May 23, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Eastern hemlock forests have been declining due to a non-native insect pest. A new study presents some of the best data showing how the decline of a single tree species leads to the disappearance of birds specialized to them. The data also indicate birds associated with non-hemlock habitat features are spreading into former hemlock forests. A single insect species has led to a less diverse bird community across this landscape. […]