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  • Beetles exploit warm winters to expand range, study confirms
    on June 20, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    A new study confirms that increasing minimum winter temperatures allow beetles to expand their range but reveals that overcrowding can put the brakes on population growth. […]

  • Strange sponge-like fossil creature from half a billion years ago
    on June 20, 2018 at 3:08 am

    A discovery of a new species of sponge-like fossil from the Cambrian Period sheds light on early animal evolution. […]

  • Five new species of snail-sucking snakes discovered
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:36 am

    New research has uncovered five new species of snakes in Ecuador and Peru with peculiar dining etiquette: they suck the viscous bodies of snails out of their shells. […]

  • For 100 million years, amber freezes a tableau of tick's worst day ever
    on June 13, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    This is the first time this kind of interaction between ticks and spiders has been documented in the fossil record. Even though ticks aren't a typical staple of spider diets, spiders can occasionally prey on ticks in modern ecosystems. […]

  • 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. […]

  • How to slow down Ebola
    on June 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    The phylogenetic tree of the 2013-2016 Ebola epidemic doesn't just tell us how the Ebola virus was able to evolve: it also reveals which events and preventive measures accelerated or slowed down its spread. These findings open up new perspectives for the containment of epidemics. […]

  • Dogs can detect agricultural diseases early
    on June 9, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Laurel wilt disease has had a devastating effect on the avocado industry in South Florida in past harvest seasons. Early detection can be instrumental in deterring a widespread infection. The use of scent-discriminating dogs has shown to offer the avocado industry legitimate signs of hope in their fight against the spread of the disease throughout their groves. […]

  • Populations of widely spread tree species respond differently to climate change
    on June 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    A new study shows that not all populations of a single, widely spread tree species respond the same to climate change, something scientists will need to consider when making climate change projections. […]

  • Pollution hits the fungi that nourish European trees
    on June 6, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Pollution is changing the fungi that provide mineral nutrients to tree roots, which could explain malnutrition trends in Europe's trees. […]

  • Sticky situation: New process turns wood scraps into tape
    on June 5, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    A team of chemical engineers has developed a more sustainable way of making high-performance adhesives. Their novel new process takes a plant material called lignin -- a substance paper manufacturers throw away -- and turns them into tape. Their invention performs just as well as at least two commercially available products. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Cool weather can amplify attacks of tree-killing bark beetle
    on May 31, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    New research looks at how the destructive southern pine beetle reacts to cooler weather in its climate-induced, new northern ranges. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Most comprehensive tree of life for malaria parasites
    on May 23, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    A new study puts forth the most comprehensive tree of life for malaria parasites to date. Among the researchers' findings is that the diverse malaria parasite genus Plasmodium (which includes those species that infect humans) is composed of several distantly related evolutionary lineages, and, from a taxonomic standpoint, many species should be renamed. […]

  • 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. […]

  • The chestnut gall wasp -- The threat of an invasive species with clonal reproduction
    on May 21, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    A molecular study carried out on the chestnut gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus, has revealed the absence of genetic variability in this invasive species, a chestnut-tree parasite, in Europe. This is due to the fact that the wasp's reproduction is strictly parthenogenetic, the females produce more females without having to be fertilized by a male. The high capacity of reproduction of the females, producing genetically identical daughters, give this insect a high invasive potential. […]

  • Deadly malaria's evolution revealed
    on May 21, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    The evolutionary path of the deadliest human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has been revealed for the first time. This parasite is a member of the Laverania parasite family that only infect the great apes including humans, chimpanzees and gorillas. Scientists estimate that Plasmodium falciparum emerged as a human-specific parasite species earlier than previously thought. […]

  • Optimum shade for cocoa
    on May 18, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    As chocolate becomes ever more popular, demand for cocoa keeps rising. For production to keep up, agricultural practices have to become more sustainable. Researchers tested what shade trees can contribute to solving this problem. […]

  • Climate change broadens threat of emerald ash borer
    on May 17, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    More Canadian cities will experience damage from the emerald ash borer than previously thought. As a result of climate change and fewer days of extreme cold, the beetle may eat its way further north than originally estimated. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Natural regeneration or tree-planting? Study points to bias in forest restoration studies
    on May 16, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    At a time when countries are pledging to restore millions of hectares of forest, new research argues that recent studies on forest regeneration techniques are flawed. Sites used to evaluate natural regeneration were secondary growth forests, whereas sites chosen to evaluate artificial regeneration ranged from abandoned coal mines to cattle-trampled fields. Authors of the new study suggest elements of both techniques should be considered, depending on the objectives for a site and its current state. […]

  • Whole-tree logging may not hinder plant biodiversity
    on May 16, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    When it comes to timber harvesting, removing the whole tree -- from stump to twigs -- doesn't reduce plant diversity any more than old-fashioned logging, which leaves tree branches behind in the woods, new research finds. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Mixed forests: Ecologically and economically superior
    on May 9, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Mixed forests are more productive than monocultures. This is true on all five continents, and particularly in regions with high precipitation. These findings are highly relevant for forest science and forest management on a global scale. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 3D reconstruction of hidden branch structures made by using image analysis and AI tech
    on May 7, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Scientists have succeeded in reconstruction of plant branch structures, including the branch structures under leaves, by using image analysis and artificial intelligence technology, a world first. […]

  • Survival and restoration of China's native forests imperiled by proliferating tree plantations
    on May 2, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    China's reforestation efforts have led to an increase in tree cover by 32 percent but the increase mostly comes from people turning former croplands into tree plantations with only one type of tree, which is of little value to wildlife. Likewise, native forests actually decreased by 6 percent because people continued to clear native forests to make way for tree plantations. […]