Popular Ecology News and Current Events

Popular Ecology News and Current Events, Ecology News Articles.
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Insect food webs
Biological diversity stabilizes species interactions. (2019-03-06)

Symphony of genes
One of the most exciting discoveries in genome research was that the last common ancestor of all multicellular animals already possessed an extremely complex genome. It has long been unclear whether the arrangement of these genes in the genome also had a certain function. In a recent study, biologists show that not only individual genes but also these gene arrangements in the genome have played a key role in the course of animal evolution. (2019-08-05)

Plant respiration could become a bigger feedback on climate than expected
New research suggests that plant respiration is a larger source of carbon emissions than previously thought, and warns that as the world warms, this may reduce the ability of Earth's land surface to absorb emissions due to fossil fuel burning. (2017-11-17)

How social media helps scientists get the message across
Analyzing the famous academic aphorism 'publish or perish' through a modern digital lens, a group of emerging ecologists and conservation scientists wanted to see whether communicating their new research discoveries through social media -- primarily Twitter -- eventually leads to higher citations years down the road. Turns out, the tweets are worth the time investment. (2018-04-12)

Ethnic diversity in schools may be good for students' grades, a UC Davis study suggests
The findings suggest that schools might look for ways to provide cross-ethnic interaction among students to take advantage of ethnic diversity. (2017-09-11)

Themed issue lays foundation for emerging field of collective movement ecology
Collective movement is one of the great natural wonders on Earth and has long captured our imaginations. But there's a lot we don't understand about how collective movement drives -- and is driven by -- broader ecological and evolutionary processes. A special themed issue gathers contributions from a range of researchers working in the emerging field of collective movement ecology, which is poised to dive into some of these outstanding questions. (2018-03-26)

Life in the fast lane: USU ecologist says dispersal ability linked to plants' life cycles
Utah State University ecologist Noelle Beckman says seed dispersal is an essential, yet overlooked, process of plant demography, but it's difficult to empirically observe, measure and assess its full influence. (2018-06-17)

Mechanisms explaining positional diversity of the hindlimb in tetrapod evolution
Elucidating how body parts in their earliest recognizable form are assembled in tetrapods during development is essential for understanding the nature of morphological evolution. Nagoya University researchers found in eight tetrapod species that the position of the sacral vertebrae and the hindlimbs is determined by the initiation timing of Gdf11 gene expression. This will contribute to a forthcoming model explaining the coupling of spine and hindlimb positioning - a major step in fully understanding tetrapod evolution. (2017-08-18)

Fussy eating prevents mongoose family feuds
Mongooses living in large groups develop 'specialist' diets so they don't have to fight over food, new research shows. (2018-03-14)

A dolphin diet
The health of dolphin populations worldwide depends on sustained access to robust food sources. (2017-08-02)

Biodiversity is 3-D
The species-area relationship (SAC) is a long-time considered pattern in ecology and is discussed in most of academic Ecology books. Its implications are relevant for many ecological, evolutionary, conservation and biogeographic purposes. Conversely, the associated volume-species relation has been almost ignored. (2017-06-09)

A global early warning system for infectious diseases
In the recent issue of EMBO reports, Barbara Han of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and John Drake of the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology call for the creation of a global early warning system for infectious diseases. Such a system would use computer models to tap into environmental, epidemiological and molecular data, gathering the intelligence needed to forecast where disease risk is high and what actions could prevent outbreaks or contain epidemics. (2016-05-19)

Evolutionary crop research: Ego-plants give lower yield
Evolutionary biologists are calling for a shift in the usual plant breeding paradigm, which is based on selecting the fittest plants to create new varieties. New research results show that a plants ability to be less competitive and behave according to the good of the group could be a key feature in the attempt to increase crop yields. (2017-10-02)

Ozone watch
The symposium covers all issues related to atmospheric ozone, including trends of ozone in the stratosphere and troposphere, ozone-climate interactions, latest emerging techniques for ozone observations, and effects of ozone on human health, ecosystems and food production. Future challenges for stratospheric and tropospheric ozone are highlighted. (2017-02-01)

New studies aim to boost social science methods in conservation research
Scientists have produced a series of papers designed to improve research on conservation and the environment. (2018-01-11)

Deeper understanding of species roles in ecosystems
A species' traits define the role it plays in the ecosystem in which it lives -- this is the conclusion of a study carried out by researchers at Linköping University, Sweden. New methods can make it easier to predict the ecological role that a species will play when it is introduced, by accident or design, into a new habitat. (2018-04-12)

Dolphins tear up nets as fish numbers fall
Fishing nets suffer six times more damage when dolphins are around - and overfishing is forcing dolphins and fishermen ever closer together, new research shows. (2018-03-29)

Warmer water signals change for Scotland's shags
An increasingly catholic diet among European shags at one of Scotland's best-studied breeding colonies has been linked to long-term climate change and may have important implications for Scotland's seabirds. (2017-11-17)

New book examines ecology of threatened prairie-chickens
A new volume in the Cooper Ornithological Society's Studies in Avian Biology series highlights the ecology of lesser prairie-chickens. (2016-03-11)

Predicting insect feeding preferences after deforestation
Understanding how parasitoids and hosts interact, and how their interactions change with human influence, is critically important to understanding ecosystems. New research by an international team of researchers finds mathematical models can predict complex insect behavioural changes using a simple description of insect preferences. (2017-10-06)

Early bloomers: Statistical tool reveals climate change impacts on plants
Scientists from Utah State University, Harvard University, the University of Maryland, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Boston University and McGill University announce statistical tool to extract information from current and historical plant data. (2017-11-06)

Study predicts decreasing brown bear habitat due to climate change
A recent analysis of data related to the brown bear (Ursus arctos) estimates that suitable habitat will be reduced by 11 percent across Central Asia and the Asian Highlands by 2050 due to climate change, predominantly due to the changes in temperature and precipitation. The findings are published in Ecology and Evolution. (2018-11-21)

Global warming threatens Australia's iconic kangaroos
A new study published in the December issue of the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology finds that an increase in average temperature of only two degrees Celsius could have a devastating effect on populations of Australia's iconic kangaroos. (2008-10-15)

Surprising killer of southeastern salt marshes: Common sea snails
From South Carolina to Texas, salt marshes have experienced a massive die-off in recent years, threatening fisheries and leaving coastal areas vulnerable to flooding. The culprit, ecologists have long thought, is degraded soil. But new research, published in Science, points to the periwinkle - cordgrass consuming sea snails - as a major contributor to salt marsh loss. (2005-12-15)

What's in a niche? Time to rethink microbial ecology, say researchers
Scientists in Canada, the United States and Europe are looking to rewrite the textbook on microbial ecology. When it comes to microbe species, they argue, niche is much more important than names. In microbial systems, hundreds of species can co-exist and perform the same biochemical functions in one setting, and switch functions in a different setting, explains University of British Columbia scientist Stilianos Louca, who led the synthesis published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. (2018-04-16)

Men with HPV are 20 times more likely to be reinfected after one year
An analysis of HPV in men shows that infection with one type strongly increased the risk of reinfection of the same type. The study highlights the importance of vaccination for preventing the spread of HPV in young men before they become sexually active and in older men who have already contracted the virus. (2017-12-05)

Deadly cryptococcal fungi found in public spaces in South Africa
This is the first time that both Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii have been found in such large numbers on trees in South Africa. To date, only two studies (one from 2009 and the other published in 2011) have reported the presence of these pathogens in the South African environment. (2017-12-06)

Farming fish alter 'cropping' strategies under high CO2
Fish that 'farm' their own patches of seaweed alter their 'cropping' practices under high CO2 conditions, researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia have found. (2018-07-09)

Snacking snakes act as 'ecosystem engineers' in seed dispersal
Despite the bad rap snakes often get, they are more central to ecology than most people realize. New research reveals that snakes might even play a key role in dispersing plant seeds. (2018-02-08)

Recovery from acid rain 'much slower than expected'
Studies in Scotland and Wales show that streams still have high levels of acidity from pollution in the 1970s and 1980s, despite efforts to clean them. (2007-09-28)

Instability of wildlife trade does not encourage trappers to conserve natural habitats
The collection of wildlife for trade is unreliable and financially risky, thus limiting opportunities to incentivise biodiversity conservation at a local level, according to research by the University of Kent. (2018-03-07)

LSU, Yale team study agricultural impact on Mississippi River
According to a study published in Nature by researchers at LSU and Yale University, farming has significantly changed the hydrology and chemistry of the Mississippi River, injecting more carbon dioxide into the river and raising river discharge during the past 50 years. (2008-01-23)

1C rise in atmospheric temperature causes rapid changes to world's largest High Arctic lake
An interdisciplinary team of scientists examining everything from glaciology to freshwater ecology discovered drastic changes over the past decade to the world's largest High Arctic lake. And from glacial melt to the declining lake ice to changes in lake ecology, the results from Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island in Canada are alarming. (2018-04-06)

Orange is the new green: How orange peels revived a Costa Rican forest
In the mid-1990s, 1,000 truckloads of orange peels and orange pulp were purposefully unloaded onto a barren pasture in a Costa Rican national park. Today, that area is covered in lush, vine-laden forest. (2017-08-22)

Protecting 'high carbon' rainforest areas also protects threatened wildlife
Protecting 'high carbon' rainforest areas also protects threatened wildlife. (2017-11-06)

Opening a can of worms: Serendipitous discovery reveals earthworms more diverse than first thought
Scientists have found that the UK's common or garden earthworms are far more diverse than previously thought, a discovery with important consequences for agriculture. BBSRC-funded scientists at Cardiff University have found that many of the common earthworm species found in gardens and on agricultural land are actually made up of a number of distinct species that may have different roles in food chains and soil structure and ecology. (2008-10-09)

Research brief: Shifting tundra vegetation spells change for arctic animals
For nearly two decades, scientists have noted dramatic changes in arctic tundra habitat. UMN researchers set out to discover what could be behind the changes. (2018-03-06)

Birds of a feather mob together
Dive bombing a much larger bird isn't just a courageous act by often smaller bird species to keep predators at bay. It also gives male birds the chance to show off their physical qualities in order to impress females. This is according to a study, led by Filipe Cunha, in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology on predator mobbing behavior of birds where potential prey approach and harass would-be predators such as owls. (2017-02-22)

Studying rivers for clues to global carbon cycle
In the science world, media and our daily lives, the debate continues over how carbon in the atmosphere is affecting global climate change. In a study of how organic carbon is processed in rivers, a research team including an engineer, ecologists and microbiologists has determined that carbon processing in rivers is a bigger component of global carbon cycling than previously thought. The team lays out a framework for how scientists should go about assessing those processes. (2008-02-08)

The world's most spoken language is...'Terpene'
If you're small, smells are a good way to stand out. A team of researchers led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) has demonstrated for the first time that two different types of micro-organisms -- bacteria and fungi -- use fragrances, known as terpenes, to hold conversations. And that's not all. 'We actually believe that terpenes are the most popular chemical medium on our planet to communicate through.' (2017-04-13)

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