Current Biodiversity News and Events

Current Biodiversity News and Events, Biodiversity News Articles.
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Rapid evolution may help species adapt to climate change and competition
A study shows that a fruit fly species can adapt rapidly to an invader and this evolutionary change can affect how they deal with a stressful climate. Over a few months, the naturalized species adapted to the invasive species' presence. This affected how the flies adapted to cold weather. The flies exposed to invasive species evolved in the fall to be larger, lay fewer eggs and develop faster than flies that hadn't been exposed. (2021-02-22)

Conservation paradox - the pros and cons of recreational hunting
In a new article published in the journal One Earth, scientists from the University of Helsinki in Finland and Flinders University in Australia have reviewed more than 1,000 studies on recreational hunting -- the first such attempt to summarize the scientific literature examining the biodiversity and social effects of recreational hunting globally. (2021-02-19)

Electrical transmission lines have power to enhance habitat connectivity for wildlife
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Converting the ground under electrical transmission towers into spaces for wildlife can enable fragmented populations to connect with one another, increasing local biodiversity and providing animals around the globe an important tool for adapting to climate change, a new study found. (2021-02-19)

More than half of Earth's rivers strongly impacted by human activity
Few of Earth's freshwater areas remain untouched by humans. More than half of the planet's freshwater river basins have been heavily impacted by human activities, according to a new study, which presents a novel, multi-faceted approach for evaluating biodiversity change at a global scale. (2021-02-18)

Fish diet heats up marine biodiversity hotspot
A never-before-seen biodiversity pattern of coral reef fishes suggests some fishes might be exceptionally vulnerable to environmental change. It highlights, for the first time, a unique link between the diet and distribution of species across the marine realm. (2021-02-17)

Ferns in the mountains
In a new study in the Journal of Biogeography an international team of researchers led by Harvard University assembled one of the largest global assessment of fern diversity. The study integrated digitized herbarium data, genetic data, and climatic data and discovered 58% of fern species occur in eight principally montane hotspots that comprise only 7% of Earth's land area. And within these hotspots, patterns of heightened diversity were amplified at higher elevations above 1000 meters. (2021-02-16)

Climate change forces rethinking of conservation biology planning
For more than a decade, governments in countries across the world have made significant progress to expand their protected areas network to conserve the planet's biodiversity. According to a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology, the locations of these protected areas do not take into account the potential long-term effects of climate change in these protected areas. (2021-02-15)

New insights to past ecosystems are now available based on pollen and plant traits
Researchers have mined and combined information from two databases to link pollen and key plant traits to generate confidence in the ability to reconstruct past ecosystem services. The approach can help understand how plants performed different benefits useful for humans over the past 21,000 years, and how these services responded to human and climate disturbances. (2021-02-11)

New study reveals biodiversity important at regional scales
New research shows that biodiversity is important not just at the traditional scale of short-term plot experiments--in which ecologists monitor the health of a single meadow, forest grove, or pond after manipulating its species counts--but when measured over decades and across regional landscapes as well. The findings can help guide conservation planning and enhance efforts to make human communities more sustainable. (2021-02-11)

Gulls, sentinels of bacteria in the environment
Gulls are one of the main wild birds that act as reservoirs of Campylobacter and Salmonella, two most relevant intestinal antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing gastroenteritis in humans. Therefore, according to an article published in the journal Science of the Total Environment seagulls could act as sentinels of the antibiotic pressure in the environment. (2021-02-10)

Sawfish face global extinction unless overfishing is curbed
Sawfish have disappeared from half of the world's coastal waters and the distinctive shark-like rays face complete extinction due to overfishing, according to a new study by Simon Fraser University researchers, published in Science Advances. (2021-02-10)

Richness of plant species reduces the number of viral infections in meadows
A new study indicates that agricultural activity confuses the mechanisms that regulate the occurrence of plant diseases in nature. A wider variety of virus species was found in meadows close to agricultural fields compared to those located in natural surroundings, with the richness of plant species having no effect on the number of virus species. However, maintaining biodiversity is worthwhile, as plant richness did reduce the number of viral infections in the meadows. (2021-02-08)

Man-made borders threaten wildlife as climate changes
Walls and fences designed to secure national borders could make it difficult for almost 700 mammal species to adapt to climate change, according to new research. (2021-02-08)

Even in same desert location, species experience differences in exposure to climate warming
Despite living in the same part of the Mojave Desert, and experiencing similar conditions, mammals and birds native to this region experienced fundamentally different exposures to climate warming over the last 100 years, a new study shows; small mammal communities there remained much more stable than birds, in the face of local climate change, it reports. (2021-02-04)

Biodiversity is its own catalyst -- to a point
For decades, scientists have wrestled with rival theories to explain how interactions between species, like competition, influence biodiversity. Tracking microbial life across the planet, researchers from McGill University show that biodiversity does in fact foster further diversity in microbiomes that are initially less diverse. However, diversity rates plateau with increased competition for survival and space in more diverse microbiomes. (2021-02-03)

Study challenges ecology's 'Field of Dreams' hypothesis
A new study challenges the ''Field of Dreams'' hypothesis in restoration ecology, which predicts that restoring plant biodiversity will lead to recovery of animal biodiversity. The study of restored tallgrass prairie found the effects of management strategies (specifically controlled burns and bison reintroduction) on animal communities were six times stronger on average than the effects of plant biodiversity. (2021-02-02)

Algorithm for algal rhythms
Red Sea atlas of algal blooms reveals the need for more sustainable fish farming. (2021-01-31)

Alpine plants at risk of extinction following disappearing glaciers
Nearly a quarter of Italian alpine plant species are threatened by glacier retreat, according to a new study from Stanford University. Glaciers around the world are predicted to disappear within the next decade and the consequences for the plants, animals and societies surrounding them are still uncertain. By combining historical records, current surveys and computational models, the researchers' findings may help guide conservation efforts. (2021-01-29)

Growth of northern Tibet proved the key to East Asian biodiversity
In a recent study, a joint research team led by scientists from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Bristol (UK) and the Open University (UK) has revealed the first direct mechanism explaining how the growth of mountains in Northern Tibet drastically altered climate, vegetation and plant diversity in East Asia. (2021-01-27)

Pioneering research unravels hidden origins of Eastern Asia's 'land of milk and honey'
A study has revealed for the first time the ancient origins of one of the world's most important ecosystems by unlocking the mechanism which determined the evolution of its mountains and how they shaped the weather there as well as its flora and fauna. (2021-01-27)

Avoid repeating old mistakes
Global goals for biodiversity must apply to all member states of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) also at national level. This is one of four recommendations for improving the global strategy for biodiversity made by researchers at Nanjing Institute for Environmental Research, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The researchers analyse why the goals have been largely missed so far and present concrete policy options. (2021-01-26)

Southern Africa's most endangered shark just extended its range by 2,000 kilometers
A team of marine scientists led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has confirmed that southern Africa's most threatened endemic shark - the Critically Endangered shorttail nurse shark (Pseudoginglymostoma brevicaudatum) - has been found to occur in Mozambique; a finding that represents a range extension of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles). (2021-01-26)

Abandoned cropland should produce biofuels
More biofuels are needed to counteract climate change. But producing them shouldn't diminish food production or wilderness areas. The solution may be to grow more grass on recently abandoned cropland. (2021-01-21)

The downward trend: Nature's decline risks our quality of life
Scientists conducted a sweeping review of nature's contributions to humans in order to present a clear breakdown of global trends since 1970. Not surprisingly, the results are grim (2021-01-21)

Climate-related species extinction possibly mitigated by newly discovered effect
Changes in climate that occur over short periods of time influence biodiversity. For a realistic assessment of these effects, it is necessary to also consider previous temperature trends going far back into Earth's history. Researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg show this in a paper for ''Nature Ecology and Evolution''. (2021-01-20)

Indigenous lands: A haven for wildlife
Indigenous peoples' lands may harbour a significant proportion of threatened and endangered species globally, according to University of Queensland-led research. (2021-01-20)

Protected areas vulnerable to growing emphasis on food security
New study shows croplands are prevalent in protected areas, challenging their efficacy in meeting conservation goals. (2021-01-19)

Divergences between scientific and Indigenous and Local Knowledge can be helpful
Divergences between scientific and Indigenous and Local Knowledge can provide a better understanding of why local pastoralists may be willing, or not, to participate in conservation initiatives for carnivores, a study from University of Helsinki suggests. (2021-01-15)

Stuck in a rut: Ocean acidification locks algal communities in a simplified state
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found that ocean acidification limits algal communities to a state of low diversity and complexity. Communities grown in waters rich in carbon dioxide (CO2) were dominated by turf algae, and had low biodiversity, ecological complexity and biomass. Communities grown under acidic conditions and then transferred to waters that weren't CO2-enriched increased their biodiversity and complexity, showing that they can recover if CO2 emissions are significantly reduced. (2021-01-15)

Posidonia marine seagrass can catch and remove plastics from the sea
Posidonia oceanica seagrass -an endemic marine phanerogam with an important ecological role in the marine environment- can take and remove plastic materials that have been left at the sea, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. The article's first author is the tenure-track 2 lecturer Anna Sànchez-Vidal, from the Research Group on Marine Geosciences of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona (UB). (2021-01-14)

Measuring the belowground world
Life above ground depends on the soil and its countless inhabitants. Yet, global strategies to protect biodiversity have so far paid little attention to this habitat. Researchers led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Leipzig University (UL) and Colorado State University call for greater consideration of soils in international biodiversity strategies, far beyond agriculture. The researchers explain their plan for systematic recording to enable comprehensive policy advisory. (2021-01-14)

Climate change doesn't spare the smallest
With a combined century of experience in the tropics, the University of Pennsylvania's Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs have seen a striking contraction of insect numbers and diversity. They share new data suggesting that climate change is the culprit and a way to protect the survivors: a bioliteracy program that aims to educate Costa Rican residents about the diversity around them and empower them to conserve it. It's a model they hope catches on and spreads around the globe. (2021-01-14)

Expert prognosis for the planet - we're on track for a ghastly future
An international group of 17 leading scientists have produced a comprehensive yet concise assessment of the state of civilization, warning that the outlook is more dire and dangerous than is generally understood. (2021-01-13)

A bucket of water can reveal climate change impacts on marine life in the Arctic
We know very little about marine life in the Arctic. Now researchers from the University of Copenhagen, among others, are trying to change that. They have shown that a simple water sample makes it possible to monitor the presence, migration patterns and genetic diversity of bowhead whales in an otherwise hard-to-reach area. The method can be used to understand how climate changes and human activities impact life in the oceans. (2021-01-12)

Native biodiversity collapse in the Eastern Mediterranean
An international team led by Paolo G. Albano from the Department of Palaeontology at the University of Vienna quantified a dramatic biodiversity collapse of up to 95 per cent of native species in the Eastern Mediterranean. The study is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. (2021-01-07)

Eurasian eagle owl diet reveals new records of threatened giant bush-crickets
Bird diets provide a real treasure for research into the distribution and conservation of their prey, conclude scientists after studying the Eurasian Eagle Owl in southeastern Bulgaria. In their paper, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Travaux du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle ''Grigore Antipa'', they report the frequent presence of the threatened Big-Bellied Glandular Bush-Cricket, and conclude that studies on the Eurasian Eagle Owl could be used to identify biodiversity-rich areas in need of protection. (2021-01-05)

New work provides insight into the relationship between complexity and diversity
Parts of the planet that are diverse biologically and culturally are even more diverse than you'd expect. A group of Santa Fe Institute collaborators developed a theory to show why richer environments are also more complex environments, where you tend to find more species and languages. (2021-01-05)

New research makes strong case for restoring Hong Kong's lost oyster reefs
New research produced jointly by The Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS), Faculty of Science, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), published recently in the scientific journal Restoration Ecology, shows the enormous potential of restoring lost oyster reefs, bringing significant environmental benefits. (2020-12-28)

Climate crisis is causing lakes to shrink
Climate change is impacting not only the oceans, but also large inland lakes. As the world's largest lake, the Caspian Sea is a perfect example of how a body of water can and will change. In an article in the Nature journal Communications Earth & Environment, Dr. Matthias Prange of MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen, and his colleagues discuss the possible ecological, political and economic consequences, as well as viable solutions. (2020-12-23)

Remarkable new species of snake found hidden in a biodiversity collection
A graduate research assistant at the University of Kansas was intrigued by an overlooked snake in the collections of the KU Biodiversity Institute. It turned out it's both a new genus, and a new species, published today in the journal Copeia. (2020-12-23)

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