Current Ecology News and Events

Current Ecology News and Events, Ecology News Articles.
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Transforming urban systems: Toward sustainability
In the inaugural issue of npj Urban Sustainability, a new Nature Partner Journal out today, a team of leading urban ecologists outlines a practical checklist to guide interventions, strategies, and research that better position urban systems to meet urgent sustainability goals. (2021-02-23)

Animal evolution -- glimpses of ancient environments
Zoologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich report the discovery of a trove of fossil fly larvae, and an intriguing caterpillar, encapsulated in samples of amber that are tens of millions of years old. (2021-02-19)

What impact will robots and autonomous systems have on urban ecosystems?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), autonomous cars, robots that can repair urban infrastructure and wireless sensor networks used for monitoring, etc. are just some of the devices that will spring up all over our cities in a few years. They have a wide range of potential applications, such as autonomous transport, waste collection, infrastructure maintenance and repair, surveillance and precision agriculture, among others. However, we must also consider the impact these technologies will have on urban biodiversity and its ecosystems in the future. (2021-02-19)

Migratory birds track climate across the year
As climate change takes hold across the Americas, some areas will get wetter, and others will get hotter and drier. A new study of the yellow warbler, a widespread migratory songbird, shows that individuals have the same climatic preferences across their migratory range. (2021-02-18)

New study evaluates the advancement of ecology from a 2D to 3D science
A new study, published in Bioscience, considers the future of ecology, where technological advancement towards a multidimensional science will continue to fundamentally shift the way we view, explore, and conceptualize the natural world. (2021-02-17)

Tropical paper wasps babysit for neighbours
Wasps provide crucial support to their extended families by babysitting at neighbouring nests, according to new research by a team of biologists from the universities of Bristol, Exeter and UCL published today [15 February] in Nature Ecology and Evolution. (2021-02-15)

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)

Substance in the blood of pregnant women fights pathological immune reaction
Scientists studied the effect of trophoblastic β1-glycoprotein in the blood of pregnant women on pro-inflammatory immune cells. Thanks to trophoblastic β1-glycoprotein, a woman's body does not adversely react to the fetus and supports its normal development until birth. It turned out that trophoblastic β1-glycoproteins also suppressed the development of pro-inflammatory lymphocytes and reduced their activity. (2021-02-10)

Fingerprint for the formation of nitrous oxide emissions
Scientists led by Eliza Harris and Michael Bahn from the Institute of Ecology at the University of Innsbruck have succeeded in studying emissions of the greenhouse gas N2O under the influence of environmental impacts in an unprecedented level of detail. The study, which has now been published in Science Advances, is thus also a starting point for the creation of models that could predict future trends in the greenhouse gas emission dynamics of ecosystems under global climate change. (2021-02-05)

Flower diversity may mitigate insecticide effects on wild bees
A higher diversity of flowering plants increases the breeding success of wild bees and may help compensate for the negative effects of insecticides. This is what researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Hohenheim, as well as the Julius Kühn Institute, have found in a large-scale experimental study. The results have been published in the scientific journal Ecology Letters. (2021-02-03)

Fungus that eats fungus could help coffee farmers
Coffee rust is a parasitic fungus and a big problem for coffee growers around the world. A study in the birthplace of coffee - Ethiopia - shows that another fungus seems to have the capacity to supress the rust outbreaks in this landscape. (2021-02-03)

Fish sex organs boosted under high-CO2
Research from Australia has found that some species of fish will have higher reproductive capacity because of larger sex organs, under the more acidic oceans of the future. (2021-01-21)

Penned release of green geckos has potential to help preserve threatened native species
In a paper just published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology, the Department of Zoology researchers outlined how they translocated 19 barking geckos to Mana Island, using the method of penned release - enclosing them in a 100m² pen for three months so they get used to the site and hopefully establish a breeding population. (2021-01-13)

DNA in water used to uncover genes of invasive fish
In a proof-of-principle study, Cornell researchers describe a new technique in which they analyzed environmental DNA - or eDNA - from water samples in Cayuga Lake to gather nuanced information about the presence of these invasive fish. (2021-01-12)

Big differences in how coral reef fish larvae are dispersed
How the larvae of colorful clownfish that live among coral reefs in the Philippines are dispersed varies widely, depending on the year and seasons - a Rutgers-led finding that could help scientists improve conservation of species. Right after most coral reef fish hatch, they join a swirling sea of plankton as tiny, transparent larvae. Then currents, winds and waves disperse them, frequently to different reefs. (2021-01-11)

More than just a sun tan: Ultraviolet light helps marine animals to tell the time of year
Changes in daylength are a well-established annual timing cue for animal behavior and physiology. An international collaboration of scientists led by Kristin Tessmar-Raible at the Max Perutz Labs, a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, now shows that, in addition to daylength, marine bristle worms sense seasonal intensity changes of UVA/deep violet light to adjust the levels of important neurohormones and their behavior. The study is published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. (2021-01-11)

Mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain may not deliver the desired outcomes for nature
England's proposed mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain requirement for new developments might not deliver on promises to increase biodiversity, according to research being presented at British Ecological Society's Festival of Ecology. (2020-12-16)

Artificial intelligence helps scientists develop new general models in ecology
The automation of scientific discoveries is here to stay. Among others, a machine-human cooperation found a hitherto unknown general model explaining the relation between the area and age of an island and the number of species it hosts. (2020-12-11)

Natural environmental conditions facilitate the uptake of microplastics into living cells
The environment is polluted by microplastics worldwide. A research team at the University of Bayreuth has now discovered that microplastic particles find their way into living cells more easily if they were exposed to natural aquatic environments, i.e. fresh water and seawater. Biomolecules occurring in the water are deposited on the microplastic surfaces, which promote the internalization of the particles into cells. (2020-12-10)

Electronic waste on the decline, new study finds
A new study, led by a researcher at the Yale School of the Environment's Center for Industrial Ecology and published recently in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, has found that the total mass of electronic waste generated by Americans has been declining since 2015. This surprising finding has ramifications for both how we think about electronic waste's future and for the laws and regulations regarding e-waste recycling, according to the study's authors. (2020-12-01)

Enriching research in ecology and evolution through nine 'flavors' of history
In a recent article in The Quarterly Review of Biology, ''Beyond Equilibria: The Neglected Role of History in Ecology and Evolution,'' author Hamish G. Spencer argues for a revitalized view of history. This historical view is a response to current research in the field of ecology and evolution, which is dominated by an ahistorical view of dynamic systems. (2020-11-23)

Saving your data together helps birds and bird research
It hasn't been more than a year and a half since the international researchers' network SPI-Birds started officially. Together they collect, secure and use long-term breeding population data of 1.5 million individually recognisable birds... and counting. Big questions in ecology and evolution can be answered using this data. Today, the publication of SPI-Birds' first scientific paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology coincides with receiving the Dutch Data Incentive Prize for Medical and Life Sciences. (2020-11-18)

Study highlights sex-specific variability in mouse features
Scientists have shown that sex-specific differences in variability depend on individual physical and physiological features in mice, debunking competing theories that either males or females are more variable. (2020-11-17)

Slow-living animal species could be disease 'reservoirs'
Animals that live slowly - breeding less rapidly and living longer - could be ''reservoirs'' of diseases that could jump to new species including humans, new research suggests. (2020-11-09)

Workshop collaboration aims to move tidal marsh research forward
Tidal marshes play a significant role in coastal ecosystems. They are a nursery ground for juvenile fishes and a line of defense in coastal erosion. However, there is still a great deal not known about tidal marshes. In November 2019, 65 scientists, managers, and restoration practitioners converged at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to see where tidal marsh research has been and where it needs to go. (2020-11-09)

Species more likely to die out with rapid climate changes
The great tit and other birds can adapt to changes in their food supply as a result of climate change, but they run into trouble if the changes happen too quickly. (2020-11-05)

Intensive lab experiences and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic
For students studying ecology and evolution, it's important to experience the processes and concepts they are learning about nature in nature. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, field-based courses rapidly transitioned to online only delivery. An article published in Ecology and Evolution discusses the potential advantages of pairing an intensive lab experience with an otherwise online delivery. (2020-11-04)

Paper addresses fieldwork safety for minority scientists
Scientists and graduate students with minority identities who conduct fieldwork report being stalked, followed, sexually assaulted, harassed, threatened, having guns pulled on them and police called on them. These issues threaten minority-identity researchers' physical health and safety during fieldwork, while also affecting their mental health, productivity and professional development. (2020-11-04)

From nitrate crisis to phosphate crisis?
The aim of the EU Nitrates Directive is to reduce nitrates leaking into the environment and to prevent pollution of water supplies. The widely accepted view is that this will help protect threatened plant species which can be damaged by high levels of nutrients like nitrates. However, an international team including the Universities of Göttingen, Utrecht and Zurich, has discovered that many threatened plant species will suffer because of this policy. Results appeared in Nature Ecology and Evolution. (2020-11-03)

What's for dinner? Dolphin diet study
More evidence has emerged to support stricter coastal management, this time focusing on pollution and overfishing in the picturesque tourist waters off Auckland in New Zealand. A study of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the Hauraki Gulf connects their diet with the prevalence of commercial fishing and water quality - emphasising the need to carefully manage marine parks and surrounding environments to prevent overfishing and extensive nutrient runoff. (2020-11-02)

Small mussels in the Baltic are getting even smaller
Blue mussels in the Baltic Sea are getting smaller with time but bigger in numbers, according to a new study from Stockholm University. Analyzing data from the last 24 years, the main reason for this appears to be changes in food quality. The type of phytoplankton that is available for blue mussels to eat can in turn be linked to our changing climate. (2020-10-27)

Drug resistance linked to antibiotic use and patient transfers in hospitals
Understanding the role of antibiotic use patterns and patient transfers in the emergence of drug-resistant microbes is essential to crafting effective prevention strategies, suggests a study published today in eLife. (2020-10-27)

Tiny beetles a bellwether of ecological disruption by climate change
New research shows that as species across the world adjust where they live in response to climate change, they will come into competition with other species that could hamper their ability to keep up with the pace of this change. (2020-10-19)

More than 'just a fish' story
For recreational fishing enthusiasts, the thrill of snagging their next catch comes with discovering what's hooked on the end of the line. In many freshwater streams and rivers -- across the central and eastern parts of the U.S. -- anglers are often catching a popular freshwater game fish: the smallmouth bass. Now, scientists have discovered a new level of biodiversity within that species. (2020-10-19)

Crabs are key to ecology and economy in Oman
The intertidal mudflats of Barr Al Hikman, a nature reserve at the south-east coast of the Sultanate Oman, are crucial nursery grounds for numerous crab species. In return, crabs are a vital element of the ecology, as well as the regional economy, a new publication in Hydrobiologia shows. 'These important functions of the crabs should be considered when looking at the increasing human pressure on this nature reserve', first author and NIOZ-researcher Roeland Bom says. (2020-10-08)

Sicker livestock may increase climate woes
Climate change is affecting the spread and severity of infectious diseases around the world -- and infectious diseases may in turn be contributing to climate change, according to a new paper in Trends in Ecology & Evolution. The research, led by Vanessa Ezenwa, a professor of ecology at the University of Georgia, and funded by the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University in St. Louis, describes how parasites can cause animals to produce more methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. (2020-10-07)

Naked prehistoric monsters! Evidence that prehistoric flying reptiles probably had
Pterosaur expert Dr David Unwin from the University of Leicester's Centre for Palaeobiology Research, and Professor Dave Martill, of the University of Portsmouth have examined the evidence that these creatures had feathers and believe they were in fact bald (2020-09-28)

Penicillium camemberti: a history of domestication on cheese
The white, fluffy layer that covers Camembert is made of a mould resulting from human selection, similar to the way dogs were domesticated from wolves. A collaboration involving French scientists from the CNRS has shown that the mould Penicillium camemberti is the result of a domestication process. (2020-09-24)

Tiny worlds reveal fundamental drivers of abundance, diversity
Ecology is traditionally a data-poor discipline, but tiny microbial worlds offer the quantity of data needed to solve universal questions about abundance and diversity. New research in Nature Communications reveals the fundamental relationship between the environment and the species present in a microbial community and can be used as a starting point for investigating bigger systems. (2020-09-23)

Ecological factors driving microbial community assembly in response to warming
Researchers from the OU Institute for Environmental Genomics and Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology lead a study that aims to better understand ecological community assembly mechanisms in response to climate warming. (2020-09-22)

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