Current Species News and Events

Current Species News and Events, Species News Articles.
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New comprehensive study on feeding patterns of tiger mosquitos in Europe
This study, published recently in the international journal Insects, was conducted by researchers from the University of Granada, the Doñana Biological Station, and the Biomedical Research Networking Centre for Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) (2021-02-23)

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)

Plant responses to climate are lagged
Plant responses to climate drivers such as temperature and precipitation may become visible only years after the actual climate event. This is a key result of new research led by the German Centre of Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) published in Global Change Biology. The results indicate that climate drivers may have different effects on the survivorship, growth and reproduction of plant species than suggested by earlier studies. (2021-02-22)

Dozens of new lichen species discovered in East African mountain forests
The species diversity and relationships of lichens in the genus Leptogium, which are often very difficult to identify to species, were assessed on the basis of DNA analyses using a large dataset collected during more than 10 years from East Africa. (2021-02-22)

Potential regional declines in species richness of tomato pollinators under climate
About 70% of the world's main crops depend on insect pollination. Climate change is already affecting the abundance and distribution of insects, which could cause geographical mismatches between crops and their pollinators. Crops that rely primarily on wild pollinators (e.g., crops that cannot be effectively pollinated by commercial colonies of honey bees) could be particularly in jeopardy. (2021-02-22)

Stem cells provide hope for dwindling wildlife populations
A paper recently published in the scientific journal Stem Cells and Development shares an important advancement in conservation -- one that may make the difference between survival and extinction for wildlife species that have been reduced to very small population sizes. Using fibroblast cells that have been preserved in San Diego Zoo Global's Frozen Zoo®, scientists have been able to generate induced pluripotent stem cells of northern and southern white rhinoceroses. (2021-02-22)

Don't focus on genetic diversity to save our species
Scientists at the University of Adelaide have challenged the common assumption that genetic diversity of a species is a key indicator of extinction risk. Published in the journal PNAS, the scientists demonstrate that there is no simple relationship between genetic diversity and species survival. But, Dr João Teixeira and Dr Christian Huber from the University of Adelaide's School of Biological Sciences conclude, the focus shouldn't be on genetic diversity anyway, it should be on habitat protection. (2021-02-22)

Parasites' dispersal capacity and rates of genetic introgression--a study
The results, recently published in the journal Communications Biology, have important applications in the field of coevolutionary biology (2021-02-19)

The distribution of vertebrate animals redefines temperate and cold climate regions
The distribution of vegetation is routinely used to classify climate regions worldwide, yet whether these regions are relevant to other organisms is unknown. Umeå researchers have established climate regions based on vertebrate species' distributions in a new study published in eLife. They found that while high-energy climate regions are similar across vertebrate and plant groups, there are large differences in temperate and cold climates. (2021-02-18)

Wintering bird communities track climate change faster than breeding communities in Europe and North America
A study recently completed in Europe and North America indicates that the composition of wintering and breeding bird communities changes in line with global warming. However, wintering bird communities are considerably faster at tracking the changing climate compared to breeding communities. (2021-02-17)

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)

Breakthrough in the fight against spruce bark beetles
For the first time, a research team led by Lund University in Sweden has mapped out exactly what happens when spruce bark beetles use their sense of smell to find trees and partners to reproduce with. The hope is that the results will lead to better pest control and protection of the forest in the future. (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)

Scientists propose three-step method to reverse significant reforestation side effect
Reforestation efforts using a monoculture of a fast-growing tree species, while effective, significantly impact the soil water content of humid, tropical regions and threatens global freshwater supplies. Scientists have now found that the transpiration rate and transpiration-related trait values are up to 10 times greater in the fast-growing species than nearby, dominant slow-growing species. The team has proposed a three-step method for ensuring reforestation efforts in tropical regions don't harm the surrounding soil water content. (2021-02-10)

Research reveals why plant diversity is so important for bee diversity
A study in southern England reveals why bumble bees and honey bees thrive despite foraging on the same flowers. (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)

Infectious disease causes long-term changes to frog's microbiome
In a rare study published this week, Andrea Jani, a researcher with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, determined the skin microbiome of an endangered frog was altered when the frogs were infected by a specific fungus, and it didn't recover to its initial state even when the frog was cured of the infection. (2021-02-10)

Ecological interactions as a driver of evolution
In a recent study, an international team of researchers including TUD botanist Prof. Stefan Wanke has investigated the origin of the mega-diversity of herbivorous insects. These account for a quarter of terrestrial diversity. The results of the study were recently published in the international journal Nature Communications. There the scientists show that the evolutionary success of insects may be linked to recurrent changes in host plants. (2021-02-09)

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)

All in the head? Brains adapt to support new species
Scientists studying forest dwelling butterflies in Central and South America have discovered that changes in the way animals perceive and process information from their environment can support the emergence of new species. The study led by the University of Bristol, and published today [9 February] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has implications for how new species might evolve and the underappreciated role of changes in the brain. (2021-02-08)

Climate change may have driven the emergence of SARS-CoV-2
Global greenhouse gas emissions over the last century have made southern China a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses, by driving growth of forest habitat favoured by bats. (2021-02-05)

Birds living in natural habits can help inform captive care
Bird species that live in their natural habitats can help zoos learn how to manage those in captivity, according to a new review. (2021-02-05)

Pangolin coronavirus could jump to humans
Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute have found important structural similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and a pangolin coronavirus. (2021-02-05)

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)

A deadly fungus is killing frogs, but the bacteria on their skin could protect them
Researchers in Costa Rica have found that some bacteria on the skin of amphibians prevent growth of the fungus responsible for what has been dubbed 'the amphibian apocalypse'. (2021-02-03)

Research findings can help to increase population size of endangered species
The findings of a new study examining the behaviours of alligator and caiman hatchlings have enhanced our understanding of how we can conserve, and increase, the population of endangered crocodilian species. (2021-02-03)

Soldiers, snakes and marathon runners in the hidden world of fungi
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have discovered the individual traits of fungi, and how their hyphae - that is, the fungal threads that grow in soil - behave very differently as they navigate through the earth's microscopic labyrinths. (2021-02-02)

Pollinator host-switches and fig hybridization dominate fig-wasp coevolution
Together with colleagues from 11 institutions from home and abroad, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have recently shown that the fig hybridization mediated by pollinator host-switching in the obligate fig-wasp pollination system is more common than previously thought. (2021-02-02)

Arctic shrubs add new piece to ecological puzzle
A 15-year experiment on Arctic shrubs in Greenland lends new understanding to an enduring ecological puzzle: How do species with similar needs and life histories occur together at large scales while excluding each other at small scales? Its findings also reveal trends related to carbon sequestration and climate change as the Arctic becomes both greener and browner. (2021-02-01)

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)

New malaria mosquito is emerging in African cities
Larvae of a new malaria mosquito species are abundantly present in water containers in cities in Ethiopia. The mosquito, Anopheles stephensi, is the main malaria mosquito in India but only appeared on the African continent a few years ago. It has now been found in cities and towns in urban settings in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti. Malaria can become an increasing problem for urban areas in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa. (2021-01-27)

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)

Scientists show impact of human activity on bird species
Scientists have shown where bird species would exist in the absence of human activity under research that could provide a new approach to setting conservation priorities. (2021-01-25)

A quarter of known bee species haven't appeared in public records since the 1990s
Researchers at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) in Argentina have found that, since the 1990s, up to 25% of reported bee species are no longer being reported in global records, despite a large increase in the number of records available. While this does not mean that these species are all extinct, it might indicate that these species have become rare enough that no one is observing them in nature. The findings appear January 22 in the journal One Earth. (2021-01-22)

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)

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)

Bonobos, chimpanzees, and oxytocin
Kyoto University researchers analyze the effects of the hormone oxytocin in our closest primate cousins, bonobos and chimpanzees by tracking their eye movement -- a important indicator of social interaction. Similar to other mammals, oxytocin increases eye contact in bonobos. However, the opposite effect is observed in chimpanzees. Therefore, oxytocin could play a modulating role in the social evolution of the two species. (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)

50 million-year-old fossil assassin bug has unusually well-preserved genitalia
The fossilized insect is tiny and its genital capsule, called a pygophore, is roughly the length of a grain of rice. It is remarkable, scientists say, because the bug's physical characteristics -- from the bold banding pattern on its legs to the internal features of its genitalia -- are clearly visible and well-preserved. Recovered from the Green River Formation in present-day Colorado, the fossil represents a new genus and species of predatory insects known as assassin bugs. (2021-01-19)

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