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20 percent more trees in megacities would mean cleaner air and water, lower carbon and energy use

USDA Invasive Species News -

Planting 20 percent more trees in our megacities would double the benefits of urban forests, like pollution reduction, carbon sequestration and energy reduction. The authors of the study say city planners, residents and other stakeholders should start looking within cities for natural resources and conserve the nature in our urban areas by planting more trees.

Post-fire logging harms Spotted owls

USDA Invasive Species News -

Post-fire logging, rather than the wildfires themselves, is responsible for the steep decline in territory occupancy of the rare Spotted owls living in the forests of California. The study's results coincide with the strong consensus among hundreds of US scientists opposing post-fire logging operations due to a wide range of ecological harms.

Exposure to water that is both salty and fresh is key to future success

USDA Invasive Species News -

According to Charles Darwin the ability to adapt to new conditions is essential for survival of species. The capacity to cope with altered conditions is becoming increasingly important in the face of climate change. New evidence on salt water tolerance in spawning migrating pike from the Baltic Sea suggests that not being adapted to specific local environments may promote persistence in an uncertain, rapidly changing world.

Species identification in the water bottle

USDA Invasive Species News -

Environmental DNA analysis makes it possible to detect water organisms without having to capture them first. For the first time, researchers systematically investigated the effect of various environmental factors on environmental DNA analyses. By doing so, the researchers have made an important step towards the standardized application of this method for the monitoring of water bodies.

Protecting corridors is critical to preserving genetic diversity in tigers, and mizimising extinction, study finds

USDA Invasive Species News -

Tigers have lost 95% of their historical range, and what remains is highly fragmented. According to a new study, high traffic roads and densely populated urban areas are a severe impediment to tiger movement between fragments. Unplanned development in the future will result in loss of connectivity and an increased possibility of extinction for several tiger populations. To ensure future persistence, tiger populations need to be managed as a network of protected areas connected by corridors.

Hiding from a warmer climate in the forest

USDA Invasive Species News -

Global warming threatens forest plants adapted to cooler temperatures. An international team of scientists have unraveled where these species could survive within colder spots in the same forest. The findings can help to understand the effect of climate change on forest biodiversity and what we can do to protect it.

Dramatic decline in genetic diversity of Northwest salmon

USDA Invasive Species News -

Columbia River Chinook salmon have lost as much as two-thirds of their genetic diversity, researchers have found. The researchers reached this conclusion after extracting DNA from scores of bone samples -- some harvested as many as 7,000 years ago -- and comparing them to the DNA of Chinook currently swimming in the Snake and Columbia rivers. The work is 'the first direct measure of reduced genetic diversity for Chinook salmon from the ancient to the contemporary period.'

Worldwide importance of honey bees for natural habitats captured in new report

USDA Invasive Species News -

An unprecedented study integrating data from around the globe has shown that honey bees are the world's most important single species of pollinator in natural ecosystems and a key contributor to natural ecosystem functions. The report weaves together information from 80 plant-pollinator interaction networks. The results clearly identify the honey bee (Apis mellifera) as the single most frequent visitor to flowers of naturally occurring (non-crop) plants worldwide.

Giant extinct burrowing bat discovered in New Zealand

USDA Invasive Species News -

The fossilized remains of a giant burrowing bat that lived in New Zealand millions of years ago have been found by a UNSW Sydney-led international team of scientists. Teeth and bones of the extinct bat -- which was about three times the size of an average bat today -- were recovered from 19 to 16-million-year-old sediments near the town of St Bathans in Central Otago on the South Island.

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