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Artificial orchid cultivation kit

USDA Invasive Species News -

Orchids are loved by gardeners around the world but are notoriously difficult to cultivate. Researchers have developed a new orchid cultivation kit and have succeeded in complete artificial cultivation of an autonomous orchid. Since this kit can be made cheaply, it can broaden the opportunities for orchid cultivation in general households. It is also expected to be useful in preserving the genetic diversity of orchidaceous plants, many of which are in danger of extinction.

Scientists show molecular basis for ants acting as 'bodyguards' for plants

USDA Invasive Species News -

Though you might not think of ants as formidable bodyguards, some do an impressive job protecting plants from enemies. Examing the relationship between the Amazon rainforest plant Cordia nodosa in Peru and the ant species Allomerus octoarticulatus, scientists found the degree to which the ants express two genes significantly impacts the amount of protection they provide to their hosts.

Six new sponge species and new symbiotic associations from the Indonesian coral triangle

USDA Invasive Species News -

The Indonesian coral reefs, located in the so-called coral triangle, are considered amongst the richest and most biodiverse places on Earth. Surprisingly, this impressive species diversity is still poorly known. Biologists now report the presence of 94 species of sponges, including six new to science and two new symbiotic sponge associations.

Tiny fighters in sediments determine success of invasive marine plants

USDA Invasive Species News -

Armies of microbes that are invisible to the naked eye battle it out to determine whether exotic marine plants successfully invade new territory and replace native species, new research shows. The genetic study, which compared microbial communities in sediments associated with an invasive alga and a native seagrass, is the first to test the idea that marine microbes play a critical role in the establishment of invasive marine species.

Light at the end of the tunnel: Restored forest now shelters dozens of endangered species

USDA Invasive Species News -

A twenty-year effort to protect and manage tiny remnants of a dilapidated forest in Benin, along with its agricultural and fallow vegetation surroundings, resulted in 14 ha of rich secondary forest, which corresponds to the size of nearly 20 sacred groves. This sanctuary now protects the critically endangered red-bellied monkey together with 52 endangered plant species.

Once-abundant ash tree and antelope species face extinction

USDA Invasive Species News -

North America's most widespread and valuable ash tree species are on the brink of extinction due to an invasive beetle decimating their populations, while the loss of wilderness areas and poaching are contributing to the declining numbers of five African antelope species, according to the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Today's IUCN Red List update also reveals a dramatic decline of grasshoppers and millipedes endemic to Madagascar, and the extinction of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle bat.

Biding time could improve conservation outcomes

USDA Invasive Species News -

Strategic delays in conservation efforts could be the key to protecting more species according to researchers. The new study found instead of spending project funds immediately, conservation organizations could use the right amount of delay to improve the benefits achieved from their funding by focusing first on investment, capacity building, or monitoring and research.

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