In southeastern Alaska, brown and black bears are plentiful because of salmon. Their abundance also means they are the primary seed dispersers of berry-producing shrubs, according to a new study.
Research shows more than half of the forests across Europe have been lost over the past 6,000 years.
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.
Spotted owls and barred owls are being exposed to high levels of rat poison in northwest California, with illegal marijuana farms the most likely source point, according to a new study. Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state, went into effect this month and is expected to intensify the issue.
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.
A flower identified as Lecanorchis nigricans has been revealed to be a different identity, Lecanorchis nigricans var. patipetala. Both species are self-pollinating, but the flowers of the true L. nigricans never open.
Eight years after the discovery of a new primate species in Myanmar, scientists have released a new report revealing how the 'snubby' is faring.
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.
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.'
By analyzing centuries-old tree rings, researchers are extracting data about monthly streamflow trends from periods long before the early 1900s when recorded observations began.
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.
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.
A new method to predict tipping points -- the moment at which sudden change occurs in complex networked systems -- may offer insights that prevent colony collapse disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear, threatening the agricultural economy at a global level.
Organisms infected by parasites may respond differently to changes in temperature than their uninfected counterparts, according to new research.
So far, little research has been conducted on fungi that live on dead trees, although they are vital to the forest ecology by breaking down dead wood and completing the element cycle between plants and soil. Soil biologists have now discovered that the number of fungus species inhabiting dead trees is 12 times higher than previously thought. Once trees die they are also colonized by different fungal communities depending on their species.
Gardeners hoping to celebrate the beauty of American bittersweet -- a native vine that produces orange berries in the fall and is used for wreaths -- may be unwittingly buying an invasive bittersweet instead. That's because many Midwestern retailers are selling oriental bittersweet with labels misidentifying it as the native plant, researchers report. These sales are occurring in stores and online.
Scientist studying the invasive plant Phragmites have found evidence to suggest that the most significant factor in determining whether a plant will become invasive is the size of its genome.
Three new species of zoantharians -- relatives of the better-known hard corals and sea anemones - were discovered in southern Japan. One of them, Antipathozoanthus remengesaui, was named after the current president of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, in honor of his and the nation's support to the authors and marine conservation as a whole. The species can be found widely across the Indo-Pacific.
What do young children from diverse cultural communities think about the natural world? How does a child's existing knowledge and beliefs influence their subsequent learning? Questions like these have remained unanswered, largely because research in this area has focused almost exclusively on urban and suburban children living in majority-culture communities. The study reveals ecological knowledge in 4-year-old children from urban Native American, rural Native American and urban non-Native American communities.
Dodder, a parasitic plant that causes major damage to crops in the US and worldwide every year, can silence the expression of genes in the host plants from which it obtains water and nutrients. This cross-species gene regulation, which includes genes that contribute to the host plant's defense against parasites, has never before been seen from a parasitic plant.