Wild orangutans are known for their ability to survive food shortages, but scientists have made a surprising finding that highlights the need to protect the habitat of these critically endangered primates, which face rapid habitat destruction and threats linked to climate change. Scientists found that the muscle mass of orangutans on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia was significantly lower when less fruit was available. That’s remarkable because orangutans are thought to be especially good at storing and using fat for energy, according a Rutgers-led study in the journal Scientific Reports.
With its tree-laden campus and adjacent protected natural reserves, UCI enjoys being home to a great variety of bird species. One particular raptor continues to capture the attention of the many avid birders in Orange County: the white-tailed kite. This iconic bird of Orange County – named for its ability to hover in the air while hunting –nearly went extinct throughout California in the early 1900s due to human-related threats.
Argonne scientists are studying the release of carbon in thawing permafrost regions to help predict the impact of rising global temperatures on future greenhouse gas emissions.
The study, led by Ecoss director Bruce Hungate and co-authored by many other NAU researchers, found that these predatory bacteria, which eat other bacteria, play an outsized role in how elements are stored in or released from soil.
Research on Earth’s systems can help scientists better understand our planet’s past and future. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science supports work to gather observations, improve models, and feed them into computer simulations.
Indiana University experts in biology and ecology are available to comment on the emergence of the Brood X cicadas, a spectacular event that occurs every 17 years in the eastern United States.
Stepping into their superhero gear, Argonne scientists are using science and the world’s best technology to combat some of Earth’s toughest foes, from pollution to climate change.
The study, led by NAU’s Michelle Mack, began after the 2004 fire season in Alaska, which led to a dramatic shift in the trees that grew in the area. Researchers found the aspen and birch trees absorbed more carbon more quickly than the black spruce it replaced.
Despite the dramatic difference between day and nightlife, how fish exploit different times of day has not been studied systematically. Scientists explored alterations in the circadian timing of activity and the duration of rest-wake cycles in Lake Malawi’s cichlids and identified the first single nocturnal species. Timing and duration of rest and activity varies dramatically, and continuously, between populations of Lake Malawi cichlids, providing a system for exploring the molecular and neural basis underlying variation in nocturnal activity.
Should humans use technology to put the brakes on global warming? Stratospheric aerosol intervention (SAI) is a climate intervention that has been studied as a way to help cool the Earth. But what would be the consequences to natural systems of SAI? This question is being examined by a large scientific research team.
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 18, 2021) – With spring on the horizon, Rutgers master gardener…
Brooke Eastman studies how acid rain impacts forest health. She is committed to highlighting forests’ role in mitigating climate change.
Why are “ghost forests” filled with dead trees expanding along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast? Higher groundwater levels linked to sea-level rise and increased flooding from storm surges and very high tides are likely the most important factors, according to a Rutgers study on the impacts of climate change that suggests how to enhance land-use planning.
In a collaborative effort to “recover, recycle and reuse,” Argonne strengthens research that addresses pollution, greenhouse gases and climate change and aligns with new policies for carbon emission reduction.
Mexican wolves in the American Southwest disappeared more quickly during periods of relaxed legal protections, almost certainly succumbing to poaching, according to new research published Wednesday.
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 2, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick wildlife experts Kathleen Kerwin and Chris…
It’s made for long-distance travel, yet movement patterns of the whitespotted eagle ray remain a mystery. Between 2016 and 2018, scientists fitted 54 rays with acoustic transmitters and tracked them along both the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts of Florida, which differ in environmental characteristics. Results of the study reveal striking differences in travel patterns on the Atlantic coast compared to the Gulf coast. Findings have significant conservation and adaptive management implications for this protected species.
New research from West Virginia University biologists shows that trees around the world are consuming more carbon dioxide than previously reported, making forests even more important in regulating the Earth’s atmosphere and forever shift how we think about climate change.
A new study shows how climate change is having a much greater impact on birds than small mammals in the Mojave Desert in the southwestern United States. The study could inform conservation practices and shed new light on how climate change affects various species differently. The research drew on cutting-edge computer modeling as well as survey data from more than 100 years ago.
For the first time, scientists have calculated the global impact of human activity on animal movement, revealing widespread impacts that threaten species survival and biodiversity.
Research from the University of Adelaide 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.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick ecologist Michael C. Allen is available…
A new study by researchers at the University of Chicago and the City College of New York (CCNY) has identified a unique, genetic “mimicry switch” that determines whether or not male and female Elymnias hypermnestra palmflies mimic the same or different species of butterflies.
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.
Researchers have found a novel way to identify heat-stressed corals, which could help scientists pinpoint the coral species that need protection from warming ocean waters linked to climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study.
Despite its tropical-sounding name and exotic-tasting In a recent article in Plant Ecology, Associate Professor The pawpaw is extremely rare in New York State, with only 20 known locations. Stephen Tulowiecki, a geographer at SUNY Geneseo, studied the conditions that pawpaws favor, and developed a model to predict locations where pawpaws may grow and identify areas that might sustain newly introduced trees.
Ancient deep sea creatures called radiodonts had incredible vision that likely drove an evolutionary arms race according to new research published today.
Scientists tagged and released a young, rare female smalltooth sawfish — a significant step for sawfish research and recovery efforts in Florida. The 10-year acoustic tag is a major milestone in providing crucial capacity to tell where these mysterious and endangered fish are headed in the future.
New research into how catfish capture prey provides an unparalleled view of the internal mechanics of fish skulls and could inspire the design of new underwater robots.
Warm, moist rivers of air in Antarctica play a key role in creating massive holes in sea ice in the Weddell Sea and may influence ocean conditions around the vast continent as well as climate change, according to Rutgers co-authored research. Scientists studied the role of long, intense plumes of warm, moist air – known as atmospheric rivers – in creating enormous openings in sea ice. They focused on the Weddell Sea region of the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, where these sea ice holes (called polynyas) infrequently develop during the winter.
A rare study shows how one of Georgia’s barrier islands provides a safe haven for gopher tortoises and gives researchers at the University of Georgia evidence to prove species relocation is an effective conservation tool.
When startled, do all fish respond the same way? A few fish, like Mexican cavefish, have evolved in unique environments without any predators. To see how this lack of predation impacts escape responses that are highly stereotyped across fish species, scientists explored this tiny fish to determine if there are evolved differences in them. Findings reveal that the dramatic ecological differences between cave and river environments contribute to differences in escape behavior in blind cavefish and river-dwelling surface cavefish.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 20, 2020) – Evan Drake, a bat researcher and doctoral student…
Researchers have developed a new metric called the stopover-to-passage ratio that can help determine if a majority of birds are flying over a particular site or stopping at the site to refuel or rest. This can have important implications for what is done on the ground to help migratory birds.
Scientists examined cell abundances, size, cellular carbon mass, and how photosynthetic cells differ on polymeric and glass substrates over time, exploring nanoparticle generation from plastic like polystyrene and how this might disrupt microalgae. Conservative estimates suggest that about 1 percent of microbial cells in the ocean surface microlayer inhabit plastic debris globally. This mass of cells would not exist without plastic debris in the ocean, and thus, represents a disruption of the proportions of native flora in that habitat.
MADISON – Ecologists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have found that carnivores living near people can get more than half of their diets from human food sources, a major lifestyle disruption that could put North America’s carnivore-dominated ecosystems at risk.
A University of Adelaide-led research project will study the clinical data of koalas injured in last summer’s devastating bushfires to give them the best possible chance of survival and recovery in future bushfires.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 7, 2020) – With deer breeding season underway, Kathleen Kerwin, a…
“wild and weedy” kin often have desirable traits valuable for today’s breeders
The world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, could be driven to extinction by climate change unless significant measures to intervene are taken soon.
There are at least 12 wolves on the island and an estimated 1,876 moose. Twenty-five moose were outfitted with GPS-enabled radio collars this year.
FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has landed an $11,179,001 four-year contract from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to develop a next-generation, high-intake, compact, bathyphotometer sensor for natural oceanic bioluminescence assessments. Bioluminescent creatures are found throughout marine habitats and their “glowing” energy released from chemical reactions is used to warn or evade predators, lure or detect prey and communicate with the same species. Research surrounding bioluminescence will soon serve as an important tool to protect U.S. coastlines.
Irvine, Calif., Sept. 10, 2020 – Through concerted, policy-driven efforts, China has converted large swaths of desert into grassland over the past few decades, but this success has come at a cost. In a study published recently in Nature Sustainability, scientists at the University of California, Irvine report that the Asian nation’s environmental reclamation programs have substantially diminished terrestrially stored water.
Scientists have detected signs of a frog listed extinct and not seen since 1968, using an innovative technique to locate declining and missing species in two regions of Brazil.
A recently published study presents evidence that the migration success of monarchs hasn’t declined in recent years and thus cannot explain the steep decline in the monarch population over the last few decades. The study drew on data collected on 1.4 million monarch butterflies that were tagged in the United States Midwest from 1998 to 2015 and emphasizes the need for new monarch habitat.
In uncertain times, it makes sense to manage risk in your endeavors — whether it’s investing in money-making opportunities or deciding where to lay your eggs. Brood parasites are birds that are known to lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. Cowbirds and cuckoos are among the most famous examples of this group.
Scientists have been warning about an “insect apocalypse” in recent years, noting sharp declines in specific areas — particularly in Europe. A new study shows these warnings may have been exaggerated and are not representative of what’s happening to insects on a larger scale.
Monarch butterflies raised in captivity may be worse at migrating south than wild monarchs raised outdoors
Researchers at the University of Chicago found that some commercially-bred monarch butterflies appear to be capable of migrating south, while wild-derived monarch butterflies raised in a closed greenhouse are worse at migrating south than their outdoor-raised counterparts.
The first landmark study using next-generation technology to comprehensively examine contaminants in oysters in Myanmar reveals alarming findings: the widespread presence of human bacterial pathogens and human-derived microdebris materials, including plastics, kerosene, paint, talc and milk supplement powders.
Grassroots knowledge from indigenous people can help to map and monitor ecological changes and improve scientific studies, according to Rutgers-led research. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, shows the importance of indigenous and local knowledge for monitoring ecosystem changes and managing ecosystems. The team collected more than 300 indicators developed by indigenous people to monitor ecosystem change, and most revealed negative trends, such as increased invasive species or changes in the health of wild animals. Such local knowledge influences decisions about where and how to hunt, benefits ecosystem management and is important for scientific monitoring at a global scale.