New research published today in the journal Science has concluded that eradicating animals on the basis that they are not native in order to protect plant species, can be a flawed practice costing millions of dollars, and resulting in the slaughter of millions of healthy wild animals.
Ant communities in areas with more human development show reduced seasonal behavior.
A team of researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Campinas in Brazil has found that tropical forest ecosystems are more reliant on aquatic insects than temperate forest ecosystems and are therefore more vulnerable to disruptions to the links between land and water.
New research, reported in Nature Ecology & Evolution, (25 September 2023) has for the first time validated at scale, one of the theories that has underpinned ecology for over half a century.
About 15 years ago, researchers reported that the timing of spring in high-Arctic Greenland had advanced at some of the fastest rates of change ever seen anywhere in the world.
Biologists attempting to conserve and restore denuded environments are limited by their scant knowledge of what those environments looked like before the arrival of humans.
Small-scale wildlife surveys can reveal the health of entire ecosystems, new research shows.
A study in Florida Bay, one of the largest global contiguous seagrass systems, examined if a phytotoxin that accumulates as seagrass ecosystems become more enriched in nutrients prevents a marine seagrass, turtlegrass, from recruiting into open bare sediment following die-off events. While they do “bounce back,” long-term monitoring indicates the timeframe for recovery after major die-off events is at least a decade. Turtlegrass can successfully recruit into open bare sediment following die-off events due to biomass partitioning.
A single species invades an ecosystem causing its collapse. A cyberattack on the power system causes a major breakdown. These type of events are always on our mind, yet they rarely result in such significant consequences. So how is it that these systems are so stable and resilient that they can withstand such external disruptions? Indeed, these systems lack a central design or blueprint, and still, they exhibit exceptionally reliable functionality.
Curtin researchers have discovered how long ago the Australian Nullarbor plain dried out, with a new approach shedding light on how ancient climate change altered some of the driest regions of our planet.
Until recently, fish that eat coral — corallivores — were thought to weaken reef structures, while fish that consume algae and detritus — grazers — were thought to keep reefs healthy.
A recent study co-authored by associate professor Matthew Bowker found important connections between grazing pressure on drylands and the ecosystem services they provide.
Although communities care deeply about the fate of coral reefs, they often lack the scientific tools to document changes in the local reefs on which they rely. A new project will help to empower community members already interested in coral reef health with the tools needed to document changes in these systems. Importantly, findings from the research will inform management of ecosystems.
The Horizon Europe NaturaConnect Project will support European Union governments and other public and private institutions in designing a coherent, resilient and well-connected Trans-European Nature Network.
Natural climate solutions (NCS), which comprise various land stewardship options, are approaches to trapping carbon in terrestrial pools and/or reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Climate change has led to warming temperatures in the Pacific Northwest, leading some insect species to expand their range into more northerly oak savannas, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
The lava caves, lava tubes and geothermal vents on the big island of Hawaiʻi have higher bacterial diversity than scientists expected, reports a new study in Frontiers in Microbiology.
An innovative tool will holistically examine and diagnose key processes with numerical simulations and experiments and predict changes in responses to water management, ecological restoration and climate change. It is designed to provide a suite of environmental and ecological information on the state of the greater Florida Bay ecosystem as well as potential future changes. Importantly, this model could potentially predict underwater aquatic vegetation coverage, harmful algal blooms, and fisheries resources under climate change and/or Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program management scenarios.
Earth’s oceans are home to some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, but warming temperatures are causing many marine animals, including coral, to die out.
Martínez Quintana has created stunning 3D digital models that visualize the surface of coral reefs in painstaking detail. The artful re-creations aren’t just beautiful: They’re also filled with data on the distribution of young corals, known as recruits, that scientists are analyzing.
Coral species exhibit different temperature tolerances.
Non-native bullfrogs and sunfish species, introduced for consumer and sport purposes, are known to alter ecosystems and hinder native amphibians and fish in the Pacific Northwest highlands. But scant research exists about how these introductions affect native species in lowland floodplains.
Surprising as it sounds, all life forms in the ocean, from small krill to large tuna, seem to obey a simple mathematical law that links an organism’s abundance to its body size.
Angie Macias, a doctoral student at West Virginia University, and Matt Kasson, an associate professor, are part of a National Geographic-funded project to study the fungal diversity associated with fungus-feeding millipedes.
June 2021 saw the start of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. A total of 115 countries have committed themselves to restoring up to a billion hectares of nature worldwide.
Microorganisms, plants, and animals accomplish great feats every day. For example, by decomposing material, producing plant biomass, or pollinating flowers, they keep nature ‘up and running,’ thereby securing the livelihood of humans.
Fish can drown. While it may not seem like it, fish do require oxygen to breathe; it’s just that they get what they need from the oxygen dissolved in water rather than in the air.
Global warming is likely to cause abrupt changes to important algal communities because of shifting biodiversity ‘break point’ boundaries in the oceans – according to research from the University of East Anglia and the Earlham Institute.
Irvine, Calif., July 22, 2021 – To meet an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, California’s policymakers are relying in part on forests and shrublands to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but researchers at the University of California, Irvine warn that future climate change may limit the ecosystem’s ability to perform this service.
Scientists from the U.S. and South Africa are launching a campaign to map marine, freshwater, and terrestrial species and ecosystems in one of Earth’s biodiversity hotspots: the Greater Cape Floristic Region at the southwestern edge of South Africa.
Irvine, Calif., June 21, 2021 – A shift is happening in Southern California, and this time it has nothing to do with earthquakes. According to a new study by scientists at the University of California, Irvine, climate change is altering the number of plants populating the region’s deserts and mountains. Using data from the Landsat satellite mission and focusing on an area of nearly 5,000 square miles surrounding Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the research team found that between 1984 and 2017, vegetation cover in desert ecosystems decreased overall by about 35 percent, with mountains seeing a 13 percent vegetation decline.
A study of woodland ecosystems that provide habitat for rare and endangered species along streams and rivers throughout California reveals that some of these ecologically important areas are inadvertently benefitting from water that humans are diverting for their own needs. Though it seems a short-term boon to these ecosystems, the artificial supply creates an unintended dependence on its bounty, threatens the long-term survival of natural communities and spotlights the need for changes in the way water is managed across the state.
Many seabirds in the Northern Hemisphere are struggling to breed — and in the Southern Hemisphere, they may not be far behind. These are the conclusions of a study, published May 28 in Science, analyzing more than 50 years of breeding records for 67 seabird species worldwide.
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.
New Brunswick, N.J. (April 6, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick microbial oceanographer Kay D. Bidle is available for interviews on the persistent and profound impact of viral infections on algae in the oceans. These infections influence the Earth’s carbon cycle, which helps…
Overfishing likely did not cause the Atlantic cod, an iconic species, to evolve genetically and mature earlier, according to a study led by Rutgers University and the University of Oslo – the first of its kind – with major implications for ocean conservation.
Elevated carbon dioxide emissions from human activities increase the uptake of carbon by plants but may decrease storage in soil. An international team led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists synthesized 108 elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) experiments in various ecosystems to find out how much carbon is absorbed by plants and soil.
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.
Rutgers scientists for the first time have pinpointed the sizes of microplastics from a highly urbanized estuarine and coastal system with numerous sources of fresh water, including the Hudson River and Raritan River. Their study of tiny pieces of plastic in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary in New Jersey and New York indicates that stormwater could be an important source of the plastic pollution that plagues oceans, bays, rivers and other waters and threatens aquatic and other life.
Human health and ecosystems could be affected by microbes including cyanobacteria and algae that hitch rides in clouds and enter soil, lakes, oceans and other environments when it rains, according to a Rutgers co-authored study.
City living appears to improve reproductive success for migratory tree swallows compared to breeding in more environmentally protected areas, a new five-year study suggests. But urban life comes with a big trade-off – health hazards linked to poorer water quality.
According to an international team of researchers, a ‘safety net’ made up of multiple, interlinked and ambitious goals is needed to tackle nature’s alarming decline.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 20, 2020) – Evan Drake, a bat researcher and doctoral student at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on iconic Halloween animals and misunderstood wildlife, as well as bats and COVID-19. Halloween is known for…
Restoration efforts can potentially be 13 times more cost-effective when it takes place in the highest priority locations, according to a new landmark study.
To mitigate heat in light of climate change, city planners are replacing artificial surfaces with vegetation cover. In water-limited regions, they have to balance the benefit of cooler temperatures with conserving water. A University of Utah study found that mixed landscapes are the best way to mitigate the heat island effect in semi-arid regions.
The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy and reverse decades of ecosystem and species losses, but most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments, according to a Rutgers-led paper.
An international consortium of scientists has conducted a global review of area-based conservation efforts, including both protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
Ecology is traditionally a data-poor discipline, but tiny microbial worlds offer the quantity of data needed to solve universal questions about abundance and diversity. New research in Nature Communications reveals the fundamental relationship between the environment and the species present in a microbial community and can be used as a starting point for investigating bigger systems.
How much carbon dioxide, a pivotal greenhouse gas behind global warming, is absorbed by plants on land? It’s a deceptively complicated question, so a Rutgers-led group of scientists recommends combining two cutting-edge tools to help answer the crucial climate change-related question.
Scientists have long believed that ocean viruses always quickly kill algae, but Rutgers-led research shows they live in harmony with algae and viruses provide a “coup de grace” only when blooms of algae are already stressed and dying. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, will likely change how scientists view viral infections of algae, also known as phytoplankton – especially the impact of viruses on ecosystem processes like algal bloom formation (and decline) and the cycling of carbon and other chemicals on Earth.