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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Biodiversity News

Biodiversity Current Events and Biodiversity News from Brightsurf

Biodiversity Current Events and Biodiversity News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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EU trade ban brings down global trade in wild birds by 90 percent

Wed, 22 Nov 17 00:05:30 -0800

Trade of wild birds has dropped 90 percent globally since EU banned bird imports in 2005. A new study in Science Advances demonstrates how it decreased the number of birds traded annually from 1.3 million to 130,000. International trade of wild birds is a root cause of exotic birds spreading worldwide. The study was led by Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen and CIBIO-InBIO Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, University of Porto.

Eight-year research stretch yields treatise on tapeworms along with hundreds of new species

Tue, 21 Nov 17 00:13:30 -0800

A special publication titled

Climate change models of bird impacts pass the test

Tue, 21 Nov 17 00:09:40 -0800

A major study looking at changes in where UK birds have been found over the past 40 years has validated the latest climate change models being used to forecast impacts on birds and other animals.

Tiger bones? Lion bones? An almost extinct cycad? On-the-spot DNA checks at ports of entry

Mon, 20 Nov 17 00:00:50 -0800

Wildlife species are going extinct faster than humankind can reliably keep track of. Meanwhile, wildlife crime evolves quickly, with new tricks fueling a lucrative illegal global trade. As a result, customs and other port-of-entry officials confronted with unidentifiable bits of animals and plants need to make rapid decisions based on reliable information. LifeScanner LAB-IN-A-BOX, a portable DNA barcoding lab can serve as a new tool for rapid on-site species identification, adding to law enforcement's arsenal.

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

Fri, 17 Nov 17 00:04:20 -0800

Leipzig. Forests fulfil numerous important functions, and do so particularly well if they are rich in different species of trees. In addition, forest managers do not have to decide on the provision of solely one function, such as wood production or nature conservation: several services provided by forest ecosystems can be improved at the same time. These are the results of two studies led by scientists from Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and published in Ecology Letters.

Pacific Island countries could lose 50 -- 80% of fish in local waters under climate change

Wed, 15 Nov 17 00:09:10 -0800

Many Pacific Island nations will lose 50 to 80 percent of marine species in their waters by the end of the 21st century if climate change continues unchecked, finds a new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published in Marine Policy. This area of the ocean is projected to be the most severely impacted by aspects of climate change.

Poison-ivy an unlikely hero in warding off exotic invaders?

Mon, 13 Nov 17 00:00:10 -0800

The invasive Japanese knotweed causes much more severe damage to floodplain forests along the Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania, USA, than previously thought, report Bucknell University biology professor Chris Martine and his two student co-authors. Furthermore, in their paper in the open access Biodiversity Data Journal, the researchers point to a key role for the often-maligned poison-ivy as a native species that can not only compete with knotweed but also help sustain the growth of new trees.

Seagrass biodiversity is both a goal and a means for restoration

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:00:20 -0800

Planting multiple seagrass species, rather than a single species, could be better for restoring damaged coastal ecosystems in Indonesia's Coral Triangle.

Nature bests humans at restoring tropical forests

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:04:10 -0800

The spontaneous recovery of native tree species is more successful in restoring tropical forests than human interventions like planting seedlings, a new study reports.

Ecological Restoration success higher with natural measures than active measures

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:03:30 -0800

In forest restoration, letting nature take its course may be the most effective and least expensive means of restoring biodiversity and vegetation structure of tropical forests. With global efforts to secure pledges for restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded forests, researchers argue these commitments don't have to be as costly or labor intensive as many think as long as a well-informed, combined approach of active and natural measures is taken.

Climate change, sparse policies endanger right whale population

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:00:10 -0800

North Atlantic right whales -- a highly endangered species making modest population gains in the past decade - may be imperiled by warming waters and insufficient international protection, according to a new Cornell University analysis published in Global Change Biology.

Protecting 'high carbon' rainforest areas also protects threatened wildlife

Mon, 06 Nov 17 00:06:00 -0800

Protecting 'high carbon' rainforest areas also protects threatened wildlife.

Artificial neural networks could power up curation of natural history collections

Thu, 02 Nov 17 00:13:50 -0700

Fed with new knowledge for centuries, natural history collections contain critical data for many scientific endeavors. While recent efforts in mass digitization have already provided unprecedented insight by generating large datasets from these collections, a new pilot project -- one of the first of its kind -- suggests that the key to efficiently studying these data might lie in the new-age deep learning techniques. The research article is published in the open-access Biodiversity Data Journal.

Zebra 'poo science' improves conservation efforts

Wed, 01 Nov 17 00:15:00 -0700

How can Zebra poo tell us what an animal's response to climate change and habitat destruction will be? That is what scientists from The University of Manchester and Chester Zoo have been investigating in South Africa. Together the team have been using 'poo science' to understand how challenges or 'stressors', such as the destruction and breakup of habitats, impact on populations of South Africa's Cape mountain zebra.

Life on the edge

Wed, 01 Nov 17 00:06:10 -0700

Research led by Newcastle University, UK, and Imperial College London, shows that 85 percent of species are now being impacted by this forest fragmentation.

Red Sea is warming faster than global average

Mon, 30 Oct 17 00:13:30 -0700

The world's warmest sea is heating up faster than the global average, which could challenge the ability of the Red Sea's organisms to cope.

Spooky conservation: Saving endangered species over our dead bodies

Mon, 30 Oct 17 00:12:10 -0700

The secret to the survival of critically endangered wildlife could lie beyond the grave, according to a University of Queensland researcher. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions' Dr. Matthew Holden suggests revenue from human burials could fund nature reserves and parks for threatened species, effectively amounting to dead humans protecting living creatures.

Peat bogs defy the laws of biodiversity

Fri, 27 Oct 17 00:15:40 -0700

EPFL scientists working with a team of researchers from across Europe have found that peat bogs, despite their low biodiversity, can effectively withstand both moderate and glacial climates. That finding stands to change the way we look at biodiversity.

Diversity and immigration increase productivity in microbial communities

Thu, 26 Oct 17 00:04:10 -0700

Natural selection quickly turns a melting pot of microorganisms into a highly efficient community, new research shows.

Knowledge of larval fish just a drop in the ocean

Thu, 26 Oct 17 00:06:10 -0700

A combination of morphological and molecular approaches gives researchers a first glimpse of Red Sea larval fish communities.

Global biodiversity conservation does save species, but could be done smarter

Wed, 25 Oct 17 00:04:10 -0700

A new analysis reveals that billions of dollars spent on habitat and species conservation worldwide have resulted in substantial reductions in the loss of biodiversity.

Investing in conservation pays off, study finds

Wed, 25 Oct 17 00:03:30 -0700

Governments and donors have spent billions of dollars since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit attempting to slow the pace of species extinctions around the world. Now, a new paper in Nature provides the first clear evidence that those efforts are working.

Conservation spending predicts rise and fall of global biodiversity

Wed, 25 Oct 17 00:04:40 -0700

In the decade after the 1992 Earth Summit, at least $14 billion was devoted to biodiversity conservation around the globe. According to new research published in Nature, it was money well spent, preventing a 29 percent decline in threatened bird and mammal species.

Want to save 41 percent of the planet's highly threatened vertebrates? Work on islands

Wed, 25 Oct 17 00:08:20 -0700

New research discovers that nearly half the Earth's highly threatened vertebrates occur on islands. However, effective management of invasive species, a primary driver of extinctions on islands, could benefit 95 percent of the 1189 threatened island species identified. The paper, published in Science Advances, describes the analysis of a database that maps the global distribution of highly threatened vertebrates and invasive species on islands. It lays the fundamental groundwork for planning conservation actions to prevent extinctions.

Invasive species jeopardize already threatened island animals

Wed, 25 Oct 17 00:07:30 -0700

Researchers have identified which of the approximately 465,000 islands worldwide are home to both highly threatened terrestrial vertebrates and invasive species that may endanger their survival. This distribution map could help conservationists decide how to prioritize prevention, control and eradication.

Reduced impact logging still harms biodiversity in tropical rainforests

Mon, 23 Oct 17 00:09:50 -0700

A new study finds that even low levels of logging in the Amazon rainforest may lead to great losses in biodiversity. The research in Biological Conservation, looked at 34 different plots in the state of Pará -- a focal point for Amazon protection efforts in the last decades. They found that even low levels of logging leaded to negative effects on dung beetle diversity and rates of dung beetle-mediated

Waterside lighting drastically disrupts wildlife in the surrounding ecosystem

Fri, 20 Oct 17 00:08:30 -0700

Researchers in Germany find that streetlights near waterways attract flying insects from the water and change the predator community living in the grass beneath the lights. The findings show that artificial night-time lighting could have implications for the surrounding ecosystem and biodiversity, which should be considered when designing new lighting concepts.

Pollution responsible for 16 percent of deaths globally -- Lancet Commission report

Fri, 20 Oct 17 00:14:50 -0700

Diseases caused by pollution were responsible in 2015 for an estimated 9 million premature deaths -- 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, according to a report by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. SFU health sciences professor Bruce Lanphear is a commissioner and author.

Impact of Amazonian hydropower is 'significantly underestimated', study finds

Thu, 19 Oct 17 00:09:30 -0700

The environmental impact of hydropower generation in the Amazon may be greater than predicted, according to new University of Stirling research.

New analysis suggests that preserving rare species is vital to tropical forests

Wed, 18 Oct 17 00:12:50 -0700

The world's tropical forests are in 'a critical state' in which the extinction of rare tree species could be a tipping point, according to an international team of scientists who have developed an analytical method to map their biodiversity.

Rare tree species safeguard biodiversity in a changing climate

Wed, 18 Oct 17 00:12:30 -0700

New research suggests that rare species of trees in rainforests may help safeguard biodiversity levels as the environment undergoes change.

'Hiding in plain sight' -- Discovery raises questions over scale of overlooked biodiversity

Tue, 17 Oct 17 00:15:50 -0700

Scientists from the University of Plymouth and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona have used cutting edge DNA technology to demonstrate that one of Europe's top freshwater predators is actually two species rather than one.

Gutters teem with inconspicuous life

Fri, 13 Oct 17 00:09:10 -0700

Scientists have shown that Parisian street gutters are oases of microscopic life, home to microalgae, fungi, sponges, and mollusks. Grouped into communities, these microorganisms may help clean rainwater and urban waste by decomposing solid debris and pollutants. A deeper understanding of the role and composition of these communities could help elucidate the services rendered by gutter ecosystems. The researchers' findings are the first to reveal the unsuspected biodiversity of microscopic life in Paris city streets.

Watching plant photosynthesis...from space

Thu, 12 Oct 17 00:12:10 -0700

University of Sydney and NASA have developed a revolutionary technique to image plant photosynthesis using satellite-based remote-sensing, with potential applications in climate change monitoring. The uptake of carbon dioxide by leaves and its conversion to sugars by photosynthesis, referred to as gross primary production (GPP), is the fundamental basis of life on Earth and its quantification is vital for research on terrestrial carbon cycle dynamics.

Study shows removing invasive plants can increase biodiversity in stream waters

Wed, 11 Oct 17 00:12:00 -0700

Restoration projects to remove invasive plants can make a positive impact on native plant species. But a new study featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management shows restoration has an additional benefit. Removal of invasive species growing alongside a stream or river can also improve the biodiversity of aquatic organisms.

Scientists describe 'enigmatic' species that lived in Utah some 500 million years ago

Wed, 11 Oct 17 00:06:50 -0700

The only fossilized specimen of a species previously unknown to science -- an 'obscure' stalked filter feeder -- has just been detailed for the first time in a paper appearing in the Journal of Paleontology.

Herbivores help protect ecosystems from climate change

Wed, 11 Oct 17 00:14:00 -0700

Plant-eating critters are the key ingredient to helping ecosystems survive global warming, finds new UBC research that offers some hope for a defence strategy against climate change.

Researchers map the illegal use of natural resources in the protected Brazilian Amazon

Tue, 10 Oct 17 00:01:10 -0700

New research published in the open access peer-reviewed journal PeerJ uses law enforcement data collected from 2010 to 2015 to understand the geographical distribution of the illegal use of natural resources across the region's protected area network. In the study, a total of 4,243 reports of illegal use of natural resources were evaluated and mapped. These reports generated US $224.6 million in fines.

DNA study in the Pacific reveals 2000 percent increase in our knowledge of mollusc biodiversity
Scientists working in the Pacific have revealed a remarkable 2000% increase in our knowledge of the biodiversity of seafloor molluscs in a region being explored for deep-sea mining. Using the latest DNA-taxonomy methodology, they have newly-described and recorded 21 species where only one was previously known. The discoveries made in the eastern region of the CCZ, a vast 5 million km