Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center used a new imaging technique to reveal a takeover strategy that has worked for weedy rice over and over again: roots that minimize below-ground contact with other plants.
Dubbed the 'honeypot effect' -- a team of scientists from around Australia have shown that providing woody habitat, or 'snags,' for native fish in the Murray River increases their population size.
These strange bacteria conduct electricity via a structure never before seen in nature -- a structure scientists can co-opt to miniaturize electronics, create powerful-yet-tiny batteries, build pacemakers without wires and develop a host of other medical advances.
Little research has been conducted into the spread and distribution of fecal bacteria in rivers and, above all, into their input from the surrounding landscape. Researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and from Scotland's University of Aberdeen have developed an indicator-based model that can be used to assess the dynamics of fecal bacteria such as E. coli on the basis of hydrological processes in the landscape and the connectivity of streams.
New research from the Natural History Museum in Oslo suggests that bird sperm cells with a spiral or screw-like shape swim faster than straighter sperm -- but that the spiral shape also makes them more fragile.
New research is detailing how environmental stressors, including heavy metals, brought on by human activity are harming coastal green sea turtle populations -- work that researchers hope will inform conservation efforts going forward.
A pending rule change proposed by the US National Marine Fisheries Service would allow the use of public funds to underwrite low-interest loans for the construction of new commercial fishing vessels. The proposed change lacks scientific merit and should be rejected, an analysis by a Duke economist concludes. If approved, the rule could undo years of progress in reducing overfishing and other harmful impacts linked to overcapacity in federally managed fisheries.
Hydrocarbons play key roles in atmospheric and biogeochemistry, the energy economy, and climate change. Most hydrocarbons form in anaerobic environments through high temperature or microbial decomposition of organic matter. Subsurface microorganisms can also 'eat' hydrocarbons, preventing them from reaching the atmosphere. Using a new technique, Tokyo Tech scientists show that biological hydrocarbon degradation gives a unique biological signature. These findings could help detect subsurface biology and understand the carbon cycle and its impact on climate.
On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, it is possible to stand in a lush tropical forest that doesn't contain a single native plant. The birds that once dispersed native seeds are almost entirely gone too, leaving a brand-new ecological community composed of introduced plants and birds. In a first-of-its-kind study published today in Science, researchers demonstrate that these novel communities are organized in much the same way as native communities worldwide.
The Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) has developed a national agenda that leverages digital data in biodiversity collections for new uses. Informed by a series of workshops and stakeholder discussions, Extending US Biodiversity Collections to Promote Research and Education will stimulate new research endeavors, particularly in areas where biology intersects with other fields and engages students and the public.