Among pet snakes and lizards, the biggest-selling species are also the most likely to be released by their owners -- and to potentially become invasive species, according to a Rutgers study published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The study by Rutgers University-New Brunswick ecologists provides new clarity on how and why the exotic pet trade has become the primary venue by which reptiles and amphibians arrive in non-native lands, the first step to becoming ecologically damaging invaders.
To offset CO2 emissions, China is reforesting. If a mixture of tree species instead of monocultures were planted, much more carbon could be stored. An international team including UZH researchers has shown that species-rich forest ecosystems take up more CO2 from the atmosphere and store more carbon in biomass and soil, making them more effective against climate change.
A study that enrolled more than 2,000 Nigerian women found that disparities in breast cancer mortality disproportionately impact women of African ancestry. Nigerian women with mutations in breast cancer genes have higher risks than women in the US with mutations in the same genes. Inherited breast cancer plays a bigger role in Nigeria.
A new large-data study of bivalves and gastropods in the Atlantic Ocean suggests laziness might be a fruitful strategy for survival of individuals, species and even communities of species.
A long-term study led by the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley tracked how hundreds of species in the Carrizo Plain National Monument fared during the historic drought that struck California from 2012 to 2015.
Jason Kolbe has been thinking about hurricanes and lizards for many years. The University of Rhode Island professor of biological sciences has measured the length of lizard legs and the size of their toe pads to assess how those factors influence the animal's ability to cling to vegetation during strong storms. He even used a powerful leaf blower to test his hypotheses in a laboratory.
Scientists have revisited -- and confirmed -- one of the most famous textbook examples of evolution in action.
Maize plants release secondary metabolites into the soil that bind to iron and thereby facilitate its uptake by the plant. The Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera), the economically most important maize pest worldwide, is attracted by these complexes, extracts the bound iron from the maize plant and uses it for its own nutrition. With these insights, researchers provide a new explanation for the extraordinary success of the Western corn rootworm as a global maize pest.
No species lasts forever, and, just as the saying goes, it seems like old species may get stuck in their ways and can't adapt to environmental change as fast as younger species do.
Forests in the eastern United States may have had it easy compared to their western counterparts, with the intense, prolonged droughts and wildfires that have become typical out west in recent years. But as the climate changes over time, eastern forests are also likely to experience longer droughts. And although wildfires are comparatively rare, prescriptive fires are increasingly used in the east. How will these forests fare in the future? A new study from the University of Illinois provides answers.