After a two-and-a-half-year expedition through the world's most biodiverse protected area, the Identidad Madidi explorers have concluded their epic quest of completing a massive biological survey of Madidi National Park, uncovering more than 120 potentially new species of plants, butterflies and vertebrates in the process, according to WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society).
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that changes in the seascape may impact the behavior of fish and could be leaving them less options for refuge and more vulnerable to predators.
In the soils of the world's cereal fields, a family tussle between related species of fungi is underway for control of the crops' roots, with food security on the line. Beneficial fungi can help plants to protect themselves from cousins eager to overwhelm the roots, but it's a closely fought battle. Working out the right conditions to support those beneficial fungi and identifying the cereal varieties that are best suited to make the most of that help is no mean task.
The many threats facing bumblebees can be tested using a 'virtual safe space' created by scientists at the University of Exeter.
A molecular study carried out on the chestnut gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus, has revealed the absence of genetic variability in this invasive species, a chestnut-tree parasite, in Europe. This is due to the fact that the wasp's reproduction is strictly parthenogenetic, the females produce more females without having to be fertilized by a male. The high capacity of reproduction of the females, producing genetically identical daughters, give this insect a high invasive potential.
Smog is a problem. But the knowledge about its constituents -- no longer. Researchers from several leading Warsaw scientific institutions have joined forces and developed a new, extremely precise method for the chemical analysis of suspended particulate matter. The method, easily adaptable in many modern laboratories, not only determines the chemical composition of compounds, but even recognizes changes in the spatial distribution of atoms in molecules.
Sweet potatoes may seem as American as Thanksgiving, but scientists have long debated whether their plant family originated in the Old or New World. New research by an Indiana University paleobotanist suggests it originated in Asia, and much earlier than previously known.
As chocolate becomes ever more popular, demand for cocoa keeps rising. For production to keep up, agricultural practices have to become more sustainable. ETH researchers tested what shade trees can contribute to solving this problem.
Scientists at the University of Kent have made a significant discovery about how the vitamin content of some plants can be improved to make vegetarian and vegan diets more complete. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential dietary component but vegetarians are more prone to B12 deficiency as plants neither make nor require this nutrient. But now a team, led by Professor Martin Warren, has proved that common garden cress can take up cobalamin.
University of Adelaide-led research has uncovered the history of when and why the native vegetation that today dominates much of Australia first expanded across the continent.