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  1. Last week
  2. Deep-water corals in the Gulf of Mexico are still struggling to recover from the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, scientists report at the Ocean Science Meeting in New Orleans. Comparing images of more than 300 corals over 13 years -- the longest time series of deep-sea corals to date -- reveals that in some areas, coral health continues to decline to this day.View the full article
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  4. New research reveals the scale of inappropriate reforestation projects across Africa. A new study reveals that an area the size of France is threatened by forest restoration initiatives, such as the AFR100 initiative (African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative), due to inappropriate restoration in the form of tree-planting.View the full article
  5. Researchers have identified significant differences between the diversity of gut bacteria in grey squirrels compared to red squirrels which could hold the key to further understanding the ability of grey squirrels to outcompete red squirrels in the UK.View the full article
  6. Researchers demonstrate the contribution of climate change to the spatial expansion of West Nile virus in Europe, a virus that constitutes a new public health threat in the continent. Their findings highlight a notable increase in the area ecologically suitable for the virus circulation since the beginning of last century and an increase in the human population at risk of exposure, due in part to climate change.View the full article
  7. Australian birds that live on islands are among the species most at risk of extinction, a first-of-its-kind study has shown. Australia has over 750 native bird species. But many of them are facing an uncertain future.View the full article
  8. Analysis reveals imported earthworm species have colonized large swaths of North America, and represent a largely overlooked threat to native ecosystems. The researchers warn of the need to better understand and manage the invaders in our midst.View the full article
  9. New research reveals that denser, and more sheltered, kelp forests can withstand serious stressors amid warming ocean temperatures.View the full article
  10. In the fossil record, trees typically are preserved with only their trunks. They don't usually include any leaves to show what their canopies and overall forms may have looked like. In a new study, researchers describe fossilized trees from New Brunswick, Canada with a surprising and unique three-dimensional crown shape.View the full article
  11. Green roofs have become increasingly popular thanks to their benefits related to climate adaptation, mitigation, and urban biodiversity management. But, in the U.S., green roofs are typically planted with non-native plants in sterile soils, and their effectiveness declines over time. A new study finds that managing green roof soil microbes boosts healthy urban soil development, which is a methodology that could be applied to support climate resilience in cities.View the full article
  12. As sea otters recolonize a California estuary, they are restoring its degraded geology by keeping populations of overgrazing marsh crabs in check, a new study shows. The crabs' appetite for plant roots, and their tunneling behavior had caused many of the estuary's marshes and creekbanks to erode and collapse in the otters' absence. Today, erosion has slowed by up to 90% in areas with large otter populations and marshes and streambeds are restabilizing.View the full article
  13. How is a beech leaf constructed? What determines the appearance of an asparagus? A new 'encyclopaedia' helps us learn more about the building blocks of plants. The encyclopaedia, probably the largest of its kind, could be used to improve targeted plant breeding efforts, to make them both more climate-resilient and more easily digestible.View the full article
  14. Plant biologists report that a species of tree fern found only in Panama reanimates its own dead leaf fronds, converting them into root structures that feed the mother plant. The fern, Cyathea rojasiana, reconfigures these 'zombie leaves,' reversing the flow of water to draw nutrients back into the plant.View the full article
  15. The spread of West Nile virus in Europe is strongly linked to agricultural activities, urbanization, and bird migration, according to new research.View the full article
  16. Data gathered through years of observation reveal an innocuous-seeming ant is disrupting an ecosystem in East Africa, illustrating the complex web of interactions among ants, trees, lions, zebras and buffaloes.View the full article
  17. European forests with a greater diversity of tree species are more resilient to storms, according to new research.View the full article
  18. How does loss of habitat affect the animals still living there? A genetic study of saltwater-adapted Savannah sparrows around the San Francisco Bay Area shows that the 90% loss of tidal marsh habitat has led to more interbreeding with freshwater-adapted Savannah sparrows, diminishing their genetic adaptation to saltwater, such as enlarged kidneys and larger beak. This could lessen their ability to live in a saltwater habitat.View the full article
  19. The brown bear is one of the largest living terrestrial carnivores, and is widely distributed across the Northern Hemisphere. Unlike many other large carnivores that went extinct at the end of the last Ice Age (cave bear, sabretoothed cats, cave hyena), the brown bear is one of the lucky survivors that made it through to the present. The question has puzzled biologists for close to a century -- how was this so?View the full article
  20. Ecologists have long known that standing dead trees, commonly referred to as snags, are an important habitat element for forest dwellers and act as a driver of biodiversity. They're so important that in some managed forests, snag creation is part of the conservation tool kit -- i.e., crews sometimes convert a percentage of live trees into dead ones through techniques ranging from sawing off their tops to wounding their trunks to injecting them with disease-causing fungi.View the full article
  21. New worldwide maps of temperatures inside tropical forests show that global warming affect different way in different parts of the forests. Undergrowth level temperature of the tropical forests can be even 4 degrees less than average temperature of the area.View the full article
  22. Some invasive plants can form persistent banks of seeds that remain under the soil for years, and this makes their eradication practically impossible. Over time, this invisible population of large quantities of living, buried plants -- in seed form -- will reoccupy ecosystems and displace the typical flora of the natural environment.View the full article
  23. Researchers have found almost identical patterns of tree diversity across the world's tropical forests. The study of over one million trees across 1,568 locations found that just 2.2% of tree species make up 50% of the total number of trees in tropical forests across Africa, the Amazon, and Southeast Asia. Each continent consists of the same proportion of a few common species and many rare species.View the full article
  24. The red-swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii is a highly invasive species native to American freshwaters but has also invaded many freshwater ecosystems around the world. Now, researchers conducted a comparative analysis to compare reproductive characteristics of American crayfish with Japanese crayfish. They identified morphological characteristics which can aid in distinguishing the invasive properties of crayfish at the peak of their reproductive form, ultimately assisting in their effective population control.View the full article
  25. With DNA recovered from animal tracks, scientists revealed information about the ancestry and microbial community of bobcats without having to sample the animal directly.View the full article
  26. A new study describes nine new species of carnivorous land snails, all of which are so small they could fit together on a U.S. nickel. They present a rare opportunity to study a group that in many other places is disappearing fast. Worldwide, mollusks account for more than 50% of all recorded extinctions since the year 1500, and many of these were land snails from Pacific islands.View the full article
  27. An international team of researchers has found that Africa's birds of prey are facing an extinction crisis. The report warns of declines among nearly 90% of 42 species examined, and suggests that more than two-thirds may qualify as globally threatened.View the full article
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