"Generalist" plants and pollinators play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and may also serve as buffers against some impacts of climate change, finds new University of Colorado Boulder research. The findings, published this month in Ecology, provide valuable insights for prioritizing the conservation of species that contribute to the strength of ecological communities.
The downward trajectory of plant and animal diversity constitutes a key issue of the Anthropocene. Whether diversity is changing also in the world of microbes is unknown, however -- a "profound ignorance" -- because the importance of these microorganisms maintain Earth's habitability. A paper published today frames the rate of change of microbial biodiversity as an important question on which progress is possible.
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University and Hosei University have discovered a new species of large, tropical centipede of genus Scolopendra in Okinawa and Taiwan. It is only the third amphibious centipede identified in the world, and is the largest in the region, 20 cm long and nearly 2 cm thick. It is also the first new centipede to be identified in Japan in 143 years, testament to the incredible biodiversity of the Ryukyu Archipelago.
A new publication offers a comprehensive guide to help plant scientists communicate their work to the world. An Iowa State University scientist who contributed to the multi-institutional effort says it's critical that plant scientists emphasize outreach to make sure plant science is able to meet the demands of climate change and population growth.
Tarantulas are among the most notorious spiders, due in part to their size, vibrant colors and prevalence throughout the world. But one thing most people don't know is that tarantulas are homebodies. Females and their young rarely leave their burrows and only mature males will wander to seek out a mate. How then did such a sedentary spider come to inhabit six out of seven continents?
Research in the Peruvian Andes highlights critical climate threats to montane forests and urges for current conservation plans to take climate projections into account.
Snow cover in the Alps has been melting almost three days earlier per decade since the 1960s. This trend is temperature-related and cannot be compensated by heavier snowfall. By the end of the century, snow cover at 2,500 meters could disappear a month earlier than today, as simulations by environmental scientists at the University of Basel demonstrate.
A Clemson University physicist and collaborators from China and Denmark have created a new and potentially paradigm-shifting high-performance thermoelectric compound.
Thirdhand smoke is created when exhaled smoke and smoke emanating from the tip of burning cigarettes settles on surfaces such as clothing, hair, furniture, and cars. A team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found chemicals in THS get extracted more readily from household fabrics in a humid environment than in a dry one.
Australian pineapple, Danish trout, and Midwestern U.S. corn farmers are not often lumped together under the same agricultural umbrella. But they and many others who raise crops and animals face a common problem: excess nitrogen in drainage water. Whether it flows out to the Great Barrier Reef or the Gulf of Mexico, the nutrient contributes to harmful algal blooms that starve fish and other organisms of oxygen.