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When every fish counts: Genetic tools can ensure accuracy of identification of endangered fish

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:33:52 EST ~ Genetic analysis showed about one-third of endangered delta smelt were misidentified in surveys of the Yolo Bypass. Their study found that genetic tools can be a powerful complement to visual identification of endangered fish. Find out more...

Drier conditions could doom Rocky Mountain spruce and fir trees

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 12:57:17 EST ~ Drier summers and a decline in average snowpack over the past 40 years have severely hampered the establishment of two foundational tree species in subalpine regions of Colorado's Front Range, suggesting that climate warming is already taking a toll on forest health in some areas of the southern Rocky Mountains. Find out more...

Climate warming causes local extinction of Rocky Mountain wildflower species

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 15:24:14 EST ~ New research has established a causal link between climate warming and the localized extinction of a common Rocky Mountain flowering plant, a result that could serve as a herald of future population declines. Find out more...

Scientists create 'Evolutionwatch' for plants

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:09:33 EST ~ Using a hitchhiking weed, scientists reveal for the first time the mutation rate of a plant growing in the wild. Find out more...

Tropical trees use unique method to resist drought

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:09:30 EST ~ Tropical trees in the Amazon Rainforest may be more drought resistant than previously thought, according to a new study. That's good news, since the Amazon stores about 20 percent of all carbon in the Earth's biomass, which helps reduce global warming by lowering the planet's greenhouse gas levels. Find out more...

Theory suggests root efficiency, independence drove global spread of flora

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:18:41 EST ~ Researchers suggest that plants spread worldwide thanks to root adaptations that allowed them to become more efficient and independent. As plant species spread, roots became thinner so they could more efficiently explore poor soils for nutrients, and they shed their reliance on symbiotic fungi. The researchers report that root diameter and reliance on fungi most consistently characterize the plant communities across entire biomes such as deserts, savannas and temperate forests. Find out more...

Are flamingos returning to Florida?

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 09:13:36 EST ~ Flamingos are a Florida cultural icon, and sightings in the state have been on the rise in recent decades. However, whether they're truly native to the US or only arrive via escape from captivity has long been subject to debate, making developing a plan for managing Florida's flamingo population challenging. A new study reviews the evidence and provides a fresh argument that the birds should be considered part of the Sunshine State's native fauna. Find out more...

Beluga whales dive deeper, longer to find food in Arctic

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:12:16 EST ~ Beluga whales that spend summers feeding in the Arctic are diving deeper and longer to find food than in earlier years, when sea ice covered more of the ocean for longer periods, according to a new analysis. Find out more...

Grey squirrels beat reds in 'battle of wits'

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:50:28 EST ~ Problem-solving powers may help to explain why grey squirrels have taken over from native red squirrels in the United Kingdom, according to new research. Find out more...

Study of mollusk epidemic could help save endangered sea snail

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:50:00 EST ~ Overfishing and environmental change have pushed abalone species on the US west coast to the edge of extinction. Now a fatal disease threatens their recovery. But new research shows that some abalone species may be less susceptible to the disease than others, providing initial data that could help map where abalone could survive and thrive despite the disease. Find out more...