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World's biggest bee found

Fri, 22 Feb 2019 10:13:36 EST ~ Lost to science for decades and thought perhaps extinct, Wallace's giant bee (Megachile pluto) has been rediscovered in an Indonesian rainforest. Find out more...

Recent drought may provide a glimpse of the future for birds in the Sierra Nevada

Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:13:56 EST ~ To better understand the effects of climate change on the bird community in the Sierra Nevada region, researchers examined the impacts to birds from a recent extreme drought (2013-2016). The drought resulted in the widespread death of pine trees due to attacks by bark beetles, potentially impacting wildlife habitat. While the results were varied, researchers found that many bird species responded positively to the climate conditions associated with the drought, potentially offsetting the negative habitat impacts of the dead trees. Find out more...

Ecosystem responses to dam removal complex, but predictable

Thu, 21 Feb 2019 11:04:23 EST ~ In the United States, the removal of dams now outpaces the construction of new ones -- with more than 1,400 dams decommissioned since the 1970s -- and a new study suggests that the ecosystem effects of dam removal can be predicted. Find out more...

Native California medicinal plant may hold promise for treating Alzheimer's

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:41:05 EST ~ The medicinal powers of aspirin, digitalis, and the anti-malarial artemisinin all come from plants. A discovery of a potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory chemical in a native California shrub may lead to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease based on a compound found in nature. Find out more...

Zebra stripes are not good landing strips

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:50:32 EST ~ The stripes of a zebra deter horse flies from landing on them, according to a new study. Find out more...

Complete world map of tree diversity

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 10:34:12 EST ~ Researchers have succeeded in constructing, from scattered data, a world map of the diversity of tree species. Climate plays a central role for its global distribution; however, the number of species in a specific region also depends on the spatial scale of the observation, the researchers report. The new approach could help improve conservation. Find out more...

Foreign bees monopolize prize resources in biodiversity hotspot

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 10:33:39 EST ~ New research revealed that foreign honey bees often account for more than 90 percent of pollinators observed visiting flowers in San Diego, considered a global biodiversity hotspot. The non-native bees have established robust feral populations and currently make up 75 percent of the region's observed pollinators. Their monopoly over the most abundantly blooming plant species may strongly affect the ecology and evolution of species that are foundational to the stability of the region's plant-pollinator interactions. Find out more...

Forest fires as an opportunity for ecosystem recovery

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:17:07 EST ~ It is estimated that globally there are more than two million hectares of land in need of restoration. The fires that occurred in those places provided the people who manage them with an opportunity to change, via a suitable process of ecological restoration, the previous bad forestry practices. Find out more...

World's biggest terrestrial carbon sinks are found in young forests

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:31:55 EST ~ More than half of the carbon sink in the world's forests is in areas where the trees are relatively young -- under 140 years old -- rather than in tropical rainforests, research shows. Find out more...

Indigenous hunters have positive impacts on food webs in desert Australia

Sun, 17 Feb 2019 14:25:22 EST ~ Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinction in the world. Resettlement of indigenous communities resulted in the spread of invasive species, the absence of human-set fires, and a general cascade in the interconnected food web that led to the largest mammalian extinction event ever recorded. In this case, the absence of direct human activity on the landscape may be the cause of the extinctions, according to an anthropologist. Find out more...