'Dead' coral rubble can support more animals than live coral, according to University of Queensland researchers trialling a high-tech sampling method. UQ's Dr Kenny Wolfe said that reef rubble habitat was often overlooked as desolate, unattractive and 'dead', however reef rubble was very much alive.
Frieseomelitta varia is a docile species of economic interest as a pollinator. Its workers are sterile, and some of its genetic sequences are identical to those found in other eusocial bees, pointing to the conservation of ancestral traits.
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology together with their international collaborators developed a novel quantitative method to quantify the effects of plastic on marine animals. This method successfully shows that plastic ingestion by sea turtles might be causing population declines, despite a lack of strong effects on individual turtles.
Elephant trails may lead the way to better conservation approaches. 'Think of elephants as engineers of the forests. Elephants shape the landscape in many ways that benefit humans. We're talking thousands of miles of trails. If we think about the loss of elephants over time, then we will see the forest structure change and human activities also would shift.'
A study of camera-trap data from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania found that leopard population densities in the 3.7-million-acre park are similar to those in other protected areas but vary between wet and dry seasons. The fluctuations appear to be driven by the abundance of prey and how this affects interactions with other large carnivores like lions, researchers report.
An international team of scientists has succeeded in using the signature whistles of individual bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Namibia to estimate the size of the population and track their movement. The research, led by Stellenbosch University and the University of Plymouth, marks the first time that acoustic monitoring has been used in place of photographs to generate abundance estimates of dolphin populations.
To help inform farmers, researchers at Louisiana State University are the first to quantify how rainfall and temperature affect crawfish harvest yields.
A new study, published Aug. 31 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, finds that reef-building corals emerged only when ocean conditions supported the construction of these creatures' stony skeletons, whereas diverse softer corals and sea anemones flourished at other times. Without a significant change to anthropogenic carbon emissions, the new findings present stark implications for the present and future of hard-bodied corals while suggesting a silver lining for the diversity of some of their softer-bodied relatives.
Climate change threatens plants and animals across the planet. Interdisciplinary research by, among others, climate and biodiversity researchers at the University of Copenhagen, has mapped responds of biodiversity caused by abrupt climate changes in the past. The findings can be used to protect both individual species and entire ecosystems in the warmer climates of the future and can strengthen effective conservation practice and policy.
Although helminth infections--including tapeworms and roundworms--are among the world's top neglected diseases, they are no longer endemic in Europe. However, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases report that these infections were common in Medieval Europe, according to grave samples analyzed from across the continent.