Nature

Under a warming climate, wildfires in Oregon’s southern Blue Mountains will become more frequent, more extensive and more severe, according to a new Portland State University-led study. Researchers from PSU, North Carolina State University, University of New Mexico and the U.S. Forest Service looked at how climate-driven changes in forest dynamics and wildfire activity will
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Given the anthropological and climate threats facing nature, the conservation of tropical biodiversity is a major challenge. To encourage the implementation of better biodiversity management practices, countries and international agreements on biodiversity refer to the assessments of species “at risk of extinction” performed by the IUCN as part of a standardised procedure. This approach remains
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Scientists from EPFL and WSL have been studying soils in oil palm cultivation for years, in an effort to develop more sustainable methods for growing this crop. Palm oil production has been criticized by environmentalists because of its large carbon footprint and negative impact on biodiversity. For instance, in Indonesia and Malaysia — the world’s
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On the night of January 14, 2019, astronomer Razmik Mirzoyan got a call at his home in Germany. The observers on shift at the Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov Telescope (MAGIC) in the Canary Islands were on the other line. Alerted by two space telescopes—the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope—the two
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On some of the Galapagos Islands where human-introduced predators of Darwin’s finches were eradicated over a decade ago, the finches are still acting as though they are in danger, according to research published today in the Journal of Animal Ecology. The study found that the finches’ fearful responses — known as antipredator behaviour — were
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Decades after farmland was abandoned, plant biodiversity and productivity struggle to recover, according to new University of Minnesota research. Published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, researchers examined 37 years of data tied to plant biodiversity (i.e., number of different species) and plant productivity (i.e., biomass or amount of plants) related to 21 grasslands
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At first, Carolina Concha and her fellow researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute worried that every mutant butterfly would die. They were attempting to deactivate a crucial wing-patterning gene known as wntA, and they aimed to make this genetic change not in just one variety of butterfly, but in 22 types. Fortunately, the mutant
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As the extinction crisis escalates, and protest movements grow, some are calling for hugely ambitious conservation targets. Among the most prominent is sparing 50% of the Earth’s surface for nature. ‘Half Earth’ and similar proposals have gained traction with conservationists and policy makers. However, little work has gone into identifying the social and economic implications
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The world’s tropical forests store huge quantities of carbon in their biomass and thus constitute an important carbon sink. However, current estimates of the amount of carbon dioxide stored in tropical forests of the Amazon vary largely. Scientists at the UFZ have developed an approach that uses recent satellite data to provide much more precise
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You’ve probably seen a lichen, even if you didn’t realize it. If you’ve ever meandered through the forest and wondered what the crusty stuff on trees or rocks was, they’re lichens, a combination of algae and fungi living together almost as if they were one organism. And since they can grow on bare rocks, scientists
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The effects of climate change are becoming more apparent, from the rapidly warming Gulf of Maine, to more frequent and severe storms and the increase of invasive turf seaweed. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that these environmental developments are contributing to the transformation of the seafloor to a lower, more patchy
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