Nature

Environmental DNA (eDNA) has successfully proven the presence of invasive crayfish in almost all the small streams around Lake Akan in Japan, suggesting that eDNA analysis is an efficient and highly sensitive method to assess the distribution of aquatic organisms. Researchers from Hokkaido University have found that signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus, may have endangered the
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Scientists have discovered evidence of a massive distributed reservoir of methane formed by chemical reactions deep inside the ocean floor. Abiotic methane – created in reactions that don’t involve organic matter or living creatures – has long been known to exist buried in the seabed and released via deep-sea vents, but the origins of the
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Poo transplants are helping expand koala microbiomes, allowing the marsupials to eat a wider range of eucalypts and possibly survive habitat loss. A study featuring University of Queensland researchers has analysed and altered microbes in koalas’ guts, finding that a faecal transplant may influence what species of eucalypt koalas can feed on. UQ School of
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It’s one of the deepest unknowns in geophysics: the hidden movements of Earth’s innermost core. While we think of the ground beneath our feet as terra firma, that reassuring rigidity only extends so far. Deep below the planet’s surface, Earth’s super-hot inner core sits within a molten liquid outer core, detached from the overlying mantle
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Connected areas of high-quality forest running through oil palm plantations could help support increased levels of biodiversity, new research suggests. There is growing pressure to reduce the consumption of palm oil due to concerns over deforestation. However, the research team, led by the University of York, says promoting more sustainable palm oil is a better
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Longline fisheries around the world are significantly affecting migrating shark populations, according to an international study featuring a University of Queensland researcher. The study found that approximately a quarter of the studied sharks’ migratory paths fell under the footprint of longline fisheries, directly killing sharks and affecting their food supply. Dr Bonnie Holmes, from UQ’s
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Since the first Homo sapiens emerged in Africa roughly 300,000 years ago, grasslands have sustained humanity and thousands of other species. But today, those grasslands are shifting beneath our feet. Global change — which includes climate change, pollution and other widespread environmental alterations — is transforming the plant species growing in them, and not always
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A new QUT-led study has developed a statistical toolbox to help avoid seagrass loss which provides shelter, food and oxygen to fish and at-risk species like dugongs and green turtles. The research has been published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution run by the British Ecological Society. The paper describes key monitoring and management designs
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When scientists ran DNA analysis on a sediment core taken from the floor of the Arctic ocean back in 2010, they found something surprising. A previously unknown organism belonging to the strange domain of microbes called Archaea appeared to have genomic characteristics associated with a totally different domain – Eukaryota. They named their discovery Lokiarchaeota,
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A careful inspection of super-deep diamonds has revealed what geologists have long suspected: Hiding somewhere in our planet’s interior, there exists a vast reservoir of primordial magma, undisturbed for more than 4 billion years. The location, the size and the contents of this ancient reservoir are still up for debate, but thanks to these diamonds,
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When Earth’s species were rapidly diversifying nearly 500 million years ago, that evolution was driven by complex factors including global cooling, more oxygen in the atmosphere, and more nutrients in the oceans. But it took a combination of many global environmental and tectonic changes occurring simultaneously and combining like building blocks to produce rapid diversification
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A new study provides evidence that increasing the abundance of a threatened or endangered species can deliver large benefits to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest. The study, published today in the journal PLOS ONE, finds that a two-thirds increase in the average annual number of returning coho salmon to the Oregon coast would generate
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