Ecology News

Study Reveals Why Life in Earth’s Early Oceans Increased in Size

January 24, 2014

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A newly published study examined the earliest communities of large multicellular organisms in the fossil record, revealing why life in Earth’s early oceans increased in size. Why did life forms first begin to get larger and what advantage did this increase in size provide? UCLA biologists working with an international team of scientists examined the […]

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Scientists Discover Life in the Sediments of an Antarctic Subglacial Lake

September 11, 2013

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Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey have discovered evidence of diverse life forms in the sediments of an Antarctic subglacial lake for the first time. Evidence of diverse life forms dating back nearly a hundred thousand years has been found in subglacial lake sediments by a group of British scientists. The possibility that extreme life […]

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Scientists Detail the Evolutionary Success of Spiny-Rayed Fishes

July 16, 2013

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In a newly published study, Yale University researchers detail the evolutionary history of the 18,000 species of spiny-rayed fishes, finding close evolutionary relationships between lineages of fish species and suggesting some fish lineages are experiencing high rates of new species origination. Even as the dinosaurs were becoming extinct 66 million years ago, the ancient ancestor […]

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New Study Links Expanding Human Population to Threats of Animal Extinction

June 19, 2013

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A newly published study paints a grim outlook for the future of certain mammals and birds, suggesting that the average growing nation should expect at least 3.3 percent more threatened species in the next decade and an increase of 10.8 percent species threatened with extinction by 2050. Columbus, Ohio – The ongoing global growth in […]

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Study Suggests Europeans Are Closely Related

May 8, 2013

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A newly published study suggests that Europeans are closely related, finding on a genealogical level that everyone in Europe traces back to nearly the same set of ancestors only a thousand years ago. From Ireland to the Balkans, Europeans are basically one big family, closely related to one another for the past thousand years, according […]

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Study Reveals Environmental Change Can Trigger Rapid Evolution

April 9, 2013

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A new study led by scientists at the University of Leeds shows that short-term ecological change and evolution are intertwined and cannot reasonably be considered separate, finding that populations evolve rapidly in response to environmental change and population management. Environmental change can drive hard-wired evolutionary changes in animal species in a matter of generations. A […]

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The Effects of Ice Retreat and Biodiversity in the Arctic Deep Sea

April 8, 2013

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2012 saw the greatest Arctic ice minimum ever recorded, allowing researchers to document the effects of ice retreat and biodiversity in the Arctic deep sea. The Arctic is one of the habitats undergoing the most radical transformation as a result of climate change. Nobody can predict the effects it will have on biodiversity in the […]

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Biodiversity and Disease Risk for Humans

April 1, 2013

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A newly published study pokes holes in widely accepted theory that connects biodiversity abundance with a reduced disease risk for humans, finding that the links between biodiversity and disease prevalence are variable and dependent on the disease system, local ecology and probably human social context. More than three quarters of new, emerging or re-emerging human […]

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Proof That the Olfactory System of Fruit Flies is Based on Self-Regulation of Odorant Receptors

March 19, 2013

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For the first time, researchers at the Max Planck Institute provide experimental proof that the extremely sensitive olfactory system of fruit flies is based on self-regulation of odorant receptors. Highly developed antennae containing different types of olfactory receptors allow insects to use minute amounts of odors for orientation towards resources like food, oviposition sites or […]

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Sunken Wood Can Develop into Habitats for Microorganisms and Invertebrates

January 22, 2013

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Scientists from the Max Planck Institute have shown how sunken wood can develop into attractive habitats for a variety of microorganisms and invertebrates due to the activity of bacteria, which produce hydrogen sulfide during wood degradation. Trees do not grow in the deep sea, nevertheless sunken pieces of wood can develop into oases for deep-sea […]

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Epigenetics Are Important To Evolutionary Success

January 10, 2013

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Genetic diversity and long periods of time are things that are crucial for evolutionary adaptation. This made scientists wonder why invasive species, lacking genetic diversity, succeed quickly. And some ecologists are beginning to think that epigenetic factors might be modifying genes while leaving the genome intact. The scientists presented their findings at a meeting of […]

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Gene-Expression Indicates How Coral Reefs Will Handle Climate Change

January 8, 2013

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Scientists have discovered a pattern of gene activity, which allows some corals to survive in higher temperatures. This suggests a way to predict how different corals will react to warmer waters, which are expected to result from climate change over the coming decades. The scientists published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National […]

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