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Islands in Biological News

Ocean islands fuel productivity and carbon sequestration through natural iron fertilization

An experiment to study the effects of naturally deposited iron in the Southern Ocean has filled in a key piece of the puzzle surrounding iron's role in locking atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ocean. The research, conducted by an international team led by Raymond Pollard of the National Oce...

Study of islands reveals surprising extinction results

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) It's no secret that humans are having a huge impact on the life cycles of plants and animals. UC Santa Barbara's Steven D. Gaines and fellow researcher Dov Sax decided to test that theory by studying the world's far-flung islands. Their research, published this month in...

Rats on islands disrupt ecosystems from land to sea, researchers find

SANTA CRUZ, CA--Seabird colonies on islands are highly vulnerable to introduced rats, which find the ground-nesting birds to be easy prey. But the ecological impacts of rats on islands extend far beyond seabird nesting colonies, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Californ...

First wind turbines on Galapagos Islands will halve diesel imports, reduce risk of future oil spills

In January 2001, the world held its breath when the tanker Jessica, loaded with 150,000 gallons of fuel, struck a reef and began breaking up in the heart of one of the most precious, famous and fragile ecosystems on earth the Galapagos Islands. At risk were vast numbers of unique species of fl...

The fragility of the world's coral is revealed through a study of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) A new study by researchers from UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) sheds light on how threats to the world's endangered coral reef ecosystems can be more effectively managed. In a recent issue of the journal Coral Reefs , ...

UC Riverside scientist to explore how vegetation affects urban heat islands

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Darrel Jenerette, a landscape ecologist at UC Riverside, is on a team led by Arizona State University researchers that will be investigating human vulnerability to deadly heat exposure. The three-year project will examine how variation in the "urban heat island" a metropolit...

Smithsonian coral biodiversity survey of Panama's Pearl Islands

A comprehensive survey of coral biodiversity in Panama's Las Perlas Archipelago, published in the journal Environmental Conservation by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and their colleagues, has resulted in clear conservation recommendations for a new coastal manageme...

Global survey of lizards reveals greater abundance of animals on islands than on mainland ecosystems

A comprehensive survey of lizards on islands around the world has confirmed what island biologists and seafaring explorers have long observed: Animals on islands are much more abundant than their counterparts on the mainland. Besides confirming that longstanding observation, the study signals an ...

Pacific Islands paradise protected

A small Pacific Islands nation has distinguished itself on the global conservation map with the declaration today that it is creating the third largest marine protected area in the world, conserving an archipelago of some of the planet's most pristine coral reefs. Martin Puta Tofinga, Minister of...

Introduced foxes transformed vegetation on Aleutian Islands from lush grasslands to tundra

Huge colonies of seabirds accustomed to nesting on islands free of predators began disappearing when fur traders started introducing foxes onto islands in the Aleutian archipelago in the 18th century. The ground-nesting birds made easy meals for the foxes. A study published this week in the journal...

Navigating in the ocean of molecules

...aced numbers on a typed page. However, only some of these - 1060 molecules according to the estimates - are potential active agents. Identifying these islands of biological activity in the ocean of all potential compounds is not an easy task. "Organic synthesis cannot gauge the chemical space in its entir...

Venomous sea snakes play heads or tails with their predators

...ed 98 Sea Kraits from three major museum collections in Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen while also monitoring the behaviour of wild Sea Kraits in Solomon islands during the Danish Galathea 3 Expedition. The research confirmed that all snakes of this species had a distinctive colouration pattern, with a bright y...

Beautiful plumage: Feather color and sex start the species revolution

...s potential sexual partners. This is evidence of incipient speciation: the beginning of the evolution of new species. Other flycatchers in the Solomon islands also vary their plumage colour, but the genetic basis is not always as clear as this single mutation. Dr Kilner highlighted this intriguing paper ...

Rodent size linked to human population and climate change

...rom 1892 to 2001, and Pergams compared those from before 1950 to those collected after. He also compared specimens gathered from sparsely populated islands to those from the mainland, where human populations were denser. Pergams found both increases and decreases in the 15 anatomic traits he measured, ...

Leicester research paves way for first use in Europe of an insect to fight invasive plant

...weed) is now known to be an important and hitherto under-recorded component of Japanese Knotweed populations. Fortunately for the inhabitants of these islands the hybrid between Japanese Knotweed and Russian Vine, although perfectly viable and established in some localities, does not combine the vigour of ea...

'Shifting Sands' highlights past, present and future of Maryland coastal bays ecosystem

...and's Coastal Bays, a comprehensive look at the coastal lagoons and barrier islands making up Maryland's Atlantic coastline. Published by IAN Press, Shiftin...through the history, setting, context and ecology of these waterways, their islands and mainland watershed. "By integrating cutting-edge science, peer-revie...

Red List overlooks island species

...ng to these criteria all the species in the Canary islands are endangered. However, research carried out rece...that are supposed to be under threat in the Canary islands according to IUCN criteria. However, the lists of ...st says there is a "clear discrepancy". Species on islands are distributed according to the size of the islan...

New discovery suggests trees evolved camouflage defense against long extinct predator

... samples from a similar species of tree, P chathamicus, from the Chatham Islands, which are 800 kilometres east of New Zealand. Unlike New Zealand the islands lacked large browsers such as Moa and so the plant life did not evolve a defence against them. "The Chatham island species displays less morpholog...

Arctic climate under greenhouse conditions in the Late Cretaceous

... But the researchers struck lucky. "With remarkable serendipity," they explain, " successive US and Canadian expeditions that occupied floating ice islands above the Alpha Ridge of the Arctic Ocean, recovered cores containing shallow buried upper Cretaceous diatom ooze with superbly preserved diatoms." T...

US-Mexico border wall could threaten wildlife species

...n State, did his doctoral dissertation on bighorn sheep, including populations in the northern Sonora desert. He says mountain ranges act like habitat islands and thus bighorn populations are geographically fragmented. Adding an impenetrable fence through those ranges, without a strategy promoting the passag...

Nursery programs for corals receive TLC from NOAA this Independence Day

...investment Act (ARRA) to further develop large-scale, in-water coral nurseries and restore reefs along Florida's southern coast and in the U.S. Virgin islands (USVI). The Nature Conservancy will serve as coordinator of the overall project, working with the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marin...

T-STAR grant funds genetic studies on shrimp and papaya and endangered cycad rescue

...t pathologist, received $162,856 in collaboration with Dr. D. Nandwani from the Northern Marianas College to improve papaya cultivars from the Mariana islands in their tolerance to papaya ringspot virus (PRV) and other important diseases. Dr. Wall's studies have found that a local variety is tolerant to PRV ...

Nonstick and laser-safe gold aids laser trapping of biomolecules

...cientists could avoid hitting the posts directly with lasers. Like oil and water, traditionally laser tweezers and gold dont mix. By making very small islands of gold, we positioned individual molecules where we wanted them, and with a mechanical strength that enables more precise and additional types of stu...

New species of phallus-shaped mushroom named after California Academy of Sciences scientist

...ngi, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians found nowhere else on Earth. Since 2001, Drewes has organized four multidisciplinary expeditions to the islands in an effort to document their biodiversity and gather data for conservation plans. Phallus drewesii was one of 225 fungus species that Desjardin a...

Isolated forest patches lose species, diversity

...e increasingly fragmented by roads and development, becoming isolated green islands in a sea of agricultural fields, housing tracts, and strip malls, say Unive...eastern part of the state. Land use changes have a pronounced impact on the islands of forest that remain, even when these are protected as parks or natural ar...

New cleaning protocol for future 'search for life' missions

...ms," says Professor Benning. The work was carried out as part of the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expeditions (AMASE) which uses Svalbard (a set of islands in the Arctic ocean at 74-80˚N) as an international test site for NASA and ESA "Search for Life" instrumentation scheduled to fly on future Mars ...

NASA satellite detects red glow to map global ocean plant health

...-scales of weeks to months, we can use this data to track plankton responses to iron inputs from dust storms and the transport of iron-rich water from islands and continents," said Doney. "Over years to decades, we can also detect long-term trends in climate change and other human perturbations to the ocean....

Jeepers creepers: Climate change threatens endangered honeycreepers

...with climate change. At one time, the Hawaiian islands had no mosquitoes and no mosquito-borne diseases....ria swept rapidly across all of the lower Hawaiian islands after the disease was introduced, leaving few surv...n, a USGS microbiologist based at the USGS Pacific islands Ecosystems Research Center in Hawaii. These coo...

A combined tooth-venom arsenal revealed as key to Komodo dragon's hunting strategy

...ized bite and venom seem to minimise the Dragon's contact with its prey and this allows it to take large animals." Komodo Dragons are native to the islands of Indonesia, with adult males weighing over 100kg, and exceeding 3 metres in length. They have around 60 highly serrated teeth which are frequently r...

Komodo even more deadly than thought: Research

...on is the world's largest living lizard and inhabits the central Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Gili Dasami. It grows to an avera...tism, since there are no other carnivorous mammals to fill the niche on the islands where they live. The lizards are apex predators and dominate the ecosyst...

WWF study says climate change could displace millions in Asia's Coral Triangle

...ral Triangle, which is comprised of the coasts, reefs and seas of the countries of Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon islands and Timor Leste. The Coral Triangle occupies just one percent of the Earth's surface, but is home to fully 30 percent of the world's coral reefs, 76 p...

Indigenous peoples at world summit to share climate change observations, coping techniques

... rise and crop-damaging droughts reside in: The Arctic, The Caribbean The Amazon Southern Chile and Argentina, Southern Africa, Pacific islands and other island states, Along the Asian coastline Across Australia Beyond temperature flux, climate change is expected to alter the timing, ...

Bone deformities linked to inbreeding in Isle Royale wolves

...le and one or two males who crossed an ice bridge from Canada during an unusually cold winter in the 1940s. Since then they have been isolated on the islands that make up Isle Royale National Park. Winter Study 2009 Each winter since 1959, researchers have been tracking and observing the wolves and ...

New explanation for a puzzling biological divide along the Malay Peninsula

...ogeography posted their findings online February 25. For most of the past few million years, the shallow ocean shelf surrounding the peninsula and islands of Malaysia and Indonesia has been exposed, creating a land area about the size of Europe. That habitat shrank dramatically each time sea levels rose....

Ocean's journey towards the center of the Earth

...c plate between Australia and New Zealand was subducted 1100 kilometres into the Earth's interior and at the same time formed a long chain of volcanic islands at the surface. Mr Schellart conducted the research, published in the world-leading journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters , in collaboratio...

European satellites provide new insight into ozone-depleting species

... around the globe, but until recently it had never been measured by a space instrument. In August 2008, the Kasatochi Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian islands erupted explosively, sending a cloud of volcanic ash and gas more than 11 km into the atmosphere. The following day, scientists from the Brussels-...

New book expands field data available on orangutans

...cies and populations. Scientists are aware of significant variation in the behavior, morphology and life histories of orangutans, found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, but the comparative approach in Orangutans: Geographic Variation in Behavioral Ecology and Conservation provides a theoretica...

Historical photographs expose decline in Florida's reef fish, new Scripps study finds

... the Pacific Ocean. Scientists studying at the Central Pacific Ocean's Line islands archipelago have shown that coral reef ecosystems experience drastic change...and reef through overfishing, as compared with healthy coral ecosystems off islands that are not fished. As an interesting side note, McClenachan mentions i...

New paper offers key insights into how new species emerge

...an others, and for why certain areas of biotic regions may have more life forms than others," Feder said. Where Darwin once traveled to the Galapagos islands and sleuthed to other far-flung places in pursuit of the origins of species, the research on the apple fly and the apple wasp reveals that important c...

February 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights

...ons, allowing reptiles to expand their temperature-dependent ranges poleward. Other features of the ancient, volcanically active Arctic Ocean, such as islands and fresh surface waters, could have assisted the faunal interchange. Fetch-limited self-organization of elongate water bodies Andrew D. Ashto...
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