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Tropical in Biological News

Coralline algae in the Mediterranean lost their tropical element between 5 and 7 million years ago

An international team of researchers has studied the coralline algae fossils that lived on the last coral reefs of the Mediterranean Sea between 7.24 and 5.3 million years ago. Mediterranean algae and coral reefs began to resemble present day reefs following the isolation of the Mediterranean from...

New guide to tropical seedlings: Essential to climate change research

The enormous trees forming rainforest canopies bear little resemblance to their seedlings, many described for the first time in the new field guide, "Seedlings of Barro Colorado Island and the Neotropics," published in July 2009 by Cornell University Press. Author Nancy Garwood, professor of plant...

Australia's climate: Drought and flooding in annual rings of tropical trees

Annual rings are acclaimed in representing natural climate archives. For the temperate latitudes it is known that the growth of these annual rings depend mainly on temperature and precipitation. In the tropics, however, with only slight seasonal variations, the correlation is not so evident. No...

Live-in domestics: Mites as maids in tropical rainforest sweat bee nests

Mites not only inhabit the dust bunnies under the bed, they also occupy the nests of tropical sweat bees where they keep fungi in check. Bees and their young are healthier when mites live-in, report researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and the University of Texas ...

'Biological control of tropical weeds using arthropods'

One man's weed is another man's wonder and University of Guam research scientist Dr. Gadi V. P. Reddy has spent much of his career finding environmentally safe methods to control invasive plants. A chemical ecologist and entomologist, Dr. Reddy is the coeditor and coauthor of the book Biological ...

Scientists use lasers to measure changes to tropical forests

HILO, Hawaii January 23, 2009New technology deployed on airplanes is helping scientists quantify landscape-scale changes occurring to Big Island tropical forests from non-native plants and other environmental factors that affect carbon sequestration. U.S. Forest Service and Carnegie Institution ...

Lifecycles of tropical cyclones predicted in global computer model

The initial results of the first computer model that simulates the global atmosphere with a detailed representation of individual clouds have been analyzed by a team of scientists at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Japan-Agency for Marin...

Princeton-led team finds secret ingredient for the health of tropical rainforests

A team of researchers led by Princeton University scientists has found for the first time that tropical rainforests, a vital part of the Earth's ecosystem, rely on the rare trace element molybdenum to capture the nitrogen fertilizer needed to support their wildly productive growth. Most of the ni...

Smithsonian puts tropical eastern Pacific shore fishes online

A new bilingual online information system created by D. Ross Robertson, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Coeus Knowledge Systems makes it possible for conservationists, sport fishers, tourists, researchers, students and resource managers to identify and generate ...

Smithsonian puts tropical Eastern-Pacific shore fishes online

A new bilingual online information system created by D. Ross Robertson, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Coeus Knowledge Systems makes it possible for conservationists, sport fishers, tourists, researchers, students and resource managers to identify and generate ...

Latin American Science Initiative Puts Tropical Rainforest Diversity Online

Tropical plant guidebooks are written largely by scholars from museums and universities in the U.S. and Europe where plant collections are housed. Researchers and conservationists in countries where the plants were originally collected may not have access to tools for understanding some of the mos...

Academy participates in project to discover drugs, biofuels in tropical seas

PHILADELPHIAThe National Institutes of Health has awarded $4 million to a group of Philippine and American scientists, including The Academy of Natural Sciences, to aid in the discovery of new molecules and biofuels technology from marine mollusks for development in the Philippines. Research wil...

Study: Tropical wetlands hold more carbon than temperate marshes

COLUMBUS, Ohio In one of the first comparisons of its kind, researchers have demonstrated that wetlands in tropical areas are able to absorb and hold onto about 80 percent more carbon than can wetlands in temperate zones. The scientists extracted soil cores from wetlands in Costa Rica and in O...

Discovering drugs, biofuels in tropical seas

PORTLAND, Ore. The National Institutes of Health has awarded $4 million to a group of Philippine and American scientists led by Oregon Health & Science University to aid in the discovery of new molecules and biofuels technology from marine mollusks for development in the Philippines. The project...

Smithsonian hosts tropical extinction debate in Panama

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute will host the workshop "Debating the Tropical Extinction Crisis" in Panama from 21-23 August, 2008. The event is sponsored by the Institute, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Science Committee of the Smithsonian National Board, and the Smit...

The drivers of tropical deforestation are changing, say scientists

A shift from poverty-driven to industry-driven deforestation threatens the world's tropical forests but offers new opportunities for conservation, according to an article coauthored by William Laurance of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. "New Strategies for Conserving Tropica...

Paying to save tropical forests could be a way to reduce global carbon emissions

COLUMBUS, Ohio Wealthy nations willing to collectively spend about $1 billion annually could prevent the emission of roughly half a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year for the next 25 years, new research suggests. It would take about that much money to put an end to a tenth of the ...

Amazon powers tropical ocean's carbon sink

Nutrients from the Amazon River spread well beyond the continental shelf and drive carbon capture in the deep ocean, according to the authors of a multi-year study. The finding does not change estimates of the oceans' total carbon uptake, but it reveals the surprisingly large role of tropical o...

Lionfish decimating tropical fish populations, threaten coral reefs

CORVALLIS, Ore. The invasion of predatory lionfish in the Caribbean region poses yet another major threat there to coral reef ecosystems a new study has found that within a short period after the entry of lionfish into an area, the survival of other reef fishes is slashed by about 80 percent. ...

Insect warning colors aid cancer and tropical disease drug discovery

Brightly colored beetles or butterfly larvae nibbling on a plant may signal the presence of chemical compounds active against cancer cell lines and tropical parasitic diseases, according to researchers at Smithsonian's Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Such clues could speed drug discovery an...

Looming tropical disaster needs urgent action

A major review by University of Adelaide researchers shows that the world is losing the battle over tropical habitat loss with potentially disastrous implications for biodiversity and human well-being. Published online today in the Ecological Society of America's journal Frontiers in Ecology a...

NOAA study shows eastern tropical pacific ocean dolphin populations improving

The numbers of Northeastern offshore spotted and eastern spinner dolphins in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean are increasing after being severely depleted because of accidental death in the tuna purse-seine fishery between 1960 and 1990, according to biologists from NOAA's Fisheries Service. ...

Reforestation using exotic plants can disturb the fertility of tropical soils

In many regions of the world, the impact of human activity on the environment intensified considerably over the past century. The high world population growth rate and the expansion of areas given over to crop production associated with climatic changes (longer periods of drought, irregular rainfa...

Does fishing on drifting fish aggregation devices endanger the survival of tropical tuna?

Fishermen hold empirical knowledge that tuna aggregate under floating objects, such as lengths of old rope, pieces of wood, or even large marine mammals. There is still no full explanation for this aggregation behaviour, but the past 20 years have seen purse-seine fishery operators take advantage ...

Smithsonian scientist receives 2008 Medal for Excellence in tropical botany

Mireya Correa, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute since 1987 and professor at the University of Panama, received the Jos Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany April 26, 2008. Laurance J. Dorr, representing the National Museum of Natural History and the Uni...

Open-access tropical conservation journal launches

This release is available in Spanish . On March 3, Mongabay.com , a leading environmental science news Web site, launched Tropical Conservation Science, an open-access, e-journal that publishes results of research relating to conservation of tropical forests and other tropical ecosys...

No convincing evidence for decline in tropical forests

Claims that tropical forests are declining cannot be backed up by hard evidence, according to new research from the University of Leeds. This major challenge to conventional thinking is the surprising finding of a study published today in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences b...

Springer launches Tropical Plant Biology

Springer is launching Tropical Plant Biology, a journal which will report on significant advances in all aspects of tropical plant biology as well as applications towards genetic diversity and crop improvement. Tropical Plant Biology joins the growing number of new plant science journals in Sprin...

'Time-sharing' tropical birds key to evolutionary mystery

KINGSTON, ON Whereas most birds are sole proprietors of their nests, some tropical species time share together a discovery that helps clear up a 150-year-old evolutionary mystery, says Queens University Biology professor Vicki Friesen. The Queens-led international study confirms one of Char...

Why do so many species live in tropical forests and coral reefs?

The latest development in a major debate over a controversial hypothesis of biodiversity and species abundance is the subject of a paper to be published in the 1 November 2007 issue of the journal Nature. The authors report good agreement between the species richness of two of the world's most vu...

If corn is biofuels king, tropical maize may be emperor

When University of Illinois crop scientist Fred Below began growing tropical maize, the form of corn grown in the tropics, he was looking for novel genes for the utilization of nitrogen fertilizer and was hoping to discover information that could be useful to American corn producers. Now, howe...

Researchers discover forests of endangered tropical kelp

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) -- A research team led by San Jose State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara has discovered forests of a species of kelp previously thought endangered or extinct in deep waters near the Galapagos Islands. The discovery has important implications for ...

Spatial patterns in tropical forests can help to understand their high biodiversity

The high biodiversity in tropical forests has both fascinated and puzzled ecologists for more than half a century. In the hopes of finding an answer to this puzzle, ecologists have turned their attention to the spatial patterns of such communities and mapped the location of each tree with a stem l...

New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk

Arlington, Virginia In an ironic twist, 11 countries that have avoided widespread destruction of their tropical forest are at risk of being left out of an emerging carbon market intended to promote rainforest conservation to combat climate change. A study published Tuesday in the Public Librar...

Scientists discover 5 new species of sea slugs from the Tropical Eastern Pacific

Cuthona behrensi, one of five new species of aeolid nudibranchs discovered in the Eastern Pacific. The Tropical Eastern Pacific, a discrete biogeographic region that has an extremely high rate of endemism among its marine organisms, continues to yield a wealth of never-before-described marine a...

Madagascan tropical forests return thanks to better management and well-defined ownership

A study published in the May 2nd issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, shows that although loss of tropical dry forests occurs in southern Madagascar, there are also large areas of forests regenerating. The return of forest cover was found to be substantial in the study area, with an o...

Scientists: As rainfall changes, tropical plants may acclimate

Tropical plants may be more adaptable than commonly thought to changing rainfall patterns expected to accompany a warming climate, new research shows. A University of Florida scientist and other researchers have found that plants in Hawaii have the ability to acclimate to big changes in rainfall ...

Microfossils unravel climate history of tropical Africa

Scientists from the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research obtained for the first time a detailed temperature record for tropical central Africa over the past 25,000 years. They did this in cooperation with a German colleague from the University of Bremen, The scientists developed an ent...

The subtleties of tropical forest demise

"It's not just that tropical forests are being rapidly destroyed, but also that most of the remaining forests and nature reserves are being severely degraded," said William Laurance of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, who co-edited the book along with Carlos Peres, a Brazilian...

Public Library of Science to launch new, open access journal on neglected tropical diseases

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) announced today the creation of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the first open access journal devoted to the world's most neglected diseases. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases ( www.plosntds.org ) will focus on the overlooked diseases that strike millions of...
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