Friend or foe? Invasive earthworms can benefit agriculture but harm forests

Earthworms are welcome guests in the garden, but it’s a different story in the forest. By consuming and removing leaf litter too fast they set in motion complex cascades of ecological changes, with long-term negative effects on soil fertility and biodiversity.

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Hang on to that tree! Lizards that survived hurricane Maria showed increases in grip strength

The 2019 hurricane season started off with a bang. It’s clear that climate change has affected the frequency and severity of hurricanes. To understand whether species will be able to cope with more frequent severe storms we need more research to see how hurricanes can affect populations of plants and animals. Read on to find out how hurricane Maria in 2017 affected lizards in Dominica.

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‘Otter’ Ways of Assessing Species Vulnerability to Climate Change

How do scientists figure out how a species will be impacted by climate change? They usually look at how their habitat will change with a changing climate – but that may not be the whole story. Other factors, such as a species environmental needs, how they tolerate change, and how their habitat will change (i.e. size, fragmentation, proximity to human disturbances) also need to be considered! Otters are among the most vulnerable mammals in the world, and determining where their specific threats from climate change come from will be key for conservationist to save them from extinction.

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Native milkweed supports healthy monarch communities

“Monarch butterflies do really well on the exotic milkweed species that’s being widely sold and planted under current environmental conditions. But under warmer conditions, the exotic plant becomes too toxic and monarchs become less healthy.”

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Navigating the Future of Insects in an Illuminated World

Humans bring light to even the darkest of places, but how does this affect the creatures we share the night with? In our quest to illuminate our world, we are altering the fate of insects for generations to come by contributing to their decline and pressuring them to adapt to an environment that has artificial light at night.

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Dumpster diving diet: city rats have higher protein diet distinct from other rural mammals

Rats have shared our cities for a long time. Because of this they can be used a model to learn more about how animals colonized cities and what features of cities can be advantageous for some species. A new study focuses their attention on whether 19th century city mice had an advantage over their rural neighbors. Read on to find out more!

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Backyard Biodiversity: Urban Schoolyards Can Play an Important Role in Conservation

Biodiversity matters. Not just in the Amazon, but in your backyard, too. The recent report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) took the world by storm; the biodiversity crisis is here, and plants and animals across the globe are facing extinction, ultimately transforming ecosystems as we know it. Since the report, there has been a public outcry about what we can do to slow the impending biodiversity crisis, covered everywhere from scientific journals to media outlets worldwide.

While there are many pathways to address the crisis, a paper from a team of African researchers published in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening points to the importance of addressing a big problem on a small scale, suggesting urban schoolyards can positively impact local biodiversity for both native and exotic species.

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Mentally “exhausted” honey bees—petroleum exhaust makes bees learn slower and forget faster

Scent pollution from exhaust fumes could disrupt the relationship between honey bees and the flowers they feed from and pollinate. The smell of flowers invites pollinators to come and feast on their nectar. But exhaust masks those smells, making it harder for bees to learn and remember the floral scents that cue them in to flowers.

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