Earth

UPTON, NY--Scientists studying plant biochemistry at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered new details about biomolecules that put the brakes on oil production. The findings suggest that disabling these biomolecular brakes could push oil production into high gear--a possible pathway toward generating abundant biofuels and plant-derived bioproducts. The study appears in in the journal Plant Physiology.

Social gadflies in an organization are the new superheroes of conservation, according to a study in this month's Nature Sustainability.

Conservation globally has received a boost from the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, placing new emphasis on, and opportunities for, support for the world's flora and fauna. Yet even as environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) like The Nature Conservancy prepare to rise to the challenge, they face size issues. Specifically, their own size.

An interdisciplinary team of scientists examining everything from glaciology to freshwater ecology discovered drastic changes over the past decade to the world's largest High Arctic lake. And from glacial melt to the declining lake ice to changes in lake ecology, the results from Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island in Canada are alarming.

James Cook University researchers in Australia have helped develop a new way to save endangered African wild dogs.

Dr Damien Paris and PhD student Dr Femke Van den Berghe from the Gamete and Embryology (GAME) Lab at James Cook University, have successfully developed a sperm freezing technique for the species (Lycaon pictus).

The highly efficient pack hunters have disappeared from most of their original range across sub-Saharan Africa due to habitat destruction, human persecution and canine disease, leaving less than 6,600 animals remaining in the wild.

Bonobos are willing to share meat with animals outside their own family groups. This behaviour was observed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is documented in a new study in Springer's journal Human Nature. Even though bonobo apes have been studied for years, animal behaviourists have only realised in the past 25 years that these primates do not only eat plants, but similar to the common chimpanzee, also hunt and share their catch among members of their own social group.

A global study lead by geographers at the University of Tartu has revealed that drained nitrogen-rich peatlands produce laughing gas, which degrades the ozone layer and warms the climate. To avoid this, swamp forests, fens and bogs need to be conserved.

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The coastal marten, a small but fierce forest predator, is at a high risk for extinction in Oregon and northern California in the next 30 years due to threats from human activities, according to a new study.

Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and Environment research published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE shows that private landowners trust conservation agencies more and have better views of program outcomes when they accompany conservation biologists who are monitoring habitat management on their land.

Bees are not the only animals that carry pollen from flower to flower. Species with backbones, among them bats, birds, mice, and even lizards, also serve as pollinators. Although less familiar as flower visitors than insect pollinators, vertebrate pollinators are more likely to have co-evolved tight relationships of high value to the plants they service, supplying essential reproductive aid for which few or no other species may substitute.

The Common Tern is most widespread tern species in North America, but its breeding colonies in interior North America have been on the decline for decades despite conservation efforts. The problem, at least in part, must lie elsewhere--and a new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances presents some of the best information to date on where these birds go when they leave their nesting lakes each fall.