Late last week, meteorologists in St. Louis noticed a cloud acting peculiarly: It was beating a path toward Mexico while changing into a variety of odd shapes. Was it a radar glitch? The debris signature of a south-moving tornado? Nope.
Ancient, acidic and nutrient-depleted dunes in Western Australia are not an obvious place to answer a question that has vexed tropical biologists for decades. But the Jurien Bay dunes proved to be the perfect site to unravel why plant diversity varies from place to place. Scientists show that environmental filtering -- but not a host of other theories -- determines local plant diversity in one of Earth's biodiversity hotspots.
Earth's soils store four times more carbon than the atmosphere and small changes in soil carbon storage can have a big effect on atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. A new paper concludes that climate warming does not accelerate soil organic carbon decomposition or affect soil carbon storage, despite increases in ecosystem productivity.
While driving through central Nebraska last week, I couldn’t help notice all the fuzzy creatures crossing the highway in front of me. They weren’t raccoons, deer, or even voles. They were tiny little caterpillars, and they were moving FAST.
Many native species have vanished from tropical islands because of human impact, but scientists have discovered how fossils can be used to restore lost biodiversity. The key lies in organic materials found in fossil bones, which contain evidence for how ancient ecosystems functioned, according to a new study.