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Tag: species

Plankton species uses bioluminescence to scare off predators

Plankton species uses bioluminescence to scare off predators

Science
June 17 (UPI) -- At least one species of dinoflagellate plankton uses its bioluminescence for defensive purposes. Researchers determined the species Lingulodinium polyedra uses its glow-in-the-dark abilities to scare off copepod grazers, the species' primary predator. According to the new study -- published this week in the journal Current Biology -- the bioluminescent cells sense low concentrations of copepodamides, polar lipids emitted by copepod grazers, a group of small crustaceans. "This in turn helps to better protect them from their grazers, letting them survive longer to reproduce and therefore compete better within the plankton," Andrew Prevett of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said in a news release. Researchers used low-light, high-speed cameras to observe the behavior...
Plant extinction ‘bad news for all species’

Plant extinction ‘bad news for all species’

Science
Almost 600 plant species have been lost from the wild in the last 250 years, according to a comprehensive study.The number is based on actual extinctions rather than estimates, and is twice that of all bird, mammal and amphibian extinctions combined.Scientists say plant extinction is occurring up to 500 times faster than what would be expected naturally.In May, a UN report estimated that one million animal and plant species were threatened with extinction. Researchers say their analysis of all documented plant extinctions in the world shows what lessons can be learned to stop future extinctions.Most people can name a mammal or bird that has become extinct in recent centuries, but few could name an extinct plant, said Dr Aelys Hum...
Study: Almost 600 plant species have gone extinct in last 250 years

Study: Almost 600 plant species have gone extinct in last 250 years

Science
June 11 (UPI) -- Almost 600 plant species have gone extinct in the last 250 years, which is twice the number of birds, mammals and amphibians to have disappeared from the Earth in the same period combined, according to a new study. Published Monday in the journal Nature, Ecology & Evolution, the study states that 571 plants have been wiped from the face of the Earth and plants species are going extinct 500 times faster than the normal rate of loss without human intervention. The number was calculated by one of the study's co-authors, Rafael Govaerts, after reviewing all publications on plant extinctions over 30 years. The study shows that the number of extinct plant species is four times higher than previous compilations and twice the combined 271 birds, mammals and amphibians record...
Four new plume moth species identified in the Bahamas

Four new plume moth species identified in the Bahamas

Science
June 7 (UPI) -- Scientists have identified four new species of plume moths in the Bahamas. Plume moths are a family of small moths with uniquely modified wings. Plume moths are named for the fringelike scales that adorn their wings. When extended, the outline of the mosquito-sized moths resembles a tiny star. There are now 23 known plume moths in the Bahamas. Several of them -- including the four described this week in the journal Insecta Mundi -- would likely still be fluttering around in anonymity if it wasn't for Deborah Matthews. Matthews, a biological scientist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, has been conducting plume moth expeditions and field studies in the Bahamas since 1987. "They were just so unique," she said in a news release. "It's the symmetry that really gets yo...
Fungi communities around the globe mostly comprise a few common species

Fungi communities around the globe mostly comprise a few common species

Science
May 31 (UPI) -- New research shows microbial communities in soils around the globe are less diverse than previously suggested. In recent years, scientists have become increasingly interested in the role microbial communities in soil play in the ecological health of fields and forests. The unique microbial signatures of soil samples, researchers contend, can offer insights into the dynamics of different ecosystems. But new research suggests soil samples host vast microbial populations, with the majority of fungi found in samples all over the globe belonging to a few common species. "Scientists know that different fungi in soils are responsible for the way that forests and farmlands work," Eleonora Egidi, a postdoctoral fellow in the field of soil microbiology at the Hawkesbury Institute f...