Biodiversity boosts crop pollinators and pest controllers, study finds

  A new study looks at the reliance on biodiversity of ecosystem services provided by pollinating and pest-controlling insects. Up to half of the detrimental impacts of the “landscape simplification” that monocropping entails come as a result of a diminished mix of ecosystem service-providing insects. The scientists found that the reduction in ecosystem services provided […]

Continue Reading

Why is Earth so biologically diverse? Mountains hold the answer

What determines global patterns of biodiversity has been a puzzle for scientists since the days of von Humboldt, Darwin, and Wallace. Yet, despite two centuries of research, this question remains unanswered. The global pattern of mountain biodiversity, and the extraordinarily high richness in tropical mountains in particular, is documented in two companion Science review papers […]

Continue Reading

How conserving nature’s ‘umbrella’ species could benefit whole habitats

In conservation, charismatic mammals and birds such as the black rhinoceros and the capercaillie get a lot of attention, while others, like invertebrates, are often ignored. One way of addressing this problem is to focus on protecting “umbrella species”. These are species whose conservation can benefit many others, especially those that rely on similar habitats. […]

Continue Reading
Rebecca Albright in the California Academy of Science's darkroom where they are working on coral spawning and restoration efforts. Tara Lohan

Saving Coral Reefs — With Sex

Visitors walk slowly through a room of dimmed lights and glowing tanks that bring the mysteries of the sea into plain view. The Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is home to 900 different species — everything from brightly colored reef fish to prickly sea urchins, even an albino alligator […]

Continue Reading

Healthy reefs, healthy people: Community-based marine conservation in Papua New Guinea (commentary)

Marine resources play a vital role in food security for coastal communities across Papua New Guinea, which, after Australia, is the largest and most populated country in Oceania. The maintenance of marine ecosystem integrity (the health of these habitats) ensures the provision of the goods and services communities rely on, including seafood, medicine, coastal protection, […]

Continue Reading