Ecosystems

  1. compostable food containers
    Environment

    Chemicals in biodegradable food containers can leach into compost

    PFAS compounds from compostable food containers could end being absorbed by plants and later eaten by people, though the health effects are unclear.

    By
  2. Pteris vittata ferns
    Environment

    How one fern hoards toxic arsenic in its fronds and doesn’t die

    To survive high levels of arsenic, a fern sequesters the heavy metal in its shoots with the help of three proteins.

    By
  3. Great Barrier Reef blenny
    Animals

    Shy fish no bigger than a pinkie provide much of the food in coral reefs

    More than half of the fish flesh that predators in coral reefs eat comes from tiny, hard-to-spot species.

    By
  4. uprooted plant
    Plants

    Some plants use hairy roots and acid to access nutrients in rock

    Shrubs in mountainous areas of Brazil have specialized roots that secrete chemicals to extract phosphorus from rock.

    By
  5. ecologists with tiger sharks
    Animals

    Tiger sharks feast on migratory birds that fall out of the sky

    Terrestrial birds that fall from the sky during their migration across the Gulf of Mexico can end up in the bellies of tiger sharks.

    By
  6. Ecosystems

    Readers were curious about green icebergs, aliens and more

    Readers had questions and comments about icebergs and climate change, CBD and NASA’s search for E.T.

    By
  7. Horned passalus beetles
    Earth

    A belly full of wriggling worms makes wood beetles better recyclers

    Common beetles that eat rotten logs chew up more wood when filled with a roundworm larvae, releasing nutrients more quickly back to the forest floor.

    By
  8. Gorongosa elephants
    Ecosystems

    War wrecked an African ecosystem. Ecologists are trying to restore it

    Bringing back big predators to Gorongosa, once a wildlife paradise in Mozambique, is just one piece of the puzzle in undoing the damage there.

    By
  9. hippo
    Animals

    Hippo poop cycles silicon through the East African environment

    By chowing down on grass and then excreting into rivers and lakes, hippos play a big role in transporting a nutrient crucial to the food web.

    By
  10. green sea turtle
    Animals

    Endangered green sea turtles may be making a comeback in the U.S. Pacific

    The numbers of green sea turtles spotted around Hawaii, American Samoa and the Mariana Islands have increased in the last decade.

    By
  11. Tara boat
    Microbes

    A global survey finds that the Arctic Ocean is a hot spot for viruses

    Scientists mapped virus diversity around the world’s oceans. That knowledge may be key to making better climate simulations.

    By
  12. Alaska landscape
    Climate

    Climate change made the Arctic greener. Now parts of it are turning brown.

    Arctic browning could have far-reaching consequences for people and wildlife, affecting habitat and atmospheric carbon uptake as well as increasing wildfire risk.

    By