What's up in
Rapid Oxygen Changes Fueled an Explosion in Ancient Animal Diversity
Skyrocketing animal diversity a half-billion years ago was linked to spikes and dips in marine oxygen levels, according to a detailed geological study.
Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses
New work raises the estimated diversity of viruses in the seas more than twelvefold and lays the groundwork for a better understanding of their impact on global nutrient cycles.
Heat-Loving Microbes, Once Dormant, Thrive Over Decades-Old Fire
In harsh ecosystems around the world, microbiologists are finding evidence that “microbial seed banks” protect biodiversity from changing conditions.
She Finds Clues to Future Sustainability in Old Food Webs
By reconstructing prehistoric food webs and analyzing the diverse interactions of humans with other species, the ecologist Jennifer Dunne is developing a new understanding of sustainability through network science.
Complex Animals Led to More Oxygen, Says Maverick Theory
For decades, researchers have commonly assumed that higher oxygen levels led to the sudden diversification of animal life 540 million years ago. But one iconoclast argues the opposite: that new animal behaviors raised oxygen levels and remade the environment.
Evolution Saves Species From ‘Kill the Winner’ Disasters
Modelers find evidence that a combination of competition, predation and evolution will push ecosystems toward species diversity anywhere in the universe.
Awash in Sea of Data, Ecologists Turn to Open Access Tools
To assess the ocean’s health, ecology’s “rugged individualists” learned to get with the big data program.