MarineBio Conservation SocietyEcology Research News   :: ScienceDaily

How an herbivore hijacks a nutrient uptake strategy of its host plant

Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:31:36 EDT ~ Maize plants release secondary metabolites into the soil that bind to iron and thereby facilitate its uptake by the plant. The Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera), the economically most important maize pest worldwide, is attracted by these complexes, extracts the bound iron from the maize plant and uses it for its own nutrition. With these insights, researchers provide a new explanation for the extraordinary success of the Western corn rootworm as a global maize pest. Find out more...

Key factor may be missing from models that predict disease outbreaks from climate change

Thu, 16 Aug 2018 09:04:30 EDT ~ A new study suggests that computer models used to predict the spread of epidemics from climate change -- such as crop blights or disease outbreaks -- may not take into account an important factor in predicting their severity. Find out more...

How plants protect themselves by emitting scent cues for birds

Wed, 15 Aug 2018 12:40:09 EDT ~ When plants are in distress or being fed on by insects, they have been known to send out sensory volatile cues that alert organisms in the area -- such as birds -- that they are in need of help. While research has shown that this occurs in ecosystems such as forests, until now, this phenomenon has never been demonstrated in an agricultural setting. Find out more...

Extending palm oil production in Africa threatens primate conservation

Wed, 15 Aug 2018 10:29:21 EDT ~ Future expansion of the palm oil industry could have a dramatic impact on African primates. Find out more...

Effects of climate warming seen in tallgrass prairie ecosystem

Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:42:08 EDT ~ Ecologists have completed a new study on the effects of climate warming on soil microbes in a long-term climate change experiment at a tallgrass prairie ecosystem. The new study shows that climate warming will affect microbial communities in the future, and future community states will be more predictable under warmed climate. Eventually, microbial communities will produce different functions and feedbacks to climate warming. Find out more...

Severe declines of mountain hares on Scottish grouse moors

Tue, 14 Aug 2018 10:14:34 EDT ~ Mountain hare numbers on moorlands in the eastern Highlands have declined to less than one per cent of their initial levels, according to a long-term scientific study. Find out more...

Sea stars critical to kelp forest resilience

Mon, 13 Aug 2018 10:03:00 EDT ~ A study by a resource and environmental management researcher reveals that sunflower sea stars play a critical role in the resilience of B.C.'s kelp forests, which are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth. Similar to land-based forests, kelp forests provide essential habitat for species and also help remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Find out more...

Deep in the weeds: Using eDNA sequencing to survey pondweed diversity

Fri, 10 Aug 2018 13:26:05 EDT ~ Researchers have developed a protocol using environmental DNA (eDNA) to identify aquatic plant diversity, making ecological biodiversity surveys of these plant communities faster and less expensive. Their study on pondweeds -- an important bioindicator of aquatic ecosystem health -- allows researchers to overcome difficulties in monitoring and identification, and draw conclusions regarding plant diversity and water quality. eDNA is a rapidly emerging technique, but its use in aquatic habitats has been understudied. Find out more...

Tough life in the savannah? Chimpanzee foods are mechanically more demanding than previously thought

Fri, 10 Aug 2018 12:00:31 EDT ~ A study has analyzed the mechanical properties and the isotopic composition of plant foods eaten by chimpanzees living in the tropical rain forest and savannah woodland. They found that the savannah chimpanzees eat foods that are more mechanically challenging and therefore may place higher selective pressures on their chewing apparatus compared to their conspecifics living in the rainforest. Find out more...

Diverse symbionts of reef corals have endured since 'age of dinosaurs'

Thu, 09 Aug 2018 14:11:55 EDT ~ Coral-algal partnerships have endured numerous climate change events in their long history, and at least some are likely to survive modern-day global warming as well, suggests an international team of scientists. Find out more...