First-Of-A-Kind Study By University Of Georgia Ecologist Estimates Role Of Natural Forces On Insect Populations

ATHENS, Ga. -- For more than three decades, ecologists have argued about the cyclic rise and fall of insect populations. Determining the reasons for these changes has been tedious and difficult, with some scientists believing the cycles are controlled by top-down forces such as predators, parasites and diseases, while others say the reason is a change in bottom-up forces, such as the quality or quantity of food supply.

Now, for the first time, a University of Georgia ecologist has been able to assign numerical estimates to the two approaches.

"It has been difficult to attach numerical values to the relative importance of predation and plant quality for a number of reasons," said Dr. Mark Hunter. "Although this kind of study has been done in lakes, we believe it is the first for any terrestrial species."

The research was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hunter's work has been an inventive combination of experimental analysis and detective work. It began with a re-examination of data collected by two British scientists, George Varley and George Gradwell. They collected data for some 16 years on the interactions of two insect species, the winter moth and the green oak leaf roller moth, that feed on English oaks in Wytham Woods near Oxford, England.

The research published by Varley and Gradwell has long been considered a classic of population ecology. And yet they left some tantalizing puzzle-parts with their long-term study. First, although they collected information on five different trees, they published their information as averages for all the trees and didn't consider each tree as an individual. Second, and most interestingly, they also collected information on the green oak leaf roller moth for some 18 years but never published their results.

Hunter speculates that one reason for the latter may be that the data was extremely difficult to analyze, because it showed a steady and

Contact: Mark Hunter
University of Georgia

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Study: Emission of smog ingredients from trees is increasing rapidly
2. Study explores gene transfer to modify underlying course of Alzheimers disease
3. Study reveals why eyes in some paintings seem to follow viewers
4. Study by Israeli scientists provides insight on DNA code
5. Study reveals first genetic step necessary for prostate cancer growth
6. Study of flu patients reveals virus outsmarting key drug
7. Study in Science reveals recreational fishing takes big bite of ocean catch
8. Study suggests cell-cycle triggers might be cancer drug targets
9. Study narrows search for genes placing men at increased risk for prostate cancer
10. Study links high carbohydrate diet to increased breast cancer risk
11. Study explains spatial orientation differences between sexes

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 30, 2020 , ... ... Phase II contract awarded by the Joint Science & Technology Office—Chemical and Biological ... is to develop, optimize, and scale-up a highly efficient mammalian cell culture-based bioprocess ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 08, 2020 , ... Overcoming Comparability ... Regulation, An FDAnews Webinar, Wednesday, July 22, 2020 • 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. EDT, ... is the most effective way to complete one? Will the study comply with ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... Catalent, a global leader ... Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, located in the Shiga prefecture of Japan. ... in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility will provide customers with flexible clinical supply ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/3/2020)... , ... August 03, 2020 , ... ... today announced Jim Corrigan, President and CEO has been named one of the ... cross-section of industry sectors, PharmaVoice 100 honorees are selected based on how they ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... that can combine up to three different materials for use with CRM, neurostimulation, ... up to three materials to meet specific design requirements, performance, and cost criteria; ...
(Date:7/22/2020)... ... , ... Join experts from Reed Tech , Gary Saner, Sr. Manager, ... hour live webinar on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11am EDT (4pm ... devices. Specifically, for medical devices, the NMPA has departments dealing with medical device registration ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... , ... July 08, 2020 , ... ... and products, announces a significant expansion of laboratory operations through its COVID-19 ... agencies implementing testing programs. , Bode-CARES provides a turnkey solution ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: