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Invasive aliens

Many researchers participating in the Ecological Society of America's Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia will be presenting findings focused on an increasingly prevalent and far-reaching environmental challenge: invasive species. Covering a wide range of species, ecosystems, and regions, the topic of invasive alien species is one that will be well-explored during the scientific conference. Among the offerings:

"Historical changes in native clam traits after crab invasion," will be part of Oral Session #25: Invasive Species II: Aquatic Systems, held on Tuesday, August 5, 8 AM 11:30 AM, SITCC, Meeting Room 205.

Between 1900 and 2000, an introduced predator, the European green crab, Carcinus maenas, spread northward along the coast of Maine, USA. One of the crab's preferred food choices are the area's native soft-shell clams, Mya arenaria. Lindsay Whitlow, of Bowdoin College, looked at aspects of the clams' shell morphology before and after the arrival of the crabs, examining clams from multiple sites along Maine's coast. Whitlow found that the scars on the shells, representing sizes of the clams' siphons and soft internal tissues, and the overall shell mass, all increased after the green crab arrived. According to Whitlow, the results suggest that the clams may have burrowed deeper to evade predation or that crabs may have eaten clams at shallower depths. Whitlow believes that the bivalves' increased shell mass may be the result of slower growth rates of deeper burrowing clams.

"Invasive aliens with thrifty genes: Diabetic feral swine on a southeastern coastal barrier island" will be part of Oral Session #42: Mammal Ecology: From Mice to Elephants, held Wednesday, August 6, 8 AM 11:30 AM, SITCC, Meeting Room 104.

Somewhere over the course of the nearly 500 years in which they have roamed their island habitat, the wild swine of Ossabaw Island developed some unique traits that help them survive in an environment with fluctuat
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Contact: Annie Drinkard
annie@esa.org
Ecological Society of America
5-Aug-2003


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