HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Natural enemies help scientists untangle tropical forest food webs

British ecologists have gathered compelling new experimental evidence on how tropical rain forest food webs are constructed, findings that may have important implications for their environmental management.

The research reported in Nature today (18 March) demonstrates how species that never meet may nevertheless influence each other's ecology through shared parasites, and confirms the action of an important ecological theory in the highly biodiverse rain forest environment.

Ecologists have long believed that species which have nothing in common but a 'natural enemy' - something that eats or parasitises both of them - may interact indirectly. The patterns that result parallel those caused by traditional competition for food, hence the name given to the effect: 'apparent competition'.

To test the theory scientists conducted a painstaking field experiment in Belize, Central America, measuring the effects of removing a beetle and a fly on other species with which they share natural enemies.

The beetle and fly belong to a very diverse group of insects whose larvae, named leaf miners, feed inside the leaves of plants. To take away just these particular insect leaf miners, researchers removed all traces of the plant that sustains only them.

A year after their removal, researchers surveyed the health of the insect species that shared natural enemies with the beetle and fly and found significantly lower parasitism and significantly higher abundance.

"This is basic ecological research intended chiefly to increase our understanding of these insect communities, but it also speaks to a number of biodiversity and management issues," said Professor Charles Godfray from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Population Biology at Imperial, and author of the research.

If the results are typical of herbivore communities, say the authors, the development of this theory, and its associated experimental tests,
'"/>

Contact: Tom Miller
t.miller@imperial.ac.uk
44-207-594-6704
Imperial College London
18-Mar-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Natural mineral locks up carbon dioxide
2. Naturalists of the Isthmus of Panama
3. Natural selection at work in genetic variation to taste
4. Natural, man-made mix promises biggest landscape plant growth
5. Natural killer cellers are made, not born
6. Natural selection in a nutshell
7. Natural fat compound may be basis for new class of drugs targeting obesity
8. Natural hormone could reverse heart damage
9. New biography details adventures of Fritz Muller, A Naturalist in Brazil
10. Natural selections fingerprint identified on fruit fly evolution
11. UC Riversides David Reznick receives 2003 E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/14/2017)... (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups ... collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built with ... France is one of the ... percent increase in the number of startups created between 2012 ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and interpret datasets, ... Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of the double-helix ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most ... you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and ... unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading ... a nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will ... need for communication among health care professionals to enhance the ... nurses, office staff, and other health care professionals to help ... breast cancer. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) ... and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: