HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Big vegetarian mammals can play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, study finds

Removing large herbivorous mammals from the African savanna can cause a dramatic shift in the relative abundance of species throughout the food chain, according to scientists from Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of California-Davis. Their findings were published in the Jan. 2 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

In the study, the research team used large electric fences to exclude cattle, elephants, zebras and other herbivorous mammals from experimental plots on a ranch in central Kenya from May 2004 to December 2005. During that time, the scientists monitored changes in the populations of trees, beetles, lizards and other plant and animal species.

"All of the species studied increased in abundance in the absence of large plant-eating mammals," said lead author Robert Pringle, a graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford. These results are examples of what ecologists call cascading effects, he added.

Although elephants and zebras do not interact directly with insects, they share plants as a food source, Pringle noted. Previous studies have shown that when elephants and zebras are experimentally removed or hunted out, plant matter accumulates and insect populations increase.

"With an increase in insects comes an increase in the insects' predators, such as lizards," Pringle said. "Thus, the actions of a few dominant species ripple throughout the ecosystem."

The authors also found that the strength of the cascading effects varied considerably across the landscape, and that it was possible to predict where the effects would be weak or strong in terms of "primary productivity"-the transformation of solar energy into plant tissue during photosynthesis. Plants in areas of high primary productivity grow faster, making more energy available throughout the food chain. The study revealed that cascading effects are weaker in places where producti
'"/>

Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
16-Jan-2007


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Cut global warming by becoming vegetarian
2. Killer dinosaurs turned vegetarian
3. A sensory organ, not the brain, differentiates male and female behavior in some mammals
4. Robust time estimation reconciles views of the antiquity of placental mammals
5. The delayed rise of present-day mammals
6. Dinosaur extinction didnt cause the rise of present-day mammals, claim researchers
7. Contrary to common wisdom, scientist discovers some mammals can smell objects under water
8. How mammals fuel milk production may have implications for cancer
9. Does missing gene point to nocturnal existence for early mammals?
10. Pheromone from mothers milk may rapidly promote learning in newborn mammals
11. Elephants, large mammals recover from poaching in Africas oldest national park

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


(Date:8/14/2019)... ... August 14, 2019 , ... An upcoming episode of Advancements ... therapeutics are helping to promote normal immune function in order to prevent and ... about the DECODE.DESIGN.CURE™ technology platform, which rapidly develops microbiome therapeutics in order to ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... ... ... Join Jonathan Riek, PhD, VP, Musculoskeletal & Metabolic Imaging, BioTel Research in ... learn about two common imaging methods in NAFLD/NASH to aid with early disease diagnosis, ... disease, with a worldwide prevalence of 20-46 percent. NAFLD can be subdivided into simple ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... ... August 14, 2019 , ... Gateway Genomics , a ... announces inclusion in the 38th annual Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest growing ... qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. Ranking ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/23/2019)... ... August 22, 2019 , ... An ... and is scheduled to broadcast 4Q/2019. Check your local listings for more information. ... for generic drug delivery. Focusing on therapeutics for children and the elderly, viewers ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (PRWEB) , ... August 13, ... ... leader in nuclear receptor and in vitro toxicology testing solutions, announced the appointment ... of healthcare industry experience to the Board. , Mark McLoughlin will lend his ...
(Date:8/8/2019)... ... August 08, 2019 , ... ... for sales and service organizations, today announced that the company’s Studio Intelligent Virtual ... the IVA market . Inference will officially accept the award at Frost & ...
(Date:8/6/2019)... ... 06, 2019 , ... The San Diego Biotechnology Network (SDBN) ... SDBN BUZZ podcast focused on connecting the region’s biotech community and discussing topics ... the region and attract external employers, investors, scientists, and others who wish to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: