HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Introduced foxes transformed vegetation on Aleutian Islands from lush grasslands to tundra

SANTA CRUZ, CA--Huge colonies of seabirds accustomed to nesting on islands free of predators began disappearing when fur traders started introducing foxes onto islands in the Aleutian archipelago in the 18th century. The ground-nesting birds made easy meals for the foxes. A study published this week in the journal Science now shows that the effects of the introduced foxes rippled through entire island ecosystems, transforming the vegetation from lush grasslands to scrubby, low-growing tundra.

It turns out that the nutrient-poor volcanic soils of the Aleutian archipelago can only support dense grasslands if they receive regular doses of fertilizer in the form of bird droppings. On islands without foxes, seabirds transfer nutrients from the ocean to the land by feeding on marine fish and invertebrates and spreading nutrient-rich guano around the islands. Add foxes, and the indirect effects on the whole ecosystem are as dramatic as the direct effects on the seabirds.

"Introduced species are a global phenomenon, and we tend to focus on the direct effects, such as the reduction or extinction of species that are consumed by an introduced predator. This study shows how the effects of introduced species can spread throughout an ecosystem in unpredictable ways," said Donald Croll, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and first author of the Science paper.

Efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove introduced foxes from the Aleutian islands have been largely successful. Seabirds are beginning to make a comeback on islands previously colonized by foxes, and in some places the vegetation has begun to look lusher. But it is likely to take decades for the ecosystems to fully recover from the effects of the foxes, said James Estes, adjunct professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCSC and a coauthor of the paper.

"Most seabirds only have a single
'"/>

Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-2495
University of California - Santa Cruz
24-Mar-2005


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Study of domesticated foxes reveals changes in gene expression as a basis for tame behavior
2. Experimental domestication of foxes yields clues to cognitive evolution
3. Stem cells from brain transformed to produce insulin at Stanford
4. A thesis of the UGR analyses more than 20-million-year-old vegetation to study climatic evolution
5. Fires from the past predict the vegetation of tomorrow
6. Increased dampness causes vegetation change
7. Deep sea algae connect ancient climate, carbon dioxide and vegetation
8. As world warms, vegetation changes may influence extreme weather
9. Taking the piste out of Alpine vegetation
10. Self-organization and vegetation collapse in salt marsh ecosystems
11. World Wildlife Fund warns against iron dumping experiment near the Galapagos Islands

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


(Date:4/13/2017)... MONICA, Calif. , April 13, 2017 ... New York will feature emerging and evolving ... Summits. Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo ... of speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending ... coast,s largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... identity management and secure authentication solutions, today announced ... contract by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) ... for IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has ... onset and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... N.Y. , April 11, 2017 ... fingerprints, but researchers at the New York University ... College of Engineering have found that partial similarities ... security systems used in mobile phones and other ... thought. The vulnerability lies in the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., a ... Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. Nicolas ... practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in diagnostic ...
(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 ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the ... won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to ... Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare ... BoxWorks conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: