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:12/14/2019)... ... December 12, 2019 , ... Crop Enhancement ... yields, has appointed Jean Pougnier as chief business officer. Mr. Pougnier will lead ... and influencers that will position the company for maximum commercial success. As part ...
(Date:12/4/2019)... ... December 04, 2019 , ... Cartessa Aesthetics ... Advanced Plasma Technology for U.S. dermatologists, plastic surgeons and licensed aesthetic providers. ... to employ LF technology – low frequency plus a patented wavelength and power ...
(Date:11/27/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Personalized Stem Cells, Inc (“PSC”), a human adipose-derived ... hosted by Dr. Steven Sampson and Dr. Danielle Aufiero of the Orthohealing Center ... highlighted the ongoing efforts to promote research, educate the public, and provide support to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/22/2020)... , ... January 21, 2020 , ... QCDx , ... biopsy from a simple blood draw, today announced the sale of the proprietary RareScope™ ... Rare Scope will be used in clinical cancer research. , “The RareScope can detect ...
(Date:1/8/2020)... ... January 08, 2020 , ... Anomet ... achieve specific properties for use in harsh environments inside or outside of the ... to three metals or alloys to achieve specific properties such as corrosion-resistance, biocompatibility, ...
(Date:1/7/2020)... ... January 06, 2020 , ... EconoFact, a non-profit media initiative ... at Tufts University, is pleased to announce that it was awarded a $50,000 ... Tufts University, and will help to expand the scope, exposure and distribution of ...
(Date:12/31/2019)... WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... December 31, 2019 , ... ... floor throughput the conference that will be broadly focused on 3D cell culture ... will discuss its NASH 3D cell culture assays for assessing steatosis , inflammation ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: