HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Squirrels winning at outwitting trees' survival strategy

EAST LANSING, Mich. If you look at evolutionary biology as a big game of "Survivor," it's squirrels: one, spruce trees: zero.

In the Dec. 22 edition of Science, Andrew McAdam, an assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State University, outlines how red squirrels have figured out a way around the elaborate ruse trees have used to protect their crops of tasty seeds.

The remarkable part: The squirrels are divining the arrival of bumper crops of spruce cones months before the cones ever materialize and then betting on those crops with the most expensive evolutionary collateral a second litter of pups.

"We've been watching a co-evolutionary arms race where the trees and the squirrels are constantly trying to outwit each other," McAdam said. "The trees' strategy to outwit the squirrels has been documented, but now we've documented a counter strike by the squirrels."

The study, funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, allows scientists to track the push and pull of evolution against an unforgiving struggle for survival.

McAdam, Stan Boutin from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and other international collaborators have been studying two different types of squirrels, which share the red squirrel' name but are only distantly related, in the forests of Canada, Belgium and Italy. The study has been going on for 20 years, with each squirrel carefully tracked.

The red squirrels on this side of the ocean dine almost exclusively on the seeds of spruce cones, which they gnaw off before the seeds ripen. The squirrels are thus a major enemy of the spruce trees. If the squirrels become too successful, their hoarding and gorging on the cones thwarts the trees' ability to cast seeds and reproduce. So the battle continues.

Over the years, the trees devised a strategy called masting in which they unpredictably every few yea
'"/>

Contact: Andrew McAdam
mcadama@msu.edu
517-432-0396
Michigan State University
21-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Squirrels place winning bet in unpredictable world
2. Universes stringy birth revealed by young Czech scientist in EURYI winning project
3. Rutgers College of Nursing Deans award winning book updated and released
4. Improving artificial heart top goal of award-winning research at UH
5. Award-winning INEEL probe to help safely monitor hazardous waste sites
6. New use for a cell toxin found to inhibit survival proteins in cancer cells
7. Glimmer of hope for Tahitian tree snails survival
8. Nexavar significantly extends overall survival by 44 percent in liver cancer patients
9. For many insects, winter survival is in the genes
10. HIV survival improves if patients stay in care
11. Preterm infants with RDS -- surfactant replacement therapies improves neonatal survival

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


(Date:5/21/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2020 , ... ... and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health ... & Gene Therapy, will be presenting at the ISCT 2020 Paris Virtual conference, ...
(Date:5/14/2020)... ... May 12, 2020 , ... ... Science Manufacturers accurately and easily project contracted liabilities with payers, providers and ... by projecting discounts/rebates to Commercial and Government entities, Copay and Patient Assistance ...
(Date:5/6/2020)... ... 06, 2020 , ... Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. ... improving the quality, safety, efficacy and cost of red blood cell (RBC) transfusion therapy, ... mission and meet its goals. In 2020 Hemanext will collaborate with SCDAA on its ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2020)... LEXINGTON, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... May 15, 2020 , ... ... announced the appointment of Richard Ganz as Executive Chairman. Mr. Ganz will continue ... nine years, as well as work closely with CEO Brian Miller and Sentien’s management ...
(Date:5/9/2020)... ... May 08, 2020 , ... Worldwide Business with kathy ... business program on Sunday, May 10, 2020 and Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 8:00pm ... exclusive interviews will spotlight key executives from Techolution and Bravado Pharmaceuticals ...
(Date:4/26/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... April 23, 2020 , ... ... Azure Marketplace today, an online store providing applications and services for use on ... certain well-defined business needs to sign up online for a built-for-purpose customer engagement ...
(Date:4/18/2020)... PHILADELPHIA (PRWEB) , ... April 17, 2020 , ... ... National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to support the ... settings. This funding from the NSF, which conducts a rigorous merit-based review process, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: