Tag: "herbivores" at biology news

Pocket gophers serve as 'ecosystem engineers'

..., entitled "Bioturbation by subterranean mammalian herbivores and its impact on ecosystems," at the annual meeting of the Ecology Society of America in Portland, Ore., the first week in August. Eric Seabloom of NCEAS is a co-author. Pocket gophers are named for their fur-lined pouches located on the outside of ...

Ants protect plants better when jacked up on nectar

...they can help their leafy companion by killing any herbivores they find. Ants often do just that, because many ants need meat in their diets. Some species of ants are more aggressive than others, and many plants don't have any choice about which species visit. Researchers report for the first time that when pl...

Save the rainforest - eat a tree

...d soils." Coley says: "Most people think of herbivores as detrimental pests bugs eat plants, which is not good for the plants. Yet without insects, clay tree species would take over all forest types. Bugs beget tree diversity." Implications for diversity and the origin of species The ...

Survival strategies in nature

...naling determines host selection for opportunistic herbivores and that induced defenses influence herbivore comm...nts were more vulnerable to N. attenuata's adapted herbivores but also attracted two novel herbivore species, which fed and reproduced successfully. These results...

Choice of food helps hungry caterpillar

...lants produce volatile chemicals when chewed on by herbivores and that some of these chemicals attract wasps tha...defenses. "The co-evolution of plants, herbivores and their parasitoids is complex," says Dr. Mark C. Mescher, assistant professor of biology. "We do...

Catastrophic shift in species diversity and productivity of an ecosystem

...the ecosystem. This control comes about by causing herbivores to feed on and suppress the abundance of a highly ...ame locked into an alternate stable state in which herbivores were incapable of suppressing the now highly productive, competitively dominant plant. The study pro...

Is that plant a tortoise or a hare? Answer predicts its response to environmental change

...s for thick, sturdy leaves that resist weather and herbivores and can pay off under challenging conditions. Weeds usually fall into the hare category, said Reich. Their strategy is to grow fast and quickly release seeds, and they tend to grow in places where the vegetation is disturbed. Data for the study were...

Traditional Christmas snack under threat

... populations, and control of seed eaters and large herbivores could help maximise the chance of seeds germinating and seedlings surviving to become established juveniles. Although continued intensive harvesting is a concern, the scientists conclude that the trade itself is not a threat and that there are other,...

American black cherry tree overruns Europe by playing dirty

...abitats because they are able to escape pathogens, herbivores and competitors that stymie their growth. Alissa Packer (IUB) and Wim Van der Putten (Centre for Terrestrial Ecology) also contributed to the report. It was funded by the University of Montana's University Research Grant Program and by National Scien...

Studies probe rapid evolution of Chinese tallow trees

...as varieties of Chinese tallow tree and its native herbivores in China may help researchers understand its success in the U.S. If the combination of low defenses, fast growth and low insect attack is the secret to Chinese tallow tree's success in Texas, varieties collected in Texas and grown in China should exh...

Research: Coral reefs' decline actually began centuries ago

...ge fish, turtles, seals and other top predators or herbivores a process that started thousands of years ago in some parts of the world and just a century or so ago in others. "What really struck us was the universality of the decline trajectories," said Karen Bjorndal, one of 12 authors on the paper and zoolo...

Down on the farm

... at the relationships of birds, spiders, ants, and herbivores and identified the significant interactions taking place within these very diverse, tropical, agroecosystems. Other speakers will include Ivette Perfecto, University of Michigan; William Murdoch, University of California, Santa Barbara; Jason Harmon,...

Researchers discover birds protect trees in neotropics by eating insects

...ater in a print issue of the journal. "Birds clean herbivores off of trees," Van Bael said. "This is important because we need our trees, especially in the tropics, to be healthy. They provide us with oxygen and sequester carbon emissions, protecting us from global warming. Understanding how animals interact...

Researchers get to the root of cassava's cyanide-producing abilities

...o linamarin in their roots are both protected from herbivores and contain far less of the cyanogen in their roots." Cyanide forms when cassava is processed. But the toxin is volatile and is released into the air, rather than remaining in the food. ...

An origin of new world agriculture in coastal Ecuador

...ne of the ways that plants protect themselves from herbivores and pathogens is to form hardened pieces of silica in their cells. These distinctive inclusions remain as tiny plant fossils called phytoliths, after plants die and decay. Large phytoliths correspond to the large fruits of domesticated plant varieti...

Code-breaking insects steal plants' defensive signals, enabling counterattack

...c allelochemicals that can act both as poisons for herbivores and as attractants for natural enemies of the insects. By recognizing the signaling molecules, earworm caterpillars produce detoxifying enzymes, including cytochrome P450 proteins similar to those in the human liver that neutralize toxins. "Jasmonic...

The prehistory of neotropical lowland forests

...h America. In particular, the low-crowned teeth of herbivores reveal that they fed on soft-leaved forest vegetation rather than grasses, and future analysis of carbon isotope ratios in enamel may further confirm this. Lake cores are increasingly being used to obtain records of pollen, phytoliths, charcoal, and ...

Picky eaters rare among tropical insects

...vival and multiplied the estimated total number of herbivores by the estimated number of total tree species. He ...ical forests, the group postulates that specialist herbivores are probably rare. Therefore, they regard genera rather than species as the preferred unit to use in...

Biodiversity crucial to Earth's ecosystems

...ur main "trophic" levels: plants (such as algae), herbivores (such as zooplankton), carnivores (insects or fish...We have worlds that have plants, those plants have herbivores and those herbivores have predators. When we lose a species, we lose a species that's in a food web ...

Tropical scientists find fewer species than expected

...sity in the sense that the consequences for insect herbivores of losing a particular host plant species may not be as dire as previously thought," Weiblen said. "But that is no reason to ignore the decreasing number of species worldwide. [Harvard biologist] E.O. Wilson predicted in his book 'The Future of Life'...

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