Ecology

07/28/2014 - 10:52

Many studies have shown the potential for global climate change to cut food supplies. But these studies have, for the most part, ignored the interactions between increasing temperature and air pollution — specifically ozone pollution, which is known to damage crops.

 

07/09/2014 - 05:36

The future health of the world’s coral reefs and the animals that depend on them relies in part on the ability of one tiny symbiotic sea creature to get fat—and to be flexible about the type of algae it cooperates with. In the first study of its kind, scientists at The Ohio State University discovered that corals—tiny reef-forming animals that live symbiotically with algae—are better able to recover from yearly bouts of heat stress, called “bleaching,” when they keep large energy reserves—mostly as fat—socked away in their cells.

 

06/17/2014 - 20:12

The Antarctic shore is a place of huge contrasts, as quiet, dark, and frozen winters give way to bright, clear waters, thick with algae and peppered with drifting icebergs in summer. But as the planet has warmed in the last two decades, massive losses of sea ice in winter have left icebergs free to roam for most of the year. As a result, say researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on June 16, boulders on the shallow seabed—once encrusted with a rich assemblage of species in intense competition for limited space—now mostly support a single species. The climate-linked increase in iceberg activity has left all other species so rare as to be almost irrelevant.

06/05/2014 - 20:53

The first genotyping of grey squirrels sampled from Italy and the UK shows a direct link between their genetic diversity and their ability to invade new environments.In this new study, published in Diversity and Distributions, an international team of scientists from Imperial College London and the Zoological Society of London compared 12 DNA markers from grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Piedmont in Northern Italy with the same markers from squirrel populations in Northern Ireland, Northumberland and East Anglia. 

06/02/2014 - 11:00

It's no surprise that seabirds are attracted to fishing boats, and especially to the abundance of discards that find their way back into the ocean. But researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on June 2 now find that those boats influence bird behavior over much longer distances than scientists had expected.