What are the big ecological innovations of the last century? #ESA100
Dec03

What are the big ecological innovations of the last century? #ESA100

In December 2015, the Ecological Society of America will celebrate a big birthday: 100 years since the first group of botanists and zoologists, parasitologists, geologists, physiologists, and marine biologists gathered in Columbus, Ohio, to unite their shared interest in the relationships of the great diversity of living organisms to each other and their surroundings. To kick off our centennial year, we are holding a blog and social...

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New diseases travel on the wings of birds in a rapidly changing north
Dec02

New diseases travel on the wings of birds in a rapidly changing north

When wild birds are a big part of your diet, opening a freshly shot bird to find worms squirming around under the skin is a disconcerting sight. That was exactly what Victoria Kotongan saw in October, 2012, when she set to cleaning two of four spruce grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) she had taken near her home in Unalakleet, on the northwest coast of Alaska. The next day, she shot four grouse and all four harbored the long, white...

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Building resillience to extreme weather
Dec01

Building resillience to extreme weather

Between 1980 and 2004, extreme weather cost the world an estimated US$1.4 trillion and much loss of life. Climate change is expected to exacerbate flooding, drought, and other weather hazards. Population growth in regions expected to be hard hit by extreme weather will expose more people to risk. Communities can take steps to build resiliency, say scientists in a Royal Society report released Thursday, November 26, 2014. Mitigating...

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Madagascar team tracks lemurs as they spread the seeds of the rainforest
Nov12

Madagascar team tracks lemurs as they spread the seeds of the rainforest

On the island nation of Madagascar, the long-limbed local primates, lemurs, are for some trees, essential helpers. It is advantageous for a tree to scatter its progeny not just to the wind and widely, but where they will find fertile ground and clement conditions for growth. Some trees recruit animals for this task by tempting them with delicious and nutritious fruits – inside which hide seeds sealed in hard, indigestible coats for...

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Forest dance on wires depicts a creeping fungal multitude blown back by a tornado
Nov11

Forest dance on wires depicts a creeping fungal multitude blown back by a tornado

Plant biology PhD student Uma Nagendra of the University of Georgia, Athens, wins the 2014 Dance Your PhD competion, sponsored by Science, AAAS, and HighWire Press. Floating on trapeze wires, young white pine seedlings unfurl and reach for light. But lurking in the roots of the parent tree are dangerous fungi that creep forth to strike at the young scions. The sprouts closest to the great tree falter and wilt, giving ground to other...

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