Sage grouse losing habitat to fire as endangered species decision looms
Apr03

Sage grouse losing habitat to fire as endangered species decision looms

Post-wildfire stabilization treatment has not aided habitat restoration for the imperiled Great Plains birds.   As fires sweep more frequently across the American Great Basin, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been tasked with reseeding the burned landscapes to stabilize soils. BLM’s interventions have not helped to restore habitat for the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) reported scientists from the US...

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Strawberry poison frogs feed their babies poison eggs
Mar20

Strawberry poison frogs feed their babies poison eggs

The Strawberry poison frog lavishes care upon its offspring. In the March issue of Ecology, out Monday the 17th, Stynoski et al. report that the female frog fortifies its progeny with defensive chemicals. Also in this issue: P value debates, arctic warming, and estimating the success of biological invasions. Tiny, toxic, and ostentatiously beautiful, the strawberry poison dart (Oophaga  pumilio) is the kind of frog to lavish care upon...

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Yellowstone wolves take a blow to their rep
Mar11

Yellowstone wolves take a blow to their rep

A well-publicized depiction of wolves revitalizing Yellowstone’s ecosystem is a myth, said writers for the NY Times‘ op-ed page and a Nature news feature last week. This is the story: For thousands of years, wolves shaped the ecology of Yellowstone. That changed in the twentieth century, when people succeeded in eradicating a competitor and perceived threat from the lower 48. In the predators’ absence, elk and deer overran the...

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Popcorn origins glimpsed in the ruins of antiquity and the greenhouse time machine
Mar05

Popcorn origins glimpsed in the ruins of antiquity and the greenhouse time machine

Before there was corn (Zea mays subsp. mays), and corn ruled the world, there was the wild grass, teosinte. Corn, known as maize outside the Americas, easily hybridizes with its wild sibling, but these two incarnations of Z. mays do not look alike. Subtle genetic alterations in the regulation of development change Z. mays profoundly, turning an edible wild weed into the economic powerhouse con. Teosinte’s body plan structure and...

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Ill-informed prophecies and the future of women in ecology
Feb17

Ill-informed prophecies and the future of women in ecology

A guest post by Nathalie Pettorelli, Institute of Zoology, London, UK In May 2013, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment published an article on “The future of ecology: a collision of expectations and desires?” (pdf) by Jeffrey Lockwood, Derek Reiners, and William Reiners, based on a survey of ESA members. The authors’ conclusions about gender and career preferences generated some controversy. A peer-reviewed...

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