Distant volcanic eruptions foster saguaro cactus baby booms
Jul26

Distant volcanic eruptions foster saguaro cactus baby booms

One hundred and thirty years ago, the volcano Krakatoa erupted in what is now Indonesia, unleashing a cataclysm locally and years of cool temperatures and rain globally. On the far side of the world, a bumper crop of saguaro cacti were getting their start in life in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Many of the large exemplars of the famous cacti standing spiny and tall with arms akimbo in the Southwest today started their lives in the shadow...

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Asian tiger mosquito thrives in New York
Jul26

Asian tiger mosquito thrives in New York

The aggressive, day-biting Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has spread with global trade from its native home in the tropics and subtropics of Southeast Asia. First observed in Houston, Texas, in 1987, it rapidly spread through the interstate system in the the United States. Its range is pushing northward into New York and Pennsylvania. Does Ae. albopictus crowd out other mosquito species? Katz surveyed the mosquito species...

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Battle at the bloodmeal lek #ESA2016
Jul25

Battle at the bloodmeal lek #ESA2016

Invasive Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the principal vectors of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses in the Americas. These species often find themselves in competition for mates and resources for their young. Cross-mating between the species creates infertile eggs and permanent sterilization of A. aegypti females. Lounibos and colleague Steven Juliano of Illinois State University described the causes and consequences of...

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Side effects of mosquito defense: broad spectrum insecticides kill the pollinators of rare native flowers
Jul22

Side effects of mosquito defense: broad spectrum insecticides kill the pollinators of rare native flowers

As an example of the costs of mosquito suppression, three imperiled native plants in the Lower Florida Keys suffer indirectly from the spraying of insecticides in housing developments flanking National Key Deer Refuge. Harris will present her work in a poster session on Conservation at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in southern Florida this August. PS 11-27 -Pesticides and pollination of imperiled...

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Invasive mosquito helps break the spread of a parasite
Jul21

Invasive mosquito helps break the spread of a parasite

Some species of mosquitoes spread dangerous human diseases. But mosquitoes have their own parasites, like the protozoan Ascogregarina barretti, which is related to the organisms that cause malaria and toxoplasmosis, and infects the native North American mosquito Aedes triseriatus. The invasive mosquito, Aedes japonicus, a recent arrival in North America, does not contract As. barretti. Will the presence of Ae. japonicus dilute the...

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Luring mosquitoes into honeysuckle traps
Jul20

Luring mosquitoes into honeysuckle traps

Beyond the blood meal, mosquitoes need sugar and safe and nurturing pools to cradle their eggs and emerging larva. Fallen leaves floating in still water (like residential stormwater drainage ditches) make appealing hatcheries for the common house mosquito (Culex pipiens), a carrier of West Nile virus. At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this August, Allison Gardner will present the results...

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Richard Hobbs named Honorary Member of ESA
Jun10

Richard Hobbs named Honorary Member of ESA

Honorary Membership is given to a distinguished ecologist who has made exceptional contributions to ecology and whose principal residence and site of ecological research are outside of North America. Richard Hobbs, a professor of restoration ecology at the University of Western Australia, is an innovative, collaborative scientist with proven capacity to bridge the fields of basic and applied ecology. He laid foundational work in the...

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#ESA2016 Forest Shreve Student Research Fund awarded to Nameer Baker and Camila Medeiros
Jun09

#ESA2016 Forest Shreve Student Research Fund awarded to Nameer Baker and Camila Medeiros

The Shreve award supplies $1,000-2,000 to support ecological research by graduate or undergraduate student members of ESA in the hot deserts of North America (Sonora, Mohave, Chihuahua, and Vizcaino). Nameer Baker, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Irvine, works on the effects of climate on microbial decomposition and carbon cycling in desert systems.   Camila Medeiros, who is beginning a doctoral program at the...

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