Bite force: why islanders become giants among lizards
Jul29

Bite force: why islanders become giants among lizards

Species evolve quickly on islands. These “natural laboratories” often offer freedom from predators and competitors, isolation, and new foods and resources. Animals on islands tend to be larger or smaller than their mainland relatives. First described by Foster in 1963, this pattern is so striking that it was dubbed “the island rule” by Leigh van Valen ten years later. Many subsequent studies have investigated, debated, and refined...

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Baron on earth stewardship and promoting a sustainable society
Jun16

Baron on earth stewardship and promoting a sustainable society

A key component of advancing earth stewardship involves communicating ecological science to stakeholders outside the ecological community. Continued outreach to policymakers at all levels of government is critical for sustaining investment and resources for all fields of science as well as building relationships that foster collaboration. Yet, now more than ever, success in the advancement of earth stewardship efforts necessitates...

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Fighting a fungal threat to Salamanders
Apr30

Fighting a fungal threat to Salamanders

Ecologist Karen K. Lips wants to protect wild salamanders from exposure to a deadly new fungal infection spreading through the pet trade.

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ESA launches new OA journal with the Ecological Society of China
Mar18

ESA launches new OA journal with the Ecological Society of China

Ecosystem Health and Sustainability showcases applications of ecological science in support of sustainable development during an era of extensive and accelerating human and environmental change. Today, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and the Ecological Society of China (ESC) jointly launch a new open access scholarly research journal to foster communication of applied ecological research across national and disciplinary...

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Islands of fertility in the sagebrush sea
Feb04

Islands of fertility in the sagebrush sea

Sagebrush ecosystem recovery appears to be hobbled by loss of soil complexity when topsoil is remixed at oil and gas development sites, losing the “islands of fertility” associated with mature shrubs. Related news stories: “Sage Advice: Couple’s research plants seeds for reclamation of sagebrush.” Dennis Webb. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Monday, February 2, 2015. “State should improve...

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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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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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