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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ESA Policy News Update, July 13, 2016
Jul13

ESA Policy News Update, July 13, 2016

Appropriations and Energy: Congressional calendar may stall spending bills and energy reform Recess schedules and “poison pills” may compel a continuing resolution to keep government open.  Adaptation: Army Corps proposes “living shorelines” for coastline protection “Soft armor” protections proposed for nationwide permitting, as “hard armor” currently are. International Agreement: US,...

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‘Putting a face’ on science funding, Lear reflects on congressional visits experience
Jun06

‘Putting a face’ on science funding, Lear reflects on congressional visits experience

A guest commentary by Kristen Lear (University of Georgia), 2016 ESA Graduate Student Policy Award recipient As a 2016 ESA Graduate Student Policy Award (GSPA) recipient, I traveled to D.C. in late April for three days to receive hands-on exposure to the interface between science and policy. This was a departure from my “day-job” as a graduate student at the University of Georgia studying the conservation of an endangered pollinating...

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