Poo pump: whales as ecosystem engineers
Jul03

Poo pump: whales as ecosystem engineers

The brown cloud bursts forth among the pod of sperm whales, dispersing a wealth of nitrogen and iron into the surface waters over the deep ocean. The whale-borne windfall is eagerly received by phytoplankton, the microorganisms at the foundation of the ocean food chain, which quickly capitalize on the surge of fuel. Poop packs a powerful energetic punch. And an adult sperm whale packs a lot of poo. Enough to dump 50 metric tons of...

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Tadpoles bulk up to meet the alien invaders
Jun30

Tadpoles bulk up to meet the alien invaders

What happens when an invasive, carapaced, and clawed, alien predator arrives in your pond? Do you change your daily habits to avoid drawing dangerous attention? Bulk up to make yourself a tougher target? If you an Iberian water frog, you do both.

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Butcher, baker, brewer-fish
Jun10

Butcher, baker, brewer-fish

We asked science café aspirants for creativity and Simon Brandl brought it with his analogy of division of labor in a coral reef community, where butcher-sharks course among the brewers, bakers, and aristocrats of the reef. Brandl shares the 2014 ESA Science Café Prize with co-winner Madhusudan Katti. He is a PhD candidate at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, at James Cook...

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These are not your urban lawn flamingos!
Jun10

These are not your urban lawn flamingos!

Madhusudan Katti won this year’s ESA Science Café Prize with his lyric contemplation of the wildlife living alongside us in urban spaces, and the necessary participation of cities in the future of biodiversity on planet earth. Katti is a professor at California State University Fresno and records occasional radio essays for Valley Public Radio. He tweets prolifically as @leafwarbler and blogs at Reconciliation Ecology. Hear...

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Slowing the insect invasion: wood packaging sanitation policy yields US $11.7 billion net benefit
Jun06

Slowing the insect invasion: wood packaging sanitation policy yields US $11.7 billion net benefit

Risk analysis finds savings for homeowners and local governments of excluding invasive pests like the emerald ash borer outweigh added cost to imported goods.

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GLOBAL CHANGE IS NOW. Ecology can help.
May06

GLOBAL CHANGE IS NOW. Ecology can help.

Third US National Climate Assessment released today.

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Crocodile tears please butterflies and bees
May02

Crocodile tears please butterflies and bees

A Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia) and a solitary bee (Centris sp.) sip tears from the eyes of spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) on Costa Rica’s Puerto Viejo River. Credit, Carlos de la Rosa

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Celebrating Earth Day in 2014
Apr22

Celebrating Earth Day in 2014

Me and milkweed fruit – my #NatureSelfie for #EarthDay. Nash Turley, a naturalist, photographer, musician, and PhD student in evolutionary ecology at the University of Toronto, snapped this shot in Ithaca, NY, in 2011. He tweeted, “Everyday is Earth Day; the fact that the calendar says today is ‘Earth Day’ doesn’t really mean anything to me. Sort of like how aboriginal cultures don’t have a word for ‘nature’ because they didn’t see themselves as separate from nature….the fact that we have a day for the Earth shows how disconnected modern societies are from ‘nature’.”
Earth Day started as a grassroots protest movement in 1970 and has solidified into an annual event. What does Earth Day mean in 2014?

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