An analysis of Shark Week, research on reconciliation ecology from ESA’s annual meeting, flowers that are genetically predisposed to adapting to climate change, endangered, purring titi monkey species found in Colombia and the details on the antibiotic-resistant “superbug.” Here is the latest in ecological science from the second week in August.
Shark science: August ushered in Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and with it, an array of articles and research on sharks. An article in Scientific American last week highlighted everything from “technology to ecology” in a descriptive slideshow. As John Pavlus wrote, “[Shark] research is revealing, among other things, that even sharks like the great white are intelligent, curious animals with cognitive abilities worth studying.” Read more at “Today’s Sharks: Smart, Tagged, and in Short Supply.” See also WhySharksMatter’s annual rating of Shark Week programs on the Southern Fried Science blog.
Ecosystem engineering: In a Wired Science article, Brandon Keim discusses the feasibility of reconciliation ecology and current research on the topic from University of Arizona’s Michael Rosenzweig. As the article highlights: “‘We decided to turn Tucson into a lab of a million people,’ said Rosenzweig, who spoke on reconciliation ecology Aug. 3 at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Pittsburgh. ‘We’re not trying to restore old habitats. We’re trying to invent new ones.’” Read more at “Ecosystem Engineering Could Turn Sprawl Into Sanctuary.”
Biodiversity 100: Guillaume Chapron from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and George Monbiot from The Guardian in the U.K. have started “Biodiversity 100,” a list of 100 recommendations for the G20 governments to address regarding biodiversity. Already, the list is extensive with recommendations from ecologists and members of the public alike. Read more at “Talk has not halted biodiversity loss – now it’s time for action.”
Flower adaptation: According to a study published in a recent edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, some flowers may be genetically predisposed to adapting to climate change. Sarah Zielinski wrote in the Smithsonian’s blog Surprising Science that “these results also imply that trying to save threatened species by relocating them to places like botanical gardens for preservation could backfire. The plants could just as quickly lose the traits that made them so well adapted to their home ecosystem.” Read more at “Flowers May Adapt Faster than Thought to Climate Change.”
Endangered monkeys: Researchers studying Colombia’s Caqueta region have discovered a new species of titi monkey and reported the findings in Primate Conservation. According to the study, the red-bearded, strictly monogamous monkeys are endangered due to deforestation and fragmented habitats. Read more at “Crazy-Looking Redbearded Monkey Turned Up in Colombia.”
Photo credit: Hermanus Backpakers