So you want to be a conservationist? Think of the community

When we consider all the conservation challenges facing our world and society, we know that communicating effectively to the community is not only helpful but necessary. However, many inspiring projects in various conservation areas have failed to succeed—not because the scientific background was not there or because the financial resources were unavailable—but because the community’s support was not entirely there. One of the elements to a successful conservation project is a strong connection to the community, especially during the early stages of project planning.

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Lawrence Slobodkin, 1928-2009

Lawrence Slobodkin, a revolutionary ecologist who played a major role in bringing the science of ecology into the quantitative realm, died last Friday. He was 81. Slobodkin’s most famous paper, titled “Community Structure, Population Control and Competition,” showcased his wide-aspect thought processes. The paper, sometimes known as “The World Is Green,” purports that because vegetation is abundant on...

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The silent force in the food web

Addition of parasites (red spheres) visibly increases connectivity of species in this representation of an Arctic food web. Studies of food webs fascinate community ecologists. There seems to be a never-ending supply of interactions to observe, analyze and use in predictions. From the largest apex predators, feeding once a week, to the smallest alga, constantly converting sunlight to energy, there’s a kind of wonder in the idea...

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