The tiny, diligent gardeners of the Amazon

The gardeners described here are not concerned with trimmed topiaries or manicured lawns—though, like designers of landscape gardens, these workers are exceptionally picky. And they have to be if they are going to survive. That is, ants such as Myrmelachista schumanni and Camponotus femoratus of South America depend on certain plants for shelter, and in return, they offer these plants nutrients and protection from predators. As a...

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Living video games, seed science and bat rescues

Video games that guide the movement of paramecia, dogs trained to aid in data collection, the evolution of seeds in the Amazon Rainforest, environmental degradation captured as art and the successful rescue of more than 100 bats stranded by the devastating floods in Australia. Here are stories in ecology for the third week in January 2011. PAC-mecium: Stanford University researchers have developed, not a life-like video game, but a...

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Pittsburgh bioblitz: biological inventory of an urban high school’s oasis

This post contributed by Lorna Moreno, SEEDS student from the AKKA SEEDS Chapter of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. Just down the street from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh—where the Ecological Society of America (ESA) is holding its 95th Annual Meeting this week—is a vacant lot adopted by the City Charter High School. Last Sunday, ESA ecologists and students visited the lot which is being...

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Spreading SEEDS, growing diversity

“Diversity fosters novel ideas that will soon begat significant changes to the global environment—whether that be through action-oriented ecology, bio-cultural conservation, policy or media,” said Iman Sylvain, Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) Fellow and graduate student at the University of Michigan. SEEDS is an education program of Ecological Society of America (ESA), and Iman is one of several...

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