Ecosystem snapshot: reassessing the role of wolves in Yellowstone

Just off the road at sunrise between Old Faithful and Madison Junction. Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser at night. The trunks of adult quaking aspens. Bulging elk in Yellowstone taken in 1927 by S.T. Woodring. Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and 1996. Photo taken in January 2008. According to a recent study, many aspen groves in Yellowstone National Park are failing to regenerate. Healthy quaking aspens in Salt...

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From the Community: A week of ecology in mixed media

Video describing the challenges of male pregnancy, photo gallery of the oldest trees in the world, podcast outlining Earth’s environmental tipping points and an article on adapting to the anthropocene. Here is ecological news from the third week in March: Icy life: NASA discovers amphipod—a shrimp-like creature—swimming 600 feet below the ice in Antarctica. Read more in “No sunlight, no food, frozen conditions, but NASA finds complex...

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Can birds affect tree growth?

Grasshoppers are one type of herbivorous insect Bridgeland et al. surveyed Growing conditions, such as water and nutrient supply, are the major determinates of tree growth, but insectivorous birds can also play an important role, say scientists in a study published in the January issue of Ecology.  Under the right conditions, birds contribute to whole tree growth by preying on herbaceous arthropods, such as leafhoppers, caterpillars...

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Climate change doubles tree deaths

Tree deaths have more than doubled in the western U.S. in the past 20-30 years, and the culprit is climate change, according to a paper published Friday in Science. Warming has all kinds of consequences for species ranges.  Changes in temperature can narrow a species’ range or move it latitudinally through changes in average yearly temperatures and alterations of the growing or reproductive seasons. In the case of trees, other factors...

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