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Tag "Ecology"

Something’s Fishy

Something’s Fishy

Diverse fish from Antarctica now face rising temperatures and increased competition from invading species.

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Microbial Diversity: How environmental niches affect biological diversification

Microbial Diversity: How environmental niches affect biological diversification

By studying rocks that are almost three million years old, a team of researchers led by Eva Stüeken found out that the diversification of environmental niches plays a role in the diversification of microbial populations.

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A Gecko Opera: Reptile Vocal Plasticity and the Lombard Effect

A Gecko Opera: Reptile Vocal Plasticity and the Lombard Effect

Humans, and many other animals, reflexively increase the volume of their vocalizations in a noisy environment, a phenomenon called the Lombard effect. A new study on geckos, one of the first to examine vocal plasticity in a reptile, found that while geckos do not exhibit the Lombard effect, they do modify their calls in other ways so as to more easily be heard over noise.

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Sugar’s Saving Graces: Reducing the strain of an active lifestyle

Sugar’s Saving Graces: Reducing the strain of an active lifestyle

Researchers studying hawk moths discover the solution to a long-standing paradox in our understanding of metabolism. An ancient biological remnant of a different time may be responsible for protecting us against the more dangerous side-effects of the oxygen we need to survive.

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Plants Protecting Against Pathogens: Seagrass Meadows Clean the Waters Near Coral Reefs

Plants Protecting Against Pathogens: Seagrass Meadows Clean the Waters Near Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are an economically and ecologically important ecosystem, supporting a vast array of life and providing tourism opportunities. Reefs face numerous threats, including coral disease, but another ecosystem may already be alleviating that problem. Recent research shows that seagrass meadows reduce levels of pathogenic bacteria, improving the health of nearby coral reefs.

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Sex-Switching Frogs

Sex-Switching Frogs

Is road salt as safe as it seems? Researchers found that the salt is changing sex ratios in frogs, causing permanent alterations in the populations.

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Yale Graduate Challenges Existing Ideas About Ecosystem Models

Yale Graduate Challenges Existing Ideas About Ecosystem Models

Plant functional traits are viewed as key to predicting important ecosystem and community properties among biogeographic regions. However, a recent study led by Elisabeth Forrestel GRD ’15 challenges the trait-based approach to predicting ecosystem function by demonstrating that different combinations of functional traits can act to maximize net primary productivity, a community property, in a given environmental setting.

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Q&A: Why Do Killer Whales Go Through Menopause?

Q&A: Why Do Killer Whales Go Through Menopause?

Why do some species, including humans and killer whales, stop reproducing long before the end of their lives? A new study from Exeter University suggests that older females may gain adaptive advantages by helping to raise their daughters’ calves instead of raising their own.

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Q&A: What’s killing our honeybees?

Q&A: What’s killing our honeybees?

Researchers from Penn State have found that a class of chemicals formerly thought to be inert may actually be accelerating honeybee mortality.

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The Powerpuff Sponges: Sea sponges solve problems in structural engineering

The Powerpuff Sponges: Sea sponges solve problems in structural engineering

Deceptively flimsy, sea sponges may just be the key to stronger and more effective material design. Michael Monn and Haneesh Kesari investigated the structure properties of the rod-like spicules that give the sponges their shape and found that their tapered shape makes them 33% less likely to buckle under pressure.

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