Writing in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology, researchers warn that forests should be kept free from tourism infrastructure if they are inhabited by capercaillie - a species whose numbers are declining markedly across central Europe.
The study by ecologists from Switzerland, Germany and Austria used a new technique to assess the impact of ski tourism on capercaillie. Working in the Southern Black Forest in Germany, they collected the birds’ droppings before and after the start of the ski season, and analysed them for levels of the breakdown products of the stress hormone corticosterone. They found that levels of the breakdown products of the stress hormone were significantly higher in birds living in areas with moderate or high levels of ski tourism.
One of the study's authors, Dr Lukas Jenni of the Swiss Ornithological Institute says: “Ski tourism affects both habitat use and stress hormone levels in capercaillie, and this could adversely affect their body condition and overall fitness. Because of this, we recommend that managers keep forests inhabited by capercaillie free from tourism infrastructure and retain undisturbed forest patches within skiing areas.”
According to Dr Jenni: “The level of winter sport activity and the introduction of new outdoor sports such as snow shoeing has increased drastically during the last decade and affects essential habitats or retreats for a number of rare or shy species such as black grouse and chamois. Human recreation activities in winter could be especially harmful to capercaillie because of the birds' reliance on a diet of low-quality conifer needles. Body condition at the end of winter has been shown to affect reproduction success of the related rock ptarmigan.”
Dominik Thiel et al (2008). Ski tourism affects habitat use and evokes a physiological response in capercaillie Tetrao urogallus: a new methodological approach. Journal of Applied Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01465.x, is published online on 3 March 2008.
Becky Allen | alfa
How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy