Hydroelectric schemes usually generate a barrage of criticism from conservationists. But the flooding of a Venezuelan valley 20 years ago has provided ecologists with the ideal outdoor laboratory to answer one of ecologys oldest and thorniest questions: why is the world green?
Reporting their results in the March issue of the British Ecological Societys Journal of Ecology, a team lead by Professor John Terborgh of Duke University says that the role of predators is the key to keeping the world green, because they keep the numbers of plant-eating herbivores under control. Their results support the so-called “green world hypothesis” first proposed in 1960 by Hairston, Smith and Slobodkin and seem to lay to rest the competing theory that plants protect themselves from being eaten through the physical and chemical defences they have developed.
Despite being nearly 50 years old, the green world hypothesis has been almost impossible to test until now. According to Terborgh: “Since the landmark paper by Hairston et al, ecologists have been debating whether herbivores are limited by plant defences or by predators. The matter is trivially simple in principle, but in practice the challenge of experimentally creating predator-free environments in which herbivores can increase without constraint has proven almost insurmountable.”
Becky Allen | alfa
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19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung
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18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
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