The white-clawed crayfish is native to British waters and scientists believe it plays a vital role in preserving the natural biodiversity of our inland waters. Researchers from the University of Leeds now need to find several large ponds into which the animal can be introduced and then study the effect their presence has over several months.
Neal Haddaway, a PhD student at the Faculty of Biological Sciences says; “This is a great opportunity to take part in a unique backyard conservation project. Our studies will help us understand the role this creature plays in keeping water clean, keeping the numbers of unwelcome pests down and generally managing local ecosystems. Volunteers who offer up the use of their ponds will be making a real difference to a British conservation project.”
Declining numbers of the crayfish are found in the several areas of Yorkshire including the Wharfe, Upper Aire, Upper Ure, Swale and some streams to the north of Leeds. In the 1970’s new species were introduced to these waters in the hope of enhancing food supplies for fish but the American signal crayfish eat vast quantities of snails and mayfly larvae, disrupting the existing food-chain. In addition to being more predatory in this way, they also brought with them a plague that has devastated the local population. The white-clawed crayfish now faces extinction if researchers fail to find a way to save it.
Dr Alison Dunn says; “We believe that these creatures play a fundamental part in maintaining the ecosystems contained within our streams and rivers, if the white crayfish are lost then plant and animal biodiversity could be badly affected. It could become extinct within the next ten years if we do not act now. ”
Neal Haddaway is hoping to find ponds in gardens and on farms that already have some wildlife in them and do not have a plastic lining. The ponds need to be between two to five metres across, but less than 15 metres and be at least five years old. After the white-clawed crayfish have been introduced then the pond-life and water quality will be tested on a regular basis for any changes that seem to occur as a result of their being there.
Anyone who is interested in taking part in this project can contact Neal by emailing email@example.com
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy