Populations of several European passerines that winter south of the Sahara have undergone a marked decline. The causes of negative population trends are largely unknown, but ecological conditions during winter in Africa may have carry-over effects during northward spring migration and reproduction.
In the January issue of Ecology Letters, Saino, Szép, Romano, Rubolini, and Møller analyse the effect of ecological conditions in the winter quarters on timing of arrival of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) to their Italian breeding grounds the following spring. An index of primary production obtained by satellite remote-sensing and reflecting the vigour of vegetation in an area between Ghana and the Republic of Centrafrica, where Italian swallows winter, predicted arrival date of individuals in consecutive breeding seasons. After favourable winters swallows arrived earlier and this had positive consequences for breeding success. Population trends of European long-distance migrants may thus depend on ecological conditions in their winter quarters.
Kate Stinchcombe | alfa
Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
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For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
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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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