Highlights in the June 2005 issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Chesapeake Bay Restoration
The Chesapeake Bay has been the focus of one of the most high-profile restoration programs ever undertaken in North America. With some 250 types of fish, crabs, clams, and oysters, the Bay is rich in species and also represents a commercial value of more than $1 billion annually. In “Restoring watersheds project by project: trends in Chesapeake Bay tributary restoration,” Brooke Hassett (University of Maryland, College Park) and colleagues compiled the first comprehensive database of over 4,700 existing river and stream restoration projects in the Cheaspeake Bay Watershed. The group makes recommendations for tracking the progress of these projects and better coordination and monitoring of tidal and non-tidal restoration efforts.
While communities are expected to undergo several series of succession after a major disturbance, a recent review by Kathryn Flinn (Cornell University) and Mark Velland (National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis) shows that some areas — centuries later — may not return to their original state. With “Recovery of forest plant communities in post-agricultural landscapes, ” Flinn and Velland describe how recovering forests from agricultural landscapes and fields show reduced species richness. They suggest some species may even require active restoration.
Carrie Kappel (Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University) examines the threats facing marine species in the paper, “Losing pieces of the puzzle: threats to marine, estuarine, and diadromous species.” According to the review, unlike terrestrial organisms, whose greatest threat is habitat degradation, marine organisms main threat is overexploitation.
Infections: The Nutrition Link
Val Smith (University of Kansas, Lawrence), Tyrees Jones II (Georgia State University) and Marilyn Smith (University of Kansas, Kansas City) discuss the parallels between pathogens and the nutritional profile of an infected host in “Host nutrition and infectious disease: an ecological view.” Discussing how nutrient supplies to an infected host can have important effects on the disease process, the researchers examine the role of varying amounts of carbohydrates, iron, and glutamine on different pathogens.
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