The transformation of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems by humans is well known, but only recently have the impacts of anthropogenic forces in the open ocean been recognized. In particular, intense exploitation by industrial fisheries is rapidly changing oceanic ecosystems by drastically reducing populations of many marine species. For most oceanic species we lack a historical perspective.
In an important article to shortly appear in Ecology Letters, Baum and Myers demonstrate that the initial abundance of large apex predator populations, sharks, was enormously greater than is currently recognized. They estimate that since the onset of intense exploitation in the Gulf of Mexico in the 1950s, the pelagic shark assemblage has declined by over 80%, and the oceanic whitetip shark, initially the most common species, by over 99%. Remarkably, there is no conservation attention focused on this species. Rather it is all but forgotten in the Gulf of Mexico, with no recognition of its former prevalence in the ecosystem. That declines of this magnitude in these conspicuous species could go virtually unnoticed demonstrates how little we understand about the ocean.
Kate Stinchcombe | EurekAlert!
Plant seeds survive machine washing - Dispersal of invasive plants with clothes
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Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...
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