Too many sheep in Britain’s uplands could be responsible for the decline of some native birds according to research published today in the journal Biology Letters.
The research, led by Dr Darren Evans from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Banchory, provides the first hard evidence of a link between increased sheep grazing and the breeding patterns of the meadow pipit, Britain’s most common upland bird.
The researchers examined the effects of sheep grazing on egg sizes of these ground-nesting birds. They varied sheep numbers in an upland field experiment and found that areas with high sheep numbers had meadow pipit nests with the smallest eggs, and that areas with low sheep numbers had nests with the largest eggs.
Marion O’Sullivan | alfa
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For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
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Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
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