Herbivores fear of predators influences vegetation growth, ecologists state
The 1995 reintroduction of wolves in the northern range of Yellowstone National Park has led to increased growth of willow and cottonwood in the park by causing fear responses in elk and other ungulates, according to William J. Ripple and Robert L. Beschta of Oregon State University in Corvallis. Ripple and Beschta, writing in the August 2004 issue of BioScience, argue that fear of predation when wolves are present changes grazing patterns, prompting grazers to avoid sites that deny them easy escape and to browse less thoroughly. The "terrain fear factor" consequently allows woody plants and trees to grow taller and thicker when wolves are present. This in turn has allowed beaver colonies to expand.
Ripple and Beschta base their conclusions on theory about feeding relationships between species, browsers risk of predation since the reintroduction of wolves into the park in 1995, and empirical research. In the view of Ripple and Beschta, extirpation of wolves in the early 20th century was "most likely the overriding cause of the precipitous decline and cessation in the recruitment of aspen, cottonwood and willow across the nothern range."
The new theory thus brings a significant new factor into long-running, intense debates over the proper management of Yellowstone. Ripple and Beschta conclude that, for Yellowstone, "restoration goals should focus on the recovery of natural processes." The identified fear factor might also be important in other regions, although the evidence is less well developed. Journalists may obtain copies of the article by contacting Donna Royston, AIBS communications representative.
Donna Royston | EurekAlert!
A new molecular player involved in T cell activation
07.12.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
News About a Plant Hormone
07.12.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals
Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.
Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.
Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...
Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.
The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.
06.12.2018 | Event News
03.12.2018 | Event News
28.11.2018 | Event News
07.12.2018 | Life Sciences
07.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
07.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy