Symbiotic fungi promote invasion into diverse plant communities
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.
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Rare quadruple-helix DNA found in living human cells with glowing probes
New probes allow scientists to see four-stranded DNA interacting with molecules inside living human cells, unravelling its role in cellular processes. DNA usually forms the classic double helix shape of…
A rift in the retina may help repair the optic nerve
In experiments in mouse tissues and human cells, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have found that removing a membrane that lines the back of the eye may improve the…