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Posts Tagged "food web"

Culturing Science

How One Little Molecule Influences Earth’s Climate

phytoplankton-small

A seemingly humdrum little molecule has found itself responsible for not just one but two positive feedback loops, one moderating climate and the other gathering animals across the food web.

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Extinction Countdown

Giant Otters Damned by Giant Hydroelectric Dams

giant river otter

Mathematically speaking, the creation of the massive Balbina Hydroelectric Dam in Brazil should have been a boon to the giant river otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) that live in the area. The dam, which went online in 1989, created a reservoir more than 443,000 hectares in size. As the land behind the dam flooded, more than 3,500 [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Blue-Footed Boobies Have Stopped Breeding—But Why?

Blue-footed-boobie_featured

One of the most delightful bird species of the Galápagos has almost completely stopped breeding there. According to a new study published this week in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) have seen a population drop of more than 50 percent over the past two decades. A series of surveys from [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Can Google’s page-rank algorithm help save endangered species and ecosystems?

Google HP on Earth Day 2008

When users seek information from Google, the search engine relies on a proprietary algorithm called PageRank™ to determine the order of the sites that show up in search results. Now, two researchers say a similar algorithm can be used to determine which species are critical to the preservation of ecosystems, allowing scientists to focus conservation [...]

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Observations

Excessive Jellyfish Excrement Boosts Bacteria, Stings Fish Populations

jellyfish bloom swarm change ocean food web

Jellyfish blooms might be more than just a nuisance to beach-goers. These explosions of stinging swarms might also be doing some major disruption to marine food webs, according to a study published online June 6 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Warty comb jellies (Mnemiopsis leidyi) and Atlantic stinging sea nettles (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Octopuses Make Food for Weird Critters

octopus feed

Along with us humans, a range of hungry hunters prey on the scrumptious octopus. The boneless octopus must avoid becoming lunch for sharks, eels, fish and even killer whales. But not all of the organisms that feed on octopuses are such charismatic megafauna. Octopuses, both dead and alive, are part of the delicate, detailed food [...]

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