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Latest Herbivore Stories

Plant Distress Signals Can Attract Enemies
2013-07-02 15:02:35

Frontiers Plants that emit an airborne distress signal in response to herbivory may actually attract more enemies, according to a new study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Plant Science. A team of researchers from Switzerland found that the odor released by maize plants under attack by insects attract not only parasitic wasps, which prey on herbivorous insects, but also caterpillars of the Egyptian cotton leafworm moth Spodoptera littoralis, a species that feeds on...

Effects Of Predators On Carbon Cycle
2013-06-18 09:44:57

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The predator-prey relationship can affect the flow of carbon through an ecosystem, according to a new study from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may offer a new way of looking at biodiversity management and carbon storage for climate change. The study examines the relationship between grasshoppers (herbivores) and spiders (predators)...

New Research Suggests Climate Change Effect On Plant Communities Is Buffered By Large Herbivores
2013-02-20 15:00:34

Penn State Can existing ecological communities persist intact as temperatures rise? This is a question of increasing relevance in the field of climate change and is the focus of a new study to be published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London on 20 February. The study suggests that the answer to this question may have as much to do with the biological interactions that shape communities as with the effects of climate change itself. The study's insights are based on...

Trichomes Save Insect From Beetle Predation
2013-02-06 13:07:00

University of Guam Everyone needs to eat. But it's a dog-eat-dog world, and with the exception of the top predators, everyone also gets eaten. To cope with this vicious reality, a tiny insect that eats plants has learned to employ the plant's hairs for physical protection from its beetle predator. The pest is called the cycad aulacaspis scale, and its invasion into numerous countries in recent years has caused immeasurable loss of biodiversity. Cycads belong to an ancient lineage of...

2012-11-28 11:21:37

When herbivores such as caterpillars feed, plants may "call for help" by emitting volatiles, which can indirectly help defend the plants. The volatiles recruit parasitoids that infect, consume and kill the herbivores, to the benefit of the plant. However, such induced plant odors can also be detected by other organisms. A new study published November 27 in the open access journal PLOS Biology shows how secondary parasitoids ('hyperparasitoids') can take advantage of these plant signals to...

Ferns Herbivore Defense
2012-11-21 13:00:05

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Unlike flowering plants, bracken ferns do not release any odor signals to attract the enemies of their attackers for their own benefit. They dominated the earth for 200 million years and numerous different species can still be found all over the world: mosses, horsetails and ferns. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now found out that bracken ferns (Pteridium aquilinum) do not release any...

Ancient Predators Shared Their Food Supply
2012-11-07 13:53:07

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Your mother probably told you that it´s considered good manners to share your food, but according to new research; for large predators living 9 million years ago, sharing a food supply was a daily way of life. To better understand how these ancient predators divided up the available prey, a team of researchers led by US researchers and the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid used radioactive dating technology and a...

Biological Pest Control Using Predators Of Insect Eggs And Larvae Increases Plant Fitness
2012-10-16 15:15:40

To solve the acute, global problem of securing food resources for a continuously growing population, we must work constantly to increase the sustainability and effectiveness of modern agricultural techniques. These efforts depend on new insights from plant ecology, particularly from work on native plants that grow in the primordial agricultural niche. Based on field studies on wild tobacco plants in the Great Basin Desert, Utah, USA, researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical...

2012-09-13 23:48:44

The Borderea chouardii plant, which is critically endangered and is found only on two adjacent cliff sides in the Pyrenees, employs a unique and risky doubly mutualistic reproductive strategy with local ants, according to research published Sep. 12 in the open access journal PLOS ONE. The researchers, led by Maria Garcia of the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC), found that two ant species acted as the main pollinators for the plant, while a third species dispersed seeds. About a third...

shutterstock_108921341
2012-08-07 07:30:47

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists have debated how big a role elephants play in toppling trees in South African savannas for years. Now, using some very high tech airborne equipment, they finally have an answer. Tree loss is a natural process, but in some regions it is increasing beyond what could naturally be expected. This extreme tree loss has cascading effects on the habitats of many species. Studying savannas across Kruger National Park, Carnegie...


Word of the Day
bibliopole
  • A bookseller; now, especially, a dealer in rare and curious books.
This word comes from a Greek phrase meaning 'book seller.'
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