Laelaps

Oekologie! #10

Welcome to the 10th edition of Oekologie, the best of what the blogosphere has to offer when it comes to the eponymous area of natural science. This edition is particularly special, however, in that it falls on Blog Action Day, so be sure to visit the event’s main page to peruse the best of today’s environmentally-focused posts.

Agriculture

Diversity is not only important to natural ecosystems, but it can be invaluable to agriculture as well. Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog fills us in on why it’s better to encourage variety when you’re growing rice.

If you’re interested in organic growing but don’t know where to start, Kevin has a list of 6 must-read books that should be allowed to plant their intellectual seeds before you reach for your trowel.

Endangered Species

One of the major problems in trying to conserve endangered species is the common lack of healthy breeding populations. As GrrlScientist tells us, however, a new technique involving the injection of sperm stem cells of Rainbow Trout into sterile Salmon may have important implications for fish conservation.

GrrlScientist also tells us of the conservation success story of the Rimatara Lorikeet. The homecoming of the beautiful birds appears to be progressing nicely: the birds are already forming pair bonds.

Invasive Species

The term “invasive species” is enough to make any ecologist bridle, but could some alien avian actually be helping local ecologies? Non-native birds in Hawaii might be one such case, and Greg Laden guides us through this “twisted” account of environmental change.

Not all invasive species provide unexpected benefits, however, the Indian Myna Bird being one of the non-beneficial varieties. Mike of 10,000 Birds gives us a rundown of this “beautiful and belligerent” avian.

Interactions

Reading up on organic farming (see above) might not be such a bad idea, especially if society as we know it collapses. Logic Fu adds even more important material to your reading list all about what can be gleaned for the fall of past societies.

If African Elephants are munching on your crops, you could always bring in some African Bees to keep the pesky pachyderms out of your fields. Then, of course, you’ll have a nest of African Bees on your farm, but there may be a way to reduce conflict between farmers and wildlife without causing an exponential increase in bee stings.

Jennifer of The Infinite Sphere takes into cave ecosystems, examining the neat cave salamanders along the way.

Coyotes are hardy canids that seem to do as well in the desert or grasslands as in suburbia, but when there are wolves about they make themselves scarce. Jeremy of The Voltage Gate ponders the reasons why the smaller predators can’t “hang with the big dogs.”

Birds

Many birds rely on the care of their parents, but where are the grandparents? It turns out they’ve been there all along.

When Frank Sinatra sang of New York “If I can make it here, I’ll make it anywhere” he probably wasn’t thinking about birds, but a new study suggests that “city birds are tougher than country birds.”

As any birder knows, you often hear a bird before you see it, and in the case of a new species from Brazil, its vocalizations have proved to be very important in establishing its distinct taxonomic position.

Climate Change

Green Chemistry wants to know how much you know about climate change and lists some important considerations to keep in mind about the potential for the increased use of biofuels.

Forests

Fire is essential is some ecosystems and absolutely devastating to others. Direction not Destination reviews how to tell the difference.

There are still healthy forests in the northeastern U.S., but their composition in changing. John writes of the sweeping changes that are affecting the makeup of many fragmented patches of remaining greenspace.

That does it for this edition of Oekologie, and the pattern of blogospheric succession will find it next month at 10,000 Birds.

Comments

  1. #1 seks
    May 31, 2009

    Researchers at Duke University have concluded that monkeys don’t respond solely to direct punishment or rewards for their actions. They can, according to the scientists, actually adjust future behavior when shown the reward or punishment they would have received had they chosen to behave differently.