Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Ecology

Journal Club: Fruit fly hybrids make poor foragers, offering insight into how species remain distinct

  When one fruit fly species meets another, they sometimes interbreed. And yet despite this genetic mixing, distinct species still persist—over 2,000 of them. Evolutionary biologist Daniel Matute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Self-sacrificing male spiders assist in their own cannibalism to aid offspring

Spiders are infamous for their deadly females, which often devour males before, after, or even during sex. Now scientists find that male dark fishing spiders (Dolomedes tenebrosus) apparently sacrifice themselves to females after mating to aid their offspring, as reported … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Extremophiles captured from normal freshwater lake

Microbes capable of stunning metabolic feats—such as thriving in extremely hot or acidic conditions —might not require a trek to an exotic hot spring. The neighborhood pond might do just fine. That’s the implication of a new study in Biology … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Landscape connectivity key to future animal migration needs in the United States

As the climate changes, plants and animals worldwide are migrating to follow their preferred conditions. Human activity, however, can impede these movements. Now researchers are mapping out ways to help species escape to more suitable climes. The scientists detailed their … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Tasmanian devils hit with another contagious cancer

Cancers aren’t usually contagious, but a tiny number of them can spread when diseased cells move from one animal to another. One such cancer, an aggressive facial tumor, has wiped out large numbers of Tasmanian devils in Australia over the … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Why do trees fix nitrogen in certain forests and not others? Model offers insights with big implications for the biosphere

Many trees can generate their own fertilizer from nitrogen in the air. But it remains a mystery as to why they grow where they do – for example, few grow in the nitrogen-poor soils of temperate forests but many thrive … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Even in honeybees, early aggression makes for angry adults

A childhood of violence can make humans and other animals violent later on. Now scientists unexpectedly find the same holds true for even the simple honeybee. Unlike people, however, greater aggression in honeybees was not associated with later health problems. … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Maya altered their environment significantly, for better or worse

The ancient Maya once had a civilization in the Americas that stretched over an area the size of Texas. Now scientists detail a number of key ways the Maya left behind a lasting impact on the environment during the so-called … Continue reading

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Climate-change-induced pink salmon stock growth upsets ecosystems

Climate change in the last century is apparently linked with the extraordinary growth of many wild Pacific salmon populations in the subarctic North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea. Now scientists find the fact that pink salmon became so numerous … Continue reading

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Varying land use could increase biodiversity

The way farming changes the land is a major threat to biodiversity. Now researchers suggest varying human land use over time could actually increase biodiversity, especially of rarer species. The findings are detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | 1 Comment