Navigation Links
Lowly Icelandic midges reveal ecosystem's tipping points
Date:3/5/2008

MADISON - The midges that periodically swarm by the billions from Iceland's Lake Myvatn are a force of nature.

At their peak, it is difficult to breathe without inhaling the bugs, which hatch and emerge from the lake in blizzard-like proportions. After their short adult life, their carcasses blanket the lake, and the dead flies confer so much nutrient on the surrounding landscape that the enhanced productivity can be measured by Earth-observing satellites.

Now, however, the midge Tanytarsus gracilentus and its periodic, sky-darkening hatches are giving scientists an opportunity to assess how the slightest environmental perturbation can tip the precarious balance of an ecosystem and push it into altered states with unknown consequences. Writing this week in the journal Nature, a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison zoologist Anthony Ives describes an ecosystem population dynamics model built on the flies of Lake Myvatn, showing how even slight human-induced changes can irreversibly alter the balance of nature.

"If our model is correct, the magnitude of these cycles should be sensitive to even the smallest changes in the hydrology of the lake," explains Ives, who conducted the research in collaboration with rni Einarsson and Arnthor Gardarsson of the University of Iceland, and Vincent A. A. Jansen of Royal Holloway, University of London.

The new study is important because it suggests the possibility of constructing powerful models that scientists can use to assess what may occur as a result of both natural changes and human-induced changes such as those linked to global warming.

"It doesn't take much noise to cause big changes in the pattern," says Ives of phenomena, natural or human-induced, that can tip the balance of an ecosystem. "Even small amounts of environmental noise cause very different biological processes to dominate. And even if you understand the causes, you can't predict the effects."

I
'/>"/>

Contact: Anthony R. Ives
arives@wisc.edu
608-262-1519
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Electronic structure of DNA revealed for 1st time by Hebrew University and collaborating researchers
2. Research at Argonnes Advanced Photon Source reveals structure and behavior of collagen
3. New chemical tool kit manipulates mitochondria, reveals insights into drug toxicity
4. Biochemists reveal details of mysterious bacterial microcompartments
5. Genetic tags reveal secrets of memories staying power in mice
6. New research reveals shark superhighways and hotspots
7. Scientists rebuild ancient proteins to reveal primordial Earths temperature
8. Particle accelerator may reveal shape of alternate dimensions
9. Search for the on switches may reveal genetic role in development and disease
10. Genes linked with lupus are revealed, giving hope for new treatments
11. Researchers reveal HIV peptides possible pathway into the cell
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/19/2014)... To improve students, chances of completing introductory biology ... Houston (UH) implemented a comprehensive student success program, ... failure. , Through a grant from the ... of Biology and Biochemistry embarked on a pilot ... for non-majors and "Introductory Biology" for science majors. ...
(Date:8/19/2014)... week,s Eos: Long-Term Ecological Research and Network-Level Science, , ... a wide range of ecosystems was responding to global ... particularly powerful if it coupled multiple decades of information ... experiments and models from dozens of different ecosystem types. ... the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network, which will soon ...
(Date:8/19/2014)... seafood counters in 10 different states show the ... unexpectedly high levels of mercury, a harmful pollutant. ... of the same species, but from a different ... to new research by University of Hawai,i at ... essential to allow consumers to choose sustainable fisheries," ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):University of Houson program earns kudos for improving grades, retaining students 2University of Houson program earns kudos for improving grades, retaining students 3This week from AGU: Long-term ecological research, predicting cholera outbreaks 2Seafood substitutions can expose consumers to unexpectedly high mercury 2Seafood substitutions can expose consumers to unexpectedly high mercury 3
... to stave off the cognitive deficits that occur with ... published in the second issue for May of the ... Care Medicine. Researchers examined the effects green tea ... were intermittently deprived of oxygen during 12-hour night cycles, ...
... vast array of physical and biological systems across the ... humans, says a new analysis of information not previously ... things include earlier leafing of trees and plants over ... altitudes in the northern hemisphere; changes in bird migrations ...
... climate change has made an impact on a wide ... blooming earlier across Europe, and lakes declining in productivity ... Institute for Space Science in New York and scientists ... impacts since 1970 with rises in temperatures during that ...
Cached Biology News:Green tea compounds beat OSA-related brain deficits 2Warming climate is changing life on global scale, says new study 2NASA study links Earth impacts to human-caused climate change 2
(Date:8/21/2014)... MA (PRWEB) August 21, 2014 ... company, has been recognized as one of the ... | 5000 magazine for the 2nd consecutive year. ... its 33rd annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking ... represents the most comprehensive look at the most ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... of patented university inventions licensed to biotechnology firms ... commercialization. To open these roadblocks, the researchers suggest ... the discovery stage could lead to faster commercialization ... derived from discoveries made in university laboratories and ... during clinical trials, which have a high failure ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... PLANTATION, Fla. , Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... it will host a conference call to provide ... 26, 2014Time:4:30 p.m. Eastern daylight timeDial-in numbers:(888) 505-4369 ... number: 9126599 Live web cast: www.neurotropebioscience.com , under ... three hours after completion through September 2, 2014 ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... Aug. 20, 2014  PAREXEL International Corporation (NASDAQ: ... presenting at the Baird Healthcare Conference in New York.  ... Financial Officer, will be making a presentation on PAREXEL ... Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. A live webcast ... section of PAREXEL,s website at www.PAREXEL.com in ...
Breaking Biology Technology:SoundConnect Returns on Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies 2SoundConnect Returns on Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies 3Early bottlenecks in developing biopharmaceutical products delay commercialization 2Early bottlenecks in developing biopharmaceutical products delay commercialization 3Neurotrope To Host Conference Call 2PAREXEL International To Present At Baird Healthcare Conference 2
... know what the universe looked like when it was a ... don,t know is how it looked in its youth. Thanks ... album and provide a picture of how the cosmos developed ... that found on Earth. They plan to gather these ...
... based in St. Louis, Mo., announces it will host ... physicians with potential employers. These events will enable physicians ... face-to-face with representatives from some of the nation,s leading ... for PracticeMatch, says the goal of these events is ...
... MIAMI, June 30, 2011 The National Parkinson Foundation ... clinical research projects in 2011. Through NPF,s individual investigators awards ... of Parkinson,s disease (PD): 1) an advanced biomarker study, 2) ... study of the effectiveness of a treatment for sleep apnea ...
Cached Biology Technology:Scientists hope to get glimpse of adolescent universe from revolutionary instrument-on-a-chip 2Scientists hope to get glimpse of adolescent universe from revolutionary instrument-on-a-chip 3Scientists hope to get glimpse of adolescent universe from revolutionary instrument-on-a-chip 4PracticeMatch Now Offers Free Physician Career Fairs 2National Parkinson Foundation Awards More Than $1 Million for Research 2National Parkinson Foundation Awards More Than $1 Million for Research 3
...
... Human A549 cells were cultured in Ham's F12K ... the log phase of growth. In order to ... were fixed in acetone-methanol. The cells are arrayed ... with each wells surface specifically treated to enhance ...
Mouse polyclonal antibody to REXO4 - XPMC2 prevents mitotic catastrophe 2 homolog (Xenopus laevis)...
... Microsphere/Microarray Stabilizer is an aqueous solution that ... non-toxic chemicals in a PBS buffer (phosphate ... This product contains a combination of 0.02% ... StabilCoat Plus Stabilizer provides optimum performance ...
Biology Products: