Navigation Links
Natural 'keystone molecules' punch over their weight in ecosystems
Date:5/15/2013

Naturally occurring "keystone" molecules that have powerful behavioral effects on diverse organisms often play large but unrecognized roles in structuring ecosystems, according to a theory proposed in the June issue of BioScience. The authors of the theory, Ryan P. Ferrer of Seattle Pacific University and Richard K. Zimmer of the University of California at Los Angeles, liken such molecules to keystone species, animals or plants that may be uncommon but exert a controlling influence, through predation or in other ways. Keystone molecules function in chemical communication and defense, and likewise have dominant consequences in nature.

Ferrer and Zimmer give four examples of keystone molecules. DMSP is a simple chemical, synthesized by single-celled marine organisms, that has powerful effects on bacteria, and through its breakdown products, on the foraging of seabirds. Saxitoxin is a potent poison, also produced by marine microbes, that repels some grazing animals but can cause massive die-offs of fishes, seabirds, and marine mammals. Tetrodotoxin is another toxic keystone molecule, but produced in the skin of newts. It prompts newt larvae to hide to avoid being cannibalized and also deters some predators. Garter snakes that feed on newts, however, can accumulate the toxin in their own tissues, which in turn provides them with predator protection. Pyrrolizidine akaloids, which are synthesized by many plants, repel most plant-eaters, but are consumed by some moths, which recycle the alkaloids and convert them into a powerful volatile pheromone that attracts mates.

Because of their multifunctional effects and importance in the sea, in fresh water, and on land, keystone molecules deserve special attention from managers seeking to conserve species, Ferrer and Zimmer argue. The loss of a species that produces or captures a keystone molecule in an area could have far-reaching effects, as could the arrival of a non-native species that disrupts flows of t
'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Beardsley
tbeardsley@aibs.org
703-674-2500 x326
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. 3D simulation shows how form of complex organs evolves by natural selection
2. University of Southern California scientists reveal natural process that blocks viruses
3. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program earns 2013 Award for Science and Technical Achievement
4. Methane emissions from natural gas local distribution focus of new study
5. New emissions standards would fuel shift from coal to natural gas
6. Men may have natural aversion to adultery with friends wives
7. The natural ecosystems in the Colombian Orinoco Basin are in danger
8. Walking in the footsteps of 19th and 20th century naturalists
9. Newly identified natural protein blocks HIV, other deadly viruses
10. Nitrogen from pollution, natural sources causes growth of toxic algae, study finds
11. Recreating natural complex gene regulation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/30/2014)... you want your doctor to know what goes wrong with ... good idea to know what "normal" actually is. That,s where ... of the FASEB Journal comes in. ... transcriptomea key set of molecules that can help scientists "see" ... time. What,s more, they found never-before-detected gene activity and that ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... German . , ... situations such as exposure to predators. Researchers from the ... long-term study on different populations of great tits that ... temperature. High metabolic rates and low temperatures were associated ... were more likely to approach potential predators. , The ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... threats in today,s ocean. From overfishing and pollution ... ecosystems are disappearing at unprecedented rates around the ... surrounding the island of Moorea in French Polynesia ... coral guard-crabs. New research from the National Museum ... McKeon and the museum,s predoctoral fellow Jenna Moore ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Scientists identify which genes are active in muscles of men and women 2Risky metabolism 2Smithsonian scientists discover coral's best defender against an army of sea stars 2
... , WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Warmer, drier summers and ... would be especially troublesome - possibly fatal - for ... Over five years, Douglass Jacobs, a professor of forestry ... student under Jacobs who is now a research scientist ...
... colonies worldwide suffering mysterious deaths? A unique study describes a ... a major economic challenge. Honey bees are the ... to food production. Honey bee health is a ... colonies in the USA and Europe. Recently, the European Union ...
... world that her computer model of a key brain ... potential relevance to Parkinson,s disease, Stephanie Jones sought to ... now close collaborators, but when they first started talking ... Jones was plain wrong, if not a bit nuts. ...
Cached Biology News:Walnut trees may not be able to withstand climate change 2Honey bee mystery protein is a freight train for health and lifespan 2New study to test unusual hypothesis on beta brainwaves 2New study to test unusual hypothesis on beta brainwaves 3New study to test unusual hypothesis on beta brainwaves 4
(Date:9/30/2014)... 30, 2014 Nematicide is a type ... are microscopic parasitic roundworms, found in massive quantities ... plants and animals. Nematicides have tended to be ... promoting migration through the soil. A single gram ... nematodes. With more than 10,000 species classified, they ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... September 30, 2014 Follow us ... of each type of cholesterol carrier or lipoprotein in ... of excessive cholesterol levels in the body, especially along ... to heart attack and other cardiovascular disorders. Cardiovascular Diseases ... testing for cholesterol levels on a regular basis, to ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... BUDAPEST, Hungary , September 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... libraries and intuitive browsing of chemistry in documents ... providing chemistry software solutions and consulting services for ... extract chemical information and generate Markush structures from ... securing an organizations intellectual property, however generating and ...
(Date:9/30/2014)...  KemPharm, Inc., a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company ... new molecular entity (NME) prodrugs, announced today that ... issued U.S. Patent No. 8,816,083 to KemPharm for ... Derivatives and Heteroaryl Carboxylic Acid Conjugates of Hydromorphone, ... The patent, which extends through 2032, provides ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Nematicides Market by Types (Fumigants, Organophosphates, Carbamate and Bio-Nematicides), Applications (Agrochemicals, Industrial, and Others), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific & ROW) - Global Trends & Forecasts to 2019 2Surging Diabetic, Obese and Hypertensive Population Drives the Global Cholesterol Testing Market, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. 2Surging Diabetic, Obese and Hypertensive Population Drives the Global Cholesterol Testing Market, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. 3Surging Diabetic, Obese and Hypertensive Population Drives the Global Cholesterol Testing Market, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. 4ChemAxon Introduces ChemCurator for Chemical Information Extraction and Markush Structure Creation 2KemPharm, Inc. Receives Patent from the USPTO for Novel Prodrug of Hydromorphone, KP511 2
... CXM ) and its operating unit InnerCool ... clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug,Administration (FDA) ... device. InnerCool,s RapidBlue System is a thermal,regulating system ... new system automatically cools or warms patients, as ...
... October,22, 2008, GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE: GSK ) will ... ended September 30, 2008. The,announcement is scheduled for release ... am EDT., At 10:00 am EDT, media are ... hosted by Andrew Witty, Chief Executive Officer,and Julian Heslop, ...
... the North Carolina Research Campus as its newest tenant partner. The ... Food Inc. Nine universities and colleges (including Duke University, UNC, and ... North Carolina. The Campus promises to be a world class center ... ...
Cached Biology Technology:Cardium Announces FDA 510(K) Clearance of InnerCool's RapidBlue(TM) Endovascular System 2Cardium Announces FDA 510(K) Clearance of InnerCool's RapidBlue(TM) Endovascular System 3Cardium Announces FDA 510(K) Clearance of InnerCool's RapidBlue(TM) Endovascular System 4Cardium Announces FDA 510(K) Clearance of InnerCool's RapidBlue(TM) Endovascular System 5Cardium Announces FDA 510(K) Clearance of InnerCool's RapidBlue(TM) Endovascular System 6Cardium Announces FDA 510(K) Clearance of InnerCool's RapidBlue(TM) Endovascular System 7Cardium Announces FDA 510(K) Clearance of InnerCool's RapidBlue(TM) Endovascular System 8Cardium Announces FDA 510(K) Clearance of InnerCool's RapidBlue(TM) Endovascular System 9Cardium Announces FDA 510(K) Clearance of InnerCool's RapidBlue(TM) Endovascular System 10Food and Beverage Giant Joins Kannapolis Research Center 2Food and Beverage Giant Joins Kannapolis Research Center 3Food and Beverage Giant Joins Kannapolis Research Center 4
... in Microarrays: Biomedical Photometrics Inc. (Waterloo, Ontario, ... Germany) have collaborated to develop a fluorescence ... The DNAscope AT is based on ... AT automatically reads up to six ArrayTubes ...
... a comprehensive kinase analysis service utilizing ... peptide microarrays synthesized on Paraflo microfluidic ... quantitative measurement of kinase kinetic activities, ... service includes preparation of your kinase ...
... NH2-terminal kinase) signal transduction cascade is ... pathways in mammals. JNK pathway activation ... is associated with the nuclear accumulation ... in the immune response, cellular proliferation, ...
... ProteomeLab PA 800 is an automated, ... of Beckman Coulters ProteomeLab family of ... comprehensive range of automated protein characterization ... mapping, isoelectric focusing, carbohydrate profiling and ...
Biology Products: