Navigation Links
Salamanders, headwater streams critical in food chain
Date:2/22/2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. University of Missouri scientist Ray Semlitsch studies creatures most people dont ever see. These creatures are active only at night and thrive in the shallow, cool, wet surroundings of headwater streams, an oft-overlooked biological environment.

A collaborative study, with MU graduate student Bill Peterman, recently published in the journal Freshwater Biology, revealed the biomass (total mass of an organism in an area) of the black-bellied salamander far exceeds any previous estimates, and the contribution of the species and its habitat may be critical in the food chain. While the ecological role of the salamander is not fully understood, radio-telemetry and mark-recapture tracking methods used in the study indicate the salamanders are a critical component in the productivity of headwater streams, possibly ensuring the survival of other species of fauna.

This is important because it is the first study to uncover the hidden biomass of these salamanders, said Semlitsch, professor of biological science in the MU College of Arts and Science. Salamanders typically live underground. They live in places most people dont see, and they live in these small, headwater streams where there are no other fresh-water vertebrates. Fish cant exist in these small streams. This is where water seeps out of the rock, where all streams begin life as a stream.

These headwater streams, according to the study, are very productive areas for salamanders and Semlitsch advocates the protection of these ecosystems.

The final take-home message of our study is salamanders comprise a huge amount of protein biomass for these headwater stream ecosystems, Semlitsch said. We think thats important because that biomass can then be used by consumers, such as predators, or could be used by decomposers in that system. The salamanders also are consuming aquatic insects. They are a key link, we think, in these headwater stream systems that has not been detected or uncovered before.

The amount of biomass weve reported is much, much higher than has ever been reported before, suggesting these headwater streams are very important ecosystems and they deserve protection. In my view, they actually deserve more protection than further down stream. It seems logical to me to protect the water where its coming out of the ground to retain and maintain clean water and provide ecosystem services downstream.

Semlitsch said the study brings to light the critical importance of salamanders, creatures that most people dont know much about or ever see as compared to birds or mammals.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bryan E. Jones
jonesbry@missouri.edu
573-882-9144
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New research offers prioritization plan for reducing nutrient pollution in feeder streams
2. Greenhouse gas from English streams
3. Gene chips used to distinguish ventilator-associated pneumonia from underlying critical illness
4. IEEE-USA commends president for asking Congress to double support for critical research
5. Diet and lifestyle critical to recovery, says study
6. Critically endangered porpoise is focus of new research report
7. Rutgers scientists research reveals critical knowledge about the nervous system
8. First-ever study: lack of critical lubricant causes wear in joints
9. Critically endangered Amur leopard captured
10. Ant invaders eat the natives, then move down the food chain
11. Climate gas could disrupt food chain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and ... Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue ... ... ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. ... DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese ... CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the two government ... and iris recognition as well as DERMALOGĀ“s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , March ... Made Simple," and 23andMe , the leading personal ... food choices.  Zipongo can now provide customers with personalized ... health goals and biometrics, but also genetic markers impacting ... Zipongo,s personalized food decision support platform uses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 According to ... products and derivatives market is fragmented due to the presence of a ... as Proliant, Thermo Fisher , and Sigma-Aldrich, compete with each ... three companies, collectively, held more than 76% of this market in ... As of ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... NEW YORK , March 23, 2017 ... closer look at four equities in the Biotech industry: ... EYEG), Synthetic Biologics Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), and Regulus ... March 21 st , 2017, Credit Suisse upgraded its rating ... stocks by downloading their free report at: ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 22, 2017 Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN), ... Center (RGC), U.K. Biobank and GSK to generate genetic sequence ... resource. The initiative will enable researchers to gain valuable insights ... a wide range of serious and life threatening diseases. ... Genetic evidence ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... COPENHAGEN, Denmark , March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... that utilizes its innovative TransCon technology to address ... announced financial results for the full year ended ... a significant year for our company as we ... become a leading, integrated rare disease company with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: