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:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data captured ... engineering platform, detected a statistically significant association ... prior to treatment and objective response of ... potential to predict whether cancer patients will ... treatment, as well as to improve both pre-infusion ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company that ... North America , today announced a Series B ... of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s ... to transform population health activities through the collection and ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 25, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of scientific trending ... world, is announcing a new textbook scholarship, the second scholarship in the LabRoots program. ... years or older, pursuing a degree in one of the life sciences. The scholarship ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Today, ... CLEARAS Water Recovery’s Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery (ABNR™) technology at its 4,000,000 gallon ... million plant upgrade to sustainably meet current and future nutrient discharge regulations. The ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... BELLINGHAM, Washington, and WASHINGTON, DC, USA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, ... ... powerful driver of the economy as well as an enabler of life-saving medical and ... society for optics and photonics . They joined others in the scientific community today ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... , May 23, 2017 As Ebola resurfaces in ... four deaths and 20 suspected cases now reported, a new ... PubMed database, showed a correlation between the 2014 and 2017 ... counts rose sharply in 2012-13, which preceded the 2014 outbreak. ... the Ebola gene Replikin counts in 2014-15, which again precedes ...
Breaking Biology Technology: