Navigation Links
Small desert beetle found to engineer ecosystems
Date:3/27/2008

The mesquite girdler Oncideres rhodosticta may only be 13mm long, but it has a big role in shaping the landscape. Research carried out by Benjamin Duval and Walter Whitford at New Mexico State University has revealed that the beetle is speeding up the degradation of grasslands in the Chihuahua desert, the landscape so stunningly depicted in this years Oscar-winning film No Country for Old Men.

The mesquite girdler does this by regulating the growth of the mesquite shrub, ensuring their offspring have a plentiful supply of food. The beetles chew girdles around the older stems of the shrub, which forces the plant to regrow new stems the following year. The new stems supply the beetle larvae with food, but the mesquite shrub takes more nutrients from the soil for its increased growth, leaving less for the other plant species such as grasses.

Up to 150 years ago, the North Chihuahuan Desert was completely covered in grassland. The picture today is very different dunes and mesquite shrubs cover much of the landscape.

Duval said: Although the desertification process was likely started by overgrazing cattle, the ecosystem engineering impact of the mesquite girdler could finish off the process.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Sutherland
amy@cicada-comms.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Social parasites of the smaller kind
2. Small animal imaging facility is big boon to research
3. Handbook of small grain insects available now
4. New molecular clock from LLNL and CDC indicates smallpox evolved earlier than believed
5. 2007 ozone hole smaller than usual
6. Cilia: small organelles, big decisions
7. Research shows loggerhead sea turtles threatened by small-scale fishing operations
8. Small-scale fishing in Mexico rivals industrial fisheries in accidental turtle deaths
9. Sweet potato shines as new promise for small enterprise and hunger relief in developing countries
10. Identification of a novel class of (not-so) small RNAs
11. Small RNA plays parallel roles in bacterial metabolism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/20/2017)... Germany , March 20, 2017 At this ... Hamburg -based biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG ... is this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German ... biometrics in use: fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s ... ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... -- CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in ... ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 ... the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the University ... , was invited to deliver the latest data to ... globally recognised event brings together leaders at the forefront ... developments in lung imaging. "The quality ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017 Research and Markets has ... and Global Markets" report to their offering. ... The study ... sequencing, biochips, RNA interference, synthetic biology tools and genome editing ... These technologies and products are analyzed to determine ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... ... Franz Inc ., the leading supplier of Semantic Graph Database technology, ... by Bloor Research in its recent Graph Database Market Update report. ... Gruff, it was rated as the easiest product to use.” – Bloor Research , ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... PLAINFIELD, N.J. and WASHINGTON ... global genomics service provider, GENEWIZ, will launch single-cell sequencing during ... at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in ... RNA-Seq allows researchers to perform differential gene expression of ... Highlights: Experts ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... March 28, 2017 Biostage, Inc. ... developing bioengineered organ implants to treat cancers and other ... announced that Jim McGorry, CEO of Biostage, ... panel at the MassBio 2017 Annual Meeting ... ET in Cambrige, Massachussetts. The 3D Printing and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: