Navigation Links
Tasty meal out of reach
Date:7/3/2008

Dutch Rubicon laureate Chris Smit has concluded that small mammals, such as rabbits and mice, play a major role in the development of natural diversity. Smit researched how scrub becomes established in natural grassland. It seems that prickly shrubs are important in protecting plants and preventing animal species from grazing. Smit has also demonstrated that natural disturbances such as flooding and animal diseases are very important for the diversity of natural areas.

Smit investigated a large number of blackthorn seedlings between five and ten years old in the Junner Koeland, a 100 ha, species-rich natural area along the Overijsselse Vecht river, which has been grazed extensively for centuries. Young blackthorns have scarcely been spotted there over the past 30 years. These observations coincided with a considerable reduction in the rabbit population since the end of the 1990s, caused by the disease viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS).

The establishment of scrub is an important process that leads to greater variation and diversity in a landscape. Prickly shrubs such as blackthorn and hawthorn provide a valuable safe haven for many plant and animal species. The thorns protect these plants and animals from grazing by large mammals.

Smit's experiments show that blackthorn seeds under the scrub are quickly eaten by small mammals such as mice. Thorns provide no protection against this. However, Smit discovered that the young plants in the Junner Koeland frequently grew in recently flooded sections among high vegetation that was inedible for grazers. Blackthorn seeds in the inedible vegetation have better chances of survival. Thus, large and small grazers together limit the spread of blackthorn, with the influence of the small grazers seeming to be the greater. Current nature management policies will need to take more account of the importance of small mammals and natural disturbances when it comes to the diversity of natural grasslands.

Natural diversity

Large grazers have now been introduced on a wide scale in Dutch natural areas. One of the main aims of this introduction is to promote greater natural diversity in the landscape. Greater diversity leads to more plant and animal species. This will please many people, from conservationists to tourists. A young oak tree, for example, which represents a tasty meal for large grazers, is only safe from them within prickly shrubs. Ultimately, this leads to magnificent single oaks surrounded by a mantle of scrub.


'/>"/>

Contact: Chris Smit
smitchr@gmail.com
31-620-729-773
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Cogent Systems and Northrop Grumman Reach Agreement to Settle Automated Fingerprint Identification Technology Suit and Create Strategic Alliance
2. Rutgers high school outreach gets $3 million boost from NSF
3. Cogent Systems and Northrop Grumman Reach Agreement to Settle Automated Fingerprint Identification Technology Suit and Create Strategic Alliance
4. Thinking makes it so: Science extends reach of prosthetic arms
5. Carnivores in recent study help Bergmanns rule reach the 21st century
6. Private Rocketeers reach for space -- science writer in Canada to explain
7. Undergraduate bioscience research reaches new horizons
8. APS names 2 minority outreach fellows
9. PNNL reaches goal to change world one light at a time
10. Montana State University research reaches Supreme Court of India
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/6/2017)... 6, 2017 Forecasts by Product ... Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public ... & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business ... Are you looking for a definitive report on ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today ... announcing that the server component of the HYPR platform ... for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users ... including manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , ... that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... covers the linking of an iris image with a ... and represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection at our Dilworth, MN site. The inspection took ... This inspection was conducted as part of a routine Bioresearch Monitoring Program (BIMO) ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... in 2017, celebrating 10 years of successes helping medical technology companies and inventors develop ... company to a renowned full-service national engineering firm with a portfolio of clients in ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... of 6” modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for ... damp and wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... performing antibodies. Key researchers in the antibody community have recently come together to ... for antibodies in the laboratory. , The team at Thermo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: