Navigation Links
The star of Africa's savanna ecosystems may be the lowly termite
Date:5/25/2010

d on the ground was even clearer in satellite imagery. Each mound -- relatively inconspicuous on the Kenyan grassland -- stood at the center of a burst of floral productivity. More importantly, these bursts were highly organized in relation to one another, evenly dispersed as if squares on a checkerboard. The result, says Pringle, is an optimized network of plant and animal output closely tied to the ordered distribution of termite mounds.

"In essence, the highly regular spatial pattern of fertile mounds generated by termites actually increases overall levels of ecosystem production. And it does so in such a profound way," says Todd M. Palmer, assistant professor of biology at the University of Florida and an affiliate of the Mpala Research Centre in Nanyuki, Kenya. "Seen from above, the grid-work of termite mounds in the savanna is not just a pretty picture. The over-dispersion, or regular distribution of these termite mounds, plays an important role in elevating the services this ecosystem provides."

The mechanism through which termite activity is transformed into far-reaching effects on the ecosystem is a complex one. Pringle and Palmer suspect termites import coarse particles into the otherwise fine soil in the vicinity of their mounds. These coarser particles promote water infiltration of the soil, even as they discourage disruptive shrinking and swelling of topsoil in response to precipitation or drought.

The mounds also show elevated levels of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. All this beneficial soil alteration appears to directly and indirectly mold ecosystem services far beyond the immediate vicinity of the mound.

While further studies will explore the mechanism through which these spatial patterns of termite mounds emerge, Pringle and Palmer suggest that the present work has implications beyond the basic questions of ecology.

"Termites are typically viewed as pests, and as threats to agricultural a
'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Bradt
steve_bradt@harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Savanna habitat drives birds, and perhaps others, to cooperative breeding
2. Lowly termite, not the lion or elephant, may be the star of Africas savanna
3. Study shows genetically engineered corn could affect aquatic ecosystems
4. Genetically engineered corn may harm stream ecosystems
5. At the root of nutrient limitation, ecosystems are not as different as they seem
6. Resilience concepts poised to aid management of coastal marine ecosystems
7. First map of threats to marine ecosystems shows all the worlds oceans are affected
8. Map is first to track global human influences on ocean ecosystems
9. Adapting local ecosystems can soften impact of global climate change
10. Rats on islands disrupt ecosystems from land to sea, researchers find
11. Small streams mitigate human influence on coastal ecosystems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The star of Africa's savanna ecosystems may be the lowly termite
(Date:8/21/2014)... study of American singles found that during sex ... orgasm rates. On average, men experience orgasm 85.1 ... making little difference. For women, however, orgasm occurrence ... 62.9 percent of the time during sex with ... with women,s sexual orientation, with lesbian women experiencing ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... to ignore, but they are the ultimate source of ... are increasingly dependent on algae, too, to suck up ... to the bottom of the ocean. Now, by using ... have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are ... when all else stays essentially the same, and this ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... landmark study aimed at improving the food intake, health ... care homes is among three projects at the University ... from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). ... Health Sciences at Waterloo, and a Schlegel research chair ... years to investigate why many Canadians living in long-term ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Orgasm rates for single women less predictable than men's, vary by sexual orientation 2Orgasm rates for single women less predictable than men's, vary by sexual orientation 3Orgasm rates for single women less predictable than men's, vary by sexual orientation 4Viruses take down massive algal blooms, with big implications for climate 2Grants will fund landmark aging research at Waterloo 2
... Cleveland -- The use of padded headgear and gloves ... the head, according to newly published research from Cleveland ... Clinic,s Lutheran Hospital, the researchers replicated hook punches to ... pendulum. The impacts were measured under five padding configurations: ...
... This release is available in German . ... a draft version of the genome from a small fragment ... southern Siberia. The DNA sequences showed that this individual came ... become known as Denisovans. Together with their sister group the ...
... are you really eating when you,re eating chicken? Do different ... twins have similar fingerprints? How does sleep affect your memory? ... from 33 local schools will answer these and other intriguing ... the University of California, Riverside, Feb. 7-9. The fair will ...
Cached Biology News:Padded headgear, boxing gloves may offer some protection for fighters 2Entire genome of extinct human decoded from fossil 2Fair to bring future scientists and engineers to UC Riverside 2
(Date:8/21/2014)... 21, 2014 ... announced the addition of the  "Global Hormone ... offering.       (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) ,Hormone ... is a means of replacing hormones that ... body. This type of therapy is usually ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... , Aug. 21, 2014 Mathematic studies at ... Harvard University , and funded by the Jeffrey Epstein ... within tumors can be visually identified for elimination. These aggressive ... The study, which shows a topological map of what to ... in cancer research, for while tumor cells can be extracted ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... Ontotext S4 , The Self Service Semantic ... Now the same enterprise hardened text mining, Linked Data ... is available to start-ups and mid-size businesses at a ... do not have resources to evaluate and prototype enterprise ... there is no need for on premise hardware provisioning ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... of patented university inventions licensed to biotechnology firms ... commercialization. To open these roadblocks, the researchers suggest ... the discovery stage could lead to faster commercialization ... derived from discoveries made in university laboratories and ... during clinical trials, which have a high failure ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Global Hormone Replacement Therapy Market 2014-2018: Key Vendors are Actavis, Bayer, Merck & Co, Novartis and Novo Nordisk 2Science Power Jeffrey Epstein and Harvard University Fund Project to Visually Stop Tumor Growth 2Ontotext Releases Text Mining & Semantic Technology Running in the Cloud – Welcome to “S4? 2Ontotext Releases Text Mining & Semantic Technology Running in the Cloud – Welcome to “S4? 3Ontotext Releases Text Mining & Semantic Technology Running in the Cloud – Welcome to “S4? 4Early bottlenecks in developing biopharmaceutical products delay commercialization 2Early bottlenecks in developing biopharmaceutical products delay commercialization 3
... to countless,complaints from conventional lubricant users about being messy ... which has proven popular in the United States, is ... that took women,s ideas about what,a lubricant should be ... Lubricant Mousse has all the benefits of a,lubricant without ...
... for clean water stretches even the resources of the world,s ... technology and novel ideas to find solutions. , Mark Shannon ... of world leaders in water resource research to address this ... issue of Nature. , "As dire as the growing problems ...
... MANASQUAN, N.J., March 21 BioSpace, the world,s leading,online ... will host,a Life Science Career Fair in King of ... take place at the Radisson Valley Forge from,2pm to ... science professionals from across Pennsylvania, New York, New,Jersey and ...
Cached Biology Technology:Seduce with Mousse - Replens Introduces Intimate Options: First Personal Lubricant Mousse in Canada 2Countering an approaching water crisis 2BioSpace to Host Life Science Career Fair in Pennsylvania 2
Anti-Mouse C-10, Biotin (Polyclonal) (rabbit IgG)...
... ADAMTS16 ( Abpromise for all ... Synthetic peptide based on the ... the amino acid sequence is proprietary) ... 170690 SWISS Protein ...
Purified Mouse anti-Hu Actopaxin (pS8) Storage Temperature: Refrigerate(2 to 8C)...
Hamartin/TSC1 (1B2) Mouse mAb Ship: Hot Store: -20 C...
Biology Products: