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Herbivores in Biological News

Poison: It's what's for dinner

... "we don't really understand how wild animals process their diets, and how herbivores can feed on really toxic diets. If we can understand it, we may be able to ... rice, grains), such as Japanese and Europeans. "Eating for [non-human] herbivores is really dangerous," Dearing says. "Most plants make toxins to prevent ...

Poison: It's what's for dinner

... "we don't really understand how wild animals process their diets, and how herbivores can feed on really toxic diets. If we can understand it, we may be able to ... rice, grains), such as Japanese and Europeans. "Eating for [non-human] herbivores is really dangerous," Dearing says. "Most plants make toxins to prevent ...

Climate change opens new avenue for spread of invasive plants

... the native and exotics responded differently to natural enemies such as herbivores or microorganisms in the soil," said Lauren McIntyre, an associate ... exposed to North African locusts and a widespread species of aphid. These herbivores were not expected to show a preference for either the native or the exotic ...

Animal and plant communication at the ESA Annual Meeting

... and generalist herbivores, and he hopes it will spark further research. He says that the interactions among the three trophic levels plants, herbivores and predators are the key to understanding the species' ecology and evolution. "Food webs are complex, and that complexity is fundamental to ...

Restoring a natural root signal helps to fight a major corn pest

... nematodes than the non-transformed equivalents. "The use of this indirect defense is an attractive strategy to increase plant resistance against herbivores and to reduce the use of chemical pesticides," Degenhardt says. "The transgenic corn plants used in these experiments have no commercial value and ...

New discovery suggests trees evolved camouflage defense against long extinct predator

... themselves from extinct giant birds, providing the first evidence of this strategy in plant life. "Plants are attacked by a bewildering array of herbivores and in response they have evolved a variety of defences to deter predators such as thorns and noxious chemicals," said lead researcher Dr Kevin Burns ...

Sex involved in plant defense

... with the remainder reproducing asexually to gauge the effects of plant sex on defense mechanisms. The researchers found that so-called generalist herbivores those that eat a variety of plants preferred to feed on the asexual species and lived longer while doing so. The results were a bit different ...

Down Under dinosaur burrow discovery provides climate change clues

... out of the rift valley. The age, size and shape of the likely burrows led Martin to hypothesize that they were made by small ornithopod dinosaurs herbivores that were prevalent in the region. These ornithopods stood upright on their hind legs and were about the size of a large, modern-day iguana. "It's ...

New crops needed for new climate

... in plants in elevated CO 2 . This was compounded by the fact that protein content decreased, making the plants overall more toxic as the ability of herbivores to break down cyanide depends largely on the ingestion of sufficient quantities of protein. Data have also shown that cassava, a staple food crop ...

New crops needed for new climate

... in plants in elevated CO 2 . This was compounded by the fact that protein content decreased, making the plants overall more toxic as the ability of herbivores to break down cyanide depends largely on the ingestion of sufficient quantities of protein. Data have also shown that cassava, a staple food crop ...

Wiping out the world's mass migrations

... reduces migrant's access to forage and water. Migrations can then stop, or be shortened, and animal numbers plummet." Migrations of large-bodied herbivores (also called ungulates) occur when animals search for higher quality or more abundant food. Ecologically, there are two primary drivers of food ...

Symposia selected for Entomological Society of America meeting

... Files: Integrative Perspectives on Physiological and Molecular Responses of Insects to Low Temperature Evolutionary Arms Race of Resistance in herbivores to Novel Chemistries: Lessons from Native and Agricultural Systems Mite Invasions: Learning from the Invaders The Quiet Revolution: ...

Male flower parts responsible for potent grapevine perfume: UBC research

... Early Edition. Scientists believe plants have evolved to produce perfume in order to attract specific types of pollinators while fending off herbivores and pathogens. "If you ask people where the perfume of a flower comes from, they'll likely say the female parts or the petals," says Bohlmann. ...

Desert woodrats switch one dietary poison for another

... with a toxic resin that can comprise up to 24 percent of the dry weight of the plant." She conducted the study because "we don't really know how herbivores can feed on toxic diets. If we can understand it, we may be able to learn how they will deal with climate change. "For example, the toxins in ...

Red pandas reveal an unexpected (artificial) sweet tooth

... cats, are obligate carnivores, meaning that they eat almost exclusively meat. Meerkrats are mainly insectivores, while red pandas are primarily herbivores that almost exclusively eat bamboo leaves and shoots. By studying the structure and function of the sweet receptor gene across species and how ...

Desert woodrats switch one dietary poison for another

... with a toxic resin that can comprise up to 24 percent of the dry weight of the plant." She conducted the study because "we don't really know how herbivores can feed on toxic diets. If we can understand it, we may be able to learn how they will deal with climate change. "For example, the toxins in ...

Male flower parts responsible for potent grapevine perfume: UBC research

... Early Edition. Scientists believe plants have evolved to produce perfume in order to attract specific types of pollinators while fending off herbivores and pathogens. "If you ask people where the perfume of a flower comes from, they'll likely say the female parts or the petals," says Bohlmann. ...

Geoscientists discuss sea level rise, extreme storm events and more

... session also generating much interest covers the paleobiology of the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains, with talks on increasing growth rates in herbivores in Florida following a late Neogene extinction event, investigations of ancient shell beds, and a comparison between fossil shells and recent mollusc ...

Understanding natural crop defenses

... transport it to their stems, where it helps plants grow taller," explains Chory. But plants also react to chemical cues in the oral secretions of herbivores and mechanical damage caused by caterpillars and their ilk nibbling on foliage. They increase the production of defense-related hormones, ...

Grazing animals help spread plant disease

... of white-footed mice, for instance, has been shown to increase Lyme disease risk in humans. In this study, scientists examined the effect of herbivores and omnivores such as mule deer, rabbits and feral pigs on the prevalence of barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses, which can infect more than 100 ...

Rooted plants move mysteriously down greenways, scientists say

... alternative, Levey said one possible explanation is that the plants' seeds aren't as unassisted as they appear. For example, it's possible that herbivores eat the seeds, even if they are not recognized as normal forage. "My hunch is that these plants are browsed by deer that are really after the ...

The Danisco Award 2008 goes to D.Sc. Barbara Ann Halkier from Faculty of Life Sciences, Copenhagen

... vegetables and reduced risk of a number of cancer diseases. In cruciferous plants, the glucosinolates are involved in defense reactions to herbivores and harmful microorganisms. Barbara Ann Halkier was born in 1956, has taken a biology degree from the Faculty of Science at the University of ...

Global warming threatens Australia's iconic kangaroos

... important food source for indigenous people," they write. "Therefore, it is critically important that we understand the ecology of Australia's native herbivores to ensure any further economic development will occur in an environmentally sustainable way." ...

Meat-eating dinosaur from Argentina had bird-like breathing system

... path of this feature is full of surprising turns, the explanations for which must account for their presence in a huge predator like Aerosteon and herbivores like Diplodocus, as well as in a chicken." In the PLoS ONE paper, the team proposes three possible explanations for the evolution of air sacs in ...

Lionfish decimating tropical fish populations, threaten coral reefs

... Hixon said, must now be understood in context with their ability to seriously depopulate coral reef ecosystems of other fish. Parrotfishes and other herbivores prevent seaweeds from smothering corals. A major, invasive predator such as lionfish could disrupt the entire system. Options to manage the ...

When the butterfly bush blossoms

... plant species can flourish better in their new homes than in their place of origin. The reasons for this can be genetic changes or the lack of herbivores such as insects that first have to adapt to the newcomers. These are the conclusions of researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ...

Rabbits to the rescue of the reef

... fish that usually mow the reef parrot fishes and surgeon fish - were of little help when it came to suppressing well established weedy growth. Most herbivores simply avoided the big weeds. Then, to our even greater surprise a fish we had never seen in this area before was observed grazing on the weed. ...

Lowly Icelandic midges reveal ecosystem's tipping points

... makes a perfect laboratory for studying such environmental change. The algae-munching midge Tanytarsus gracilentus alone makes up two-thirds of the herbivores in the lake's biomass and is an important food source for birds and fish. But the populations of the midge fluctuate dramatically: "They fluctuate in ...

Eat up all of your Brussels sprouts -- unless you're an aphid

... to new research published today (8 February) in Science. The study shows for the first time that the nutritional quality of plant food sources for herbivores has a far-reaching impact on an ecosystem as a whole, potentially impeding important functions that the ecosystem performs, such as the natural ...

Elephant engineers

... for any given refuge or wildlife area has become a hot topic. By gaining a better understanding of ecosystem engineering and the effects that large herbivores have on other species, researchers may gain more insight into how the entire savanna ecosystem works. If you have no elephants, says Pringle, ...

Humans have caused profound changes in Caribbean coral reefs

... hand, coral reefs are maintained due to intricate ecological interactions among groups of organisms. For instance, predators prey upon herbivorous, herbivores graze on macroalgae, and macroalgae and corals interact for their use of hard substrata. Given the intensity of these interactions the effects of a ...

Massive dinosaur discovered in Antarctica sheds light on life, distribution of sauropodomorphs

... Argentina, is the other co-author of the research. Sauropodomorph dinosaurs were the largest animals to ever walk the earth. They were long-necked herbivores and include Diplodocus and Apatosaurus. Their sister group is the theropods, which include Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, and modern birds. ...

Genetic differences in clover make one type toxic

... these plants. Olsen and colleagues are also testing hypotheses on why acyanogenic plants occur in cold climates. One poses that there are fewer herbivores in colder climates. If a plant can get by without investing in all the resources it takes to be cyanogenic, it can concentrate those ...

Invasive exotic plants helped by natural enemies

... nearly 70 percent over native plants. "Exotic herbivores may facilitate the growth of exotic plants by ... because, on most continents, many of the resident herbivores have been hunted to extinction by early settlers, ... to make room for their own domesticated and feral herbivores from the old world," said Parker. He also ...

Predators keep the world green, ecologists find

... because they keep the numbers of plant-eating herbivores under control, reports a research team lead by ... theory that plants protect themselves from herbivores through physical and chemical defenses. The ... et al, ecologists have been debating whether herbivores are limited by plant defenses or by predators," ...

Batfish to the rescue!

... cameras. When the cage was removed from a particularly weedy patch, local herbivores pecked at it but made little impression on the dense growth of sargassum ... impression on a heavily-overgrown reef, dashing researchers' hopes that herbivores may be a way to restore heavily weed-infested reefs. And second, it ...

Winning by a neck -- Giraffes avoid competing with shorter browsers

... University of Pretoria tested whether foraging competition with shorter herbivores could explain why giraffes feed mostly on leaves high in trees, despite ... and they generally feed high in the tree canopy, above the height other herbivores can reach. Giraffes receive more leaves per bite by foraging high in the ...

Cougar predation key to ecosystem health

... of riparian habitats and biodiversity may require both predation on these herbivores as well as the fear of predation to further affect their behavior, the ... have been removed, the researchers said, and high populations of native herbivores such as deer or elk ?or domestic grazers such as cattle or sheep ?affect ...

Dinosaurs -- stones did not help with digestion

... as Seismosaurus and Cedarosaurus must have had similar digestive problems. The animals, some of which weighed more than 30 tonnes, were the largest herbivores which have ever existed. Many of them had a very small head, in relation to the size of their body, and narrow, pointed teeth, which were more suited ...
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