Ecological diversity – Els Verds http://elsverds.org/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 12:31:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://elsverds.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-120x120.png Ecological diversity – Els Verds http://elsverds.org/ 32 32 Rethinking the wild world of species diversity in microbes https://elsverds.org/rethinking-the-wild-world-of-species-diversity-in-microbes/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 13:39:19 +0000 https://elsverds.org/rethinking-the-wild-world-of-species-diversity-in-microbes/ A conceptual representation of the model with descriptions of all the parameters involved. Credit: DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2020956119 Biologists at the University of Maryland developed the first mathematical simulations of bacterial communities that integrate the complex interactions and rapid evolution among bacteria and reflect the tremendous diversity of species seen in real life. Their work, […]]]>

A conceptual representation of the model with descriptions of all the parameters involved. Credit: DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2020956119

Biologists at the University of Maryland developed the first mathematical simulations of bacterial communities that integrate the complex interactions and rapid evolution among bacteria and reflect the tremendous diversity of species seen in real life.

Their work, published on January 4, 2022 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, establishes a new theoretical framework for the study of bacterial communities and lays the foundations for improved probiotic and antibiotic therapies.

Studying bacterial communities is a bit like trying to understand wildlife in a world where gray, wrinkled elephants and feathered elephants scramble for space at the watering hole next to trunk birds. , scaled zebras and lions who developed a taste for grass. The next day, new animals may appear with even more crossed traits.

In the bacterial world, thousands of species can coexist in a state of fluid evolution. Individual bacteria tear off pieces of DNA from their neighbors, quickly acquiring new traits and blurring the lines between species. In addition to chaos, the community is in a constant state of war defined by complex and ever-changing alliances. Some species swallow or spit out toxins to kill or neutralize each other, while others appear to protect each other from attackers.

“This type of very fluid state between species and these very complex interactions is not something that we see in ecology and evolution on our human scale, so traditional theoretical models have not been effective in explaining how microbial communities come together and maintain diversity, ”said Anshuman Swain, a PhD in Biological Sciences. UMD student and lead author of the new study.

Having the right tools to study microbial communities is important because microbes are essential to human health and life on Earth. Germs cause and prevent disease, break down food and waste, and help regulate the immune system. And species diversity in bacterial communities is essential for everything from a healthy digestive system to a balanced response to antibiotics.

Conventional rules of biology suggest that competition between species should reduce diversity and lead to the rise of a few distinct dominant species. Obviously, these rules do not reflect reality under a microscope. This is partly because they usually only take into account the interactions between two species at a time, and do not take into account the rapid rate of evolution seen in microbes.

The lack of a sufficiently sophisticated theoretical framework that takes into account the complex rules that govern community dynamics has hampered attempts to develop predictions that scientists can test with meaningful experiments in the real world.







Simulated bacterial community spreading in a space such as a petri dish or kitchen counter. Different colors represent different species with closer species appearing more similar in color. While traditional mathematical models simulate the end state of a community, these UMD models are the first to show the evolution of bacterial communities and their complex interactions between species. Credit: Anshuman Swain

“There are very few theories that incorporate complex interactions to tell experimenters what is possible, what to look for, or how to expect a community to behave under certain conditions,” Swain said. “It is very difficult to experiment with many species, all of which interact and influence downstream interactions in the community. And then how do you go about keeping up with the rapid changes on top of that? “

To address this problem, Swain worked with Bill Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Biology at UMD, and Levi Fussell at the University of Edinburgh to develop computer simulations incorporating these unique complexities. After running over 10 million simulations with a variety of parameters, the team identified three key factors that influence species diversity, pointing for the first time to aspects of microbial community dynamics that experimenters can relate to. focus when asking questions about microbial diversity:

  • Higher order interactions, which are interactions between two or more species that are regulated by one or more additional species. For example, species A produces a toxin that kills species B, but species C neutralizes that toxin if it is found nearby and species B survives.
  • Horizontal gene transfer, which creates a “continuous line space”. This means that genetic mixing causes a mix of traits between originally distinct species and leads to a community with a continuum of shared traits.
  • High mutation rates among species in the community.

By focusing on these three factors, the researchers developed algorithms to simulate the growth and evolution of bacterial communities. Their patterns represented an unprecedented diversity in communities with an almost unlimited number of species sharing traits along a continuum. (Traditional mathematical models that attempted to incorporate complex interactions between species tended to be limited to five or fewer distinct species.)

In their models, Swain and colleagues found that the best predictor of species diversity was the time it took for a community to reach equilibrium, which means the number of bacteria and the physical space that they occupied were relatively stable. When a community stabilized very quickly or very slowly, diversity decreased and only a few species dominated.

But somewhere in between, diversity flourished. In this middle zone, the mutation rate and mobility of a bacterium in a community (how well it can spread to new territory) dictated the amount of diversity in a community.

Equipped with this new framework, experimenters should be better prepared to tackle important questions, such as how to develop antibiotics that maintain diversity in the gut microbiome or how to prevent antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria from dominating an infection.

The research paper, “Higher Order Effects, Continuous Species Interactions, and Trait Evolution Shaping Microbial Spatial Dynamics,” Anshuman Swain, Levi Fussell, and William F Fagan, was published in PNAS January 4, 2022.


The diversity of inter-species interactions affects the functioning of ecological communities


More information:

Anshuman Swain et al, Higher order effects, continuous interactions between species and evolution of traits shape microbial spatial dynamics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2020956119

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“We can make the transition to a better country”: a Colombian trans on diversity in ecology and society | Global development https://elsverds.org/we-can-make-the-transition-to-a-better-country-a-colombian-trans-on-diversity-in-ecology-and-society-global-development/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 12:17:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/we-can-make-the-transition-to-a-better-country-a-colombian-trans-on-diversity-in-ecology-and-society-global-development/ When Brigitte Baptiste walks to the 10th floor of Ean University in Bogota at 9.45am, wearing a plunging dress, high cheetah-print boots and a silver wig, the office comes to life. She examines flowers sent by Colombian radio Caracol to thank her for participating in a forum, her colleague compliments her on her lipstick, and […]]]>

When Brigitte Baptiste walks to the 10th floor of Ean University in Bogota at 9.45am, wearing a plunging dress, high cheetah-print boots and a silver wig, the office comes to life. She examines flowers sent by Colombian radio Caracol to thank her for participating in a forum, her colleague compliments her on her lipstick, and she settles in for a day of dating in quick succession, followed by a private interview virtual conversation with the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. Later that evening, she flies to Cartagena for a conference on natural gas.

The 58-year-old environmentalist is one of Colombia’s foremost environmental experts and one of the most visible transgender people, defying both scientific and social conventions. A professor of ecology at the Jesuit Javeriana University for 20 years, she has written 15 books, countless newspaper columns and won international awards for her work. Most recently, she was appointed Chancellor of Ean University, a business school, as part of her efforts for greater sustainability.

Baptiste was one of the scientists who founded the Humboldt Institute, Colombia’s leading biodiversity research center, and she served as its director for eight years. Much of his research has focused on rural development and the role of biodiversity in land management. This took her to communities from the Amazon to the coast.

She saw the “social character of conservation” and the links between war, displacement and environmental degradation. A fervent supporter of a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), she saw in this agreement an opportunity for a “great ecological experiment” in the expanses of the former territory of the Farc, unexplored for years.

Green policies in practice at Ean University, where Brigitte Baptiste is chancellor. The garden serves a beehive nearby. Photography: Nadège Mazars / The Guardian

Baptiste is a biodiversity expert in a biodiversity-rich country facing destruction from deforestation, land grabbing, drug trafficking, illegal agriculture and the displacement of indigenous peoples. Water pollution from illegal gold mining and inadequate sewage systems have also taken their toll. And this year, Colombia was named the world’s deadliest country for conservationists for the second year in a row.

Threats to activists concern her more than any other matter, which is what she planned to point out to Guterres that evening in the three minutes allotted to her.

“There is no democracy that can be built on violence, on the extermination of unarmed people,” she said. “There can be a lot of things in Colombia that are not working well environmentally, economically – but it all goes into the background until we are able to respect human rights and guarantee the lives of all. Colombians. “

Meetings with world leaders are not uncommon in Baptiste’s career, but the natural gas conference the next day – where she pushes energy companies to offset carbon – is a change of pace from the island world of academia. . She decided to take on this role, and the fossil fuel industry meetings that accompany it, to apply the results of a lifetime of biodiversity research and make changes within the system. .

Baptiste believes in “green capitalism” – that the free market can promote sustainable development.

Brigitte Baptiste at work in her office.
“You have to work with the bankers, you have to work with the investors,” says Brigitte Baptiste. Photography: Nadège Mazars / The Guardian

“There must be businesses that are not just good for your pocket, they must be good for people, they must be good for nature, they must be good for future generations,” she said. “So that’s the idea of ​​sustainable entrepreneurship. This is my contribution to this school, research to build this concept in theory and in practice.

His views have sparked a backlash from environmental activists, but Baptiste sees his job as encouraging Colombians to value their biodiversity as an economic premium that can be harvested sustainably. “With businessmen, with bankers, it’s always the bad guys at the table,” she says, but emphasizes: “You have to work with the bankers, the investors, obviously you have to work with the decision-makers, with the political, with civil organizations, and without fear of open debate, whether convenient or not.

Baptiste rose to stature in a conservative Catholic country, where violence and discrimination against transgender people are rife. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, at least 448 LGBT people suffered acts of violence, including killings and police brutality.

A pair of large butterfly wings on an office wall
Baptiste wore butterfly wings at a recent gala. Now they have pride of place on a wall in his office. Photography: Nadège Mazars / The Guardian

Baptiste says she now only faces discrimination on social media, not at work. But don’t think this reflects a higher level of trans acceptance in Colombia. “I don’t think so,” she said.

“I think what I achieved, whether it was a little or a lot, was because I built it before I became Brigitte publicly.”

Baptiste made the transition in 1998 at the age of 35 and had already obtained a master’s and doctoral degree, co-founded and led a non-profit organization and served on boards of directors.

People respect her because she had won “guaranteed places” before her transition, she says, although some think they “have to put up with Dr Brigitte” with a hint of “yes, the doctorate “- she said, imitating her opponents. “So the gender issue is always used to question the legitimacy of my work. “

“Having a female trans rector was a gamble the university had made,” she says. “A generous bet, but also calculated to send a message to society: that it is a different university that can accommodate a trans woman as rector.

“But because I have already arrived with high visibility,” she adds, “who knows if the same would have happened with other trans women?”

Daniela Maldonado Salamanca, director of the Trans Community Network in Bogotá, warns that Baptiste can often be seen as successful in a way that ignores the barriers that prevent most trans women with less privilege from achieving similar success. “We are very far from being there – socially, economically [and] in access to educational capital, ”explains Salamanca. “Light years away from these processes. “

Brigitte Baptiste at her office in Bogatá last month.
Brigitte Baptiste at her office in Bogatá last month. She says trans women still lack linguistic respect in the Spanish-speaking country. Photography: Nadège Mazars / The Guardian

Baptiste is still lost on a daily basis, in taxis and restaurants, and asserts that trans women have still not achieved “a minimum of linguistic respect” in Colombia.

She hopes it will generate more acceptance.

“If she was able to do all the things she did, a country like this has all the hopes in the world,” says her colleague, university executive director Ean Billy Crissien.

“We can make the transition to be a better country, we can make the transition to be better people, we can make the transition to become what we want to be as a country,” he says. “Brigitte showed us how to do wonderful things. I think it fills us with hope for a country like us.


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Former OFW makes a living while promoting diversity through beekeeping – Manila Bulletin https://elsverds.org/former-ofw-makes-a-living-while-promoting-diversity-through-beekeeping-manila-bulletin/ Sat, 01 Jan 2022 02:00:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/former-ofw-makes-a-living-while-promoting-diversity-through-beekeeping-manila-bulletin/ Hardin sa Parang is a one hectare apiary located on woodland in Barangay San Juan, in the town of Antipolo. It is owned by Lonadel Jade Bolongaita, 35, a former OFW who also works as a freelance makeup artist. Before becoming a full-time beekeeper, she raised chickens and pigs on the same site where her […]]]>

Hardin sa Parang is a one hectare apiary located on woodland in Barangay San Juan, in the town of Antipolo.

It is owned by Lonadel Jade Bolongaita, 35, a former OFW who also works as a freelance makeup artist.

Before becoming a full-time beekeeper, she raised chickens and pigs on the same site where her apiary is now located.

The main reason for this change, according to Bolongaita, is the difficulty of obtaining animal feeds such as darak and soy pulp from their suppliers.

Bolongaita has been involved in herding since 2015, and after tending to a few types of livestock, she has finally found what is right for her: stingless bees.

She learned beekeeping through various trainings, seminars and conferences at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

“My staff and I are constantly training and honing our skills in caring for our bees by interacting with other beekeepers, watching videos, reading books and studying material online. “

A photo of the Hardin sa Parang team at a client’s farm in Laguna where they provided technical assistance for around 50 beehives.

Bolongaita focuses on promoting bees native to the Philippines, especially stingless bees (Trigona Biroi) which are often referred to as lukot or kiwot.

“I wanted to kind of raise awareness about ecological preservation and have a positive impact on Mother Nature through beekeeping.”

Bolongaita adds that they strongly support and advocate organic methods of growing food as well as the use of crop pollinators such as stingless bees to ensure the conservation of our diverse flora and fauna.

Compared to other farm animals, stingless bees require very little maintenance, the beekeeper said. There is no regular feeding or chemical intake required for bees to thrive, only frequent monitoring to keep out intruders and predators like spiders, lizards, toads and ants.

Raise stingless bees

The beekeeping farm houses around 300 to 600 colonies of stingless bees.

Unlike the western honey bee or Apis MelliferaTaking care of stingless bees does not involve renewing or replacing a queen since each colony has several virgin queens ready to take over if the laying queen begins to fail.

Hardin sa Parang propagates the colonies by dividing their hives after the honey harvest or during the honey season which coincides with summer.

Stingless beekeeping, if managed well, can be a lucrative business. Bolongaita farm earns up to 160,000 pesos per month during the high season and around 10,000 pesos per month during the low season.

This is a former pig pen that Bolongaita has turned into a sheltered nursery for colonies of baby bees.

Beehives, honey, pollen, propolis, as well as beekeeping supplies and equipment are its main sources of income.

Hardin sa Parang also offers stingless bee cultivation consultations where they help clients set up an apiary and produce their own honey, pollen and propolis.

Bolongaita said the force of splitting and opening the hives at any time should be avoided. Instead, observe, inspect the hives periodically, and then let the bees do the work for you. Also, be sure not to overcrowd the bees to prevent them from swarming, an act where the bees congregate to leave an established colony and move to another location.

Bolongaita provides a home for the bees and, in turn, the bees provide him with a source of income. These two elements contribute to a healthy and diverse ecosystem.

Photos courtesy of Lonadel Jade Bolongaita.

For more information visit Hardin sa Parang.

Learn more about farming and gardening at agriculture.com.ph


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Dafeng Milu Deer photograph selected for Convention on Biological Diversity photo exhibition https://elsverds.org/dafeng-milu-deer-photograph-selected-for-convention-on-biological-diversity-photo-exhibition/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 06:42:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/dafeng-milu-deer-photograph-selected-for-convention-on-biological-diversity-photo-exhibition/ When COP 15 was held in Kunming, the exhibition attracted wide attention. In total, more than 30 nature photos taken in recent years have been exhibited to show off the beauty of the wildlife in from China national parks and reserves, in the hope of drawing public attention to the protection of species diversity. The […]]]>

When COP 15 was held in Kunming, the exhibition attracted wide attention. In total, more than 30 nature photos taken in recent years have been exhibited to show off the beauty of the wildlife in from China national parks and reserves, in the hope of drawing public attention to the protection of species diversity. The Milu deer of Dafeng have become a typical representative of the dedication to biodiversity conservation in China.

Photographs in the exhibit show the joyful scene of a Milu deer crossing the water in China’s Milu National Nature Reserve. The region is rich in ecological resources. Over the years, sustainable construction has maintained the integrity of the natural ecosystem, protected biodiversity, promoted natural ecological protection and the harmonious symbiosis between man and nature. At present, Dafeng Wetland has created five “best in the world” ie largest Milu deer nature reserve, largest population of Milu deer, deer gene bank Most complete Milu, largest wild Milu deer population, and largest artificially domesticated population. Population of Milu deer in the world.

Yang Guomei has been following the Milu deer for 35 years and is known as “the first person to photograph the Chinese Milu deer”. He uses images to save rare species and has published a number of Milu’s deer-themed photography collections. Over 500 Milu’s deer-themed photographic works have won awards or been exhibited at international film festivals in 76 countries and regions. Migratory bird sanctuaries along the Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf coast China (Phase I) was inscribed on the Natural World Heritage List and its work frequently appeared in the nomination process, bridging the Yellow Sea wetland at Yancheng to the world.

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Caption: Milu deer in Dafeng Milu park

SOURCE Dafeng District People’s Government Advertising Department


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Proposed Amendments to the Biological Diversity Act 2002 https://elsverds.org/proposed-amendments-to-the-biological-diversity-act-2002/ Mon, 27 Dec 2021 19:03:36 +0000 https://elsverds.org/proposed-amendments-to-the-biological-diversity-act-2002/ Experts argue that proposed changes to the Biological Diversity Act 2002 do nothing to encourage biodiversity conservation The Editorial Board | Posted on 12/28/21 12:33 a.m. Although it had to repeal agricultural laws – Narendra Modi’s government had attempted to pass the three controversial laws without adequate discussion – the Center does not seem to […]]]>

Experts argue that proposed changes to the Biological Diversity Act 2002 do nothing to encourage biodiversity conservation



The Editorial Board

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Posted on 12/28/21 12:33 a.m.


Although it had to repeal agricultural laws – Narendra Modi’s government had attempted to pass the three controversial laws without adequate discussion – the Center does not seem to have learned its lesson. Earlier this month, the Union Environment Ministry introduced the Biodiversity (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha without soliciting public comment. Unsurprisingly, he had to change course, sending the bill to a joint parliamentary committee over concerns raised by environmentalists. Their alarm is not unwarranted. Experts fear that the proposed changes to the Biological Diversity Law of 2002, which aims to conserve India’s biodiversity and ensure sustainable use of biological resources as well as equitable sharing of financial benefits with local communities, lead to a reduction in its protective field. The bill, they argue, does nothing to encourage biodiversity conservation. Instead, it seeks to facilitate trade in such resources, with the aim of attracting “foreign investment” and speeding up the patent search and application processes.

Critics allege that the real motive behind these planned changes is to help the growth of the traditional Indian medicine industry. The bill wants to exclude vaides, hakim and Ayush practitioners from having to seek permission to access biological resources, thereby exonerating them from their responsibility to the local communities with which traditional medicine practitioners have shared a complementary relationship, increasing the risk of exploitation. nature. This is worrying, given the scale of the crisis in the biodiversity spheres in India. According to a recent report, more than 90 percent of areas that fall under biodiversity hotspots in the country have been lost. Ironically, instead of toughening laws to protect the environment from depredation of special interests, the Center continues to dilute regulations in the name of development. Shortly after the Gadgil committee designated 64 percent of the Western Ghats as an “environmentally sensitive area,” the Kasturirangan group was formed to reconsider its recommendations: the latter reduced the ESA to just 37 percent. The unbalanced push for profit in the costume of biodiversity protection is detrimental to India’s ecological interests. It is not only up to the JPC but also to the public to find the right balance.


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Ukhand’s first biodiversity gallery inaugurated in Haldwani https://elsverds.org/ukhands-first-biodiversity-gallery-inaugurated-in-haldwani/ Sun, 19 Dec 2021 07:36:31 +0000 https://elsverds.org/ukhands-first-biodiversity-gallery-inaugurated-in-haldwani/ Uttarakhand’s First Biodiversity Gallery, which aims to showcase lesser-known aspects of the Hill State’s rich biodiversity, was inaugurated in Haldwani on Sunday with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Blessed with the three agro-climatic zones – tropical, temperate and alpine – and being also at the confluence of the western and eastern Himalayas, Uttarakhand […]]]>

Uttarakhand’s First Biodiversity Gallery, which aims to showcase lesser-known aspects of the Hill State’s rich biodiversity, was inaugurated in Haldwani on Sunday with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Blessed with the three agro-climatic zones – tropical, temperate and alpine – and being also at the confluence of the western and eastern Himalayas, Uttarakhand has an extremely rich biodiversity in all varieties of flora and fauna, Chief Curator of forests (Research) said Sanjiv Chaturvedi.

However, only a few species from this rich repository are known to man. This gallery of biodiversity is an attempt to fill that gap, ” he said. The main feature of this gallery is a representation of 101 icons of the state’s biodiversity, showing the state of threats and information on their habitat, ecological role and uses, he said.

These 101 unique species of flora and fauna native to the state include the giant Himalayan lily, the largest lily in the world; rhododendron arboretum, the largest species of rhododendron in the world; and the king cobra, the world’s largest poisonous snake. The Himalayan viper, the highest altitude poisonous snake; the giant Himalayan bee, the largest bee in the world; the atlas butterfly, the largest of its kind in the world; yellow-throated marten, the largest in the world; and India’s largest insectivorous bat, the large leaf-nosed Himalayan bat, is also part of the gallery.

Other interesting species found naturally in the state, including the salt-headed parakeet, the only species in the parakeet family that migrates in winter; Himalayan langur, the only primate species found in the Himalayas, interesting species of native insectivorous plants, ferns, mosses, liverworts, grass species and special fauna such as the Himalayan marmot found on the border of the Tibet, the world’s tallest mammal, the Himalayan pika, flying squirrel, and yellow-headed turtle can also be seen at the gallery.

Additionally, the gallery has eight sections, one of which features abandoned nests of various species such as the weaver bird and the king cobra, the only species of reptiles that make nests.

Another section features unique products of the state’s biodiversity such as keedajadi, the world’s most expensive mushroom; red honey, produced by giant bees and one of the most expensive types of honey in the world; and biodiversity products that have received the Geographic Indicator label, such as cherry butter and Ringal crafts.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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Hangzhou youth who conduct biodiversity surveys gain notoriety https://elsverds.org/hangzhou-youth-who-conduct-biodiversity-surveys-gain-notoriety/ Thu, 16 Dec 2021 22:43:59 +0000 https://elsverds.org/hangzhou-youth-who-conduct-biodiversity-surveys-gain-notoriety/ Members of Yuanxiang attend the NGO Forum of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity on September 27. [Photo/hangzhou.com.cn] A group of young citizens from Hangzhou who founded a company named Yuanxiang in 2020 to provide biodiversity survey and advisory services to government departments and enterprises rose to fame after […]]]>

Members of Yuanxiang attend the NGO Forum of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity on September 27. [Photo/hangzhou.com.cn]

A group of young citizens from Hangzhou who founded a company named Yuanxiang in 2020 to provide biodiversity survey and advisory services to government departments and enterprises rose to fame after being highlighted by local media .

Located in an office building near the Zijin Campus of Zhejiang University, the company currently has four full-time employees and more than 10 part-time employees.

“Although the organization has not been founded for a long time, we have received several requests for biodiversity surveys from many government departments in Hangzhou, China, Zhoushan and Wenling in Zhejiang Province, China. over the past year, ”said Shen Qiu, a member of the organization.

According to Shen, the group recently concluded a project in Dongming Mountain, Yuhang District, Hangzhou. The results of the project have been compiled in a book.

The team also filmed bushy deer, which are under national first-level protection, as well as paramesotriton chinensis and leopard cats, which are under second-level protection.

Eco 2.png

Yuanxiang members conduct a study of biodiversity in nature. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]

“We currently have many projects underway and our part-time employees have given us strong support. It is the love of nature that binds us together, ”said Chen, adding that she studied environmental science and engineering at university and had a long passion for observation. of nature, especially birds.

Chen Yining, another full-time employee of the organization, previously studied biodiversity and protection in the UK and was a former staff member of the Zhejiang Forest Resources Monitoring Center.

“It is only when we have good control over the species in a city that we can better protect them,” Chen said. “We hope to use our expertise and offer the government constructive suggestions to better preserve the ecological environment.”

Media contact
Company Name: Hangzhou Municipal Government Information Office
Contact: Cai jingwen
E-mail: Send an email
Call: 0510-68559077
Country: China
Website: http://www.ehangzhou.gov.cn/


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Ancient wreck supports underwater diversity https://elsverds.org/ancient-wreck-supports-underwater-diversity/ Thu, 16 Dec 2021 13:14:26 +0000 https://elsverds.org/ancient-wreck-supports-underwater-diversity/ Italian researchers report finding an incredible community of 114 species of invertebrates on invaluable archaeological artifacts, including ecological ‘builders’, ‘binders’ and ‘inhabitants’ On March 10, 241 BCE, a naval battle took place near the Aegadian Islands northwest of Sicily. A fleet equipped by the Roman Republic destroyed a fleet from Carthage, ending the First Punic […]]]>

Italian researchers report finding an incredible community of 114 species of invertebrates on invaluable archaeological artifacts, including ecological ‘builders’, ‘binders’ and ‘inhabitants’

On March 10, 241 BCE, a naval battle took place near the Aegadian Islands northwest of Sicily. A fleet equipped by the Roman Republic destroyed a fleet from Carthage, ending the First Punic War in favor of Rome. But scientists have now shown that this destruction and carnage made possible a rich flowering of marine life.

In a recent study in Frontiers in Marine Science, they reported finding no less than 114 species of animals, coexisting in a complex community, on the ram of a Carthaginian ship sunk in battle.

This is the first study of marine life from a very old wreck. The ram is not only an invaluable archaeological find, but also a unique window into the processes by which marine animals colonize empty sites and gradually form mature, stable and diverse communities.

“Wrecks are often studied to track colonization by marine organisms, but few studies have focused on ships that sank more than a century ago,” said the latest author, Dr Sandra Ricci, principal researcher at the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro (ICR) in Rome.

We are studying here for the first time the colonization of a wreck over a period of more than 2000 years. We show that the ram ended up harboring a community very similar to the surrounding habitat, due to the “ecological connectivity” – the free movement of species – between it and its surroundings. “

The ram, nicknamed “Egadi 13”, was recovered in 2017 from the seabed about 90 meters deep by marine archaeologists from the Soprintendenza del Mare della Regione Sicilia, led by Dr Sebastiano Tusa, in collaboration with divers from the Global Underwater Explorers organization.

It consists of a single hollow bronze piece, engraved with an undeciphered Punic inscription, and is approximately 90 cm long, 5 cm thick at the front edge and weighs 170 kg. Because the ram is hollow, it has accumulated organisms and sediment inside and out.

In 2019, it was cleaned and restored by ICR materials scientists. As part of the restoration, all marine animals were collected with hardened biological material and sediment blocks inside and outside the ram. These samples were then studied by Ricci and his colleagues at the ICR, the University of Rome Tor Vergata, the Italian National Interuniversity Consortium for Marine Sciences (CoNISMa), the National Research Council of Oristano, the ‘Parthenope University of Naples and Sapienza University of Rome.


The ram under study in the laboratory. Image credit: Image credit: Istituto Centrale per il Restauro (ICR) – Laboratory of biological investigation


The scientists aimed to compare the species associated with the ram with those found in natural Mediterranean habitats, and thus reconstruct how it had been colonized – mainly by dispersing larvae – from these habitats. Another goal was to understand the mechanisms by which species already established in the ram can allow other species to thrive.

Ricci and his colleagues found a species-rich, structurally and spatially complex community with 114 species of living invertebrates. These included 33 species of gastropods, 25 species of bivalves, 33 species of polychaete worms and 23 species of bryozoans. This assemblage of species was statistically the most similar to those found in shallow-water detritus beds and seagrass beds, and on well-lit rocky seabeds and “coralligenous” reefs, which are built on hard substrates in the sea. the penumbra by algae with a calcareous skeleton.

“We deduce that the main ‘builders’ of this community are organisms such as polychaetes, bryozoans and some species of bivalves. Their tubes, valves and colonies attach directly to the surface of the wreck, ”said co-author Dr Edoardo Casoli of Sapienza University in Rome.
“Other species, notably the bryozoans, play the role of ‘binders’: their colonies form bridges between the calcareous structures produced by the builders. Then there are the “inhabitants”, who are not attached but move freely between the cavities of the superstructure. What we don’t know exactly yet is the order in which these organisms colonize the wrecks.

Corresponding author Dr Maria Flavia Gravina concluded: “Young wrecks generally harbor a less diverse community than their surroundings, with mostly long-instar species that can disperse far. By comparison, our ram is much more representative of the natural habitat: it sheltered a diverse community, comprising species with long and short larval stages, with sexual and asexual reproduction, and with sessile and motile adults, which live in colonies or in solitary. We have thus shown that very old wrecks like our ram can constitute a new type of sampling tool for scientists, which effectively act as an “ecological memory” of colonization.


The ship’s ram as it was found on the seabed off Sicily at a depth of nearly 90 m. Image credit: K. Egorov / Società per la Documentazione dei Siti Sommersi – Global Underwater Explorers (SDSS-GUE)


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Octopus brain diversity study reveals https://elsverds.org/octopus-brain-diversity-study-reveals/ Wed, 08 Dec 2021 16:29:18 +0000 https://elsverds.org/octopus-brain-diversity-study-reveals/ Day octopus (Octopus cyanea) Source: National Marine Sanctuaries, via Wikimedia Commons. Public domain. In a new study, researchers at the University of Queensland used advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to visualize the brains of several species of octopus. The conclusions, published in Current biology, shed new light on the brains of octopus and reveal […]]]>

Day octopus (Octopus cyanea)

Source: National Marine Sanctuaries, via Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

In a new study, researchers at the University of Queensland used advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to visualize the brains of several species of octopus. The conclusions, published in Current biology, shed new light on the brains of octopus and reveal a previously unknown neuroanatomical diversity.

Exceptional octopuses

Our current knowledge of octopus brain anatomy and associated behavior is primarily based on studies of one species, the nocturnal European octopus. Common octopus. But octopus species vary widely in their ecological niches, habitats and behaviors. Some species live in visually complex and crowded coral reefs, while others inhabit deeper waters, which are relatively featureless and more empty. Some species are active during the day, while others are nocturnal. And among the octopuses, there are some species that are masters of camouflage and some that have demonstrated complex cognitive abilities.

Yet how these different ecologies and behaviors are reflected in the octopus’ central nervous system was largely unknown. Researchers used high-resolution MRIs to create detailed, three-dimensional, digital images of octopus brains and show how brain development is linked to animal lifestyles and environments.

Totti, via Wikimedia Commons.  Distributed under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Blue-striped octopus (Hapalochlaena fasciata)

Source: Totti, via Wikimedia Commons. Distributed under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Lead author Wen-Sung Chung and colleagues chose four species to study, including a deep-sea octopus (Vampyroteuthis infernalis, the vampire squid), a solitary nocturnal species (Hap alochlaena fasciata, the octopus with blue lines) and two inhabitants of different reefs active during the day (Abdopus capricornicus and Cyan octopus, the octopus of the day).

Chung says these last two species of diurnal octopus are interesting for several reasons. In addition to being active during the day and possessing excellent camouflage, they regularly interact with other animals.

“We know that most octopuses are solitary and rarely interact with others outside of mating season,” says Chung. “But these octopuses often interact with others of the same species as well as with animals of different species.”

The octopus of the day, Cyan octopus, for example, has been documented to hunt in conjunction with reef fish and can even communicate with fish using distinctive gestures.

Brain complexity and lifestyle

Overall, Chung and his colleagues found that the enlargement, division and folding of the visual and learning lobes of the octopus brain are associated with their habits and habitats.

For example, the vampire squid, Vampyroteuthis infernalis, lives in the deep sea and has a slow pace of life with limited behavioral interactions. It also has a less complex and smoother brain than species that inhabit shallower waters and more complex environments. These reef-living diurnal octopuses have more complex brain structures with more folds.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), via Wikimedia Commons.  Distributed under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis)

Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), via Wikimedia Commons. Distributed under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

“This brain folding was speculated in octopuses because more complex brains with more folds can increase the ability to support advanced cognition or learning,” Chung explains. Folding increases the area and volume of the brain, and in vertebrates, more brain folds are an indicator of increased size, complexity, and information processing capacity.

Additionally, Chung and his colleagues found that in reef octopuses, their vertical brain lobe (which plays a role in learning and memory) is made up of seven subdivisions. Previous studies of the solitary and the nocturnal Common octopus showed that it only had five subdivisions. Chung says these species may have more brain subdivisions and folds in order to support their behavioral complexity.

Secrets of cephalopods

These findings are intriguing but raise more questions for Chung. One of these is why octopuses invest so much energy in developing their brains when they only live for about a year.

Totti, via Wikimedia Commons.  Distributed under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Day octopus (Octopus cyanea)

Source: Totti, via Wikimedia Commons. Distributed under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Another mystery is that they are color blind, but they do incredible feats of camouflage. Chung says their ability to see polarized light could be a factor. His team has developed a polarization vision camera, allowing them to see what the octopus sees, and an ongoing project is studying how octopuses use different properties of light, including polarization, in their camouflage.

“They are iconic marine animals, but we know very little about them,” says Chung. “I hope our study can spark more interest in these unique animals and stimulate more research into their brains and behavior. There is a lot we can learn from cephalopods.


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Dominant species determine the pattern of correlation between species and genetic diversity in the rainforest https://elsverds.org/dominant-species-determine-the-pattern-of-correlation-between-species-and-genetic-diversity-in-the-rainforest/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 06:54:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/dominant-species-determine-the-pattern-of-correlation-between-species-and-genetic-diversity-in-the-rainforest/ Species diversity can be causally influenced by the genetic diversity of a dominant species. As tropical forests have a very high diversity of species, it is not clear whether the model of correlation between species and genetic diversity (SGDC) depends on the ecological role of focal species. In a study published in Plant Diversity, researchers […]]]>

Species diversity can be causally influenced by the genetic diversity of a dominant species. As tropical forests have a very high diversity of species, it is not clear whether the model of correlation between species and genetic diversity (SGDC) depends on the ecological role of focal species.

In a study published in Plant Diversity, researchers at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences attempted to reveal the underlying mechanisms of species coexistence in species-rich communities. They found that the adaptive genetic diversity of dominant species contributes to species coexistence and community assembly.

The researchers used high-throughput DNA sequencing to derive the adaptive, neutral, and total genetic diversity of two coexisting tree species, a canopy-dominant tree species, Parashorea chinensis, and an abundant tree species in understory, Pittosporopsis kerrii, which can shape the community characteristics of the seasonal rainforest of Xishuangbanna.

They also quantified the correlation patterns between species and the genetic diversity of both species and community species.

Using structural equation modeling (SEM), the researchers further deciphered the hierarchical relationships between genetic and species diversity of the two species and environmental variables.

The study showed that the adaptive genetic diversity of the dominant understory species, Pi. Kerrii, and the species richness of rarefied trees were negatively correlated, but that there was no significant correlation between adaptive genetic diversity of the canopy dominant species Pa. chinensis, the largest biomass in the community.

The SEM analysis revealed that the two levels of biodiversity were causally related, as increasing adaptive genetic diversity resulted in increased species diversity by promoting coexistence.

The availability of nitrogen in the soil was the main driver of the observed correlations between species and genetic diversity. The availability of soil nitrogen has played an important role in the structuring of species diversity and the adaptive genetic diversity of dominant canopy species.

“Our results reveal the important ecological role of dominant species in competitive interactions and the regulation of community structure, and they highlight the important ecological link between genetic diversity and species diversity,” said Dr LI Qiaoming, first author of the study.

/ Public distribution. This material from the original organization / authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author (s). See it in full here.


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