O brave new world,
That has such creatures in't!.
Recently in Biodiversity Category
That's a figure illustrating the times at which we made comparisons of leaf traits: (1) leaves in the same developmental cohort and in summer or winter of the same year and (2) leaves in different developmental cohorts during the same season of the year. Click on the image for a full-size pop-up. Here's the title and abstract:
Developmental Plasticity in Protea as an Evolutionary Response to Environmental Clines in the Cape Floristic Region
Local adaptation along steep environmental gradients likely contributes to plant diversity in the Cape Region of South Africa, yet existing analyses of trait divergence are limited to static measurements of functional traits rather than trajectories of individual development. We explore whether five taxa of evergreen shrubs (Protea section Exsertae) differ in their developmental trajectories and capacity for plasticity using two environmentally-distinct common gardens in South Africa. We measured seedlings in the summer-dry season and winter-wet season of each of two consecutive years to characterize ontogeny and plasticity within years, as same-age leaf cohorts mature, and between years, i.e., from leaf one cohort to the next. We compared patterns of development between gardens to assess whether trait trajectories are programmed versus plastic and examined whether developmental differences covaried with characteristics of a seedling's home environment. We detected plasticity in developmental trajectories for leaf area, stomatal size, stomatal pore index, and to a limited extent specific leaf area, but not for stomatal density. We showed that the species growing in the harshest environments exhibits both the smallest increase in leaf area between years and the least change in SLA and photosynthetic rates as leaves age within years. These results show that within this clade, species have diverged in developmental trajectories and plasticity as well as in mean trait values. Some of these differences may be associated with adaptation to cold and drought stress within an environmentally-complex region.
You can download a PDF version of the draft using the link above or read it online at http://blogs.aibs.org/niba/
In recent years, a number of workshops have explored the scientific and technical barriers to and opportunities in digitizing the nation's natural science collections. These discussions led to the development of A Strategic Plan for a Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance (http://digbiocol.wordpress.com/brochure).
At this time, the National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Geological Survey, and other federal agencies have begun to address some recommendations included in the Strategic Plan. It has become clear, however, that a thorough Implementation Plan will help ensure that the vision and goals of the Strategic Plan are achieved in an efficient and timely way.
A writing committee consisting of individuals who participated in the September 2012 workshop has now developed this draft Implementation Plan for a Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance. The writing committee has identified areas in this plan that still require additional work. However, at this time, the committee also seeks outside comments and suggestions on the draft plan. The draft plan is rapidly nearly completion, but there is still time for consideration of public comments. Thus, please review the following document (or download a PDF version) and post your comments and suggestions on this web site. Alternatively, you can email comments to email@example.com. At this time, the writing committee will work to thoroughly consider all comments received by 5:00 p.m. eastern time on Sunday, November 25, 2012.
From the text on the YouTube page:
The Bug Chicks (Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker) designate a new holiday called International Lesser Known Pollinator Appreciation Day. To celebrate, they wrote an anthem and invited The Fly Guys, a barbershop quartet, to sing it for them. This was a freebie video they made for Pollinator Live, a national webcast from the US Forest Service.
Biodiversity is all about the variety of life on earth and how to protect it. But the ongoing global summit on this important subject has generated a variety of trash.
An incredible 9.2 tonnes of solid waste was generated during the five-day Meeting of Parties (MoP) which concluded on Friday. This huge waste was generated by over 1,000 delegates from 65 countries in just five days. It includes paper, plastic, metal, glass and food.
When the conference opened on October 1 the waste was mere 130 kg. The next day it increased to 630 kg and the third day touched 2.1 tonnes. On the fifth day when the MoP ended, a whopping 3.4 tonnes waste was generated
For those of you, like me, who are metrically challenged, 9.2 tonnes is equal to 10.1 tons. That's a lot of garbage. With about 1000 delegates attending that's 0.01 tons or 20 pounds of garbage apiece in 5 days. A green conference should be able to do better than that. Much of the waste will be recycled, but it would have been better had it never been produced.
If some smidgen of bacterial goo was found on a faraway asteroid, it would be the discovery of the year, perhaps the century. Life on Earth would not be alone! Yet when it comes to the life that surrounds us, people can be remarkably cavalier, even downright callous: What's another frog species more or less? What's it do for us, anyways? (Wired)In his introduction to the report Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission has this to say:
The future of many species is going to depend on reconciling the needs of people and nature, and ensuring economic development and conservation do not undermine each other. If society believes that all species have a right to exist on the planet,then why are 100 of the most threatened species on the planet receiving so little funding or attention? At a time when thousands of species are truly on the edge of extinction, it is time to ask society to take a stand - to declare that the 100 species in this book, and millions of others like them, have the right to exist on this planet.Head over to the IUCN website for more information and to download a PDF copy of the report for yourself.
From the description on Vimeo:
Toda la belleza del Parque Nacional Omora en Tierra del Fuego sirve como escenario para esta historia documental en la cual se expone una nueva forma de enseñar la ecología, desde una mirada ética y humana. Los filósofos y biólogos de la Universidad de Texas y la de Magallanes nos conducen por la riqueza de uno de los bosques más australes del planeta.The Google Translate version:
All the beauty of the National Park in Tierra del Fuego Omora serves as the setting for this story documentary which exposes a new way to teach ecology, from an ethical and humane. Philosophers and biologists at the University of Texas and the Magellan lead us by the wealth of one of the world's southernmost forests.Hat tip: Adam Wilson, Planet Flux.