Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Island-scale study reveals climate-change effects

Date:
January 31, 2011
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
A large-scale experiment with ants, lizards and seaweed on a dozen Caribbean islands shows that predicting the effects of environmental change on complex natural ecosystems requires a large laboratory.

Stephanie Porter, a UC Davis graduate student on the left and Jonah Piovia-Scott on the right on one of 12 islands used in the study. This island is located in Pipe Creek in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas.
Credit: David Spiller

A large-scale UC Davis experiment with ants, lizards and seaweed on a dozen Caribbean islands shows that predicting the effects of environmental change on complex natural ecosystems requires a large laboratory.

Related Articles


The study, which was led by UC Davis ecologist Jonah Piovia-Scott, is described in a recent issue of the journal Science.

Piovia-Scott said previous studies have found that environmental changes (such as shifts in temperature, precipitation or storm severity) can affect ecosystems by adding or taking away plant and animal species, as well as by shifting the seasonal timing of key events (such as reproduction and migration).

"What we learned from our work in the Bahamas is that such changes can also alter how intact ecological communities function," said Piovia-Scott. "But it took a big experimental setup to reveal those changes, and it will take more experiments like this one to learn how to develop successful conservation and management strategies."

In their 2008-2009 experiment, Piovia-Scott and colleagues put seaweed on Caribbean islands to imitate the effects of environmental change (overfishing and nutrient runoff are expected to encourage global algae growth, and seasonal storms that deposit seaweed on islands are becoming more frequent as the climate warms). Then they recorded how the presence of the seaweed altered the interactions between island plants, the insects that ate the plants, and the ants and lizards that ate those insects.

The details are reported in "Effects of Experimental Seaweed Deposition on Lizard and Ant Predation in an Island Food Web" by Piovia-Scott and fellow UC Davis ecologists David Spiller and Thomas Schoener.

Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation. The Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources granted permission to conduct the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Piovia-Scott, D. A. Spiller, T. W. Schoener. Effects of Experimental Seaweed Deposition on Lizard and Ant Predation in an Island Food Web. Science, 2011; 331 (6016): 461 DOI: 10.1126/science.1200282

Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "Island-scale study reveals climate-change effects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131092153.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2011, January 31). Island-scale study reveals climate-change effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131092153.htm
University of California - Davis. "Island-scale study reveals climate-change effects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131092153.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins