Study challenges ecology’s ‘Field of Dreams’ hypothesis:
Restoring habitat requires much more than just the right plants

A new study challenges the ‘Field of Dreams’ hypothesis in restoration ecology, which predicts that restoring plant biodiversity will lead to recovery of animal biodiversity. The study of restored tallgrass prairie found the effects of management strategies (specifically controlled burns and bison reintroduction) on animal communities were six times stronger on average than the effects of plant biodiversity.

Northern Illinois University

Science Daily
February 2, 2021

Image by cassi saari , CC by-SA 4.0

Invasive mussels now control a key nutrient in the American Great Lakes

The health of aquatic ecosystems depends on the supply of key nutrients, especially phosphorus. Too much phosphorus results in unwanted eutrophication, and much effort is spent on preventing phosphorus pollution of water bodies. In the World’s largest freshwater ecosystem, the North American Great Lakes, this control may have recently been lost to an invasive species. According to a new study, quagga mussels, which have spread across four of the five Great Lakes, have accumulated large amounts of phosphorus in their biomass, to the degree that their activities now regulate the supply of phosphorus to the ecosystem.

University of Minnesota

Science Daily
January 26, 2021

Image by oceanicadventures, CC by 4.0

Invasive tawny crazy ants have an intense craving for calcium – with implications for their spread in the US

Tawny crazy ants – named for their fast, erratic movements – can blanket the ground by the millions. Originating in South America and now established in parts of the southern U.S., they harm other insects, asphyxiate chickens and even short-circuit electronics in homes.

BY Ryan Reihart

The Conversation
January 21, 2021

Meet Ernie and Betty White: Two Conservation Dogs Sniffing Out Invasive Species in Wisconsin

Increasingly, canines’ powerful snouts are used in conservation work as well, searching for both endangered and invasive species. Now, two Milwaukee Labrador retrievers, Ernie, and Betty White, are using their schnozzes to search for New Zealand mud snails, an invasive species that has plagued Wisconsin waterways for the last decade

BY Elizabeth Gamillo

The Smithsonian
January 14, 2021

Tick Tock — A Timely Update on Ticks, Diseases & Prevention

Timothy McDermott, DVM, Ohio State University Extension, gives a 2020 update to his 2019 EAB University presentation on ticks — their spread & biology, as well as the diseases they vector, how to prevent them, and what to do when you find them.

How Non-Native Plants Are Contributing to a Global Insect Decline

The impact of introduced plants on native biodiversity has emerged as a hot-button issue in ecology. But recent research provides new evidence that the displacement of native plant communities is a key cause of a collapse in insect populations and is affecting birds as well.


Yale Environment 360
December 8, 2020

Arctic Ocean: climate change is flooding the remote north with light – and new species

The Arctic has been a remote place for much of its history. But climate change is bringing global problems and opportunities to its door.

Jørgen BergeUniversity of TromsøCarlos DuarteKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyDorte Krause-JensenAarhus UniversityKaren Filbee-DexterUniversité LavalKimberly HowlandUniversité du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), and Philippe ArchambaultUniversité Laval

The Conversation
December 6, 2020