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The price of safety

The world is a dangerous place for a small insect. With so many would-be predators, many insects turn to chemical defences in order to protect themselves. These chemicals range from the toxic to the merely smelly or bad tasting. They all have one purpose however, to...

Which hosts do root hemiparasitic plants chose from a plant community?

As a part of my PhD I wanted to test the quality of 13 different host species for the hemiparasite Rhinanthus alectorolophus, and I planned to include also one host mixture, because this might be the more natural host environment for the parasite. But which mixture...

Towards a common fire strategy scheme for plants and animals

One of the unifying approaches in ecology is to search for common strategies, that is, types of mechanisms and responses to environmental factors and disturbances. Plant strategies to persist in fire-prone ecosystems (and the traits involved) are nowadays quite well...

MOOSE ARE DRIVERS OF CHANGE INFLUENCING ADAJACENT STREAM ECOSYSTEMS

Moose have altered the direction of forest regeneration following spruce budworm outbreak and created vast areas of spruce-moose savannah – particularly in Cape Breton Highlands National Park (see above picture). We conducted a field study to investigate whether the...

How does urbanization affect herbivory?

Urban environments are expanding at a rapid rate with over half of the human population residing now in cities. This fast development promises dramatic changes on physical environment, ecological communities and local and global ecosystems in the coming decades. For...