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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Ecologists' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
4:01 pm
Ants and Aphids: Mutualism, and Some Photos
Has anyone ever observed the ant-aphid mutualism, where ants "farm" aphids for their "honeydew"? I've seen it year after year in my garden, but I never photographed it until recently.

I recently took a picture of ants tending aphids on a camellia and then I wrote a post about this relationship on my tea blog.
Saturday, August 28th, 2010
10:25 am
Overposting & Etiquette
I just deleted a few posts that I and a number of other users saw as overposting. It's fine to come here to promote your communities or projects, especially when they are ecology-related, but this is not the appropriate place to use as a place to post newsletters or dump mass-posted material. I did a quick google search and found that these posts were posted, verbatim, on at least 22 other websites.

Please limit posts here to things relevant to this community, and things which can spark discussion. Please keep cross-posts written specifically for this community. If I can type a sentence of your post into google and find 22 hits, this means you are not writing specifically for this community.


Also a clarification about what this community is and what it is not. It is for discussion of ecology--the study of ecosystems and the relationships between different living organisms and non-living systems in these ecosystems. Some discussion of politics, culture, and other social issues is always welcome here--especially in the context of issues that have direct ecological implications.

But it is not an umbrella community for anything "green" or "eco-friendly". If you are doing a large project with many components that has ecological implications, such as protecting, restoring, or halting the destruction of ecosystems--then focus on the ecological elements of your project that are doing these things! Or focus on the ways in which the other (social, political, etc.) elements of your project relate to such things.


Also, one more thing, I do think that we regular members need to make sure to keep positive, even when people are being blatantly rude or inappropriate. If someone is overposting or posting irrelevant material, I think it's most constructive to point this out directly and respectfully. Being dismissive of people ultimately keeps them from understanding and realizing the ways in which what they've done has irritated people or overstepped bounds--and makes them more likely to continue to do it to others in the future (even if they are forced out of one community).

Also if things really get out of hand and just need to be deleted, you can always bug me too and I can delete things. Apologies that I haven't been as on top of this as I could be!
Friday, June 25th, 2010
4:20 pm
Sustainability: Building a Consensus between Liberals & Conservatives
I wrote a post on another blog (besides my Livejournal) which might be relevant to this community:

Sustainability: Building a Consensus Between Liberals and Conservatives

I think this post is of particular interest to this community because I notice a strong tendency for people in this community to assume that caring about ecology necessarily equates to embracing a "liberal" viewpoint, as defined in the rather narrow context of American politics. I think the issue is more complex than that, and I'm hoping to spark some reflection and critical discussion on this point. The article is oriented both towards liberals and conservatives, calling liberals to listen more, and give conservatives the benefit of the doubt more, and work more to include them...and also calling conservatives to step up to the plate, define and embrace an environmentalism of their own, and not allow liberals to "own" the environmentalist movement.

Let me know what you think, either commenting there or here on this post.
Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
5:10 pm
BP Oil Spill: Another Way To Help
eBird has put out a call to survey gulf coast birds in response to the BP Oil Spill.

If any of you live near the area, this is a great way to help out. There is very little known about some of the marshes...so people don't even know where it is most worthwhile to focus conservation efforts. eBird has also added new features allowing people to report oiled birds. Even if you are in an area not yet affected by the spill, surveying can be very important as it is likely that the spill will spread out over time and affect more areas. The more we know about what is in these ecosystems, the better equipped we will be to preserve and protect them!

eBird is a great thing to get involved in anyway, whether or not you are thinking about the BP Oil spill. It is currently supported everywhere in North America and is a great way to contribute data on birds that can be used for science and conservation purposes.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
2:15 pm
Friday, March 12th, 2010
8:51 am
Saving of the unique natural area
I'd like to ask you to sign the international petition for saving of the unique forest at the Black sea (in Russia) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-forests-of-Utrish

Thank you!

Information about the problem:Collapse )
Thursday, February 4th, 2010
4:26 pm
eBird : a Database of Bird Observations
Apologies for not being active in this community lately!

I want to let people know about an awesome service/website...it's called eBird, and it's run by Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology. It's a shared database of bird observations. Professional ornithologists and hobbyist birdwatchers alike are able to contribute--you go out into the world and follow a set of simple protocols, identifying and counting birds to the best of your ability, and then enter it into the database. Then, everyone can view the collective data. Here are some examples of data that you can pull:

Range Map of the Common Raven - Hit the tabs to see other data!

List of All Species Reported in the State of Ohio - You can click on each species and it will show you detail of each sighting.

If you already birdwatch, using this site can be a great way to contribute to the collective body of ecological knowledge. It also is a useful way to look up species that you want to see by seeing what you would be likely to see in a given area, or looking up a species and seeing where and when you'd be likely to see it. If you've been thinking of picking up birdwatching, this site can be a motivating factor to get into birdwatching...it allows you to turn something from a fun and challenging hobby into a serious way to contribute to science and conservation! It's easy to look up where there are holes in the data too, and pick times and places to go birdwatching so that your data will be most useful. Even if you don't birdwatch, the data is available to the public and it's a great way to get up-to-date information about bird observations, which gives clues about populations and distribution.

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
8:08 pm
What is life?

Since September i've been working on a project. I have neglected posting about it here because i wanted to really dig in and understand it myself before i felt ready to share or debate.

Basically I want to redefine what we consider to be alive as our reasons for excluding what most consider "inanimate objects" just doesn't make sense to me and I would argue don't make sense even according to our current ideas of what is alive. It also solves the question of when did life "arise" on the planet as its always been here, just in a way that is different than what we think of as life. The earth itself is alive, so instead of there being this almost mystical change over from "inanimate matter" into "life" we have simply an evolution from one form of life to another, molecules into single cell organisms. It makes a lot more sense science usually prefers the simpler explanation.

Anway i've done a lot of writing and a lot more thinking on the subject and most of it is posted on my blog which I welcome you to read, comment on and question with me.

Friday, December 11th, 2009
5:14 pm
Pacific Rescue Plan.
Pacific PlanEven before the plans of establishment a free Sunland settlement on one of the Pacific Islands were declared, a large-scale strategic document - "The Pacific Plan of freedom and development" has been proposed for discussion of all interested countries, organizations and individuals. But the challenges to the Pacific island countries are so threatening, that it would be more correct speak about the plan of salvation.

We primarily mean the global warming environmental threat and rising of sea level because of it. Most Pacific countries actually threatened with extinction under the Ocean waters in the coming decades, may be in years. The entire population of such countries as the Republic of Kiribati etc. is already preparing to become environmental refugees. The problem of possible flooding is the primary problem of island states.

We can not say that this problem is outside international attention. In December 2009 Copenhagen hosts the Cop-15 international conference under the auspices of the UN. 110 Heads of States and Governments from over the world gathered in order to solve the problem of effective counteract global climate change. The main conference goal is the adoption a new agreement, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The new agreement will set commitments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases the largest developing countries (China, Brazil, and India) and the United States.

The participants intend to come to agreement on the establishment of a global fund to combat climate change. China and islands developing States believe that the developed countries are obliged to give $ 200 billion in aid to the fight against climate change. The disagreement consists in the fact that the rich world, led by the United States,
Monday, December 7th, 2009
11:28 am
i was wondering what theory or theories you think are central to ecology or ecological disciplines?

for example, intermediate disturbance theory says that a habitat's optimum species richness occurs when the disturbances that occur in the given habitat happen at an intermediate level, not at climax (Connell, J.H. 1978. Diversity in Tropical Rain Forests and Coral Reefs. Science 199: 1302-1310). i know this theory isn't perfect, but i think some ecologists still think this is a relevant theory. what else is there?
Friday, June 26th, 2009
10:37 am
Why Sunland project is absolutely possible and why it has to be done?
Many people are constantly asking us: “How are you going to arrange proper living conditions and other facilities for the sunlanders? How are you going to organize Sunland’s economy?” Some people even express doubts in our fairness, while quite the contrary others reproach us in unrealism and keenness on empty fantasies. In this short article I shall try to prove that the Sunland project is a genuine project and more over its significance goes beyond the framework of an ordinary settlement in some obscure location.

What we want to create on Sunland? If people think that we want to create some kind of village with customary middle-class conditions like in any American town, they are wrong. We want to demonstrate an alternative living style.
Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
9:07 pm
Thursday, May 14th, 2009
9:50 am
another science fiction: biocontrol of fire ants
an extension agent in Texas has imported 4 species of fly that is a parasitoid of fire ants. the fly comes from the same region where the ant is native in South America.

the maggot eats the brain and turns infected ants into zombies.
Saturday, May 2nd, 2009
1:08 pm
Webcam on a barn owl's nest
My faculty's mountain-moving bird prof's team has put up a webcam inside a barn owl nest for the pleasure of all bird lovers. Thought you'll enjoy it. here is the link.


Current Mood: amused
Friday, May 1st, 2009
11:03 pm
Food production systems
I guess this is essentially an ecological issue.

Read more...Collapse )
Thursday, April 30th, 2009
3:00 pm
How to Design a Solar-Powered Computing Device

Learn the great strides being made in solar-powered computing devices. To receive your FREE copy

Sunday, April 19th, 2009
10:34 pm
I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed a lot of dead bees. For the last few months every time I walk from my car to my apartment I see a dead bee on the ground (if not 2 or 3). I live in southern California and this doesn't happen just when its hot, so I don't think it's the heat. The bees haven't been stepped on, and nothing seems to be wrong with them except that they are dead. The other day there was one flying around on the ground (well, trying to fly) and I watched it for about 5 minutes. It flew for about a minute, then went on its side and started moving its back legs up to its mouth.

I'm new here, btw! :)

Current Mood: curious
Saturday, April 11th, 2009
11:03 am
British butterflies
The Independent is leading a national butterfly search. a large portion of the endemics are facing population declines. from the article:

"In the Great British Butterfly Hunt we will seek to find and report on each one of our 58 varieties (56 residents and two Continental migrants) – from the Glanville fritillary, found only on the Isle of Wight, to the chequered skipper, now occurring just in the Scottish Highlands. In a mixture of safari, national health check and conservation campaign, we will report from the Norfolk Broads on the state of the swallowtail, from the oak woods of Hampshire on the purple emperor, and from the hills of Somerset on the large blue, a lovely insect that became extinct in Britain in 1979 but has now been reintroduced, and – in a conservation miracle – is breeding again. We will report from right across the country on every single species.


But we are not launching the Great British Butterfly Hunt solely for public enjoyment, although that is a key reason. We want to raise awareness, for British butterflies are in crisis, with numbers falling to their lowest point ever in one of the worst wildlife declines Britain has seen.

Two successive washout summers have sent populations plunging: at least a dozen species are at their lowest level ever recorded, many more are in serious trouble, and numerous local butterfly colonies are on the brink of dying out. Three species in particular, the wood white, the Duke of Burgundy and the high brown fritillary, are now seen as being in real danger of national extinction."

this sounds like a great idea to raise awareness. since the UK is a more compact country, it seems like it could be a fun way to spot these little ones.
Monday, March 30th, 2009
3:41 pm
Paper request
Does anyone have access to the PDF to this article:
A comparison of ectomycorrhiza identification based on morphotyping and PCR-RFLP analysis
Stacey M. SAKAKIBARA, Melanie D. JONES, Michelle GILLESPIE, Shannon M. HAGERMAN, Mary E. FORREST, Suzanne W. SIMARD and Daniel M. DURALL
Mycological Research , Volume 106, Issue 08, August 2002, pp 868-878
doi:10.1017/S0953756202006263, Published Online by Cambridge University Press 24 Oct 2002
I can get as far as the abstract and then I'm stuck

ecologists cross posted

Current Mood: busy
Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
12:13 pm
Molcular methods used to identify plant roots?
I know this is a bit of a long shot, but I've been on a never-ending quest to find a paper that specifically uses molecular methods to identify plant roots that associate with ectomyocorrhizae fungi. I've done some extensive cross referencing of of papers that I've already read, and a lot of topic searching on Google scholar, and Web of Science, and still have not found what I'm looking for. I have found a few papers on some universal plant primers that I can use to id the plant roots of trees, but I'm hoping I can do a digest and gel to see the differences on them, and not have to take them to direct sequencing. I'd really love to know if I could morphotype them, but I'm not going to hold my breath on that one. So does anyone out there know of any papers that specifically use molecular methods (PCR and RFLP) to ID plant roots?

Cross posted to _scientists_

Current Mood: curious
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