Journal: African Journal of Ecology
Location: Marsabit Protected Area, Kenya

The distribution of 9 satellite-collared elephants (4 females, 5 bulls) around a volcanic shield with a forestsavanna habitat mosaic in Marsabit National Park and Reserve, Kenya, was influenced most heavily by proximity to drinking water (24% – 13% for permanent water bodies and 11% for seasonal rivers). Elevation contributed 15% to the variation in distribution, but this is probably because vegetation structure is very dependent on elevation – shrubland contributed 10%, and forest 9%, with elephants preferring high forested elevations in the dry season and low shrubland in the wet season. Human proximity was also significant: distance from human settlements contributed 8% and distance from minor roads 7%. 27% of the variation was not significantly correlated to anything in particular.

Ngene SM, Skidmore AK, Van Gils H, Douglas-Hamilton I, Omondi P, 2009. “Elephant distribution around a volcanic shield dominated by a mosaic of forest and savanna (Marsabit, Kenya)” African Journal of Ecology 47(2): 234-245, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2008.01018.x

Affiliations: Kenya Wildlife Service; International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC); Save the Elephant Trust.

Journal: Fungal Ecology
Location: Northeastern Germany

12 protostelid (microscopic slime mold) species were found in 15 samples of aquatic and terrestrial litter taken from northeast German ponds, 90% of species (including all of the most common) being found in both types of litter. Terrestrial litter contained more protostelids (14% of cultures) than aquatic litter (12%), and the water column contained none.

Tesmer J, Schnittler M, 2009. “Aquatic protostelids – a study from northeastern Germany” Fungal Ecology 2:(3) 140-144, doi:10.1016/j.funeco.2009.02.001

Affiliations: Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems
Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald

Journal:Fisheries Management and Ecology
Location: England and Wales, UK

In 2004 and 2005, 187 fish kills were investigated in lake fisheries in England and Wales, predominantly stocked with Common Carp. The fish kills largely occurred in Spring (April – June) in lakes with high stocking densities (>1500 kg ha−1), a uniform habitat, and few aquatic shore plants (macrophytes). Mortality was mainly from parasitic infections (White Spot, Chilodonella species, Ichthyobodo necator, and Fish Lice) and ulcerative diseases caused by infection with the bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida, and secondary bacterial infections of other Aeromonas and Pseudomonas bacteria. Recent stocking was linked to Carp fish kills.

Common Carp – Cyprinus carpio
White Spot – Ichthyophthirius multifiliis
Fish Louse – Argulus sp.

Hewlett NR, Snow J, Britton JR, 2009. “The role of management practices in fish kills in recreational lake fisheries in England and Wales” Fisheries Management and Ecology, 16(3): 248 – 254, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2400.2009.00671.x

Affiliations: Environment Agency, UK
Bournemouth University, UK

Journal: Insect Conservation and Diversity
Location: Sierra Chincua and Cerro Pelon, Mexico

Monarch butterflies overwinter in the Sierra Chincua and Cerro Pelon, Mexico, for a period of 154 days. During this time, they cluster on oyamel fir trees, which are on average 1.4 °C warmer than surrounding temperatures at night (protecting from freezing) and 1.2 °C cooler during the day (slowing the loss of fat stores). Older trees (with wider trunks) had more beneficial microclimates.

Monarch Butterfly – Danaus plexippus
Oyamel Fir – Abies religiosa

Brower LP, Williams EH, Slayback DA, Fink LS, Ramirez MI, Zubieta RR, Garcia MIL, Gier P, Lear JA, van Hook T, 2009. “Oyamel fir forest trunks provide thermal advantages for overwintering monarch butterflies in Mexico.” Insect Conservation and Diversity, DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2009.00052.x
Affiliations: Sweet Briar College, VA; Hamilton College, NY; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM); Huntingdon College, AL; National Cathedral School, Washington, DC.

Journal: African Journal of Ecology
Location: Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia

Of 612 Mediterranean Killifish caught in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia, 54 (8.8%) had deformed spines, and were 8 times more likely to be deformed when from polluted areas. Deformities occurred less frequently as size increased, more often in fish under 25mm long.

Mediterranean Killifish: Aphanius fasciatus

Messaoudi I, Kessabi K, Kacem A, Saïd K, 2009. “Incidence of spinal deformities in natural populations of Aphanius fasciatus Nardo, 1827 from the Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia.” Africal Journal of Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2008.00972.x
Affiliations: ISBM (Institut Superieur de Biotechnologie de Monastir)

Journal: African Journal of Ecology
Location: Uganda

Blue Gum Chalcids are highly invasive gall-forming wasps that attack eucalypts. In Uganda, there was no infestation found at high altitudes from 1938 to 2452m (the highest tested) above sea level, which includes the range of Maiden’s Gum.

Blue Gum Chalcid – Leptocybe invasa
Maiden’s Gum – Eucalyptus globulus ssp maidenii

Nyeko P, Mutitu EK, Day RK, 2009. “Eucalyptus infestation by Leptocybe invasa in Uganda.” African Journal of Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2008.01004.x
Affiliations: Makerere University, KEFRI (Kenya Forestry Research Institute), CABI (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International)

Journal: Animal Conservation
Location: Mary River?, Australia

The length of each underwater dive by hatchlings of the endangered Mary River Turtle was reduced by 51% in in hypoxic (depleted oxygen) water, as one would find at a dam, indicating there was insufficient oxygen for the turtles to respire underwater for as long, which in turn may cause them to be preyed upon more often. Evidence suggests that the turtles do not become accilimatised to hypoxia.

Mary River Turtle – Elusor macrurus

Clark NJ, Gordos MA, Franklin CE, 2009. “Implications of river damming: the influence of aquatic hypoxia on the diving physiology and behaviour of the endangered Mary River turtle.” Animal Conservation, 12(2): 147-154, DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00234.x
Affiliations: The University of Queensland, NSW DPI (New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

Journal: African Journal of Ecology
Location: Serengeti, Tanzania

In the Tanzanian Serengeti, several female ostriches contribute their clutch to the same nest, with each nest containing up to 38 eggs. Eggs were laid sooner in the western low-altitude area than in the eastern uplands.

Ostrich – Struthio camelus

Magige FJ, Stokke BG, Sortland R, Røskaft E, 2009. “Breeding biology of ostriches (Struthio camelus) in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania.” DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2008.01002.x
Affiliations: University of Dar es Salaam, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Journal: Basic and Applied Ecology
Location: Europe (Switzerland?)

When 50% of the leaf area of Canadian Goldenrod was removed by clipping, plants were 11.9% shorter up to 20 days, but 13.5% taller 42 to 138 after clipping began, so clipped plants were not shorter overall. However, they did have 12.2% thinner stems, and flowers had 43.2% less mass. When the plants were sprayed with jasmonic acid (a plant hormone that disturbs insect digestion and thus protects the plant from being eaten), the internodes (length between nodes) were 14.7% shorter, leaf area was reduced by 4.6%, it took 4.4 more days to flower, and flowers had 32.2% less mass than unsprayed plants.

Canadian Goldenrod – Solidago canadensis

van Kleunen M, Ramponi G, Schmid B, 2004. “Effects of herbivory simulated by clipping and jasmonic acid on Solidago canadensis.” Basic and Applied Ecology 5(2): 173-181, DOI: 10.1078/1439-1791-00225
Affiliations: Universität Zürich

Journal: Animal Conservation
Location: Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Artificial ground-nesting birds‘ nests were placed along lines 200m to 34km from man-made vulture restaurants and scattered goat carcasses, and of the 67% lines predated by carrion-eaters, 90% of nests were attacked.

Cortés-Avizanda A, Carrete M, Serrano D, Donázar JA, 2009. “Carcasses increase the probability of predation of ground-nesting birds: a caveat regarding the conservation value of vulture restaurants.” Animal Conservation, 12(1): 85-88, doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2008.00231.x
Affiliations: CSIC (Spanish National Research Council)