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.

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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: Basic and Applied Ecology
Location: Hainich, Germany

In Hainich National Park, and old-growth forest in Germany, leaves in the upper canopy of eight tree species varied in size from 12.9 to 19.4 m2 per kg, were covered in 125 to 313 stomata per mm, contained 95-175mol Nitrogen per m2, and had a delta 13C value (the degree of carbon enrichment compared to inorganic matter, the more negative the higher), of -27.81 to -25.85 parts per thousand (typical of C3 photosynthesis). Sycamore, Hornbeam, Ash, and Linden saplings had a maximum CO2 assimilation rate (Amax, indicating photosynthetic rate) of 5.0 and 6.4 mumol m–2s–1. Adult Hornbeams had the lowest Amax (10.5), and Ash the highest (16.3). Lower canopy Ash also had the highest Amax (12.0, compared to 5.0-5.6).

Sycamore – Acer pseudoplatanus
Hornbeam – Carpinus betulus
Ash – Fraxinus Excelsior
Linden – Tilia platyphyllos

Hölscher D, 2004. “Leaf traits and photosynthetic parameters of saplings and adult trees of co-existing species in a temperate broad-leaved forest.” Basic and Applied Ecology, 5(2): 163-172, DOI: 10.1078/1439-1791-00218
Affiliations: University of Göttingen

Nowak D.J., Kuroda M., Crane D.E. 2004 “Tree mortality rates and tree population projections in Baltimore, Maryland, USA” Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 2(3): 139-147(9), DOI: 10.1078/1618-8667-00030
USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, NY
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, NY
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

In Baltimore, 6.6% of trees die annually, with an annual decrease in the number of trees of 4.2%. Particularly high mortality rates are seen on sites used for transportation, and commercial and industrial areas, whereas residential areas have relatively few tree deaths. Urban forestry in Baltimore is projected to decline.