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: 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)

Journal: BioScience
Location: Delaware Bay, USA

In the 1990s, there was a 90% decline in horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) egg availability due to a 10-fold increase in harvesting for bait, resulting in a decline in body weight of their predator the red knot (Calidris canutus rufa), which congregates in the Delaware Bay every May to feed on the eggs. Between 1997 and 2007 red knots declined by 75%, and the proportion weighing more than 180g by their usual departure from the Bay (26th-28th May) decreased from 0.6-0.8 to 0.14-0.4. The horseshoe crab harvest has continued to increase despite restrictions, and red knots are not recovering.

Niles LJ, Bart J, Sitters HP, Dey AD, Clark KE, Atkinson PW, Baker AJ, Bennett KA, Kalasz KS, Clark NA, Clark J, Gillings S, Gates AS, González PM, Hernandez DE, Minton CDT, Morrison RIG, Porter RR, Ross RK, and Veitch CR, 2009. “Effects of Horseshoe Crab Harvest in Delaware Bay on Red Knots: Are Harvest Restrictions Working?” BioScience 59(2):153-164.
Affiliations: Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey; USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Centre; International Wader Study Group Bulletin; New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife; British Trust for Ornithology; Royal Ontario Museum; Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife; Fundacion Inalafquen; Richard Stockton College; Victoria Wader Studies Group; Carleton University; Canadian Wildlife Service; The Shorebird Project.

Journal: Science
Location: ?, USA

It is suggested that some pea aphids, a crop pest, are tolerant to heat stress because of bacterial symbionts, Buchnera aphidicola. Members of a strain of heat-sensitive pea aphids with only a non-resistant symbiont were put in 2x2x2m mesh cages, and heat shocks were simulated by putting plastic sheets over the cages (increasing temperature by ~5°C to what would normally affect pea aphid reproduction but still occur naturally). Introduction of predators does not necessarily cause the number of aphids to drop. The number of pea aphids was reduced when subjected to heat shocks, and the presence of 7-spot ladybird predators made no difference (X2 = 2.4, P > 0.5). However, when harlequin ladybirds were introduced, the effect of heat shock was alleviated (X2 = 41.8, P <10–6) because they only predate when population density of aphids is high.

In pairs of one green aphid clone and one red aphid clone, the population growth rate of both red heat-sensitive clones (0.243 ± 0.009) and green heat sensitive clones (0.269 ± 0.008) was greater than their green (0.214 ± 0.007, selection coefficient 0.25) and red (0.247 ± 0.010, selection coefficient 0.20) heat-tolerant counterpart, respectively. When subjected to heat shocks, the growth rate of heat-tolerant clones was notably greater for both green (0.234 ± 0.023 compared to 0.155 ± 0.027 in sensitive reds) and red (0.208 ± 0.031 compared to 0.129 ± 0.033 in sensitive greens) clones. Although the population growth rate was reduced in heat-sensitive clones upon heat shock, this was less than the decrease in growth of heat-sensitive clones (X2A = 12.1, P < 0.001; X2B = 6.96, P < 0.01). Thus rapid evolution of heat-tolerant pea aphid strains may occur if climate change causes more frequent heat shocks.

Pea Aphid – Acyrthosiphon pisum
Seven-Spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Harlequin Ladybird – Harmonia axyridis

Harmon JP, Moran NA, Ives AR, 2009. “Species Response to Environmental Change: Impacts of Food Web Interactions and Evolution” Science 323(5919): 1347-1350, DOI: 10.1126/science.1167396
Affiliations: University of Wisconsin, and University of Arizona