Biology Environment Science Policy 

Does Habitat Fragmentation Affect Biodiversity?

By Jacqueline Mattos (@mattosjacq) Most scientists used to believe that habitat fragmentation was a real threat to biodiversity, but some controversial ideas have made this a potential topic for further discussion. Iconic experiments in the Brazilian Amazon, for example, have shown the edge effects on the ability of small patches to retain species. Edge effects relate to the possible outcomes of having too much border on chopped forests, which creates a boundary between two habitats. Where there is deforestation, patches are the remaining pieces of natural vegetation among other human-affected…

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Wire Netting on Trees Reduces Impact by Elephants Animals 

Wire Netting on Trees Reduces Impact by Elephants

By Kelly Derham African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are massive, weighing up to 7 tons, and eat up to 300 pounds of food in one day. Much of their diet is made up of various parts of trees, including the bark, leaves, branches, roots, and thorns. When elephants feed on trees, they are capable of knocking the trees over, which can create habitats that are more suitable for other animals, such as antelopes, lizards, or ants, than for the elephants themselves. Because elephants create altered environments through their feeding habits they…

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Butterflies: A worn butterfly enjoys refreshment in a garden. tentative identification: Meadow Brown; German Ochsenauge; Latin Maniola jurtina Animals Environment 

Unexpected Biodiversity in Iberian Butterflies

By Steven Spence Winged Flowers A fallen blossom returning to the bough, I thought – But no, a butterfly. (Arakida Moritake, Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology) [落花枝にかへると見れば胡蝶哉 守武 落花枝にかへると見れば胡ちょかな 守武] Good News On Biodiversity This week we have encouraging data to share with you about butterflies in Europe. Biodiversity is a major concern in Europe and elsewhere. However, a recently released study of butterflies in Spain and Portugal suggests biodiversity may have been significantly underestimated. The study conducted by the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (IBE) shows that 28% of butterfly…

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