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Science:假毛虫揭示最危险地图

标签:毛毛虫
摘要 : 与生活在更冷环境中相比,生活在热带或低海拔地区更危险。这是一个不走寻常路的新研究得出的结论。

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与生活在更冷环境中相比,生活在热带或低海拔地区更危险。这是一个不走寻常路的新研究得出的结论。

生物学家已经知道,植物和动物的种类会随着与赤道距离的增加而减少。而且,他们怀疑,物种间的相互作用也有类似影响,但没有人在不同地区系统地进行过相关研究。

于是,研究人员制作了2900只假毛毛虫(如图),40个同事将这些毛毛虫放置在不同纬度和海拔的31个地点,然后在4至18天后取回。

回到实验室后,生态学家整合了不同捕食者的攻击,例如他们从虫子身上检测到了鸟、老鼠和蚂蚁造成的破坏。结果显示,随着纬度每升高一度或赤道每向南或向北111公里,每天毛毛虫受到的攻击就减少2.7%。

同样的,在最远端——北极,捕食发生率是赤道的1/8。而在热带地区,节肢动物(主要是蚂蚁)攻击的数量存在差异:高度每增加100米,攻击率减低6.6%。

尽管人们尚不清楚这一趋势是否适用于植食者,但这意味着当生态学家计算生态体系动力学时,需要时刻记住这一情况。

原文链接:

Fake caterpillars reveal the worst places in the world to be prey

原文摘要:

Living in the tropics or at low elevations is much more dangerous than living in cooler climates. That’s the conclusion of a new study with an unusual methodology: deploying bright green clay caterpillars around the world. Biologists already know that the numbers of kinds of plant and animals decreases with distance from the equator. And they suspected there might be similar trends in how species interact, but no one had studied this systematically in different places. So researchers made 2900 dummy caterpillars (pictured) that 40 colleagues placed at 31 sites at different latitudes and elevations and then retrieved 4 to 18 days later. Back in the lab, the ecologists counted up the attacks by different predators—they can tell the nick of a bird's beak from the teeth marks of a mouse or the paired piercings of ant, for example. Daily attack rates dropped 2.7% for every degree of latitude—or every 111 kilometers—north or south from the equator. As such, at the farthest spot—in the Arctic—predation was 1/8 that at the equator, the team reports today in Science. The difference was mostly in the number of attacks by arthropods, mostly ants, in the tropics. The rates also dropped 6.6% for every 100-meter increase in elevation. Though it’s not yet clear whether these trends hold for all plant eaters, that they exist at all means that ecologists need to keep them in mind as they figure out the dynamics of how ecosystems function.

来源: Science 浏览次数:0

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