A weed by any other name would smell as sweet: Unsung pollination heroes

Weeds often get a bad rap, but new research suggests we should think twice before pulling them out of our gardens and farm fields. In fact, they may be even more beneficial than wildflower patches. Read on to learn more about how farmers’ and gardeners’ number one enemy – weeds – could actually be pollinators’ number one ally!

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Resetting the Internal Clock: Adaptable Butterflies’ Response to Climate Warming

As the climate warms, habitats near the poles are becoming increasingly hospitable for many plants, animals, and insects. But it remains uncertain whether species’ range expansions might eventually be hindered by differences in daylength at higher latitudes. Wall brown butterflies are making the journey northwards from Europe in response to climate warming. How do differences in daylength at higher latitudes affect them, and what can they do to survive in these new conditions?

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Bridging the gap: Earthworms bring scientists and farmers together to improve soil health

Scientists and farmers have more in common than many people realize, including a desire to improve the health of our soils. By partnering together to study earthworms in farm fields, scientists and farmers are discovering how different agricultural practices impact soil health. Read on to learn more about how earthworms help bridge the gap between scientific research, farm management, and soil health!

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Urban Gardens Provide Stable Nectar Supply for Pollinators

Insect pollinators are in trouble, and many plants on farms or in the wild need them to be able to grow fruits and reproduce. With so much at stake for plants around the world, and the humans who depend on them, how can we stop the decline of insect pollinator populations? Urban gardens may have a role to play in supporting pollinators, especially if we plant flowers that provide a stable supply of nectar, their most important food.

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Matriarch Madness: Mechanism of Social Parasitism and Colony Takeover in Ants

Carpenter ants play an important role in an ecosystem; they break down wood into smaller pieces that will ultimately become part of the soil. But a parasitic ant can rapidly take over and destroy a colony by simply disguising herself through chemical means.

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Fire and Animal Behavior: How Forest Fires are Mediating Predator-Prey Interactions

Fires, both from intentional and unintentional sources, have been altering our ecosystems for as long as history has been recorded, yet little is known about how these occurrences affect animal behavior, especially concerning predator-prey interactions. Countless factors, including the extent of the fire and the adaptability of both predator and prey to these new conditions affect the behavior and survivability of both predator and prey. In the end, change is inevitable, but if we improve our understanding of how fires influence animal behavior, we can then help rehabilitate affected populations in more effective and efficient ways.

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