The Potential of Parasites

Although parasites have a negative reputation, they can be a valuable conservation tool. Their diversity means they can be used in many applications, and this range of known potential purposes will only increase with further exploration. This article explores how parasites have been used to better understand habitat fragmentation, invasive species movement, harvested species overexploitation, and even climate change!

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Talk Turtle to Me: How Algae Could Drive Sea Turtle Populations to Extinction

Rising ocean temperatures have been increasing the size of algal blooms, with Sargassum being one of the most prominent algae species affecting coastlines in the Caribbean. When beached, Sargassum can only be removed from shores through human intervention, which is both costly and time-consuming. These algal outbreaks are ending up on beaches where sea turtles are known to nest, affecting their biology and survivability. Will beached Sargassum on Caribbean shores affect sea turtle populations irreversibly, or will we find a more effective way of dealing with the changing algal populations?

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What’s driving changes in cod spawning grounds: climate or fishing?

Northeast Arctic Cod perform seasonal migrations from their feeding grounds to their spawning grounds. Recent evidence suggests that the distribution of cod between spawning grounds is changing. Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain why fish spawning grounds are changing: climate and fishing pressure. In order to determine which of these hypotheses may be the driving force in changing Northeast Arctic Cod populations, a team of scientist from Europe investigated fishery data from 2008-2016. Their results suggests that climate is driving changes in the distribution of Northeast Arctic cod spawning grounds.

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Homeward Bound: Salmon Straying in the Pacific Northwest

For salmon to complete their life cycle, juveniles must migrate out to the ocean and return as adults to spawn in the river where they were born. Adult salmon find their way back to their natal river after years at sea through a process called “homing”, a phenomenon that scientists still don’t fully understand. Some salmon never make it home at all, which can have lasting effects on populations. Read on to learn more!

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