Heat waves interfere with bumble bees’ ability to gather food and pollinate an important crop

Jeremy A. Hemberger, Nick M. Rosenberger, Neal M. Williams This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. It’s no secret that the planet is getting warmer. Just this year, there have been periods of extremely hot temperatures, with records broken in both North America and Europe. Periods of extreme temperatures impact not just our comfort, but … Continue reading Heat waves interfere with bumble bees’ ability to gather food and pollinate an important crop

Are non-breeding animals “super-spreaders” of disease?

Juliet Lamb, Jeremy Tornos, Romain Dedet, Hubert Gantelet, Nicolas Keck, Juliette Baron, Marine Bely, Augustin Clessin, Aline Flechet, Amandine Gamble, Thierry Boulinier This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Most wildlife tracking studies focus on breeders, which are easy to observe and capture at their breeding sites. In any given year, however, many individuals do … Continue reading Are non-breeding animals “super-spreaders” of disease?

Fish Behaviors aren’t limited by Body Shape

Darien R. Satterfield, Thomas Claverie, Peter C. Wainwright This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. We often make inferences about a person’s physical skills based on their body shape. For example, tall people are regularly told they should play basketball, and we might assume that a person with broad shoulders would be a nice addition … Continue reading Fish Behaviors aren’t limited by Body Shape

For Snapping Shrimp, Bigger Weapons Hit Harder

Jason Dinh and Sheila Patek This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Snapping shrimp are shorter and thinner than a golf pencil — but their weapons, which are up to 40 percent of their mass, are so powerful that they produce tiny flashes of light, heat equivalent to the surface of the sun, and one … Continue reading For Snapping Shrimp, Bigger Weapons Hit Harder

The effects of temperature can influence the movement of green algae individuals across multiple generations

Hannah S. Meier, Isaac J. Schuman, Tamara J. Layden, Anna Ritz, Colin T. Kremer, Samuel B. Fey This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The goal of this project was to gain a better understanding of how the environmental conditions experienced by past generations influences an individual’s behaviour in their current environment. Behaviour is important … Continue reading The effects of temperature can influence the movement of green algae individuals across multiple generations

All the better to hear you with: populations diverging based on female ear characteristics

Robin M. Hare, W. Jason Kennington, & Leigh W. Simmons This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. In most animal species, males fight or intimidate each other for access to females and their energetically costly eggs. Sometimes, as in some seahorses, females fight or intimidate each other for access to males and their specialised brooding … Continue reading All the better to hear you with: populations diverging based on female ear characteristics

The meaning of animal colours: Look at the details

Galván, Ismael This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology commentary published here. Alone or in combination, virtually all animals—and most notably birds and mammals—present dark body colours such as black, grey or brown. These are produced by a class of pigments called melanins which have important protection features; however, they also function in visual communication. Interestingly, the reason why females of some … Continue reading The meaning of animal colours: Look at the details

Switch from 24-hour daylight to a day/night cycle triggers daily behavioural cycles in a marine predator

Luke Storrie, Nigel E. Hussey, Shannon A. MacPhee, Greg O’Corry-Crowe, John Iacozza, David G. Barber, Lisa L. Loseto This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Many animals exhibit daily behavioural cycles linked to the day/night light cycle. Regular changes in light and temperature over 24-hour periods affect the capacity for animals to see, be seen, … Continue reading Switch from 24-hour daylight to a day/night cycle triggers daily behavioural cycles in a marine predator

Coexisting finch species change where they go and what they eat when food resources decline

Sydney J. Collett, Tara L. Crewe, Ian J. Radford, Stephen T. Garnett and Hamish A. Campbell This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. How similar species co-exist has long intrigued ecologists. Gouldian, masked and long-tailed finches, three finches from the tropical Australian savannas, are similar in size and feed together through most of the year. … Continue reading Coexisting finch species change where they go and what they eat when food resources decline

Perception of the dead increases reproduction in fruit flies

Quentin Corbel, Pau Carazo This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here Animals that perceive a threat to their survival can increase their immediate reproductive effort in order to compensate for the consequences of early death on their lifetime reproduction. This strategy is called terminal investment, and it has been documented in response to various environmental … Continue reading Perception of the dead increases reproduction in fruit flies