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Tag: Ecologists

Ecologists solve coral reef halo mystery, but questions remain

Ecologists solve coral reef halo mystery, but questions remain

Science
April 26 (UPI) -- The ecological forces driving the development of sandy halos surrounding coral reefs are more complex than scientists previously realized. For years, scientists had observed a mysterious phenomenon. Many coral reefs are surrounded by expansive halos of bare sand, some measuring hundreds of thousands of square feet. Typically, thick meadows of seagrass or algae grow beyond the edge of these halos. Coral reef halos were first officially observed -- and documented in the scientific literature -- in the Caribbean, in St. John in 1965 and in St. Croix in 1972. Until now, scientists' explanation for the phenomena was rather basic. "They've been known for ages, and have been long assumed to be due to a simple chain of interactions: predators, fish-and invertebrate-eating fish...
Ecologists: Alaska wildlife management threatens state's largest carnivores

Ecologists: Alaska wildlife management threatens state's largest carnivores

Science
Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Alaska's wildlife management plan puts the state's largest carnivores, wolves and bears, at risk, according to a group of ecologists at Oregon State University. In a new paper published in the journal PLOS Biology, ecologists argue the state's management plan privileges moose, caribou and deer over carnivores. By depressing carnivore numbers, wildlife managers can ensure moose, caribou and deer populations balloon -- a boon for hunters. "Gray wolves, brown bears and black bears are managed in most of Alaska in ways designed to significantly lower their numbers," William Ripple, distinguished professor of ecology at Oregon State's College of Forestry, said in a news release. "Alaska is unique in the world because these management priorities are both widespread and legally ...