11 Nov 2010:
Wolves and Sharks Create
Similar ‘Ecology of Fear’ in Ecosystems
A ripple-effect “ecology of fear” created by wolves and sharks in their respective ecosystems may be more similar than previously understood, according to a new study. After comparing the relationship
U.S. Fish & Wildlife
between wolves and elk in Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. and tiger sharks and dugongs in Australia’s Shark Bay, researchers found that each of the predator species alters the behavior of their prey
in ways that have ecological significance that goes beyond the species themselves. When wolves are present, elk almost immediately shift their grazing areas to less sensitive habitats, allowing streamside shrubs and aspen trees to recover, scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Washington say in the study
, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
. Similarly, dugongs tend to avoid shallow waters when sharks are present, allowing seagrass meadows — and the plants and marine animal species that depend on them — to thrive.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Accepting entries through June 15, 2015.
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
, winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest, documents the work of African researchers monitoring wildlife in Uganda's remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Watch the video.