What we’re reading- Jan 31, 2014

Human-mediated change in population structure of ragweed
This article (subscription) characterizes the genetic structure of contemporary and historical (from herbarium samples) ragweed. They find that population structure has changed in response to human influence on the landscape.

Penguin chick survival
This article (OA) estimates Magellanic penguin chick survival over 27 years. They observed that storm intensity affected chick survival and fledging and link their results to climate change.

Bumble bees exposed to pesticides gather only half the pollen
Write up of new experimental research demonstrating that bees exposed to pesticides collect less pollen than unexposed bees. No difference was found for bees collecting nectar. Pollen is a needed food source for the colony.

The 50/500 rule in conservation
Great blog post presenting results of a new paper (sub) about why the 50/500 rule in conservation is too low. Mainly the argument hinges on 50 and 500 being effective population sizes not census sizes, an overlooked fact in the application of the idea.

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