Sun, 28 March 2021
The gang discuss two papers that look at community structure in fossil and modern biota. The first paper looks at the size distribution of dinosaur communities and finds an interesting lack of mid-sized predators. The second paper looks at a modern kelp forest community to determine if fishing refugia results in ecological cascades in this system. Meanwhile, James is a magician, Amanda would rather be playing D&D, and Curt remembers Dino Riders.
Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):
Our friends look at two papers that look at how animals live together in a place. The first looks at some very old and angry animals. When people look at how big these old angry animals are, they find something weird. If we look at all the angry things, we have a lot of big things, some small things, but not that much in the middle. When we look at that only eat things that get their food from the sun and see how they are different from the things that eat other animals, they find that this missing middle is because there are no middle animals in the things that eat other animals. One thought for why this could be is that some of the real big animals that eat other animals might have kids that fill the middle when they start to grow up.
The second paper looks at these places in the water that you can't drink where there are things that move through the water, things that move on the ground and have big hard things on them that come to points, and things that make food from the sun which are big and green. In a lot of places like this, if there are not some animals that eat a lot, the things with the points can eat all of the big green things. This place doesn't have one of those animals that eats a lot, but it was a place where people can not go in and grab some of the animals that move in the water. Since there are still big green things here, the people who wrote this paper wanted to see if the animals in the water were good at eating the animals with points. It seems that, while the animals in the water are doing better, so are the animals with points. This means that other things must be going on to let the big green things still be there.
Malakhoff, Katrina D., and Robert J. Miller. "After 15 years, no evidence for trophic cascades in marine protected areas." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 288.1945 (2021): 20203061.
Schroeder, Katlin, S. Kathleen Lyons, and Felisa A. Smith. "The influence of juvenile dinosaurs on community structure and diversity." Science 371.6532 (2021): 941-944.