Plant palm trees to reduce the number of manta rays...

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Plant palm trees to reduce the number of manta rays...
From: David Adams <>
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2012 17:42:47 +1000
Some of you will find this paper interesting:

"From wing to wing: the persistence of long ecological interaction
chains in less-disturbed ecosystems"

The title is a bit of mouthful but the article isn't too hard to
follow. (There are some technical terms that Mr. Google helped me out

The author's found an unusual study site on a remote central tropical
Pacific atoll. They were able to make comparisons between areas with
native trees and areas with planted palms. What they turned up:

    Native trees attract almost 5x as many seabirds for roosting and nesting.
        Seabirds bring a lot of nutrients from the sea to the land as
guano and through regurgitation
             Soils from the native trees then pass more nitrogen (and
other substances) back into the otherwise nutrient-poor adjacent ocean
                  These nutrients lead to (far) more and (slightly)
larger plankton
                       Manta rays only visit the areas near the native forest

I assume that the "wing to wing" in the paper's title refers to the
wings of seabirds and mantas.

The authors claim that this is the longest interactive chain
documented in a natural ecosystem to date.

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