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19 January 2016

La France tente de sauver une biodiversité en péril [Le Monde - Planète]

S’agira-t-il, comme l’espèrent les associations de protection de la nature, d’une « loi historique » ? Ou d’un catalogue d’intentions vertueuses, mais sans moyens d’action réels ? Rarement, en tout cas, un texte législatif aura connu une gestation aussi longue.

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18 January 2016

Disentangling Ecosystem Functions: Our Imagination is the Limit [Methods in Ecology and Evolution Blog]

Studies of ecosystem function are studies of action: of insects pollinating flowers, of predators killing pests – and in our case (well, more often than not) of beetles disposing of dung. To isolate the effects of the critters that we think will matter, we need to selectively include or exclude them. If we think a particular species or species group is responsible for a certain function, then we test this by keeping it in or out of enclosures. If we want to look at effects of species diversity, then we create communities of different species richness.

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18 January 2016

Chez les chimpanzés aussi, l’amitié est une histoire de confiance [Sciences et Avenir - Animaux]

Les chimpanzés ont la même définition de l’amitié que nous : ils ne partagent des moments intimes qu’avec les individus en qui ils ont confiance.

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14 January 2016

Ants respond to social information at rest, not on the fly [Phys]

Ants don’t get distracted by social information when on the move, only fully responding to it when at rest, a new study from the University of Bristol, UK indicates. Such sporadic monitoring of the social environment may reduce information overload and enhance the robustness of complex societies, the researchers suggest.

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13 January 2016

Why we should learn to love all insects – not just the ones that work for us [The conversation]

Insects, which include more than a million described species, represent roughly two-thirds of the biodiversity on Earth. But they have a big PR problem – many think of insects as little more than crop-eating, disease-carrying jumper-munchers. But in reality, species fitting this bill are but a tiny part of an enormous picture.

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