Neat Stuff from Elsewhere Wed May 30, 2012

  • PLoS ONE: Globalization and Loss of Plant Knowledge: Challenging the Paradigm
    PLoS ONE: Globalization and Loss of Plant Knowledge: Challenging the Paradigm:

    The many effects of migration… interesting finding here that some knowledge was not lost.

    We compared one type of cultural knowledge about medicinal plants (number of plants reported to treat thirty common health conditions) among Dominican laypersons who self-medicate with plants and live in rural or urban areas of the Dominican Republic (DR), and those who have moved to New York City (NYC). Many plants used as medicines were popular Dominican food plants. These plants were reported significantly more often by Dominicans living in NYC as compared to the DR, and this knowledge was not age-dependent. These results contradict the popular paradigm about loss of cultural plant knowledge and is the first study to report a statistically measurable increase in this type of knowledge associated with migration.

  • Light pollution transforming insect communities
    Light pollution transforming insect communities:

    This study shows that groups of invertebrates living near to artificial lights include more predators and scavengers. This could be impacting on the survival rates of different species, having a knock-on effect on birds and mammals that rely on these species for food. The effects could be affecting entire ecosystems and even humans.

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