The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Newly Discovered Plant Supports 50 Different Species
The plant, named Piper kelleyi, supports roughly 40 to 50 insect species, the scientists estimate, many of which are entirely dependent on the plant for survival. P.kelleyi produces chemical compounds that are known to deter most herbivores, but a single type of caterpillar has adapted to overcome the toxicity of the plant's defenses. That caterpillar, in turn, is preyed upon by species of wasps and flies dependent on that specific caterpillar species—and ultimately the plant—for survival.
Altogether, an assemblage of up to 50 species of herbivorous and predatory insects are dependent on P. kelleyi, the researchers report in the journal PhytoKeys.
Many of these insect species have never been studied, but researchers believe the toxic compounds produced by plants like P. kelleyi drive the evolution of new species of herbivorous and predatory insects.
Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jessica Taft
Fifteen kids from a dozen countries, including Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, recently brought a formal complaint to the United Nations. They're arguing that climate change violates children's rights as guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a global agreement.
Susan Vineyard / iStock / Getty Images Plus
By Justin Mikulka
Increasingly, U.S. shale firms appear unable to pay back investors for the money borrowed to fuel the last decade of the fracking boom. In a similar vein, those companies also seem poised to stiff the public on cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on.
Top officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed to lawmakers last week that they knowingly — and illegally — stalled hurricane aid to Puerto Rico.
It appears Jane Fonda is good for her word. The actress and political activist said she would hold demonstrations on Capitol Hill every Friday through January to demand action on the climate crisis. Sure enough, Fonda was arrested for demonstrating a second Friday in a row Oct. 18, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Only this time, her Grace and Frankie co-star Sam Waterston joined her.
Switzerland's two Green parties made historic gains in the country's parliamentary elections Sunday, according to projections based on preliminary results reported by The New York Times.