Relationships among organisms, or mutualisms, might be more important to global ecosystem health than previously thought, argues a research team involving UA professor Judith Bronstein

IMAGE: By harassing bees and other flower visitors, invasive Argentine ants prevent insects from pollinating the flowers of this Californian cactus (Ferocactus viridescens), which is now endangered. 

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The authors present evidence that human impacts may be forcing these mutualist systems down unprecedented evolutionary paths.

“With global climate change, evolutionary change can happen very rapidly, over a few years,” said Judith Bronstein, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the UA’s College of Science and senior author on the paper. “That can be a good thing or a bad thing, we don’t know, but people need to start looking at those effects.” … more

via From bees to coral reefs: How humans impact partnerships in the natural world.

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