Cities are hot and often dry. This makes the plants dry and unhealthy. But what about the animals? They can gain water by ‘drinking’ from moist soil or dew, or by eating plants that are mostly water. But what if they can’t find enough to drink?
A mystery began to nag at me. Some trees in the hottest areas within cities were covered in insect pests and still looked vigorous, while other trees with the same pest densities withered.
Urban yards can be tough for bees. There are often not enough flowers, or the wrong kinds of flowers, so people compensate with pollinator gardens. However, cities are also hot, due to impervious surfaces and the urban heat island effect.
Insects experience the environment at much smaller scales than people do. Some insects may not move more than a block in their lives. We figured bees that can't tolerate heat won't be found in hot parts of town and did a study to determine if that's true.
Say you are on a road trip. You fall asleep, head lodged against the (hopefully passenger side) window. The last thing you see before drifting off is a string of stores: Starbucks, Target, Bed Bath [...]
Honey bee. Photo:SDF People have domesticated many different plant and animal species to utilize for food, fiber, or other resources. To domesticate a plant or animal people deliberately breed individuals that have valuable [...]
A spider in the family Anyphaenidae has made its home on a twig infested with scale insects. Photo: Emily Meineke, Harvard University I think by now most people accept that we can’t hope [...]
Climate change is generally considered bad for people, earth’s biomes, and, of course, polar bears. But as the climate warms will all critters suffer? Will they all be affected the same way? No. In addition [...]
The 2nd Edition of “Insect and Mite Pests of Floriculture Crops: Identification Guide” by Matt Bertone, Steven Frank, and Bryan Whipker is now available from iTunes. This guide is designed so growers, extension personnel, or [...]
This is a guest post from our former student (now postdoc at Harvard) Emily Meineke. Through years of studying urban trees and the insects that eat them, we, the Frank lab, have discovered that warming [...]