Keyword: Ecology and Evolution Biology
In two new studies, scientists from the University of Turku, Finland, have investigated how to measure stress in semi-captive working elephants. The studies suggest that both physiological and behavioural approaches can be used to reliably assess the wellbeing of semi-captive Asian elephants.
Researchers from the University of Turku (UTU) in Finland, and veterinarians from the Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) in Myanmar have investigated the trends behind Asian elephant calf mortality during the taming period. They found that calves that were younger at the onset of taming and those with less experienced mothers were more likely to die during taming. Calf mortality in taming age was notably higher than that of wild elephants of the same age. The results of the study were published in the esteemed Scientific Reports journal.
New study by the University of Turku and Cornell University shows that long-term elimination of herbivorous insects from plants changes the way they communicate with each other. The study focused on Solidago altissima, i.e. tall goldenrod, and indicated that communicating about threats also benefits the plant sharing the information. Different communication strategies between plants can be explained with the differences in the volatile organic compounds the plants release.
Researchers at the University of Turku found that the presence of a maternal sister was positively and significantly associated with annual female reproduction in a population of working elephants in Myanmar. In addition, an age-specific effect was found: young females were more sensitive to the presence of sisters and even more likely to reproduce when living near a sister.
Understanding the ecology and distributions of species in Amazonia is hampered by lack of information about environmental conditions, such as soils. Plant occurrence data are typically more abundant than soil samples in poorly known areas, and researchers from Finland and Brazil have now developed a method that uses both plant and soil data to produce a map of soil properties.
Scientists from the University of Turku, Finland, have found that male and female Asian elephants differ in their personality. Previous work on a timber elephant population from Myanmar has shown that Asian elephants have three personality factors: Attentiveness, Sociability and Aggressiveness. The new study demonstrates that male elephants score higher on the Aggressiveness trait than females, whereas female elephants score higher on the Sociability trait than males.
Researchers from the Universities of Helsinki, Turku and Missouri as well as the Family Federation of Finland present the first results from a new, extraordinarily comprehensive population-wide dataset that details the lives of over 160,000 World War II evacuees in terms of integration. The results demonstrate that migrants’ integration into a host community involves a trade-off between gaining increased social status and having fewer children.