Researchers of the Biodiversity Unit and the Department of Biology at the University of Turku won this year’s Elias Tillandz Prize with their opinion piece on the effects of the herbicide glyphosate on species interactions and insect biodiversity. The Prize was awarded to the researchers at the BioCity symposium on Thursday, 25 August 2022.
An international team of researchers has compiled a large set of field data and reports that the number of hyperdominant tree species in Amazonian rain forests is three times greater than believed thus far. Hyperdominants are the most abundant species that together make up at least half of all the individuals that are studied. These results can be used for better planning of conservation and use of Amazonian forests.
The properties of human mind affect the quality of scientific knowledge through the insertion of unconscious cognitive biases. Scientists from the University of Turku, Finland, have found that the current level of awareness about research biases is generally low among ecology scientists. Underestimation of the risks associated with unconscious cognitive biases prevents avoiding these risks in a scientist’s own research. Due to unconscious origin of biases, it is impossible to combat them without external intervention.
Ecologists at the University of Turku, Finland, have discovered that the food hoards pygmy owls collect in nest-boxes ("freezers") for winter rot due to high precipitation caused by heavy autumn rains and if the hoarding has been initiated early in the autumn. The results of the study show that climate change may impair predators’ foraging and thus decrease local overwinter survival . The study has been published in the internationally esteemed Global Change Biology journal.
Traditional elephant handling worldwide is rapidly changing. Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland and Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) veterinarians found mahouts in Myanmar are only 22 years old on average, with an average experience of three years working with elephants, and they are changing elephants yearly preventing the development of long-term bonds between elephants and mahouts. These shifts contrast the traditional elephant-keeping system of skills being accumulated over a lifetime of working with the same elephant before being taught to the younger generation.