Fish in ponds benefit flowering plants

Fish in ponds can be a flowering plant’s best friend, according to WUSTL ecologists.Fish and flowering plants would seem to have as much in common as pigs and beauty soap. But ecologists at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Florida have found an amazing relationship between the different species that provides a new direction for understanding how ecosystems “hook up.” A team of researchers, headed by Tiffany Knight, Ph.D., Washington University assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, has shown a correlation between the presence of fish in ponds and well-pollinated St. John’s wort (Hypericum fasciculatum, Hypericaceae) at a Florida research station.

Study probes ecosystem of tree holes

It’s a bug-eat-bug world found in this seemingly innocuous, surprisingly revealing, ecosystem.If you think your place is a dump, try living in a tree hole: a dark flooded crevice with years of accumulated decomposing leaves and bugs, infested with bacteria, other microbes, and crawling with insect larvae. A biologist at Washington University in St. Louis has studied the ecosystem of the tree hole and the impact that three factors — predation, resources and disturbance — have on species diversity.