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企鹅粪便在维持南极洲的生物多样性方面帮了大忙

kira86 于2019-05-22发布 l 已有人浏览
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关于企鹅拉屎这件事,比我们想象的要重要。科学家研究发现,企鹅的粪便有助于南极洲生物多样性的生存与繁荣。
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企鹅.jpg
Penguin Poop Helps Biodiversity Bloom in Antarctica

企鹅粪便有助于南极洲生物多样性的繁荣

Antarctica is known for its great expanses of white. And not just snow. "If it's fresh it might be white or pinkish. And eventually it all turns brown, muddy brown." Stef Bokhorst is an ecologist at Vrije University in Amsterdam. And the initially white stuff he's talking about is penguin poop.

南极洲以广袤的白色而闻名,然而白色的覆盖物不仅仅是雪。“如果是‘新鲜出炉’的,它可能是白色或浅粉色的。不过最终它们所有的颜色都变成了棕色,泥泞的棕色。”史代夫·博克霍斯特是阿姆斯特丹自由大学(Vrije University)的生态学家。他前面说的那个白色的东西是指企鹅的粪便。

The first thing you notice of it is the smell. You're squishing through puddles of what you think is mud, but it's actually just poo. And that produces that really strong ammonia smell you can smell from miles away.

“你首先注意到的是它的味道。你在自以为是泥浆的水坑里走来走去,但它实际上是便便。并且,这种便便产生了一种非常强烈的氨气味道,几英里外都能闻到。”

But it's not just the smell that travels on the wind. Ammonia contains nitrogen - a valuable fertilizer. So the winds carry nourishment to nearby mosses and lichens. That in turn supports teeming communities of the largest fully terrestrial animals in Antarctica: invertebrates like springtails and mites.

不过,在风中传播的可不仅仅是便便的气味而已。氨含有氮,这是一种很有价值的肥料。所以风把营养物质吹到了附近的苔藓和地衣上。这又反过来供养了南极洲最大的陆生动物群落:好比像跳尾虫(弹尾目昆虫)和螨虫类这样的无脊椎动物。

Bokhorst and his colleagues took air and plant samples around the poop piles, and found this airborne ammonia fertilizer enriches life as far as a mile away. The full details are in the journal Current Biology.

博克霍斯特和他的同事采集了粪便堆周围的空气样本和植物样本,发现这种通过空气传播的氨肥可以丰富一英里以外的生命。完整的研究细节发表在《当代生物学》杂志上。

And the work makes it easier for scientists like Bokhorst to remotely estimate Antarctica's biodiversity. "We don't have to go to all of these field sites, we can sit at home, take all these pictures with satellites, and get an idea where the highest biodiversity should be, along the peninsula."

这项工作使得像博霍斯特这样的科学家可以更容易远程估计南极洲的生物多样性。“我们不需要去所有这些现场(实地考察),我们可以坐在家里,用卫星拍下所有这些照片,然后了解沿着半岛生物多样性最高的地方应该在哪里。”

Of course, doctors have long taken a stool sample to get medical information about a patient. And now ecologists will be able to use imagery to track feces and predict its beneficial effects at the bottom of the world. In short: don't poo-poo the poo.

当然,医生长期以来一直通过粪便样本来获取病人的医疗信息。如今,生态学家将能够使用图像来跟踪粪便,并预测其在世界的尽头产生了何种有一影响。简而言之:不要小瞧了粪便。

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