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科学美国人60秒: 企鹅粪便有助于南极洲生物多样性的繁荣

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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 geat 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。不仅仅是雪。“如果是新鲜的,它可能是白色或粉红色的。最终一切都变成了棕色,浑浊的棕色。”Stef Bokhorst是阿姆斯特丹自由大学的生态学家。他说的最初的白色东西是企鹅的粪便。

"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。你在你认为是泥浆的水坑里挤来挤去,但实际上它只是便便。这就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.

但不仅仅是气味在风中传播。氨含有氮——一种有价值的肥料。所以风把营养带到附近的苔藓和地衣。这反过来又支持了南极洲最大的陆生动物群落的繁衍:像跳尾虫和螨虫这样的无脊椎动物。

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.

Bokhorst和他的同事采集了粪便堆周围的空气和植物样本,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实地考察地点,我们可以坐在家里,用卫星拍下所有这些照片,然后了解生物多样性最高的地方应该在哪里,沿着半岛。”

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。现在生态学家将能够使用图像来跟踪粪便并预测其在世界底部的有益影响。简而言之:不要糟蹋粪便。

Penguin Poop Helps Biodiversity Bloom in Antarctica

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.

"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."

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.

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.

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."

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.


内容来自 VOA英语学习网https://www.chinavoa.com/show-8762-241673-1.html
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