The The 61-mile Long Conveyor Belt, Butterflies and Megafauna, and a Tree Paradox
I have been pushing out blog posts for several years. Occasionally, readers have sent me various comments and also additional resources on the blog topics. I thought it would be timely to share some of the more interesting resources I have received on particular posts. Thus, I bring you:
Alert colleague Marcus sent me a link to an episode of the NPR podcast, Planet Money, all about Phosphorus. This was in response to my post, Obsessed With Phosphorus. The post does make brief mention of the peak Phosphorus dilemma, but the podcast adds oh so many more fun facts about Phosphorus. This includes, yes, the 61-mile long conveyor belt in Saharan Africa, attempts to turn urine into gold (spoiler – it didn’t quite work out), and a unique recycling movement in Vermont. In other words, this 20-minute podcast is worth a listen: Planet Money’s Episode 820: P is for Phosphorus.
Colleague Devin sent me a remarkable article in response to my post, Way Down Yonder in a Very Large Pawpaw Patch. The article is from the Blue Ridge Discovery Center, and is entitled, Connections: The Pawpaw Tree and the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly. This is a wonderful natural history exposition about the intimate bond, and in fact co-evolution, between Pawpaws and the Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus).
Halfway through the article, I was struck by the explanation of a Pawpaw conundrum: what kind of seed dispersal mechanism could Pawpaws possibly use? As you may be aware, the seeds are very large – in fact way too large for most of our usual seed dispersing animals to ingest. Enter the mastodons, and you’ll have to read the article for the rest of the story. . .
In response to my attempt at verse, Ode to Acer Rubrum, colleague Erik sent me an article, The Red Maple Paradox, by author Marc D. Abrams from Pennsylvania State University. Abrams dwells on the paradox of why Red Maples have become so dominant in the eastern forest compared to their distribution from pre-European times. Abrams presents lots of data, and the article is rather dense to wade through on your way to the paradox. I must admit, I still love Acer rubrum.
Thanks to Marcus, Devin, and Erik for sending along the resources. As always, I appreciate your visit to my blog page.