Aliens and underwater volcanoes
19 October 2009
Britain's being invaded by aliens. But they're not the sorts of aliens you'll see in science fiction movies. No, we're talking plants and animals. You've probably heard of a lot of them. Grey squirrels, harlequin ladybirds, buddleia, Japanese knotweed - the list goes on.
But it turns out that some of these aliens, or invasive species to give them their scientific name, aren't all bad. Take buddleia as an example. Although it spreads like wildfire, it's also very good at attracting butterflies.
To find out more, Sue Nelson takes us to Wallingford, home of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, to meet two invasive species experts, Dr Mark Hill and Dr Helen Roy.
Click the play button above to listen now.
Mark and Helen explain the problems and tell us what might happen as global warming changes the climate. Which ones will we see more of and which are going to give us real problems?
Also in the programme, we'll be going to some of the most exciting unexplored places on Earth - deep under the ocean. Well, not quite. But Richard Hollingham will be talking to a man who's heading off to Antarctica to look for life around underwater volcanoes, also known as hydrothermal vents.
Dr Jon Copley from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton is a biologist with expertise in the huge variety of life around these vents.
And we'll be finding out from Tamera Jones how scientists may be a step closer to solving the mystery of the world's missing honeybees. A bee virus that has changed its behaviour may be to blame.
Also, how Native Americans might not have been as good at living harmoniously with Nature as we'd all like to think, why eyespan matters for male (and female) stalk-eyed flies and pictures of albatrosses dining with killer whales.
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