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Winners announced for the BMC Ecology Image Competition 2016

From a striking sunrise in the Kalahari Desert, to a wren’s nest built under the saddle of a parked bicycle, and geometric land patterns created by earthworms, this year’s BMC Ecology Image Competition includes a fascinating array of ecological open access images which are free to use.

Davide Gaglio from Percy Fitzpatrick Institute, University of Cape Town won for his silhouette of antelope grazing against the sunrise in the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. The image was the best of entries chosen from over 140 entries. There were two overall runners up and five category winners including Behavioral and Physiological Ecology; Conservation Ecology and Biodiversity Research; Landscape Ecology and Ecosystems; Community, Population and Macroecology; and the Editor’s Pick.

Now in its fourth year, the BMC Ecology Image competition celebrates biodiversity, natural beauty and biological interactions, captured by ecologists’ expert observational and photographic skills.

The eight winning images and 18 commended images highlight the fine-tuned interactions of predator, prey, parasites and pollinators. All the images are released under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

Guest judge Dr. Matthew Palmer, Columbia University, said: “The winning image is strikingly beautiful, particularly the colors and the composition, but it also tells several stories. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park spans the border of South Africa and Botswana and is an example of cooperation and shared management between countries - a peace park. However, large areas of this park were leased for the extraction of natural gas in 2014, which may have negative effects on the park’s wildlife.”

“Troglodytes bicycletes” by second runner-up Raf Aerts, University of Leuven, Belgium, is an example of urban ecology. Matthew Palmer said: “We typically think of ecology and nature as being separate from human spaces, this image of a Eurasian wren building its nest under a bike seat reminds us that nature and human space can converge.”

An aerial shot captured by a drone shows a mysterious geometric pattern in the earth below, which actually arises from foraging activity of earthworms. The image, submitted by Delphine Renard of University of California Santa Barbara, won the Landscape Ecology and Ecosystems category.

Highly commended entries include the eyes of a parasitic wasp lurking in a caterpillar pupa; a group of sand bubbler carbs scouting the beach; rainbow lorikeets taking a refreshing bath in a water pump, and an illuminated swarm of moths.


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Notes to editor:

1. BMC Ecology Image Competition 2016: the winning images
Julia Simundza, Matthew Palmer, Josef Settele, Luke M. Jacobus, David P. Hughes, Dominique Mazzi, Simon Blanchet
BMC Ecology 2016

The article is available at the journal website.

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

3. BMC Ecology is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on environmental, behavioral and population ecology as well as biodiversity of plants, animals and microbes.

4. BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Nature, a major new force in scientific, scholarly, professional and educational publishing, created in May 2015 through the combination of Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Springer Science+Business Media.