Nova Scotia’s most famous Christmas tree has been chosen. Every winter since 1971, one special tree is sent to the people of Boston, Mass., in appreciation for their help during the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion. This year’s Boston Christmas tree is a 14-metre white spruce located in Granville Centre, Annapolis Co. and belongs to Christopher and Lisa Hamilton. The tree is scheduled to be cut at 11 a.m. on Nov. 14. “Each year, we search long and hard to find a tree deserving of this honour,” said David Morse, Natural Resources Minister. “With great pride, we present this tree to our friends in Boston, whose outpouring of kindness in 1917 will never be forgotten.” On Dec. 6, 1917, two ships, one carrying munitions, collided in Halifax Harbour resulting in an explosion that destroyed part of Halifax. The explosion killed almost 2,000 people and injured thousands more. Relief first arrived via train from Boston with doctors, nurses and supplies. They relieved local workers and set up temporary hospitals and aid stations. In Boston, there were community relief drives in support of those affected in Halifax. The Boston Christmas tree usually comes from a private landowner and is selected by the Department of Natural Resources. The chosen tree must be balsam fir, white spruce, or red spruce, 12 to 16 metres in height, healthy with good colour, thick branches, symmetrical and easy to access. The process, from finding the tree to its arrival at the Boston Common, is a joint effort. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will provide the staff and equipment to load and deliver the tree to Boston. The Nova Scotia Community College’s Forest Technology Program, Lunenburg Campus, will assist with the felling, loading and securing of the tree. Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations will provide vehicle-compliance assistance for transportation of the tree on Nova Scotia Highways. Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage co-ordinates delivery and transportation of the tree to Boston. The tree will serve as the focal point for the annual tree-lighting ceremony at the Boston Common on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Experimental study on the effect of diet on fatty acid and stable isotope profiles of the squid Lolliguncula brevis
Fatty acid and stable isotope analyses have previously been used to investigate foraging patterns of fish, birds, marine mammals and most recently cephalopod species. To evaluate the application of these methods for dietary studies in squid, it is important to understand the degree to which fatty acid and stable isotope signatures of prey species are reflected in the squids’ tissue. Four groups of Lolliguncula brevis were fed on prey species with distinctly different fatty acid and stable isotope profiles over 30 consecutive days. One group of squid were fed fish for fifteen days, followed by crustaceans for a further fifteen days. A second and third group were fed exclusively on fish or crustaceans for thirty days. And a fourth group was fed on a mixture of fish and crustaceans for thirty days. Analysis of squid tissue showed that, after 10 days of feeding, fatty acid profiles of squid tended to reflect those of their prey. Squid that fed on a single prey type, i.e. fish or crustacean, showed only minor modifications in fatty acid proportions after the initial change and fatty acid profiles were clearly distinguishable between the two feeding groups. Shifts in fatty acid proportions towards respective prey profiles could clearly be observed in squid the diet of which was swapped after 15 days. Clear differences could also be seen in fatty acid profiles of squid feeding on a mixed diet with trends towards either fish or crustacean fatty acid signatures. Stable isotope signatures of squid tissues clearly distinguished between animals feeding on different diets and supported findings from fatty acid analysis, thus indicating both methods to be viable tools in feeding studies on squid species.