Navigation Links
A new model for understanding biodiversity
Date:11/21/2011

Animals like foxes and raccoons are highly adaptable. They move around and eat everything from insects to eggs. They and other "generalist feeders" like them may also be crucial to sustaining biological diversity, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

McGill biology researchers have developed a unified, spatially based understanding of biodiversity that takes into account the complex food webs of predators and prey. "Biodiversity exists within a landscape. Predators and prey are continuously on the move as their habitats change it's a complex dynamic system," says lead author Pradeep Pillai, a doctoral candidate at McGill.

Previous theories of biodiversity have either concentrated on the complex network of feeding interactions that connects all species into food webs or have focused on the way that species are connected in space. "A unified theory of ecological diversity requires understanding how species interact both in space and time, and this is what is different about our work," explains co-author Michel Loreau, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Community and Ecosystem Ecology.

What they discovered was that a "branching network" maintained by generalist species, like foxes or coyotes, that are able to move around and prey on different species in different locations, have an important role in promoting complex food webs and thereby in maintaining biodiversity. The researchers concluded that these generalist species have the advantage of being able to find prey no matter where they are as they move from one place to another, and this sustains the network.

This theory also lays a foundation for understanding the effects human activities like deforestation are likely to have not simply on a single species but on whole food webs. The researchers show how food webs are eroded by species extinction when disturbed by habitat destruction. "The theory is useful because it helps us understand how biodiversity is maintained, but also the impacts humans have when they disrupt ecological networks by destroying and fragmenting habitat," concludes co-author Andrew Gonzalez, Canada Research Chair in Biodiversity Science and Director of the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science.


'/>"/>

Contact: Katherine Gombay
katherine.gombay@mcgill.ca
514-398-2189
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New model more accurately describes migratory animals extinction risk
2. Teaching skills key to selection of a successful model farmer
3. Space shuttle data leads to better model for solar power production in California
4. Model of enzymes structure could spur new therapies
5. OpenSim open-source software from Stanford accurately models human motion
6. WSU researchers demonstrate rare animal model for studying depression
7. New Zealand use of health IT provides model
8. Modeling cancer using ecological principles
9. Scientists model the pathways of pain-blocking meds
10. New model for treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder created
11. Engaging land-use stakeholders is model behavior
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), ... End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities ... Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), ... you looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... ... Supplies of the critical medical isotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) are secure and reliable ... and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2017 annual meeting in Denver, Colorado in June. Mo-99 ... million nuclear medicine procedures worldwide every year. (1) , Sally Schwarz, President of ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Brain State Technologies, a ... campaign on June 15th to fund production of the new B2v2 wearable brainwave ... Kickstarter goal by more than 150% in a little over a week. , ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Indiana-based Xylogenics ... yeast production and fermentation process. The efficiencies created by the newest strain ... most notably the ethanol industry wherein individual production plants are planning to invest ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Third Wave Bioactives, LLC announces the addition of Brett Thompson. ... business development and ensuring quality customer experience. , Brett brings to Third ... technical, marketing and sales roles. “Brett’s background working with customers and eye for market ...
Breaking Biology Technology: