Navigation Links
Biodiversity -- it's in the water
Date:5/9/2008

What if hydrology is more important for predicting biodiversity than biology" Research published in the May 8th issue of the journal Nature challenges current thinking about biodiversity and opens up new avenues for predicting how climate change or human activity may affect biodiversity patterns.

In the article, an international group of researchers demonstrates that the biodiversity of fish species in a river system can be accurately predicted with a simple method that uses only the geomorphology of the river network and rainfall measurements for the river system.

The 3,225,000 km2 Mississippi-Missouri river basin covers all or part of 31 US states, spanning diverse habitat types and encompassing very different environmental conditions. The one thing linking all these habitats is the river network. Using geomorphological data from the US Geological Survey, the researchers hydrologists from Princeton University and the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, and biologists from the University of Maryland -- identified 824 sub-basins in the network. In these, the simple presence (or not) of 433 species of fish was established from a database of US freshwater fish populations. Data on the average runoff production the amount of rainfall that ends up in the river system and not evaporated back into the air was then used to calculate the habitat capacity of each sub-basin.

With just four parameters, its an almost ridiculously simple model, explains EPFL professor Andrea Rinaldo. The model results were compared to extensive data on actual fish species distributions. Various different measures of biodiversity were analyzed, and the researchers were surprised to find that the model captured these complex patterns quite accurately. The model is all the more remarkable for what it does not contain any reference, anywhere, to the biological properties of individual fish species.

It is a formulation that could be applied to any river system, or in fact, any network at all. All that's needed are the geomorphology of the landscape and an estimate of average dispersal behavior and habitat capacity. This model is general enough that it could be used to explore population migrations or epidemics of water-borne diseases in addition to biodiversity patterns. The researchers plan to extend their work to explore the extent to which simple hydrology can act as the determining factor in a wide range of biodiversity patterns.

These results are a powerful reminder of the overarching importance of water, and the water-defined landscape, in determining patterns of life, notes Princeton professor Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe. It provides a framework that could be used to connect large scale environmental changes to biodiversity. Changes in precipitation patterns, perhaps due to global climate change, could be mapped to changes in habitat capacities in the model, ultimately providing a way to estimate how climate change would alter large-scale patterns of biodiversity. It could also be used for an assessment of the impact of specific, local human activities, such as flow re-routing or damming, on the biodiversity patterns in a river network.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Parlange
mary.parlange@epfl.ch
41-216-937-022
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Rainfall and river networks prove accurate predictors of fish biodiversity
2. Brown scientists say biodiversity is crucial to ecosystem productivity
3. Conservation of freshwater fish biodiversity: a challenge for the countries of the South
4. Surprising discovery from first large-scale analysis of biodiversity and biogeography of viruses
5. Oil palm research in context: Identifying the need for biodiversity assessment
6. Markets of biodiversity and equity in trade: An illusion?
7. New study finds biodiversity conservation secures ecosystem services for people
8. GBIF making the search for biodiversity research resources easier
9. Are current projections of climate change-impacts on biodiversity misleading?
10. Single-largest biodiversity survey says primary rainforest is irreplaceable
11. How global is the Global Biodiversity Information Facility?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Biodiversity -- it's in the water
(Date:6/9/2016)... -- Paris Police Prefecture ... to ensure the safety of people and operations in several ... tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised in ... that its video security solution will be utilised by ... safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for ... Embossed Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure ... leader in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. ... January, however Decatur was selected for ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost ... to a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global ... By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", ... 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University ... (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will be ... correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing ... then be employed to support the design of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the ... models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce ... Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the Peel ... President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: