Navigation Links
Model successfully predicts large river system fish diversity
Date:5/8/2008

While scientists have developed methods to predict aspects of fish diversity in specific river locations, a model to understand what factors may drive a comprehensive suite of fish biodiversity patterns in a large and complex system of rivers has been elusive.

Now a group of researchers, including University of Maryland ecologist William Fagan, reports success using a so-called neutral model to study fish diversity in the sprawling Mississippi-Missouri River System. Their study appears in the May 8 issue of Nature.

According to Nature, That a simple model with a minimal set of parameters can capture the observed biodiversity patterns in complex landscapes suggests that effective monitoring of environmental change is possible, and could contribute to resource management and conservation strategies.

The neutral model approach means that we do not need to have detailed knowledge about the competitive hierarchy or species interactions within a group of organisms to quantitatively reproduce a wide variety of biodiversity patterns in that system, said Fagan, co-principal investigator of the study. This 'pattern oriented modeling,' in which we simultaneously reproduce a wide variety of empirical results using a single model fit, is a powerful approach for analyzing complex systems.

Controversial Method

Using the neutral model, in which all species are assumed to be functionally equivalent, to predict biodiversity has been controversial in ecology circles.

Neutrality is a 'hot' topic in ecology, because it flies in the face of decades of detailed studies of how species interact among themselves on local scales, says Fagan. The application of the neutral model to a complex, hierarchically structured spatial network like the Mississippi-Missouri River System is new.

With a neutral model, we can suggest that a coarse assumption of equality is an excellent starting point for large scale investigations when little species-specific information is available.

M-M River System

The Mississippi-Missouri River System was a good study area, Fagan says, because it is the largest confluent drainage system covered by the NatureServe dataset.

The fact that we can replicate key aspects of the spatial patterns of fish biodiversity from the Appalachians to the Rockies testifies to the robustness of this approach, said Fagan.

One upshot from this work, still to be vetted in other systems, is the idea that some knowledge of the branching geometry of a river network, coupled with average runoff production, can provide crucial insights into the amount and spatial distribution of freshwater biodiversity and how that biodiversity may change as discharge patterns change.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen Ternes
eternes@umd.edu
301-405-4627
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Climate modelers see modern echo in 30s Dust Bowl
2. A model photochemical compass for bird navigation
3. In computer models and observations, researchers see potential for significant red tide season
4. Carnegie Mellon develops computer model to study cell membrane dynamics
5. New horizons in modelling surface processes
6. Umbilical cord blood cell therapy in an animal model of Alzheimers disease
7. Arctic climate models playing key role in polar bear decision
8. Scientists successfully treat new mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease
9. Stem-cell transplantation improves muscles in MD animal model, UT Southwestern researchers report
10. Worlds biggest heart model simulated at Université de Montréal
11. Researchers create mathematical model of fruit fly eyes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... 2017 Today, American Trucking Associations announced ... face and eye tracking software, became the newest ... "Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing ... a driver,s attentiveness levels while on the road.  ... detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an ... identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate as ... 15 thru May 17, 2017, in Washington ... Center. Identity impacts the lives of ... quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017 The global ... landscape is marked by the presence of several large ... held by five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC ... accounted for nearly 61% of the global military biometric ... in the global military biometrics market boast global presence, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a ... biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be ... are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most personal eye ... first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and likely quicker ... eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, getting anything ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... the Netherlands and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. ... The Institute of Cancer Research, London ... use MMprofiler™ with SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients ... trial known as MUK nine . The University of ... trial, which is partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building ... corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is part of a ... company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also expand its service ...
Breaking Biology Technology: