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:11/30/2016)... 30, 2016  higi SH llc (higi) announced ... targeting national brands, industry thought-leaders and celebrity influencers ... audiences for taking steps to live healthier, more ... 2012, higi has built the largest self-screening health ... million people who have conducted over 185 million ...
(Date:11/24/2016)... -- Cercacor today introduced Ember TM Sport Premium ... measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen Saturation, Perfusion Index, ... approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a smartphone, using only ... key data about their bodies to help monitor these ... Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. When hemoglobin and ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... , Nov. 17, 2016 Global Market Watch: ... Public Biobanks (Disease-Based Banks, Population-Based Banks and Academics) market is ... analysis for Private Biobanks shows the highest Compounded Annual Growth ... region during the analysis period 2014-2020. ... CAGR of 9.95% followed by Europe ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... From wearable devices that can improve performance ... Thursday, December 15th a panel of entrepreneurs, innovators and a Philadelphia Eagles front ... Smart Talk session. Smart Talk will run from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. at ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016  Renova™ Therapeutics, a biotechnology company ... and type 2 diabetes, announced that it has ... virus (AAV) vector developed in the laboratory of ... Stanford University. The company plans to use this ... product pipeline. "Early research has ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... FrontPanel SDK that provide essential device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced ... FrontPanel support. The FOMD-ACV-A4 is a small, thin, SODIMM-style module that fits a ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... BARCELONA, Spain , Dec. 8, 2016  Anaconda ... on the development of the next generation neuro-thrombectomy system ... the appointment of Tudor G. Jovin, MD to join ... to serve as a strategic network of scientific and ... progresses the development of the ANCD BRAIN ® ...
Breaking Biology Technology: