Navigation Links
New explanation for a puzzling biological divide along the Malay Peninsula
Date:3/6/2009

Ecologists at the University of California, San Diego, offer a new explanation for an apparently abrupt switch in the kinds in of mammals found along the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia from mainland species to island species in the absence of any geographical barrier.

An ancient seaway between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea was once thought have split the peninsula in two, allowing separated populations of animals to diverge. But a recent revision of the history of sea levels reveals that the ocean hasn't cut through the peninsula in the past 40 million years. Current species of mammals are much younger than that.

Instead, David Woodruff, professor of biology at UC San Diego and former graduate student Leslie Turner, now at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Ploen, Germany, say that more than 58 rapid sea level rises in the last 5 million years could account for the shift by crowding out species, particularly at the narrowest part of the peninsula called the Isthmus of Kra. The Journal of Biogeography posted their findings online February 25.

For most of the past few million years, the shallow ocean shelf surrounding the peninsula and islands of Malaysia and Indonesia has been exposed, creating a land area about the size of Europe. That habitat shrank dramatically each time sea levels rose.

"The ocean is coming from both sides repeatedly to squeeze things," Woodruff said. "If you have the ocean edge coming back and forth more than 50 times around this little narrow area, you'll compress the fauna and cause species to go extinct locally."

By consulting published reports, Woodruff and Turner mapped the ranges of 325 species of mammals found in the region. "We studied mammals from China down to Singapore," Woodruff said. But they found no evidence for a sharp transition between types of mammals at Kra or anywhere else along the peninsula.

Instead, they saw a gap. "We found an area about 600 kilometers long where there are 30 percent fewer species than there should be," Woodruff said.

Although 128 mainland Asian species stopped before the southern tip of the peninsula and 121 island species were found only in the south, 35 widely distributed species were found above and below the isthmus, but were missing from that narrowest part.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Woodruff
dwoodruff@ucsd.edu
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Diversity of trees in Ecuadors Amazon rainforest defies simple explanation
2. A new explanation for evolutionary changes in genetic sex-determination systems
3. Unclear regulations obstacle to biological diversity
4. Musicians have biological advantage in identifying emotion in sound
5. Biological control of tropical weeds using arthropods
6. Study finds most wars occur in Earths richest biological regions
7. Argonne scientists discover possible mechanism for creating handedness in biological molecules
8. Animal and biological science highlights: San Antonio Fluid Dynamics Conference, Nov. 23-25
9. GEN reports on novel tools for deciphering biological networks
10. Argonne scientists peer into heart of compound that may detect chemical, biological weapons
11. Biological sand filters, a practical approach to combat poverty and inequality
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/21/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... been appointed to the new role of principal ... has been named the director of customer development. ... , NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect ... development teams in response to high customer demand ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety ... France during the major tournament Teleste, ... communications systems and services, announced today that its video security ... to back up public safety across the country. ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics & ... & Other Service  The latest report from ... of the global Border Security market . Visiongain ... billion in 2016. Now: In November 2015 ... and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... --  EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, today ... from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will allow ... drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional lab ... been an incredible strategic partner to us – one ... provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , EpiBiome,s ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, ... and multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess ... of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... either as a single dose (ranging from 45 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June ... be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during ...
Breaking Biology Technology: