Navigation Links
Palms reveal the significance of climate change for tropical biodiversity
Date:4/23/2012

Scientists at Aarhus University have spearheaded research results that shed new light on the processes forming the composition of species assemblages in the tropics.

"It comes as a surprise to us that climate change over millions of years still leaves a signature in the composition of species assemblages we see today. If species are severely affected by current and future climate change, it'll mean that there are long-lasting consequences for biodiversity, maybe over many millions of years to come at least much longer than we've ever dreamt of before," says Daniel Kissling, who initiated the ground-breaking research results shortly to be published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS).

Tropical areas provide similar conditions with high temperatures and humidity regardless of whether you are in Asia, Africa or South America. And you can find lush rainforests in all these places. However, tropical rainforests are not the same. There are fundamental differences in the species composition in the rainforests on the different continents.

Palms are much more than just the coconut palms we see on beaches of pure white sand. There are actually more than 2400 species of palms and, by studying them, the researchers have shown that the palm assemblages we find in the tropics today are to a large extent formed by climatic changes of the past, taking place over millions of years.

South America has had a relatively stable humid and warm climate over the last 50 million years, and rainforests have been widespread throughout this entire period. This is where species diversity is highest. There have been good living conditions and plenty of space for many new species to arise. As species formation has been concentrated in particular groups, the species-rich South American palm communities are now dominated by closely related species.

Africa, on the other hand, has been hit by severe drying during the last 10 to 30 million years. The area of rainforest has thus diminished dramatically, until it reached a minimum during the cold, dry ice ages that have repeatedly affected the world over and over again during the last 3 million years. As a result of past climatic changes, many species have simply disappeared entirely from the continent. There are therefore far fewer palm species in Africa than in South America. The poor palm flora of Africa thus has a relict character, and consists of species that are often not closely related to each other.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jens-Christian Svenning
svenning@biology.au.dk
(45) 28-99-23-04
Aarhus University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. The Anatomy of Palms showcases the science and art inside palms
2. Neiker-Tecnalia research -- to obtain more productive, resistant and sustainable oil palms
3. Bates County Memorial Hospital Integrates Fujitsu PalmSecure Biometric Solution Into New Time and Attendance System
4. Fujitsu PalmSecure Certified Under International Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 2
5. Fujitsu PalmSecure LOGONDIRECTOR Integrates with Passlogix v-GO Access Accelerator Suite
6. Fujitsu PalmSecure LOGONDIRECTOR Integrates with Passlogix v-GO Access Accelerator Suite
7. Fujitsu PalmSecure LOGONDIRECTOR Verified as Citrix Ready
8. Carnegie Mellon fluorescent biosensor reveals mechanism critical to immune system amplification
9. Estrogen hormone reveals protective ability after traumatic brain injury
10. Unique adaptations to a symbiotic lifestyle reveal novel targets for aphid insecticides
11. Whats in a surname? New study explores what the evolution of names reveals about China
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/12/2017)... 12, 2017 A new report by Allied Market Research, titled, ... biometric technology market is expected to generate revenue of $10.72 billion by 2022, with ... Continue Reading ... Allied Market Research Logo ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140911/647229) In the ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... Calif. , Jan. 5, 2017  Delta ID ... its iris scanning technology for automotive at CESĀ® 2017. ... GNTX ) to demonstrate the use of iris ... identify and authenticate the driver in a car, and ... during the driving experience. Delta ID and ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... NEW YORK , December 22, 2016 ... global provider of secure solutions for the e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, ... a subsidiary of SuperCom, has been selected to implement and deploy ... county in Northern California , further expanding its ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., today ... , Ph.D., as chief executive officer, as well ... Dr. Schmidt brings to ArmaGen more than 17 years ... and development of biotherapeutics and pharmaceuticals. ... the diverse experience and skillset necessary to lead ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... FireflySci Inc. is a ... The tremendous growth is accounted to two main factors. The first is ... expanding network of vendors supplying FireflySci products all around the world. , 2016 was ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- Acupath Laboratories, Inc., a leading provider of sub-specialized ... Committee that will guide the company,s vision and strategy ... , a 15-year veteran of the anatomic pathology industry, ... Chief Sales Officer .  Prior to joining Acupath ... leadership roles at several leading lab industry organizations including, ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017   Boston Biomedical , ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, will feature data ... napabucasin, at the 2017 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, held ... . Napabucasin is an orally-administered investigational ... STAT3. i Cancer stem cells (CSCs) possess the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: