Navigation Links
Smithsonian perspective: Biodiversity in a warmer world
Date:10/9/2008

Will climate change exceed life's ability to respond? Biodiversity in a Warmer World, published in the Oct. 10, 2008 issue of the journal, Science, illustrates that cross-disciplinary research fostered by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama clearly informs this urgent debate.

As an extremely diverse region of rainforest and coral reefs, the tropics may have the most to lose as a result of global warming. Some disagree, arguing that tropical organisms will be favored as their ranges expand into temperate areas. Few empirical studies provide specific answers to help us choose conservation and mitigation measures.

Science asked Jens Svenning, University of Aarhus, Denmark and Richard Condit of the Smithsonian's Global Earth Observatory Network to review two papers about species range change:

In a range analysis for plants and insects on a mountain slope in Costa Rica, Colwell et al. show that a 3.2˚ C increase in temperature threatens 53 percent of the area's species with lowland extinction and 51 percent with range shift gaps, meaning that they have nowhere else to go.

The other study they reviewed, by Moritz et al., follows historical range expansions and contractions for small mammals in Yosemite National Park in California, USA and shows that ranges may contract dangerously as they are pushed further and further up mountain slopes.

To provide the proper perspective for this work Svenning, who held a postdoctoral fellowship with the Smithsonian's GEO network in 2000-2002 and Condit cite empirical work by colleagues at the Smithsonian and others:

In a 2001 Science article by STRI staff scientist Carlos Jaramillo et al., plant pollen diversity in rock cores from northern South America revealed that warming events in the tropics over 60 million years were not particularly detrimental, with the caveat that warming in fragmented landscapes or crossing a temperature threshold could cause severe extinctions in the future.

Extant species that evolved in warmer climates should retain the ability to tolerate warmer climates in the future, as argued in a 2001 issue of Science by Eldredge Bermingham, director of STRI and Christopher Dick, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

It is not clear which factors (temperature, moisture, competition with other species, habitat limitation) are the primary causes of tropical extinctions. Drought tolerance, however, definitely limits tropical plant distributions. This was reported in the May 2007 issue of Nature by Bettina Engelbrecht, research associate and lecturer at San Francisco State University, and colleagues.

Condit and Svenning also cite their own studies from the tropics and temperate areas where other drivers of extinction are at work. They call for more discoveries of the sort that often result when researchers are brought together in places like STRI's facilities in Panama, where camaraderie fuels critical ecological research within an intellectual context that encourages a deep time and wide world perspective.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
703-487-3770 x8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Smithsonian researchers develop models to assess wetland health
2. Smithsonian scientists help lead effort to barcode worlds species
3. Smithsonian identifies invasive crab species in Panama Canal expansion area
4. Smithsonian identifies invasive crab species in Panama Canal expansion area
5. Smithsonian scientists working to save microscopic threatened species
6. Smithsonian scientists highlight environmental impacts of biofuels
7. Smithsonian study: Sediment prediction tools off the mark
8. Science, not romance, controls mating at Smithsonians National Zoo
9. Smithsonian announces Global Forest Carbon Research Initiative
10. Rare North Island brown kiwi hatches at the Smithsonians National Zoo
11. Turtle nesting threatened by logging practices in Gabon, Smithsonian warns
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Smithsonian perspective: Biodiversity in a warmer world
(Date:1/21/2016)... India , January 21, 2016 ... According to a new market research report "Emotion Detection ... and Others), Software Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition ... Regions - Global forecast to 2020", published by ... is expected to reach USD 22.65 Billion by ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... , Jan. 18, 2016  Extenua Inc., a ... simplifies the use and access of ubiquitous on-premise ... partnership with American Cyber.  ... experience leading transformational C4ISR and Cyber initiatives in ... the latest proven technology solutions," said Steve ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... Jan. 11, 2016 Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: ... today announced that its ClearPad ® TouchView ™ ... won two separate categories in the 8 th ... Best Technology Breakthrough. The Synaptics ® TDDI solution ... supply chain, thinner devices, brighter displays and borderless designs. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016  CytoSorbents Corporation (NASDAQ: ... its flagship CytoSorb® blood filter to treat deadly ... the world, announced that CEO Dr. Phillip ... Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare ... company.  Conference Presentation Details: ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: ... fostering and monetization of intellectual property, today provided an ... in the Northern District of Texas ... Inter Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings ... Office.  The IPR was initiated on only certain claims ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... ... Many of the engineers at FireflySci, Inc. have been manufacturing quartz and ... cuvette manufacturers is their supercharged customer service and their extensive database of glass cuvette ... of inside information, they have recently revamped their manufacturing techniques to reduce lead times ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Feb. 3, 2016 Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ... applies its innovative TransCon technology to address significant unmet ... upcoming investor conference.Event:2016 Leerink Partners Global Healthcare Conference Location: ... Wednesday, February 10, 2016 Time:  , 11:55am EST ... --> An audio webcast of this event ...
Breaking Biology Technology: