Navigation Links
Smithsonian scientists find evidence that could rewrite Hawaii's botanical history
Date:4/15/2008

Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution have discovered data that suggests one of Hawaiis most dominant plants, Metrosideros, has been a resident of the islands far longer than previously believed.

Their findings are being published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B in London on April 16.

Metrosideros, commonly called ohia in the Hawaiian Islands, has puzzled researchers for years. Although previously thought to be a newcomer to the islands, these plants are well integrated into the islands ecosystems. However, scientists from the Smithsonians National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonians National Zoo now are able to show, through molecular research, that Metrosideros may have colonized the islands soon after they formed. If so, these plants would have played an important role in shaping the ecology of the islands from the beginning.

The isolated Hawaiian Islands are home to many unique and endemic species of plants and animals. To know how these species came to interact with one another and form functioning ecosystems, scientists must first know how and when each species came to be on the islands. This is particularly important in the case of Metrosiderosmany species of birds and insects are specialized to coexist and feed on these plants. Knowing when Metrosideros dispersed and colonized the islands also will give scientists a better understanding of how and when the fauna that rely on them evolved.

Until now, no definitive phylogeographical study (combining evolutionary history with current distribution patterns in order to understand both) has been done on ecologically dominant species in this island group.

What we are finding, said Scott Miller, a Smithsonian scientist working on the project, is a distinct geographical pattern that supports a hypothesis that these plants colonized the Hawaiian Islands sequentially as they formed. This could prove that Metrosideros played a far more important role in Hawaiis ecology than once thought.

Scientists at the Smithsonian will continue to research Metrosideros in Hawaii to further determine the plants historical colonization pattern and its influence and role in the biodiversity of the islands.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Gibbons
202-633-5187
Smithsonian
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:
(Date:2/9/2016)... -- Vigilant Solutions announces today that an agency used its ... lead in a difficult homicide case. The agency then used ... suspect vehicle. Due to the ongoing investigation, the agency name ... the agency,s request. --> --> ... found deceased at an intersection here in the City. He ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has ... Facial Recognition Market 2016-2020" report to ... has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. --> Research ... the addition of the "Global Facial ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... --> --> Fourth quarter 2015:   ... fourth quarter of 2014. Gross margin was 46% (32). ... Earnings per share increased to SEK 6.39 (loss: 0.49). Cash ... --> --> January to December ... 1,142% compared with 2014. Gross margin was 43% (31). ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)...  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing in procurement ... announced today the appointment of Jim Shuman ... nearly 25 years of experience in supply chain, ... two decades in executive level roles as the ... and, most recently headed global logistics and procurement ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, a ... Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor Exhibition on Thursday, February 18, ... 100 tables for its annual event, which will run from 3:00 p.m. - ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... SonaCare Medical, LLC reports the introduction of ... monitoring. The inaugural launch of this new technology occurred over the course of ... to a HIFU technical expert at SonaCare Medical headquarters. , Sonalink allows ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Curoverse announced today that the ... provides capabilities for managing and processing genomic and health data at petabyte scale. ... collecting and analyzing genomic data,” said Adam Berrey chief executive officer at Curoverse. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: