Navigation Links
What makes rainforests unique? History, not ecology
Date:9/23/2011

History and geology, not current ecology, are likely what has made tropical forests so variable from site to site, according to a new study published in the journal Science, co-authored by Liza Comita, research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

"The same ecological processes seem to be working worldwide. The difference is that tropical organisms have been accumulating for vast periods of time," said Nathan J.B. Kraft, post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Colombia, who led the research team.

"This study shows how collecting data using the same methods at sites around the world, similar to what we do at the Center for Tropical Forest ScienceSmithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatories Network, offers new insights into the processes that shape ecological communities," said Comita, formerly a post-doctoral fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, now an assistant professor at The Ohio State University. "We found that measurements of variation in biodiversity from place to place, called beta diversity, are actually very similar as you move from the tropics to the poles when you account for the number of species present in the first place."

Forests in Canada and Europe may have much more in common with tropical rainforests than previously believed. "We see that biodiversity patterns can be explained not by current ecological processes, unfolding over one or two generations, but by much longer-term historical and geological events," said Kraft, who will join the faculty at the University of Maryland next year.

"Fossils tell a similar story," said STRI scientist, Aaron O'Dea, co-author, with Willem Renema and others, of a 2008 article in Science showing that marine biodiversity hotspots could be traced back to ancient areas of tectonic activity. "Geological history reveals that glaciations and mass extinctions have lasting effects on the structure of biological communities. It bears witness to the devastation that occurs when accumulated biodiversity is lost: a threat we are facing today."


'/>"/>

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

Related biology news :

1. Trustee makes donation to start new solar energy research center at Rensselaer
2. What makes an axon an axon?
3. Feed a cold, feed a fever: Research shows calorie cut makes it harder to fight flu
4. Fly guy makes memory breakthrough
5. Our unconscious brain makes the best decisions possible
6. Biophysical Reviews makes debut in 2009
7. Tree lizard’s quick release escape system makes jumpers turn somersaults
8. Rett Syndrome Research Trust advisor makes significant discovery
9. Peptides-on-demand: McGill researchers radical new green chemistry makes the impossible possible
10. Mount Sinai Hospital researcher makes stem cell breakthrough
11. Red wine vs. white? It makes no difference when it comes to breast-cancer risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
What makes rainforests unique? History, not ecology
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute ... Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital ... 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning ... human stem cell lines and a growing suite of ... platform for these and future publicly available resources created ...
(Date:4/3/2017)...  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis Corporation,s ... statistically significant association between the potency of ... objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. The ... cancer patients will respond to CAR-T cell ... to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and cell ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/25/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... Piedmont Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, P.A. , proudly announced today that acclaimed physiatrist ... commence his duties on May 15, 2017. , Dr. Terzella completed his residency ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Leaders of Quorum Review IRB ... featured in multiple sessions at this week’s Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) ... practices in clinical research. , "We are excited to present subject matter expertise on ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... -- Dante Labs announced today the offer of whole genome sequencing ... American individuals have been able to access WGS at $1,000, ... below EUR 1,000. The sequencing includes bioinformatics analysis ... make informed decisions about disease monitoring, prevention, nutrition, exercise, health ... ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Having worked on the design of the innovative ... introduce it to top lab design architects from around the country at the Lab ... Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey will be at the show, where they will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: