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:4/5/2017)... Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the launch ... dynamic digital window into the human cell. The website ... deep learning to create predictive models of cell organization, ... suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer will ... resources created and shared by the Allen Institute for ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, ... the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... competition will focus on developing health and wellness apps ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon ... The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health ... and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving ... Adoption Model sm . In addition, CHS previously ... U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... its high level of EMR usage in an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2017  SkylineDx ... London (ICR) and University of Leeds ... to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), in a multi-centric ... The University of Leeds is the ... UK, and ICR will perform the testing services to include ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today ... designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) ... able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For ... has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled ... Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt ... to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the ... RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. ... need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze the ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: