Navigation Links
Biologists produce global map of plant biodiversity

Biologists at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Bonn in Germany have produced a global map of estimated plant species richness. Covering several hundred thousand species, the scientists say their global map is the most extensive map of the distribution of biodiversity on Earth to date.

The map, which accompanies a study published in this week's early online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, highlights areas of particular concern for conservation. It also, the scientists say, provides much needed assistance in gauging the likely impact of climate change on the services plants provide to humans.

Walter Jetz of UCSD and Holger Kreft of the University of Bonn sought in their study to determine how well the diversity, or the "richness," of plant species could be predicted from environmental conditions alone.

"Plants provide important services to humans—such as ornaments, structure, food and bio-molecules that can be used for the development of drugs or alternative fuels—that increase in value with their richness," says Jetz, an assistant professor of biology at UCSD and the senior author of the paper. "Tropical countries such as Ecuador or Colombia harbor by a factor 10 to 100 higher plant species richness than most parts of the United States or Europe. The question is, Why?"

While explorers to these tropical regions long ago recognized this increased diversity over more temperate regions, the general understanding among ecologists about this striking difference continues to be very limited.

"Given that we are far off from knowing the individual distributions of the world's 300,000 odd plant species," says Jetz. "Holger Kreft and I investigated how well the richness of plants can be predicted from environmental conditions alone."

Combining field-survey based species counts from over a thousand regions worldwide with high-resolution environmental data, the scientists were able to accurately capture the factors that promote high species richness of plants.

"This allowed us to estimate the richness of yet unsurveyed parts of the world," says Jetz. "The global map of estimated plant species richness highlights areas of particular concern for conservation and provides much needed assistance in gauging the likely impact of climate change on the services plants provide to humans. It may also help to pinpoint areas that deserve further attention for the discovery of plants or drugs yet unknown to humanity."

"Climate change may drive to extinction plants that hold important cures before we find them," says Kreft, a biologist at the Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants at the University of Bonn. "Ecological research like ours that captures complex diversity - environment relationships on a global scale may assist in a small, but important way so that such a fatal potential failure can be averted."


'"/>

Source:University of California - San Diego


Related biology news :

1. Biologists discover why 10% of Europeans are safe from HIV
2. Biologists determine genetic blueprint of social amoeba
3. Biologists Crack Genetic Code for Specialized Spider Silk
4. Biologists discover new pathway into plant cells
5. Biologists visualize protein interaction that may initiate viral infection
6. Biologists develop genome-wide map of miRNA-mRNA interactions
7. How healthy is that marsh? Biologists count parasites
8. Biologists find regions of rice domestication
9. Biologists probe the machinery of cellular protein factories
10. Biologists call for better choice of model organisms in evo-devo
11. Biologists prove critical step in membrane fusion
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/5/2016)...  The Office of Justice Programs, National Institute ... Enhance or Replace Medico Legal Autopsies?" on NIJ.gov.  ... replacing forensic autopsies with postmortem X-ray computed tomography, ... response to recommendations made by The National Academy ... as a potential component of medicolegal death investigations. ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Nov. 30, 2016 Not many of us realize that we spend ? ... so we need to do it well. Inadequate sleep levels have been found to ... stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Maybe now is the best time to ... help them to manage their sleep quality? Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... , Nov. 29, 2016   ... identification and object recognition technologies, today released ... for fingerprint recognition solutions that run on ... fingerprint template using less than 128KB of ... compact devices that have limited on-board resources, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... This CAST literature review and report looks ... authors focus on the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters ... and the resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts large volumes of trade ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... SEOUL, South Korea , Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... completed a $21 billion KRW (US $18.9M) Series A ... Management, Kolon Investment, G.N. Tech Venture and SNU Bio ... by Eutilex to 30.5 billion KRW (US $27.7M) since ... will help Eutilex to bolster the development and commercialization ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... NE (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... systems integration, today announced that it has become a Wonderware Certified System Integrator ... System Integrator Partner by Schneider Electric Software. , “The System Integrator Partner certification ...
(Date:12/7/2016)...  Biocom, the association for the California ... of 21 st Century Cures legislation in Congress. The ... 392-26 vote and in the Senate on December 7 by ... Joe Panetta , president & CEO of Biocom: ... millions of patients around the world. The measure culminates three ...
Breaking Biology Technology: