Navigation Links
Too much of a good thing? Excess nutrients or water limit biodiversity

Too much of a good thing (nutrients or water) actually decreases the diversity of species in an ecosystem while it increases the productivity of a few species, according to a grassland experiment conducted by University of Minnesota researchers.

The reduction in species diversity occurs because increasing the amounts of limiting resources, such as nitrogen and water, makes an ecosystem more homogeneous and consequently reduces the number of opportunities for competing species to coexist. Put another way, it reduces the number of niches, allowing a few species to dominate.

The study, conducted by David Tilman, Regents Professor of Ecology, and Stanley Harpole will be published March 25 in the online version of the journal Nature. Harpole, who is now a postdoctoral associate at the University of California, Irvine, was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota when the research was carried out.

"In essence, the data in the article strongly supports a new explanation for why the world contains so many species," said Tilman. "It shows that plant diversity is directly related to the number of limiting factors (such as soil moisture, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and water)."

It also helps explain why grasslands, lakes and rivers that are polluted with nitrogen and phosphorous (usually from agriculture) have fewer species. The reduction of species where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico is one of the best known examples of this phenomenon.

The findings are based on experiments carried out at the University of California’s Sedgwick Reserve in the Santa Ynez Valley, where the researchers applied combinations of nutrients and water to plots of grassland. Plots that received all of the resources had the fewest species and highest productivity. They combined this with analysis of the 150 year old Rothamsted Park Grass Experiment. Both supported their hypothesis.

"Our results show that the loss of plant species from a habitat due to nutrient pollution can persist for more than 100 years," Harpole said. "Thus human actions that simplify habitats can lead to long-term loss of biodiversity."
'"/>

Source:University of Minnesota


Related biology news :

1. How exactly does the brain control breathing?
2. Excess liver gene protects against high-fat diet
3. Mechanism for the captation of nutrients in plants- unknown to date
4. Fish extinctions alter critical nutrients in water, study shows
5. Anti-bacterial additive widespread in U.S. waterways
6. Unprecedented water level rise in Somalia
7. Microbial fuel cell: High yield hydrogen source and wastewater cleaner
8. Survey finds silver contamination in North Pacific waters
9. Researchers discover underwater volcano
10. Too much water may be as dangerous as too little during long-distance athletic events
11. Radio-tracking associated with dramatic shift in water vole sex ratio

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast ... the primary factor for the growth of the stem ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell ... application, and geography. The stem cell market of the ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... NEW YORK , March 30, 2017 ... by type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, ... recognition, voice recognition, and others), by end use industry ... travel and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and ... Europe , Asia Pacific ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets ... System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... Boston Strategic Partners, Inc. (BSP), ... Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) and ‘big data’ to provide a variety of ... exceeded $3.0 trillion with nearly 1/3 spent on hospitalizations. BSP has access to ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... announce that they will feature Federal Hybrids, Inc. in an upcoming episode, scheduled ... , American Farmer will explore Federal Hybrids, the independent, family-owned seed company. ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... August 17, 2017 , ... ... for cancer research and personalized medicine, today announced the launch of a new ... City, Missouri. The study’s goal is to evaluate the potential for early detection ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Recent studies ... type. Many treatments for specific cancers, such as breast, prostate, or lung, target ... androgen deprivation therapy for advanced prostate cancer. , This therapy limits the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: