Earth Science News  





. Does Biodiversity Increase As Rainforest Area Expands During Global Warming

File photo: A rainforest in Indonesia.
by Staff Writers
Panama, Panama (SPX) Apr 04, 2006
"Plant diversity seems to increase when tropical forests cover large areas. Shrinking ecosystems may experience biodiversity loss lasting for millions of years."

Carlos Jaramillo, at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), and colleagues seek explanations for the longest Central and South America pollen record, published in the March 31, 2006 issue of the journal Science.

"Jaramillo's intriguing findings provide an evolutionary perspective on a modern crisis," William Laurance of STRI and the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments project in Brazil comments, "They suggest that the rapid contemporary loss and fragmentation of rainforests will lead to striking, long-term biodiversity declines."

Jaramillo et al. used cores drilled through 5km of rock in eastern Colombia and western Venezuela to get at the fossil pollen record in a sequence of samples representing 10 to 82 million years before present. Then they correlated pollen diversity with global temperature estimates for the middle part of that sequence (20-65 mybp).

"We found that pollen diversity tracks global temperature through time over millions of years. Diversity increases as the planet warms and decreases as it cools. The mystery is that even when global temperatures vary enormously, average temperatures in the tropics don't change much, so why do we see global temperature patterns reflected in tropical plant diversity?" Jaramillo proposes that changes in area drive speciation and extinction in the tropics.

"There is good correlation between area and number of species: more area implies more species. During global warming, tropical areas expand and diversity goes up, the opposite happens during global cooling. If this is the case, fragmentation of modern tropical forest could be equated to a global cooling period, because forested areas are shrinking dramatically, resulting in plummeting diversity in the forests that remain."

Authors: Carlos Jaramillo, Center for Tropical Paleoecology and Archeology, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Milton J. Rueda of the Paleoflora-Colombian Petroleum Institute and Germán Mora of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University.

Related Links
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project

How Vitamin A And Meiosis Split Life In Two
Brisbane, Australia (SPX) Apr 04, 2006
An Australian research team has solved one of biology's most fundamental questions - why males produce sperm and females produce eggs. The finding is a breakthrough that could lead to improved infertility treatment, cancer therapy and pest management.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • US Struggling To Find New Disaster Chief
  • Pakistan To Relocate Town Destroyed By Earthquake
  • Engineers Making A Difference Worldwide
  • Tiny Water Purification Packet Helps Save Lives Worldwide

  • UN Decries Biodiversity Decline, Climate Change
  • Better Estimates For Future Extreme Precipitation In Europe
  • Climate Change Deal Will Fail Without US, China And India: Blair
  • Britain Will Exceed Kyoto But Miss Own Targets On Greenhouse Gases

  • Envisat Makes Direct Measurements Of Ocean Surface Velocities
  • NASA Scientist Claims Warmer Ocean Waters Reducing Ice Worldwide
  • Space Tool Aids Fight For Clean Drinking Water
  • FluWrap: Deadly Strain Divides

  • Common Clays Investigated For Use As High Tech Environmental Catalysts
  • New Bioproducts Research Centre Will Help Industry Create Forest Biorefinery
  • New Processing Steps Promise More Economical Ethanol Production
  • The Challenge Of Fueling The Chinese Replicator

  • Supercomputer Explores Avian Flu Vaccine And Isolation Options
  • Rain Worsens Risk Of Disease In Drought-Stricken Ethiopia
  • Simple Idea To Dramatically Improve Dengue Vaccinations
  • Avian Influenza Arrives In Middle East

  • Does Biodiversity Increase As Rainforest Area Expands During Global Warming
  • How Vitamin A And Meiosis Split Life In Two
  • Insect Activities Worth $57Bn In US Alone
  • French Farmers Fear Bears

  • China To Spend Over 1Bn Dollars Cleaning Up Songhua River
  • Evacuations Continue As China Gas Well Leaks After Blast
  • Subsurface Bacteria Release Phosphate To Neutralise Uranium Contamination
  • Universities Collaborate To Reduce Development Impact On James River

  • Why Are Letters The Shape That They Are
  • Technology Terror And Viagra Could Warp Sex And Relationships
  • Cortex Matures Faster In Youth With Highest IQ
  • New Light On Muscle Efficiency

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement