HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Biodiversity as insurance in the face of change

MADISON - It has been a truism, long held by scientists, environmentalists and others, that biological diversity and the intricate, interdependent web of biological relationships it fosters is a must for maintaining the health and stability of any ecosystem.

But the argument has never been carefully honed, and there is no consensus among scientists regarding this central question of biology: Just why are diversity and competition so important to balancing the overall health of ecosystems?

Now, a group of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, writing in the Friday, Oct. 15, edition of the journal Science, suggests that simple diversity may be less important than how individual animals, plants or microbes respond to environmental change.

"It's not the number of species per se. It's how they respond to the environment that's important," says Anthony Ives, a UW-Madison associate professor of zoology and the lead author of the study published in the nation's leading scientific journal.

The primary result of the study is that competition between animals, plants and other forms of life is a sideshow. Instead, the true measure of a community's biological health and stability is the wherewithal of just some species to withstand environmental changes such as a warmer climate, a chemical change in the atmosphere or changes in land use.

That is not to say, Ives stressed, that biodiversity has no practical importance. It does, especially in the face of unpredicted, large-scale environmental shifts, he says.

"The more species you have, the greater the likelihood you'll have some (organisms) that are tolerant of environmental change. Biodiversity is an insurance policy against unknown environmental fluctuations and disturbances."

The idea, posited by Ives and co-authors Kevin Gross and Jennifer Klug, UW-Madison graduate students, suggests that ecologists should shift attention from the interations among species, and instead focus on
'"/>

Contact: Anthony Ives
arives@facstaff.wisc.edu
608-262-1519
University of Wisconsin-Madison
13-Oct-1999


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. ConocoPhillips & Conservation International launch Biodiversity Action Plan in Venezuela
2. Biodiversity depends on historical plant and animal relationships
3. Biodiversitys response to ecosystem productivity depends on historical plant, animal relationships
4. The Year of Biodiversity and Conservation
5. Biodiversity has roots in global health
6. Biodiversity conservation - no guarantee for shortcuts
7. Biodiversity hotspots, centres of endemicity, and the conservation of coral reefs
8. Biodiversity crucial to Earths ecosystems
9. Biodiversity increases ecosystems ability to absorb CO2 and nitrogen
10. New information for managing invasive species and marine reserves at the start of the International Biodiversity Observation Year
11. Scientists launch the International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY) to raise awareness of biodiversity

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


(Date:4/27/2019)... ... April 26, 2019 , ... Washington State ... April 25. More than 30 student venture teams, representing nearly 150 students, presented ... $75,000. , The top five teams in the College League were awarded ...
(Date:4/25/2019)... , ... April 23, 2019 , ... ... many of the world’s Animal Genetics and Animal Health companies. Based on Lifecycle’s ... projected for the coming years. To better support these industries, Lifecycle has devoted ...
(Date:4/25/2019)... ... ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl Peck, MD , announced today that Tara ... of drug and genomic diagnostic products for therapeutic indications in oncology, has joined the ... served as Vice President of Biometrics at GRAIL, Inc., where she built and led ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... 2019 , ... The centuries old practice of brewing beer thrives today across ... and even home brewing clubs scattered across the nation. , But proper beer ... can produce a superb product. Students at South Dakota School of Mines & ...
(Date:4/25/2019)... ... April 24, 2019 , ... ... for sales and service organizations, today announced global availability of Inference Studio’s latest ... enterprises of all sizes to harness the power of Google’s Contact Center ...
(Date:4/12/2019)... ... April 12, 2019 , ... An ... and will educate about innovative tools and devices being used to enhance cognitive ... more information. , This segment of Advancements will focus on Sound for Life, ...
(Date:4/9/2019)... , ... April 09, 2019 , ... The American ... members of the Society's leadership team, including a new addition to the presidential line ... of their peers to join the Society's leadership team for a three-year term (2019-2021). ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: