HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Evolutionary 'speed limit' governs how quickly life bounces back after extinction

Biodiversity recovers more slowly than thought

The 500-million-year history of life on Earth is a series of booms and busts. But while the busts, or extinctions, can be either sudden or gradual, the booms, or diversifications, of new organisms rarely occur quickly, according to a new study by a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded scientist at the University of California at Berkeley. A paper on the subject appears in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

"This research has profound implications for our ongoing impact on Earth's fragile biotic communities and ecosystems," says Rich Lane, program director in NSF's division of earth sciences, which funded the research.

A statistical analysis of the rates of extinction and origination in the fossil record shows that life seldom rebounds rapidly from an extinction. The results imply that the diversification of life obeys "speed limits" set by evolutionary processes, said study author James Kirchner of UC-Berkeley.

"There seem to be biological mechanisms that limit diversification of new organisms and control which ones become successful enough to persist," he said. "Biodiversity is slow to recover after an extinction."

This apparent speed limit on the rate at which surviving organisms evolve and diversify has major implications for present- day extinctions.

"If we substantially diminish biodiversity on Earth, we can't expect the biosphere to just bounce back. It doesn't do that. The process of diversification is too slow," Kirchner said. "The planet would be biologically depleted for millions of years, with consequences extending not only beyond the lives of our children's children, but beyond the likely lifespan of the entire human species."

Kirchner has been mining a fossil database created by the late University of Chicago paleontologist Jack Sepkosk
'"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-8070
National Science Foundation
4-Jan-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Evolutionary Genomics meeting in Tucson
2. Evolutionary change leapfrogs over tadpoles
3. Evolutionary implications: myoglobin-like proteins found in ancient microorganisms
4. Evolutionary genetic tools trace cancer clone lines
5. Genetic Stowaways May Contribute To Evolutionary Change: Adjacent Sequences Tag Along With Mobile DNA Elements, Study Shows
6. Fruit-Fly Mating May Produce A Game Of Evolutionary Leapfrog
7. University Of Cincinnati Geologists Analyzes Evolutionary Impact Of Mass Extinctions
8. Tiny Jamaican Tree Crab Made Big And Fast Evolutionary Leap, Scientists Discover
9. Evolutionary Advantage Found For Sex
10. UMass scientist identifies gene that governs obesity, physical activity, sex behaviors in mice
11. Inherent speed limit governs how quickly life bounces back after extinction, UC Berkeley research shows

Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/16/2014)... Cancer constantly wages war on the human body. ... a stalemate. In pancreatic cancer, this stalemate—known as ... becoming aggressively malignant, a phenomena that is poorly ... in the laboratory of Salvatore Torquato, a Professor ... the conditions surrounding tumor dormancy and the switch ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... cultivated efficiently, they are anything but sustainable: environmental ... cultivation is becoming increasingly evident. Despite their disadvantages, ... are regarded as the sole possibility of achieving ... finds Bernhard Schmid, an ecology professor at the ... of agriculture and forestry. After all, a new ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... , Oct. 15, 2014 Sandata Technologies, ... home and community-based care, today announced it released ... Sandata,s Santrax® Electronic Visit Verification™ Solution (EVV™)  for ... a home health company founded in 1996 and ... . The study details the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Modeling tumor dormancy 2Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures 2Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures 3Sandata Announces Case Study with Quality Care Services, Inc. 2
(Date:10/22/2014)... , Oct. 22, 2014 Nuvilex, Inc. ... approximately 400 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, ... people by 2030.  The global market for diabetes treatments ... approximately 330,000 people worldwide died from pancreatic cancer.  Pancreatic ... due to cancer in the United States ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... The report “Pharmacy Automation Systems Market ... Labeling Systems, Table-top Counters) by End-user (Inpatient Pharmacy ... Trends to 2019” analyzes and studies the major ... Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World ... figures spread through 300 pages and in-depth TOC ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... PARK, Calif. , Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... today that the Company has signed a Notice ... of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), effective October 1, 2014.  ... Clinical Development payments and the release of additional ... million CIRM grant award for clinical development of ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... Md. , Oct. 20, 2014  GenVec, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... Zola P. Horovitz , Ph.D., from its board of directors ... board in August 2003, and served as its chairman from ... served on the Nominating and Corporate Governance and Audit Committees ... for more than a decade of dedicated service to GenVec, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Nuvilex Brief Analyst Report: Thinking Outside the Box by BrokerBank Securities, Inc. 2Pharmacy Automation Systems Market worth $4,566.2 Million by 2019 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Pharmacy Automation Systems Market worth $4,566.2 Million by 2019 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Pharmacy Automation Systems Market worth $4,566.2 Million by 2019 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Notice of Grant Award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury 2Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Notice of Grant Award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury 3Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Notice of Grant Award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury 4Zola P. Horovitz To Retire From GenVec Board 2
Cached News: