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:10/15/2014)... the 44th Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Biomedical ... the mechanisms of genomic instability and its implications for ... second alumnus to win the Rosenstiel Award; the first, ... Alt is the Charles A. Janeway Professor of Pediatrics ... an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... shows SIRT6—a protein known to inhibit the growth ... skin cancers by turning on an enzyme that increases ... Previously considered protective, SIRT6 is part of a family ... stability and prevent some of the genetic flaws associated ... lead to cancer. This study, in the journal,s October ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... of the planet,s leading questions is how to produce ... variable climate. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the ... over the next 40 years to feed a growing ... the necessary rise in food production. Plants—grains, cereals, ... supporting livestock. Current research must tap into our ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Brandeis awards 44th Rosenstiel Award to pioneering geneticist Fred Alt 2Two-faced gene: SIRT6 prevents some cancers but promotes sun-induced skin cancer 2Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture 2Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture 3
(Date:10/22/2014)... YORK , Oct. 22, 2014 Nuvilex, ... Federation, approximately 400 million people worldwide are living with ... million people by 2030.  The global market for diabetes ... 2012 approximately 330,000 people worldwide died from pancreatic cancer.  ... death due to cancer in the United ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... and HONG KONG , Oct. ... disease therapeutics enterprise, announced today that rare disease expert ... as vice president, research. Dr. McKew brings more than ... leadership positions at the National Institutes of Health, Wyeth ... by Wyeth). Dr. McKew will lead aTyr,s efforts to expand ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... YORK , Oct. 20, 2014 ... their experimental ZMapp™ antibody therapeutic to fight the ... how difficult and time-consuming the production of pharmaceuticals ... market research publisher said that while some may ... of this compound, those with industry knowledge are ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... , Oct. 20, 2014 Asterias ... the Company has signed a Notice of Grant ... Medicine (CIRM), effective October 1, 2014.  The NGA ... payments and the release of additional grant funds ... grant award for clinical development of Asterias, product, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Nuvilex Brief Analyst Report: Thinking Outside the Box by BrokerBank Securities, Inc. 2aTyr Pharma Appoints John C. McKew, Ph.D., as Vice President, Research 2aTyr Pharma Appoints John C. McKew, Ph.D., as Vice President, Research 3Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 2Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 3Asterias 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 4
Cached News: