HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Tropical scientists find fewer species than expected

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL--An eight-year National Science Foundation-funded study of New Guinean rainforest plants and the insects that feed on them has yielded a new and dramatically lower estimate of the number of species on the planet. The estimate, which lowers the number of species from approximately 31 million to between four and six million, is based on the finding that insects specialize their feeding not on individual species of plants, but on genera and even families of plants. In "bringing some reality" to estimates of world biodiversity, the study allows scientists to get a better handle on how fast species are being lost, said University of Minnesota plant biologist George Weiblen, the principal plant expert on the research team. The work will be published in the April 25 issue of Nature.

It is important to know how fast biodiversity is being lost, but this is hard to gauge without a solid baseline, Weiblen said. Scientists advising governments on policies to curtail species losses must have credible estimates of species numbers if they are to shape appropriate policies. The stakes are high because losses of too many species or certain kinds of species can cripple tropical forest ecosystems, which normally stabilize soil and climate, purify and recycle water, and produce food, medicine, building materials or other useful products, he said.

The current study took a cross-disciplinary approach; besides Weiblen, the principal scientists were insect expert and project coordinator Scott Miller of the Smithsonian Institution and insect community ecologists Yves Basset of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and Voytech Novotny of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

The team compared insect communities feeding on 51 tropical plant species, most belonging to either the fig family, the mulberry family or the coffee family. While previous work had also based estimates of total species on numbers of insects--the most species-rich
'"/>

Contact: Deane Morrison
morri029@umn.edu
612-624-2346
University of Minnesota
24-Apr-2002


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Tropical legume could be alternative hay/forage crop for Texas
2. Tropical deforestation and global warming
3. Arthropods of Tropical Forests
4. Tropical Science for the 21st Century
5. A Magic Web: The Tropical Forest of Barro Colorado
6. Ira Rubinoff honored by the Association for Tropical Biology
7. Tropical forests under surveillance
8. Sessions on bioterrorism featured at Tropical Medicine Meeting
9. Tropical glaciers formed while earth was giant snowball
10. Chemistry in the Amazon: Tropical birds, Amazonian tribespeople derive medicinal benefits from insects, plants
11. Tropical tree distribution could have implications for forest management, conservation

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


(Date:11/28/2016)... 2016 "The biometric system ... The biometric system market is in the growth ... near future. The biometric system market is expected to ... a CAGR of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Government ... technology in smartphones, rising use of biometric technology in ...
(Date:11/21/2016)... 2016   Neurotechnology , a provider of ... announced that the MegaMatcher On Card fingerprint matching ... the NIST Minutiae Interoperability Exchange (MINEX) III ... steps of the evaluation protocol. ... of fingerprint templates used to establish compliance of ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... , Nov. 16, 2016 Sensory ... experience and security for consumer electronics, and ... financial and retail industry, today announced a global ... convenient way to authenticate users of mobile banking ... TrulySecure™ software which requires no specialized ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... CALGARY , Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... announced  that the independent Data and Safety Monitoring ... trial in high-risk cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients has ... that the study should continue as planned without ... and noted that no safety or efficacy concerns ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... -operated small businesses in federally funded research and development is welcome news for ... optics and photonics . , As part of the National Defense Authorization Act ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... More than $4.3 million was raised last night ... ). The gala was held at the American Museum of ... and honored Alan Alda and P. ... medicine and the public understanding of science. Since the first ... has raised $40 million for the Laboratory,s research and education ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... safety data from its Phase I/II clinical trials for AC0010 at the World Conference ... look forward to providing an update on the phase I/II clinical trials for AC0010 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: