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

class of animals known--scientists had assumed that each plant-eating insect species tended to feed on one or very few plant species. If true, the estimates of the number of herbivorous insects should be tied to the number of plant species.

"Instead, most insects turn out to be specialized not to plant species, but rather to a genus [grouping of species] or family [grouping of genera] of plants," Weiblen said. "Fewer effective plant 'hosts' means fewer herbivores. Where people had assumed that different insects' food sources overlapped very little, we found that many insects share their food plants with other insect species. There are actually few extreme specialists among tropical insect herbivores."

New Guinea's species diversity made the island an ideal laboratory for the study. Its tropical forests are about the same area as Texas but contain five percent of the world's biodiversity, Weiblen said. The island has 12,000 species of plants; in comparison, Weiblen's home state of Minnesota has only about 1200 species. The work began in 1994 with studies of the insects eating 15 species of figs--Weiblen's area of specialty--that co-occur in the rainforest. The study then expanded to include the mulberry family, which is related to figs, then members of the coffee family and more distantly related plants. The team used DNA sequences to sort out the evolutionary relationships between plants and looked at how insect species were distributed on them.

They found that the tropical forest plant community was dominated by clusters of closely related plant species and that insects tend to feed on multiple close relatives in a given plant genus or family. Because the number of insect species was tied to broader--and therefore less numerous--categories of plants, estimates of their numbers had to be diminished, Weiblen said. Once the estimate of herbivorous insects had been made, the researchers plugged that number into equations to estimate the total
'"/>

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:
TAG: Tropical scientists find fewer species than expected

(Date:11/21/2014)... Calif. , Nov. 20, 2014   Atmel® ... leader in microcontroller (MCU) and touch technology solutions, today ... temperature sensors with the widest V cc ... higher temperature accuracy and faster I 2 C bus ... and serial EEPROM memory making them ideal for consumer, ...
(Date:11/15/2014)... YORK , Nov. 13, 2014  While we may ... technology Doctor McCoy used in "Star Trek" to gain instant ... tools designed to work with smartphones and tablets for monitoring ... of the healthcare world. This may seem a tad Orwellian ... ready to adopt some of these technological opportunities into their ...
(Date:11/7/2014)... 2014  In conjunction with the Glendale ... Community Foundation of the Verdugos has announced the " ... a $250,000 initiative to keep the Verdugo Regional Crime Lab ... six months of existence, the Lab has processed more than ... law enforcement. "Because our number one priority is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Atmel Launches Industry's First Wide-V(cc) Low-Power Temperature Sensor Family 2Atmel Launches Industry's First Wide-V(cc) Low-Power Temperature Sensor Family 3Atmel Launches Industry's First Wide-V(cc) Low-Power Temperature Sensor Family 4Americans May Be Ready for a Brave New World of Healthcare 2Americans May Be Ready for a Brave New World of Healthcare 3Americans May Be Ready for a Brave New World of Healthcare 4Community Foundation Of The Verdugos Unveils Campaign To Fund Glendale-Burbank DNA Justice Project 2
(Date:11/26/2014)... 25, 2014 SonaCare Medical, a ... (HIFU) devices, recently participated in the American Urology ... 360° .” Key opinion leaders in urology presented ... to small renal masses while attendees had the ... technologies in hands-on labs. Attendees at the Los ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... November 25, 2014 The Pittcon marketing ... official conference and exposition mobile app, ... download in the App Store for iOS and Android ... resource tool before, during and after the event. It ... on exhibiting companies, technical sessions, Conferee Networking sessions and ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 SoundConnect , an award ... to announce that Darren Suders has joined the team ... will drive the partner program through innovative ... , Darren brings more than 10-years of channel ... in channel operations, from policy development, to partner education ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 25 novembre 2014 Theravalues Corporation est fier ... marché européen au salon Hi Europe 2014 (du ... ). Curcumine la plus biodisponible actuellement ... (non-cristalline) à des ingrédients approuvés par les règlements ... jaune présent dans la racine de curcuma ( ...
Breaking Biology Technology:SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 2SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 3Pittcon Releases 2015 Mobile App 2SoundConnect Appoints Director of Channel Development & Sales 2La curcumine présentant la plus haute biodisponibilité bientôt en vente en Europe 2La curcumine présentant la plus haute biodisponibilité bientôt en vente en Europe 3
Cached News: