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:


(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 According to a new ... Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, ... IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 ... (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Florida , April 11, 2017 ... a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors ... Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s ... ... of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and benefiting ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a ... of a nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which ... growing need for communication among health care professionals to enhance ... physicians, nurses, office staff, and other health care professionals to ... for breast cancer. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today announced that ... SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) B VHH13 ... cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its function. Dysregulation ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob ... at his local San Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem ... CA and had 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is pleased ... scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. Each ... leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February 26-March ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: