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:3/20/2015)... Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/vkzvcs/iris_biometrics ) has announced the addition ... report to their offering. This report analyzes ... report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, ... Europe , Asia-Pacific , ... . Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for ...
(Date:3/18/2015)... March 18, 2015 As mobile payments ... revolutionary smart wallets and apps continue to be introduced into ... in the mobile payment industry in focus today are:  NXT-ID, ... (NYSE: BABA ), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: ... Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB ) NXT-ID, ...
(Date:3/17/2015)... Emotient, the leader in facial expression ... availability of Emotient Analytics , the world,s ... facial expressions. The system analyzes videos of people ... services. It delivers audience response metrics - such ... derived from facial evidence of emotional states. Consumer ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Iris Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: System & Network Access Control - A Robust Market Opportunity in the Offing 2Iris Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: System & Network Access Control - A Robust Market Opportunity in the Offing 3Iris Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: System & Network Access Control - A Robust Market Opportunity in the Offing 4Iris Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: System & Network Access Control - A Robust Market Opportunity in the Offing 5Revolutionary Smart Wallet & Mobile Payment Choices Change the Game for Consumers - Company Begins Shipping Newest Digital Wallet to Customers 2Revolutionary Smart Wallet & Mobile Payment Choices Change the Game for Consumers - Company Begins Shipping Newest Digital Wallet to Customers 3Revolutionary Smart Wallet & Mobile Payment Choices Change the Game for Consumers - Company Begins Shipping Newest Digital Wallet to Customers 4Revolutionary Smart Wallet & Mobile Payment Choices Change the Game for Consumers - Company Begins Shipping Newest Digital Wallet to Customers 5Revolutionary Smart Wallet & Mobile Payment Choices Change the Game for Consumers - Company Begins Shipping Newest Digital Wallet to Customers 6New Emotient Web Service Measures Audience Response Using On-Demand Facial Expression Analysis 2New Emotient Web Service Measures Audience Response Using On-Demand Facial Expression Analysis 3New Emotient Web Service Measures Audience Response Using On-Demand Facial Expression Analysis 4
(Date:4/24/2015)... and Tempe, AZ (PRWEB) April 24, 2015 ... and Arizona State University (ASU) have entered into an ... projects. , A memorandum of agreement signed by the ... distance learning, student success and other services particularly, though ... , “We have complementary strengths and a similar ...
(Date:4/24/2015)... - Mirego, leader in mobile strategies and solutions, is proud ... extensions for the all new Apple Watch. Made in ... MediaMiser, these extensions will reinvent the way users receive and ... use.  Available today in Canada ... smartwatch that makes for an excellent buddy for business, health ...
(Date:4/23/2015)... 23, 2015 Athena San Diego, an ... executive women in San Diego’s technology and life science ... Pinnacle Awards at their Gala on April 30, 2015 ... now at http://athenasd.org/events/ , The Pinnacle Awards ... San Diego vision of fostering networking, risk taking and ...
(Date:4/23/2015)... 23, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ... first quarter 2015 results before the Nasdaq market opens ... a live conference call and webcast to discuss its financial ... 30, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time (5:00 a.m. ... conference call by dialing 866-952-1906 (US) or 785-424-1825 (International) ...
Breaking Biology Technology:South Dakota Mines, Arizona State University Pave Way for Cooperative Research 2Familiprix, OMSignal and MediaMiser apps available today for Apple Watch 2Athena Pinnacle Awards to Honor Executives, Corporations and Educators Working to Promote Women Leaders 2Neurocrine Biosciences Announces Conference Call and Webcast to Report First Quarter 2015 Results 2
Cached News: