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:3/24/2015)... 2015   NexID Biometrics LLC, whose spoof-mitigation ... today announced the beginning of shipments of version 2.0 ... The company, based in Potsdam, N.Y. ... Expo, which began here today at the Walter E. ... of its SDK boosts the accuracy rate range to ...
(Date:3/23/2015)... , March 23, 2015  In the 2014 fiscal ... case conviction losses. This figure accounts for a fraction ... to The Nilson Report, exceeds $11 billion globally. The ... after a crime has occurred. Investor Mark Saint ... expert Joe Paolella partnered to administer the ...
(Date:3/20/2015)... 20, 2015 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market, announces its ... of the products featured in 2015 "I Want That" ... PM EST on the DIY Network.   ... Vegas , site of the 2015 International CES ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):NexID Begins Shipments Of Version 2.0 Fake-Finger-Detection Solution 2Polygraph Test Now Used to Protect Investors From Fraud 2Polygraph Test Now Used to Protect Investors From Fraud 3NXT-ID's Wocket Biometric Smart Wallet to Air on "I Want That" International CES Special 2NXT-ID's Wocket Biometric Smart Wallet to Air on "I Want That" International CES Special 3
(Date:3/27/2015)... The consumption of compound fertilizers (NPK) fertilizers ... high prices in 2008. However, the situation has stabilised ... gaining momentum now. , To date, the world annual ... thousand tonnes. No considerable growth was registered in the ... during 2012-2013, registering 11% growth as against the period ...
(Date:3/27/2015)... Mich. , March 27, 2015  Neogen Corporation ... LLC, has adopted a prearranged trading plan in accordance ... Herbert , Chairman and CEO of Neogen Corporation, is ... of Neogen Corporation common stock. Herbert does ... disclosure was appropriate. The filing is only for a ...
(Date:3/27/2015)... 2015  Peter Walter was chosen as winner of ... work on how proteins are transported between cellular compartments ... that cells use to handle stress tied to the ... of biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco. ... of human diseases related to defective protein folding and ...
(Date:3/27/2015)... , March 27, 2015 WuXi ... leading open-access R&D capability and technology platform company ... industries, announced today that an Investigational New Drug ... antibody for rheumatoid arthritis has been accepted for ... (CFDA).  In September 2012, MedImmune, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:World NPK Fertilizers Market Keeps On Gaining Momentum, According to BAC Reports Study Available at MarketPublishers.com 2World NPK Fertilizers Market Keeps On Gaining Momentum, According to BAC Reports Study Available at MarketPublishers.com 3Neogen CEO adopts 10b5-1 Trading Plan 2German-born cell biologist Peter Walter wins the 2015 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science 2German-born cell biologist Peter Walter wins the 2015 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science 3Investigational New Drug Application for WuXi MedImmune's Monoclonal Antibody Accepted for Review by CFDA 2Investigational New Drug Application for WuXi MedImmune's Monoclonal Antibody Accepted for Review by CFDA 3
Cached News: