A study of seven tropical forests around the world has revealed that nature encourages biodiversity by favoring the growth of less common trees. The landmark study, conducted by 33 ecologists from 12 countries and published in the Jan. 27 issue of the journal Science, conclusively demonstrates that diversity matters and has ecological importance to tropical forests. Helene Muller-Landau, an assistant professor of ecology in the University of Minnesotas College of Biological Sciences, is a co-author of the study, which supports previous research by her colleague David Tilman, a Regents Professor of Ecology, into the causes and value of biodiversity.
"This research has the surprising finding that biodiversity in tropical rain forests and Minnesota prairies arises from the same kinds of underlying processes. It brings us a step closer to understanding the causes of the worlds amazing biodiversity," Tilman said.
Muller-Landau contributed quantitative skills for analyzing and interpreting the data.
Mark Cassutt | EurekAlert!
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