How fast a lineage divides may explain why some areas contain more species than others. The Cape of South Africa is one of the most floristically diverse regions on Earth and many species are found nowhere else. There are two broad explanations for high species richness in the Cape: either the Cape represents an old, relatively undisturbed area that has accumulated species richness gradually over time or the recent onset of its Mediterranean-type climate triggered rapid diversification.
In a study published in the September issue of The American Naturalist, T. Jonathan Davies (Imperial College London) and colleagues use a phylogenetic tree of the iris family to show that lineages within the Cape have speciated at a faster rate than those found elsewhere, even in comparison to regions of similar Mediterranean climates. Irises represent a family of herbaceous, seasonal geophytes, and it is perhaps these features and associated biological traits that have provided the key for lineages to prosper in the Cape region, thereby exploiting the potential for rapid diversification conveyed by the Cape environment. An appreciation of the interaction between biological traits and environment will likely prove critical to an understanding and interpretation of the distribution of species richness across the globe and among the branches of the tree of life.
Light green plants save nitrogen without sacrificing photosynthetic efficiency
21.11.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Filling intercropping info gap
16.11.2017 | American Society of Agronomy
High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons
The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
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24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences