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.
Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State
How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
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27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences