A team of Austrian, Swiss and German researchers the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), from the University of Leipzig and the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology has summarized the current state of knowledge on the diversification of Tibetan plants and animals. Scientists The study focuses in particular on how the geological processes that led to the rise of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and Himalayas affected diversification and speciation directly, and indirectly, e.g. by changing climatic conditions. The paper was recently published in Biological Reviews.
“We believe this paper may become a benchmark for geo-biological studies worldwide. It links the geological, climatic and evolutionary history of one of the most fascinating and biodiverse regions of the world, and builds up a promising framework for more hypothesis-driven and synthetic research”, says Prof. Alexandra Muellner-Riehl, from the Department of Molecular Evolution and Systematics of Plants in Leipzig. She heads the DFG Research Cluster and is also member of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig.
Muellner-Riehl and her collaborators found that the link between diversity, speciation and the geological processes was still poorly understood. They identified two main reasons for this: different authors tend to use a different geological framework in their studies, and they apply different analytical approaches and data that are poorly comparable.
The authors show three ways how our understanding of the link between uplift processes of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas and species diversity can be improved:
1) They provide a state-of-the-art scenario how the uplift occurred and how this influenced regional climates over the last 40 million years; this will allow future researchers to formulate clear and comparable hypotheses.
2) They summarize recent analytical developments that allow scientists to make the link between geology and diversification more quantitative and less ad hoc.
3) They propose using meta-analyses of many comparable data sets to help researchers gain a broader understanding of species diversity in the region.
“It is very likely that the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau had different impacts on the evolution of different taxa”, lead author Dr. Adrien Favre, Department of Molecular Evolution and Systematics of Plants, University of Leipzig, Germany, points out. “We wanted to provide details on the criteria that individual data sets should meet to guide future research”, adds co-author Dr. Steffen Pauls, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F).
This research is presented in the paper “The role of the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau for the evolution of Tibetan biotas” to appear in Biological Reviews (DOI 10.1111/brv.12107). The scientific article is available online (open access), free of charge: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/brv.12107/full
The team is composed of Adrien Favre 1,2, Martin Päckert 2,3, Steffen U. Pauls 2, Sonja C. Jähnig 2,4, Dieter Uhl 5, Ingo Michalak 1 and Alexandra N. Muellner-Riehl 1,2,6
1 Department of Molecular Evolution and Systematics of Plants, University of Leipzig, Germany
2 Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) & Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
3 Senckenberg Natural History Collections, Museum für Tierkunde, Dresden, Germany
4 Department of Ecosystem Research, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany
5 Section of Palaeoclimate and Palaeoenvironmental Research, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Frankfurt, Germany
6 German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena Leipzig, Germany
For more information please contact
Prof. Dr. Alexandra Muellner-Riehl
Department of Molecular Evolution and Systematics of Plants,
Institute of Biology, Leipzig University
Tel. +49-(0)341 97-38581
Dr. Steffen Pauls
LOEWE Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)
Tel. +49 (0)69 7542 1841
LOEWE Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)
Tel. +49 (0)69 7542 1838
http://- Press release and more press images
http://- LOEWE Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre
Sabine Wendler | Senckenberg
Antarctic Ice Shelves Rapidly Thinning
30.03.2015 | University of California, San Diego
Climate change does not cause extreme winters
30.03.2015 | ETH Zurich
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.
The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe.
Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...
Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.
From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
30.03.2015 | Press release
30.03.2015 | Life Sciences
30.03.2015 | Earth Sciences