Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New global bird map suggests ’hotspots’ not a simple key to conservation

18.08.2005


The first full map of where the world’s birds live reveals their diversity ’hotspots’ and will help to focus conservation efforts, according to research published in Nature today (18 August).



The findings are drawn from the most complete and detailed picture of bird diversity yet made, based on a new global database of all living bird species.

The map also shows that the pattern of bird diversity is much more complicated than previously thought.


The researchers conclude that different types of ’hotspot’ - the most bird-rich locations on the planet -- do not share the same geographic distribution, a finding with deep implications in both ecology and conservation.

For birds, hotspots of species richness are the mountains of South America and Africa, whereas hotspots of extinction risk are on the islands of Madagascar, New Zealand and the Philippines.

"In the past people thought that all types of biodiversity showed the same sort of pattern, but that was based on small-scale analyses," says senior author Professor Ian Owens of Imperial College London. "Our new global analyses show that different sorts of diversity occur in very different places."

Biodiversity hotspots have a high profile in conservation, but are controversial as their underlying assumptions remain untested. The key assumption is that areas ’hot’ for one aspect of diversity will also be hot for other aspects.

Their analyses now show that surprisingly, this is not the case - different types of hotspot are in fact located in different areas.

"Different types of diversity don’t map in the same way," Prof Owens says. "There is no single explanation for the patterns. Different mechanisms are therefore responsible for different aspects of biodiversity, and this points to the need to base conservation strategy on the use of more than one measure of biodiversity."

The team mapped three different measures of diversity for the study: species richness, threatened species richness (as assessed by their extinction risk), and endemic species richness (birds with a small breeding range). Only the Andes in South America contains bird hotspots under all three measures.

To understand the mechanisms behind large scale biodiversity patterns, the researchers first had to construct global maps before delving into them.

"The prior bits of work were horribly dispersed: in paper maps on expert’s desks, or in very old books and the heads of aging experts who had originally surveyed the areas," said Professor Owens.

It took five person years to get the data into a digital mapping format known as a ’GIS system’. This database was then used to score the presence or absence of each of the nearly 10,000 different bird species in a grid covering the world’s land area. Each of the 20,000 cells in the grid is 100 km squared and contains an area similar to that of Cyprus.

"We hope that birds are a model for this type of work," said Professor Owens. "There is such a wealth of historical information about them. They are also large, colourful and you can see them in the day time. It’s very difficult to do at this scale for other organisms."

Tony Stephenson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Could a particle accelerator using laser-driven implosion become a reality?

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour

24.05.2018 | Health and Medicine

Complementing conventional antibiotics

24.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>