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 Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks

08.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>