An extensive study on the Indo-Pacific coral reefs, about to be published in the 2nd of March issue of the journal Nature challenges the present conservation protocols for these organism and calls for important changes in the way that protected areas are being established all over the world, in order to be able to stop the present (fast) rate of extinction observed in coral reefs.
A major ongoing discussion in ecology is what determines the biodiversity (which species and in what abundance) of a community. To the Darwinian theory of natural selection, in order to co-habit, different species have to occupy different living environments (also called ecological niches). Because, if they compete, for example, for space or food, inevitably only one of the species will survive – this is known as the “survival of the fittest”. However, some ecosystems, like coral reefs, have such an incredibly large biological diversity that is difficult to be explained by the “niche” model.
The Neutral Theory of Biodiversity is a controversial and exciting new ecological model that tries to explain how these high diversity ecosystems can occur, and which claims that co-habitation of different species in a particular environment is simply the result of a random migration into the same habitable region. According to this model, differences between similar groups of species living in an ecological community can be considered "neutral" or irrelevant to their success. This means that, if for example one species of bird seems to be better suited to a particular environment, this should not increase its odds to survive in that environment in comparison to another bird species. In this way, biodiversity results solely from random fluctuations in processes such as migration, birth rate, death, etc.
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
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...
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...
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,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy