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.
Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Dead trees are alive with fungi
10.01.2018 | Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
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08.12.2017 | Event News
17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.01.2018 | Awards Funding