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.
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences