Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Predicting the species diversity of large herbivores in nature reserves

20.02.2002


The number of species of large herbivores that can live in a nature reserve can be easily calculated using just rainfall and soil fertility data. The Wageningen ecologist Dr Han Olff can use this to indicate on a worldwide basis where nature reserves that protect large mammals are needed.



On a map of the world, the researcher from Wageningen University has marked the areas in which the greatest diversity of large game can live. For species-rich nature reserves in East Africa and on the Argentinean Pampas, the predictions correlate well with the number of animal species present there. Even more remarkable are the predicted high species diversities in India, the Ukraine and the Mid-West United States. These are agricultural areas where the majority of animal species have become extinct. In Europe, Spain has many possibilities for nature reserves with a large species diversity of herbivores. The same is true for parts of Mongolia, China and Australia.

For the predictions of species diversity, the Wageningen ecologists only used soil fertility and rainfall data. These two parameters determine the quantity and quality of food. Large herbivores require a lot of food but the quality of this is less important. Small herbivores require less food but it needs to be of a higher quality. Therefore, a nature reserve with a high rainfall is good for large herbivores, such as elephants and buffalos. A nature reserve with fertile ground and little rainfall is ideal for small herbivores, such as gazelles and hares. The greatest species diversity can be expected in areas with a fertile soil and an average rainfall.


The Wageningen researcher has compared the predictions with the actual species diversity, soil fertility and rainfall of 88 nature reserves in Africa and 34 in North America. In Africa a total of 99 large herbivores with a weight of at least two kilograms can be found. In North America there are just 25 such species. Despite the great differences in the natural environments, it transpired that in both continents the number of animal species in each nature reserve, expressed as a percentage of the total number of animal species on the continent, could be derived on the basis of the rainfall and soil fertility. The conclusion that the species diversity can be predicted in such a simple manner came as a surprise. The research indicates which as yet unprotected nature areas and which agricultural areas offer the most possibilities for restoring large herbivore diversity.

Michel Philippens | alphagalileo

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Making Oceans Plastic Free - Project tackles the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans
31.05.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

nachricht Nitrogen Oxides Emissions: Traffic Dramatically Underestimated as Major Polluter
31.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

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: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>