Now, researchers of the Leibniz-Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin (Germany) and Boston University (U.S.A.) have discovered the place that harbours the highest number of bat species ever recorded. In a few ha of rainforest in the Amazon basin of eastern Ecuador, the authors have found more than 100 species of bats (Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 2008, 94, 617-629).
Dr. Katja Rex and colleagues captured bats at several biodiversity hotspots in the New World tropics, in the lowland rainforest of Costa Rica, the slopes of the Andes and a site in the Amazon rainforest of Eastern Ecuador, at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station1 located adjacent to the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve. During many months of strenuous nightly field work, exposed to rain and mosquitoes, the researchers captured bats, identified species and recorded the total number of each species they captured. Based on these numbers, they calculated the species richness and diversity present in each of these forests.
“The forest at Tiputini Biodiversity Station is known as one of the global biodiversity hotspots with extremely high numbers of plant, insect and bird species” explains Dr. Christian Voigt (IZW, Berlin). “We expected a high number of bat species when we started our study, but we were amazed ourselves by our final estimates. This forest is just super diverse in life forms, including bats.”
Forests of the temperate zone are regionally inhabited by only 3 to 10 bat species which all feed exclusively on insects. In contrast, tropical forests harbour more than 10 times as many species as temperate forests. Now the researchers want to study how so many bat species manage to coexist together in such a small area. “The forest is like a large city with people of various professions, some are specialised and some are generalists. The ecological role of bats in the forest is quite similar. Among bats we observed dietary specialists and generalists” states Voigt.
The Yasuní Biosphere Reserve and adjacent Tiputini Biodiversity Station are theoretically protected against logging and poaching by Ecuadorian law. However, recently, oil exploitation is threatening the forest since new oil fields were discovered in this region. During the past several years new roads have been constructed to access the newly discovered oil fields.
Conservationists fear that squatters will increasingly settle illegally in this pristine region as soon as the oil companies abandon these sites. This may turn out very badly for forest biodiversity.
Clock stars: Astrocytes keep time for brain, behavior
27.03.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences