Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Polar pecking order and biodiversity

07.10.2002


New research into how biodiversity is generated and maintained in the seas surrounding hostile Polar Regions is reported in this month`s Proceedings of the Royal Society (Biological Sciences).



British Antarctic Survey biologist David Barnes studied `battles` between rock-dwelling marine organisms in shallow seas from the Poles to tropics to come up with a `league table` and a `polar pecking order` that lead to a greater understanding of extreme environments and how marine organisms may react to global change.

Barnes found that the battle for survival in the shallow seas surrounding the Polar Regions is much tougher than in the tropics. Not only must small aquatic animals (Bryozoa) compete for space to get food, they also have to contend with massive destruction of their habitat by icebergs and rough seas. However, by a strange twist of fate, these harsh conditions appear to increase biodiversity.


Barnes suggests that it is the very disturbance from ice and waves that ensures the long-term survival of these animals and increases biodiversity. He concludes that without a continuing battle against the extreme environment, polar aquatic animals at the top of the pecking order would out-compete other species and reduce biodiversity. Global climate change, however, could tip the balance in favour to those species at the top of the pecking order.

He says, `Small aquatic animals - bryozoans - that occur all over the world in very different environments were the ideal organism for this study. Although `a pecking order` exists in animals from elephant seals to bryozoans, until now we didn`t know what role this played in biodiversity. In tropical seas for example, battles between species often end in a draw and a wide variety species continue to live in this environment. Whilst in the Polar Regions one dominant species usually comes out on top. If it were not for the battering by ice the result could be monoculture.`

Linda Capper | alfa
Further information:
http://www.antarctica.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zeolite catalysts pave the road to decentral chemical processes Confined space increases reactivity
28.06.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

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)...

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

Extensive Funding for Research on Chromatin, Adrenal Gland, and Cancer Therapy

28.06.2017 | Awards Funding

Predicting eruptions using satellites and math

28.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

Extremely fine measurements of motion in orbiting supermassive black holes

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>