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 Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>