The connection between species richness and area occupied, recognized by biologists for more than a hundred years as a fundamental ecological relationship in plant and in animal communities, has been discerned for the first time at the microbial level.
A pair of papers in the Dec. 9 issue of the journal Nature, one focused on bacteria and another on a microbial fungi, shows that the number of species present – the diversity – increases as the area they occupy increases. "The results suggest that this relationship may be a universal law common to all domains of life," say Claire Horner-Devine, University of Washington assistant professor of aquatic and fishery sciences and lead author of the paper concerning bacteria. Jessica Green, University of California, Merced, assistant professor of natural sciences, is lead author of the other.
If true of other microbes, the work will give ecologists new ways of understanding the ecology and biodiversity of these tiny organisms, most of which are too small to see even with microscopes, Horner-Devine and Green say. Bacteria and fungi may well comprise the bulk of species on Earth and, despite their small size, play roles in everything from global climate change to water purification to recycling of dead plants, animals and other matter. "Bacteria, for example, decompose organic material that, among other things, provides the majority of nitrogen needed by the plants we eat," Horner-Devine says. "So understanding the distribution and basic ecology of one of the most abundant and diverse groups of organisms on Earth is crucial."
Sandra Hines | EurekAlert!
Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals
21.02.2018 | University of Chicago
The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally
21.02.2018 | Technische Universität München
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences