Understanding the large-scale processes that shape distributions of species diversity is a long-standing challenge in ecology and can also help set conservation priorities. Regions with highly diverse or unique organisms may be targeted for conservation, but how such a region acquired its species could affect how they should be protected.
Without near-perfect records of where organisms have occurred throughout the past, it can be difficult to determine the processes underlying diversity patterns. In the absence of such detailed information, regions with high diversity or many unique species are often assumed to be hotbeds of species origination, but a new theory demonstrates that such places could instead result from the immigration of species. This theory, outlined in an article to appear in the June 2005 issue of The American Naturalist, also shows how combining the ages of species, determined from the fossil record, with information on where those species currently live can give insight into the past processes that have shaped diversity. Application of the theory to clams, mussels, and other marine bivalves shows that the polar oceans have had higher rates of immigration and extinction and much lower rates of origination than have the tropical and temperate oceans.
This example underscores the importance of considering not just species origination but also extinction and dispersal when testing hypotheses about the geographic distributions of organisms.
Carrie Olivia Adams | EurekAlert!
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
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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“.
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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.
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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...
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