Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lots of flowers and trees, not enough birds and bees

19.01.2006


Hot competition for sex threatens biodiversity in world’s richest regions

In biodiversity hot spots like tropical rainforests, a dearth of pollinators could be putting many species at risk of extinction, according to a new study that includes three University of Pittsburgh researchers. The finding is raising concerns that more may need to be done to protect the Earth’s most biologically rich areas.

The study, titled "Pollination Decays in Biodiversity Hotspots," appears in the Jan. 16 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.



As the number of birds, bees, and other pollen transporters declines around the world, competition for their attention is becoming increasingly fierce for plants that need their services for reproduction--to the point where species in the most fertile areas of the world are struggling for survival.

"Pollinators are on the decline globally because of habitat loss and destruction, pesticide use, invasive species, and extinction of vertebrates," said Tia-Lynn Ashman, associate professor of biological sciences at Pitt, who was involved in the study along with former Pitt biology graduate students Janette A. Steets, now of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Tiffany Knight, now of Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues at other institutions. University of Calgary biologist Jana Vamosi led the study.

Ashman, Vamosi, and their colleagues reviewed more than 1,000 pollen limitation studies from around the world and found that, in areas where there is a great deal of plant diversity, including South American and Southeast Asian jungles and the rich shrubland of South Africa, plants suffer lower pollination and reproductive success. For some plant species, this reduction in fruit and seed production could push them towards extinction.

"Wild plant species in biodiversity hotspots are an important world resource for the ecosystem services they provide, including medicine, food, nutrient cycling, and alternative resources for pollinators of domesticated crops," Ashman said.

Further research will be done to determine what causes pollen limitation worldwide. When many species exist in the same place, plants become more separated from other individuals of the same species, causing pollinators to fly long distances to deliver pollen. When pollinators do arrive, they may deliver unusable pollen from other plant species.

Other authors on the study were Susan J. Mazer of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Martin Burd of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Karen Hoffmann | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pitt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>