A central goal of ecology is to determine the mechanisms that explain large-scale patterns of abundance and distribution of the earths organisms. For most organisms, however, these mechanisms remain elusive. In an article in the August 2005 issue of The American Naturalist, Stefan A. Schnitzer reports that the abundance of lianas (woody vines), a taxonomically diverse and important group of plants, actually decreases in tropical forests as mean annual precipitation increases, a pattern precisely the opposite of that of nearly all other plant types.
Schnitzer proposes a novel mechanistic theory to explain this pattern, drawing support from several independent lines of empirical evidence. The theory is based on the ability of lianas to undergo less water stress and thus grow during seasonal droughts, while their competitors remain mostly dormant. This capacity for dry season growth gives lianas a competitive advantage that, over many decades, may result in higher abundance of lianas in seasonal tropical forests. In aseasonal wet forests, however, this competitive advantage is lost, explaining the relative paucity of lianas. The theory is then extended to explain the striking patterns of liana abundance at two additional spatial scales: the decrease in lianas along the latitudinal gradient, from the tropics northward, and the clumped distribution of lianas at the local, within-forest scale.
This researcj explains both the patterns of abundance and distribution of an important group of plants, as well as provides a framework that can be used to predict the change in liana abundance worldwide with global climate change.
Carrie Olivia Adams | EurekAlert!
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences