Taal Levi, an Oregon State University ecologist and lead author on the study, said some tropical forests have as many as 1,000 different tree species living in the same general area. Our tropical forests are some of the richest and most vital regions on the planet. “In many North American forests, trees compete for space and some have a niche that allows them to outcompete others” , said Levi. But there has to be a mechanism that keeps one species from becoming common, becoming dominant. Although Janzen-Connell effects should prevent one species from taking over, they don’t explain or predict how a thousand tree species can be maintained together.
Species that are mutually dependent on each other can, in some cases, become separated and reconnect again over distances of thousands of miles, a new study from UC Berkeley has found. The researchers found evidence that leafflower trees ( Glochidion ) and leafflower moths ( Epicephala ), two species that rely upon each other, established themselves independently on islands in the South Pacific. Preservation of the tropical forests matters for reasons beyond their role as absorbers of atmospheric carbon. When considering the reasons why so many species are becoming endangered it is important to realise that this is very closely linked to the need to conserve the biodiversity of the planet.
Many scientific breakthroughs have come from the study of wild organisms. Invasive species can be a threat to all biomes. These are the largest native snakes in the U. S. ( about 8 feet ) and, along with the six-foot kingsnakes, are frequently killed. These findings are more than academic. While the tropics are estimated to cover just 40 percent of the planet, they house in excess of 75 percent of the total number of species on earth and a staggering 90 percent of the world’s bird species.
These figures are constantly being revised as scientists haven’t even cataloged all the species in the tropical forests, savannas and lakes. The researchers found that among the most threatened animals were some of the world’s most high priority conservation species, such as the savanna elephant and amphibians, like tree frogs. And between them, humid tropical forests and savannas store 40 % of the carbon in the terrestrial biosphere and support rainfall in some of the world’s most important agricultural regions. Currently around 390,000 plant species are known to science.
The older seed-producing trees were often found upwind from the sites of the recent ailanthus growth. The introduced species may compete with native species for food or nest sites, or they may prey on native species. This study focuses on the invasive species, Amur Honeysuckle ( Lonicera maackii ), which originated in Asia and was brought to the U. S. to be used for aesthetics in homes and gardens. Two famous papers from fifty years ago explored this topic.
The effects of climate change are altering the Amazon rainforest’s composition of tree species, but not quickly enough to keep up with the changing environment, according to a study released on other day by the University of Leeds. “Deforestation for agriculture and livestock is known to intensify the droughts in this region, which is exacerbating the effects already being caused by global climate change”, said co-author Dr Kyle Dexter, from the University of Edinburgh. Plants are responding to these… Observable effects of climate change that scientists had predicted in the past are now a reality: Glaciers are shrinking, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner. “Especially drought, because young trees have less roots, smaller root systems, less able to draw water, so if there is a disturbance, they’d be more vulnerable than the older trees that were there before” , said Polly Buottie, an Oregon State University researcher.
The study shows that it is possible to model tree species distributions at a spatial resolution that is fine enough to facilitate the practical management of forest resources. Amazonia is the largest tropical forest in the world. In most cases, the discovery of a new animal species would be considered a positive finding in the scientific community. This water-hungry tree is native to Europe and the middle east, but here it threatens to crowd out native species such as the cottonwood. We didn’t know these new species existed until now, and at least two of them – Trissevania heatherae and T. mrimaensis – are found only in a small patch of forest in Kenya that is threatened by mining activity.
The scientists are also considering repeating the study with sperm from coral populations that are more heat tolerant and breeding them with coral populations that are less tolerant. And weirdly, it may have made the situation worse. Many mammalian species have already been lost, and birds could meet the same fate in just a few short years if the LPI does not keep better track of them. People who have worked in woodlands all their lives can identify one species from another without always being able to tell you how.
Researchers from the Illinois Natural History Survey and the Morton Arboretum have been examining the potential role of herbivores on the invasion of non-native plant species in diverse plant communities. The researchers examined herbivore damage on leaves of non-native oak trees in arboreta across the United States. In addition, numerous other species that may already be invasive elsewhere in the U. S., but have not yet been introduced or established in California, have been identified as threats to the state’s environment, economy, agricultural interests, and human health. “We also need to better understand the various pathways through which these iconic species are able to accumulate such high PCB concentrations through their diets”, said co-author Robin Law.
In the past, the majority of this work was conducted by western scientists, but today this effort has become truly international.