Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossil And Molecular Evidence Reveals The History Of Major Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

Date:
August 7, 2008
Source:
Universidad de Granada
Summary:
Experts have described three major marine biodiversity hotspots in the last 50 million years, from the oldest, peaked in southwest Europe and northwest Africa, to the modern Indo-Australian Archipelago hotspot. The birth, evolution and death of such hotspots are a product of ecological processes operating over geological time scales of millions of years. To what extent is human activity speeding the evolutionary process of the focus with the highest level of biological diversity, the coral reef ecosystems?

Experts have described three major marine biodiversity hotspots in the last 50 million years, from the oldest, peaked in southwest Europe and northwest Africa, to the modern Indo-Australian Archipelago hotspot and along the eastern shore of the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, and West India.

The birth, evolution and death of such hotspots are a product of ecological processes operating over geological time scales of millions of years. To what extent is human activity speeding the evolutionary process of the focus with the highest level of biological diversity, the coral reef ecosystems?

New research reviews the evolution of marine diversity through the last 50 million years to gain insights.

The study was carried out with the participation of scientists from Australia, Spain, USA, UK, Holland, Malaysia and Panama.The researchers, including Professor Juan Carlos Braga of the University of Granada (Spain), have based their study on both molecular evidence and the fossil record.

At present, the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA) is the tropical center of maximum diversity since the Miocene and in the last 20 million years, as the record of large benthic foraminifera, mangrove pollen types, gastropods, and corals has shown.

The new research shows the amazing antiquity of the IAA focus, which provides a new understanding of biodiversity hotspots, product of ecological processes operating over geological time scales of millions of years with their timing and locations coinciding with major tectonic events. The birth and death of successive hotspots highlights the link between environmental change and biodiversity patterns.

Vulnerability of coral reef ecosystems

A synthesis of the paleontological and molecular data, interpreted in an ecological context, has enabled the scientists to understand the true antiquity of hotspots and their component species. However, future studies are clearly needed as global threats to marine biodiversity put the spotlight on the vulnerability of coral reef ecosystems.

Scientists now realize that human-induced changes are operating on time scales far removed from those that have created these hotspots. An improved understanding of the nature of biodiversity hotspots, be they terrestrial or marine, will require a clearer understanding of the geographic and environmental context of taxonomic turnover driving the origination, maintenance, and diminution of hotspots over extensive time scales.

This research was published in the journal Science August 1, 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universidad de Granada. "Fossil And Molecular Evidence Reveals The History Of Major Marine Biodiversity Hotspots." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806122418.htm>.
Universidad de Granada. (2008, August 7). Fossil And Molecular Evidence Reveals The History Of Major Marine Biodiversity Hotspots. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806122418.htm
Universidad de Granada. "Fossil And Molecular Evidence Reveals The History Of Major Marine Biodiversity Hotspots." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806122418.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A giant wall of dust slowly moves north over the Phoenix area after a summer monsoon thunderstorm. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A rare baby Lemur is among several baby animals getting their public debut at a Cleveland zoo. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins