Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Critical Role Of Evolutionary Processes In Species Coexistence And Diversity Revealed

Date:
May 20, 2009
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
A team of researchers, addressing long-standing conflicts in ecology and evolutionary science, has provided key directions for the future of community ecology. The team comprehensively synthesized emerging work that applies knowledge of evolutionary relationships among different species--phylogenetics--to understanding species interactions, ecosystems and biodiversity.

A team of researchers, addressing long-standing conflicts in ecology and evolutionary science, has provided key directions for the future of community ecology. The team comprehensively synthesized emerging work that applies knowledge of evolutionary relationships among different species—phylogenetics—to understanding species interactions, ecosystems and biodiversity.

The work was conducted by a subgroup of researchers participating in an interdisciplinary working group convened by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“For a long time, ecologists ignored the importance of evolutionary processes in understanding how species coexist and how diversity is maintained,” said Jeannine Cavender-Bares, a professor at the University of Minnesota, and lead author of the study. “But ecological processes we observe in the present are deeply influenced by evolutionary processes in the past. Thanks to the increasing availability of large DNA and phylogenetic databases, we now have the tools to bring an evolutionary perspective into ecology.”

NCEAS hosts hundreds of scientists a year who analyze vast amounts ofexisting information from numerous prior research studies, in order to look for patterns and make new discoveries. This approach is especially effective for addressing complicated questions like this one.

The researchers synthesized over 180 major studies from both fields, and developed a comprehensive overview of the forces driving community organization, and the role evolution plays in the assembly of these communities.

“What's truly exciting is how we are beginning to accumulate evidence that community structure and interactions through time can feedback to promote or constrain diversification of species,” said Ken Kozak, also a professor at the University of Minnesota. The blurring of boundaries between classical community ecology and biogeography has been key to recent progress in community ecology.”

“Essentially, we’re going back to the perspective of early naturalists, but with a computational rigor that was never before possible,” according to Cavender-Bares. “This basic understanding of the causes and consequences of community structure has never been more important.”

In the face of increasing habitat destruction around the world, these tools will prove critical to managing and restoring Earth’s flora and fauna.

The research was supported by funding from NCEAS, the Long-Term Ecological Research Network Office, the National Science Foundation and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cavender-Bares et al. The merging of community ecology and phylogenetic biology. Ecology Letters, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01314.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Critical Role Of Evolutionary Processes In Species Coexistence And Diversity Revealed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519075422.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2009, May 20). Critical Role Of Evolutionary Processes In Species Coexistence And Diversity Revealed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519075422.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Critical Role Of Evolutionary Processes In Species Coexistence And Diversity Revealed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519075422.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
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