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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Probing Diversity's Complexity
19 July 2012 2:16 pm
Rainforests may be the conservationist's poster child, but they fall short as models of the true complexity of our planet's biodiversity. So says Peter Jørgensen, a botanist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, whose work promises to shake up our understanding of the distribution of tree species in tropical South America. The Madidi Project charts the changes in tree communities in the mountains of Bolivia growing along an elevation gradient that plunges from above 6000 meters to 180 meters above sea level. By identifying all trees at least 10 centimeters in diameter within hundreds of research plots along this gradient, Jørgensen and his colleagues have built a database that allows them to examine spatial patterns of diversity in ways not possible from studies limited to rainforests, which tend to be comparatively homogeneous because they are confined to the lowlands.