• UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Softball: UCSB Defeats Nebraska-Omaha, Wins Second Straight in Extra Innings https://t.co/K6gXfECU2d
    2 hours 14 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    New study reveals dissolved oxygen levels are dropping in oceans around the world as a result of #climatechange: https://t.co/yC08zCybSo
    6 hours 31 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    UCSB’s Nikkei Student Union will present “Manzanar Fishing Club” as part of a Day of Remembrance on Feb. 21. https://t.co/rX387XzrIs
    6 hours 46 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos have a successful day with a win against UC Davis 4-0 and St. Mary's 4-3 https://t.co/eBmdVbdmkW
    15 hours 50 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    .@UCSB_Baseball can't solve Arriaga, fall 1-0 at LMU. Series rubber match tomorrow at 1 PM! RECAP >>>… https://t.co/F8nk3CCoag
    17 hours 28 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Softball: Gauchos Defeat Pacific in Extra Innings, Fall to Stanford https://t.co/R8MtFxyclg
    18 hours 45 sec ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Women's Tennis: UC Santa Barb. 4, UC Davis 0 (Final) Gauchos win third straight, defeat UC Davis 4-0 https://t.co/vDAcGmp1yY
    18 hours 51 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    WBB: Gauchos Gobbled Up By Long Beach State Pressure, Fall 59-45 In Third of Four Game Road Trip https://t.co/rOVVIVM7ag
    19 hours 11 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos Drop 66-48 Decision to Long Beach State https://t.co/WEEbdyqn0E
    20 hours 34 min ago

BIODIVERSITY AMONG WOODY PLANTS FOLLOWS CERTAIN RULES ACCORDING TO SCIENTISTS

Friday, October 11, 2002 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Certain rules appear to govern the development of biodiversity among woody plant communities from the poles to the equator, according to an article in this week's Nature magazine.

For this paper, "General Patterns of Taxonomic and Biomass Partitioning in Extant and Fossil Plant Communities," two ecologists (Brian Enquist of the University of Arizona and John Haskell of the University of Utah) teamed up with paleontologist Bruce Tiffney of UC Santa Barbara, to determine if communities of woody plants exhibited any particular patterns in the ratio between the numbers of species within genera and species within families in discrete woody floras around the globe.

"Asked another way, as local woody plants become more diverse as we progress from temperate areas to the tropics, does the relationship between the numbers of species, genera and families change in a consistent way, or do local features (most likely of climate) randomly influence the structure of diversity?" asked Tiffney.

According to Tiffney, there is a consistent pattern. As communities increase in species diversity (for example, moving from a temperate conifer forest to a species-rich tropical rain forest) the diversity of genera also increases, but at a slower rate (.93 of the species rate) and that of families increases at an even slower rate (.68 of the species rate). The researchers checked the fossil data, and found that this pattern has been the same for the last 50 million years.

"Biologically this means that, as woody communities become more species diverse, they also slowly and consistently accumulate more species that are related to each other," said Tiffney. The paper also demonstrates that the increasing species richness within natural communities results in a finer division of biomass between species rather than an increase in total biomass.

These findings will be of interest to paleontologists, ecologists, conservation biologists and others concerned with the origin and protection of Earth's biological diversity, according to the authors.