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ecosystems Tag

11 Oct

What drives ecosystems to instability?

With only a little information, researchers can predict the circumstances under which an ecosystem will be stable or unstable Trying to decipher all of the factors that influence the behavior of complex ecological communities can be a daunting task. However, MIT researchers have now shown that the behavior of these ecosystems can be predicted based on just two pieces of information: the number of species in the community and how strongly they interact with each other. In studies of bacteria grown in the lab, the researchers were able to define three states of ecological communities, and calculated the conditions necessary for them to move from one state to another. These findings allowed the researchers to create a "phase diagram" for ecosystems, similar...
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1 Oct

Changes in marine ecosystems going undetected

Existing ways of calculating biodiversity dynamics are not very effective in detecting wholesale species community change due to the effects of ocean acidification. University of Adelaide research shows that in cases where biodiversity metrics show no change or little change, there may still be reorganisation of ecological communities in our oceans. "The belief that climate change will alter global marine biodiversity is one of the most widely accepted," said Professor Ivan Nagelkerken from the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute and Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories. "Commonly used biodiversity measures don't pick up reorganisation of marine communities due to ocean acidification because new species replace species that are lost. "Little or no biodiversity change is detected when one community of marine species is replaced by another...
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12 Sep

Bee it known: Biodiversity is critical to ecosystems

A study on bees shows how different species pollinate the same plants over time Rutgers has conducted the first study showing how many more species of bees are needed to maintain crop yields when a longer-term time frame is considered. In the paper, which was recently published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, scientists said biodiversity of the bee population is critical to maintaining the ecosystem function of crop pollination, which is critical to humanity's food supply. "We found that biodiversity plays a key role in the stability of ecosystems over time," said Natalie Lemanski, lead author on the study and a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS). "You do...
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