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Latest Stephen P. Hubbell Stories

2012-01-26 13:47:58

Competition is at the root of diversity in rainforests Ecologists are still arguing about the nature of the factors that determine the species composition of ecological communities. On the one hand, there are those who view interspecies competition as the key element. A second group of influential ecologists postulates that random fluctuations in population structure and rates of species dispersal play the dominant role, particularly in the biological communities found in species-rich...

2011-05-18 16:31:38

However, researchers say, global extinction crisis remains very serious The most widely used methods for calculating species extinction rates are "fundamentally flawed" and overestimate extinction rates by as much as 160 percent, life scientists report May 19 in the journal Nature. However, while the problem of species extinction caused by habitat loss is not as dire as many conservationists and scientists had believed, the global extinction crisis is real, says Stephen Hubbell, a...

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2010-06-27 13:26:23

Home to jaguars, harpy eagles and red-eyed tree frogs, tropical forests support some of the rarest species on the planet and are the most biodiverse ecosystems on land. Understanding why some species are common while others are exceedingly rare has been a challenge in these mega-diverse forests. New results from a massive study at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute show that interactions among community members play an important role in determining which organisms thrive. "Based on...

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2008-10-25 12:20:00

Trees in a hyper-diverse tropical rainforest interact with each other and their environment to create and maintain diversity, researchers report in the Oct. 24 issue of the journal Science. This study was conducted in the Yasuni forest dynamics plot of the Pontificia Universidad Cat³lica del Ecuador, the most diverse tropical forest site associated with the Center for Tropical Forest Science/Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory network (CTFS/SIGEO). It is difficult to...

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2008-08-14 15:38:59

Common tree species in the Amazon will survive even grim scenarios of deforestation and road-building, but rare trees could suffer extinction rates of up to 50 percent, predict Smithsonian scientists and colleagues in the Aug. 12 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. How resilient will natural systems prove to be as they weather the next several decades of severe, human-induced global change? The debate is on between proponents of models that maximize and...

2005-11-30 17:48:01

Unspoken rules of existence in tropical rain forests mean no one species will take up too much space and squeeze others out, says new research conducted in part at the University of Alberta that shows how ecological communities regulate themselves. Dr. Fangliang He is part of a research team that studied fundamental questions plaguing scientists since Darwin's time: why are some species so common while others are rare? How do common and rare species interact? And how do hundreds, even...


Word of the Day
penuche
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.
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