Latest Stephen P. Hubbell Stories
Ecologists are still arguing about the nature of the factors that determine the species composition of ecological communities.
The most widely used methods for calculating species extinction rates are "fundamentally flawed" and overestimate extinction rates by as much as 160 percent.
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.
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.
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.
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.