February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 7, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1994
- OF GENERAL INTEREST: BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
and Stability in Grasslands," D. Tilman (Dept. Ecology,
Univ. Minnesota, 1987 Upper Buford Cir., St. Paul MN 55108), J.A.
Downing, Nature, 367(6461), 363-365, Jan. 27, 1994.
A long-term study of grasslands shows that primary
productivity in more diverse plant communities is more resistant
to, and recovers more fully from, a major drought. Results imply
that the preservation of biodiversity is essential for the
maintenance of stable productivity in ecosystems.
related items in Science, 263(5149), Feb. 18, 1994:
"Tropical Diversity and Global Change," S.L. Pimm
(Dept. Zool., Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996), A.M. Sugden,
933-934. Comments on the research of the following paper, which
advances our understanding of the suspected links between global
change and the loss of diversity, even though the argument is
"Increasing Turnover Through Time in Tropical
Forests," O.L. Phillips (Missouri Botanical Garden, Box 299,
St. Louis MO 63166), A.H. Gentry, 954-958. Assessments at 40
tropical forest sites show that turnover (tree mortality and
recruitment) has increased since the 1950s, with an apparent
pantropical acceleration since 1980. This trend in forest
dynamics may have profound effects on biological diversity and
the future carbon cycle. The most plausible cause is enhanced
productivity from increasing levels of CO2.
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