Colder and smaller are much the same in at least one way.
"We found that pollen diversity tracks global temperature through time over millions of years. Diversity increases as the planet warms and decreases as it cools. The mystery is that even when global temperatures vary enormously, average temperatures in the tropics don't change much, so why do we see global temperature patterns reflected in tropical plant diversity?" Jaramillo proposes that changes in area drive speciation and extinction in the tropics.
"There is good correlation between area and number of species: more area implies more species. During global warming, tropical areas expand and diversity goes up, the opposite happens during global cooling. If this is the case, fragmentation of modern tropical forest could be equated to a global cooling period, because forested areas are shrinking dramatically, resulting in plummeting diversity in the forests that remain."
I wonder if models of past climate consider this relationship?
posted by back40 |
3/30/2006 12:55:00 PM
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