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Press Release 12-146

Tale of Two Scientific Fields--Ecology and Phylogenetics--Offers New Views of Earth's Biodiversity

Scientists report new look at 'patterns in nature' in special issue of journal Ecology

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Image of a pattern created by a leaf miner insect with the words Photo Gallery.

See nature's patterns in this photo gallery. They're in everything from ocean currents to a flower's petals. Scientists are taking a new look at Earth-patterns, from the biodiversity of yard plants in the U.S. to that of desert mammals in Israel. From where flowers and bees live on the Tibetan plateau to how willow trees in America's Midwest make use of water. They're finding that two fields of science--ecology and phylogenetic--are inextricably intertwined.

Credit: National Science Foundation.

 

Cover of the special issue of Ecology on the fields of ecology and phylogenetics.

A tale of two fields--ecology and phylogenetics--reported in a special issue of Ecology.

Credit: Ecological Society of America


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Photo looking up through a gap in the forest.

Trees that move into gaps in the forest are closely related.

Credit: Robin Chazdon


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Aerial photo over the Twin Cities show houses and their plant-filled yards.

Urban yards, such as those in the Twin Cities, harbor plants adapted to humans.

Credit: Regents of the University of Minnesota, with permission of the Metropolitan Design Center.


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Photo of caterpillars feeding in a forest in Peru.

Caterpillars feed in a forest in Peru: do insects have an effect on where plants live?

Credit: G. Lamarre


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Photo of the bright yellow flowers of Burke's goldfields, found only in California's vernal pools.

Burke's goldfields, an endangered species, is now found only in California vernal pools.

Credit: D.D. Ackerly


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