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NSF News | Discoveries

Dimensions of Biodiversity

Tomatoes David Haak

About NSF's Dimensions of Biodiversity Program

Whether researching cloud forests, exotic flowers or common tomatoes, coral reefs or freshwater algae blooms, scientists funded by NSF's Dimensions of Biodiversity (DOB) program integrate multiple areas of study. They're linking functional, genetic and phylogenetic dimensions of biodiversity, and producing rapid advances in understanding the creation, maintenance and loss of biodiversity.

The research is filling in gaps in biodiversity knowledge, and has the potential to lead to significant progress in agriculture, fuel, manufacturing and health.

DOB Discoveries

Part 1: Staple of recipe favorites--the tomato--reveals processes that maintain biodiversity
No hothouse plants: Study examines supermarket tomatoes' wild relatives, which live in the Earth's most extreme environments

Part 2: Earth Day: New insights into coral health hidden in reefs' microbiomes
Inner microbial ecosystems keep reef-building corals and other animals 'in the pink'

Part 3: Biodiversity of Earth's richest plant kingdom under fire
In response to climate change, will a postage-sized-domain move uphill--and ultimately out of room?

Part 4: Earth Day is on the horizon. But is 'greener' always better?
Not when it's the bright green waters of algae-fouled lakes and rivers

Part 5: Earth Week: A stream is a stream is a stream: Or is it?
Scientists ford high-mountain waterways in North, South America to find out

Part 6: Caribbean bat species need 8 million years to recover from recent extinction waves
Bats include the fishing bat, vampire bats and many fig-eating species

Part 7: Researchers uncover clue about how tiny microbes self-mutate
Discovery expands the tree of life

Part 8: Luminescent ocean drifters hold keys to deep-sea animal adaptations
Comb jellies, or ctenophores, link the shallows and the depths

Part 9: NSF awards $14.7 million for research to deepen understanding of Earth's biodiversity
Topics range from the role of symbiotic bacteria in agriculture to peatmosses as ecosystem engineers