The paradox of biodiversity: How can there be so many similar species?

David Murrell, UCL, Tuesday January 27 , Location: MRC-LMCB, Time: 16.30

What are the processes that maintain the remarkable biodiversity found in diverse ecosystems such as tropical rain forest or European grasslands? For taxonomic groups such as plants there appears to be little room for differentiation since all species require the same few nutrients, water and light, and the question remains why these ecosystems are not dominated by only a very few species. After asking why this question matters I shall use mathematical models to provide some hypotheses for mechanisms that might maintain large communities of species, and discuss tests of this theory using large individual-based datasets for 2 different rain forests.

Muller Poster

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