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Microbes, by latitudes and altitudes, shed new light on life's diversity
Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News ^ | Aug 11 2008 | Jim Barlow

Posted on 08/11/2008 3:24:00 PM PDT by Soliton

Microbial biologists, including the University of Oregon's Jessica L. Green, may not have Jimmy Buffett's music from 1977 in mind, but they are changing attitudes about evolutionary diversity on Earth, from oceanic latitudes to mountainous altitudes.

In two recent National Science Foundation-funded papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Green and colleagues show that temperature, not productivity, primarily drives the richness of bacterial diversity in the oceans, and that life, both plant and microbial, by altitude in the Rocky Mountains may be close, but not exactly, to what biologists have theorized for years.

Swedish naturalist and botanist Carl Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy who died in 1778, proposed that the planet once was covered by oceans, except for Paradise Island on the equator, and that all organisms emerged from the island and migrated as waters receded. More than a century later, microbiologist Lourens G.M. Bass Becking in the 1930s wrote that "everything is everywhere, but the environment selects."

(Excerpt) Read more at genengnews.com ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: crevo; evolution; genetics
Warming is good for diversity. Ruh Roh!
1 posted on 08/11/2008 3:24:02 PM PDT by Soliton
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