idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Nachrichten, Termine, Experten

Grafik: idw-Logo
Grafik: idw-Logo

idw - Informationsdienst
Wissenschaft

idw-Abo
Medienpartner:
Wissenschaftsjahr


Teilen: 
14.03.2019 15:39

Regional mismatches between above- and below-ground biodiversity

Susann Huster Stabsstelle Universitätskommunikation/Medienredaktion
Universität Leipzig

    After conducting comprehensive studies, an international team of researchers led by Leipzig University and the iDiv research centre has gained important new insights into biodiversity above and below the earth’s surface: they discovered that, on about 30 per cent of our planet’s terrestrial surface, there is great diversity of flora and fauna in the soil compared to considerably fewer species above the ground, or vice versa, biodiversity is much greater above than below ground. These differences in biodiversity were not detectable in the remaining 70 per cent of the earth’s terrestrial surface.

    Here there were hot and cold spots that displayed either high or low overall levels of biodiversity. The researchers have published the results of their study in the journal Conservation Biology.

    “We were surprised that such large parts of the earth are affected by this contrasting biodiversity,” remarks Professor Nico Eisenhauer of Leipzig University, who is also a researcher at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig. He explains that examples of these areas include boreal and tundra regions in Canada and Siberia, where there is little above-ground biodiversity but soils tend to be rich in species. Conversely, soils in places like temperate forests often contain fewer species, while there is a lot of plant and animal life above ground.

    The research team evaluated data from numerous existing scientific studies on plant, animal and microbial life in soils and above the ground in a wide variety of regions of the world. “Each data set was unique,” explains Eisenhauer. The aim of the research was to obtain a uniform picture of global biodiversity above but also below the earth’s surface; the latter having been largely neglected by researchers in the past. The team believes that one potential use of this global knowledge is to estimate much more precisely which areas of the earth should be declared nature reserves in order to protect biodiversity. In addition, it is argued that areas with permafrost and other types of soil in northern regions such as Siberia, which are very species-rich below but not above ground, will be particularly badly affected by climate change. “If frozen soils suddenly thaw, this triggers dramatic changes. These soils store a lot of carbon, which is released during thawing,” explains Eisenhauer.

    The project involved researchers from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, the University of Bremen and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Leipzig as well as experts from Finland, France, Sweden and several other countries.

    Original title of the publication in Conservation Biology:
    “Global mismatches in aboveground and belowground biodiversity.”; DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13311


    Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

    Professor Nico Eisenhauer
    Chair of Experimental Interaction Ecology at Leipzig University
    German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
    Phone: +49 341 97-33167
    Email: nico.eisenhauer@idiv.de


    Originalpublikation:

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.13311


    Merkmale dieser Pressemitteilung:
    Journalisten, Wissenschaftler, jedermann
    Biologie, Geowissenschaften, Meer / Klima, Umwelt / Ökologie
    überregional
    Forschungsergebnisse, Wissenschaftliche Publikationen
    Englisch


    Hilfe

    Die Suche / Erweiterte Suche im idw-Archiv
    Verknüpfungen

    Sie können Suchbegriffe mit und, oder und / oder nicht verknüpfen, z. B. Philo nicht logie.

    Klammern

    Verknüpfungen können Sie mit Klammern voneinander trennen, z. B. (Philo nicht logie) oder (Psycho und logie).

    Wortgruppen

    Zusammenhängende Worte werden als Wortgruppe gesucht, wenn Sie sie in Anführungsstriche setzen, z. B. „Bundesrepublik Deutschland“.

    Auswahlkriterien

    Die Erweiterte Suche können Sie auch nutzen, ohne Suchbegriffe einzugeben. Sie orientiert sich dann an den Kriterien, die Sie ausgewählt haben (z. B. nach dem Land oder dem Sachgebiet).

    Haben Sie in einer Kategorie kein Kriterium ausgewählt, wird die gesamte Kategorie durchsucht (z.B. alle Sachgebiete oder alle Länder).

    Cookies optimieren die Bereitstellung unserer Dienste. Durch das Weitersurfen auf idw-online.de erklären Sie sich mit der Verwendung von Cookies einverstanden. Datenschutzerklärung
    Okay