Thursday, 6 March 2014

Live fast, die young strategy spawned Amazon tree boom

By Mark Kinver
Environment reporter, BBC News

A "live fast, die young" life history strategy could have been a key factor behind today's high tree diversity in the Amazon, scientists have suggested.

The researchers hope the findings will shed light on why some groups of trees in the biodiversity hotspot contain hundreds of species.

An estimated 16,000 tree species - about 30% of the recorded total worldwide - are found in the Amazon.


'Big question'

"One of the big questions about understanding the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest is why have we got a range of groups of trees that contain so many species," explained co-author Tim Baker from the University of Leeds.


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