Scientists Offer Theory on Amazonian Tree Diversity

Geo Beats
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Scientists pondering the immense number of tree species found in the Amazonian rainforest have come up with a new theory as to why it’s so.

Scientists pondering the immense number of tree species found in the Amazonian rainforest have come up with a new theory as to why it’s so.

In short, they call nature’s survival strategy there the ‘Live Fast Die Young’ approach.

How it was that the Amazon became home to 30 percent of all of the world’s recorded species of trees has long both fascinated and confounded experts.

Recently, a group of researchers looked for commonalities among the 16 thousand species and saw a pattern emerge.

The goal was to find similarities that would explain why some tree groupings had as many as 300 different species among them.

They narrowed it down to a unique combination of external factors and innate ecological traits.

When faced with historical events that pushed the trees to make a decision – go extinct or spawn a new species – the popular choice was the latter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xQAzHHV8-E 1:04 onwars
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Said one of the researchers, "They all seem to share a life history strategy where they live fast and die young.”

He concluded, "This strategy links together different lineages of Amazonian trees that all have very high numbers of species within them."

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