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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999




Item #d94mar112

Several pieces of research with implications for biodiversity have been reported recently. One study suggests that ecosystems with high biodiversity would be less sensitive to climatic change. (See "Biodiversity and Stability in Grasslands," D. Tilman, J.A. Downing, Nature, 367(6461), 363-365, Jan. 27, 1994. See also Science News, pp. 84-85, Feb. 5; The New York Times, p. C4, Feb. 1.) Another project found an increase in the turnover in tropical forest trees in the past several decades that could affect biodiversity, and tentatively attributes this finding to the effect of increasing levels of carbon dioxide. (See two related items in Science, 263(5149), Feb. 18, 1994: "Tropical Diversity and Global Change," S.L. Pimm, A.M. Sugden, 933-934; and "Increasing Turnover Through Time in Tropical Forests," O.L. Phillips, A.H. Gentry, 954-958. See also Science News, p. 116, Feb. 19; New Scientist, pp. 14-15, Mar. 26; and a feature report in Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, Feb. 25.) Finally, a research note in Science (p. 1511, Dec. 3, 1993) mentions experimental evidence from Imperial College that species-rich ecosystems consume carbon dioxide at a faster rate than less-diverse ecosystems.

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