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Mean Population Size Increases with Diversity

A long-standing debate in ecology has been the effect of diversity on the temporal stability of biological systems. Ecological theory predicts that the stability of populations should decline as community diversity increases, in part, because population size is assumed to decline with community richness. In the February issue of Ecology Letters, Valone and Hoffman, using an 11-year dataset, have shown that the temporal stability of 17 species of annual plants in natural communities increases with diversity. Population size also tends to increase with diversity, likely due to variation in local productivity. Because community diversity, population size and the temporal stability of population




MONSOON IN WEST AFRICA:CLASSIC CONTINUITY HIDES A DUAL-CYCLE RAINFALL REGIME

Since the end of the 1960s West Africa has continuously been suffering hard drought. The rainfall deficit for the 1970s and 1980s, calculated to compare with the 1950s and 1960s, thus reached as high as 50% over the northern part of the Sahel. The hydrological cycle as a whole is affected by this drought, which results in serious consequences for agriculture and food security. IRD researchers, aiming to understand the mechanisms behind this situation, examined rainfall data from 1950 to 1990. Two sub-periods emerge : a wet one (1951-1969), followed by a dry one (1970-1990). This finding led them to modify drastically the classic model which presents the monsoon as a process that unfurls in a

Computer model helps combat air pollution across Europe

The key role of multidisciplinary research in developing a landmark intergovernmental strategy to combat air pollution across Europe will be considered by Professor Helen ApSimon of Imperial College London in her inaugural lecture, A lot of Hot Air - Transboundary Air Pollution Over Europe.

Oxford Biomedical and Kiadis agree collaborative programme on wound healing

Oxford, United Kingdom and Leiden, The Netherlands. 28 January 2003 - Oxford BioMedica plc ('Oxford BioMedica') and Kiadis BV ('Kiadis') have agreed a joint programme directed, in the first instance, at wound healing. The global market for wound healing is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion. Oxford BioMedica has used its Focused Target Identification platform to identify an enzyme that is central to the control of blood vessel growth, an essential feature of effective wound healing. Inhibition of this enzyme is likely to be of value in several disease conditions with particular emphasis in cardiovascular indications. Wound healing will be the initial focus because this provides a clear

EMBO and Chinese Academy of Sciences join efforts in the area of the life sciences

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have signed an agreement to enhance collaboration with each other over the next two years. This is the first cooperation agreement with another scientific organization that EMBO has signed during its 40 years of existence. It is designed to support life science researchers from China and Europe who wish to cooperate through fellowships and joint meetings. "The significance of this agreement is two-fold. First of all, it consolidates our working relationship with the Chinese scientific community and secondly, it shows that EMBO is actively building links with scientific organizations throughout t

IS MIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES A DRIVING FORCE FOR THE MEXICAN ECONOMY?

Immigration of Mexicans to the United States has increased considerably since the beginning of the 1980s, the period when Mexico began to experience serious economic difficulties. In 1970 the recorded number of Mexicans in the United States was 800 000. In 1980 it rose to 2.2 million, increasing to 4.3 in 1990 and 9.2 in 2000, amounting to about 9 % of the population accounted for by census in Mexico that same year. The Central-West region of that country provides most of the migrants who constitute a good cheap workforce for the North-American economy. These migrations generate in return sizeable monetary transfers from the USA to Mexico - the family remesas - which is money the migrants ha

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