Ecology Drives the Worldwide Distribution of Human Diseases Identifying the factors underlying the origin and maintenance of the latitudinal diversity gradient is a central problem in ecology, but no consensus has emerged on which processes might generate this broad pattern. Interestingly, the vast majority of studies exploring the gradient have focused on free-living organisms, ignoring parasitic and infectious disease (PID) species. Here, we address the influence of environmental factors on the biological diversity of human pathogens and their global spatial organization. Using generalized linear multivariate models and Monte Carlo simulations, we conducted a series of comparative analyses to test the hypothesis that human PIDs exhibit the same global patterns of distribution as other taxonomic groups. We found a significant negative relationship between latitude and PID species richness, and a nested spatial organization, i.e., the accumulation of PID species with latitude, over large spatial scales. Figures Copyright: © 2004 Guernier et al.
Why are we a nation of tree-huggers? 3 February 2011Last updated at 15:44 By Jon Kelly BBC News Magazine Plans to transfer ownership of many public forests in England have provoked a huge row. But why are we so protective of our woodlands? It's about the rustling of the leaves and the crunch of twigs underfoot. Above all, it's a place where nature takes priority over humans. For the vast majority of us, living in towns and cities, visiting a forest is the easiest way to escape our mechanised, wipe-clean, ring-roaded civilisation and properly get back to nature. As the government is finding out, a forest unleashes something deeply primordial in otherwise domesticated, suburban Britons. Plans to radically change the ownership of some of England's forests have provoked a furious backlash. A YouGov poll suggested that 84% of people were opposed. to the government's plans, with one pressure group saying it had collected 400,000 signatures on a petition. Continue reading the main story Why trees are a force for good
UK and World Weather Forecast: radar, severe warnings, and more Journey to the Sinking Lands Conservation in Madagascar Madagascar has suffered environmental degradation over a significant part of its land mass. Forests that once blanketed the eastern third of the island have now been degraded, fragmented, and converted to scrub land. Spiny forests in the south are rapidly giving way to "cactus scrub" as indigenous vegetation is cut and burned for subsistence charcoal production. Viewed from above, Madagascar's rivers look as if they are bleeding the country to death as soil is eroded away from the central highlands. Each year as much as a third of the country burns and 1 percent of its remaining forests are leveled. This ecological decline has not been ignored. At present, more dollars are pouring into conservation efforts in Madagascar than any other part of Africa. Next >> Conservation index Parks in Madagascar | Madagascar's Parks Service Ecotourism hints | Being an ethical traveler Find a mistake?
Weather: Interactive weather world map, short and long range forecasts for the UK and abroad Sky News UK Weather Forecast Temperatures over parts of the country dropped back to minus 4C on Thursday night, so it was a chilly start in many spots, but sunny. That sunshine will help push temperatures up to around 14C at best, but that should feel quite pleasant in light winds. It will be warmest over parts of the north and west, whilst North Sea Coasts will be cooler at times, with an on shore breeze. Through the afternoon, cloud will bubble up over central, southern and south-eastern areas; this will disappear this evening. So, it will be another chilly night tonight, with a touch of frost in rural areas. The emphasis on Saturday’s weather will be on dry conditions once again, with the best of the sunshine in the north and west. Central, southern and south-eastern areas will be more cloudy with one or two isolated showers.
'They're killing us': world's most endangered tribe cries for help | World news | The Observer Loggers strip trees from Amazonian tribe's territory Link to video: Loggers strip trees from Amazonian tribe's territory Trundling along the dirt roads of the Amazon, the giant logging lorry dwarfed the vehicle of the investigators following it. The trunks of nine huge trees were piled high on the back – incontrovertible proof of the continuing destruction of the world's greatest rainforest and its most endangered tribe, the Awá. Yet as they travelled through the jungle early this year, the small team from Funai – Brazil's National Indian Foundation – did not dare try to stop the loggers; the vehicle was too large and the loggers were almost certainly armed. It is a scene played out throughout the Amazon as the authorities struggle to tackle the powerful illegal logging industry. This week Survival International will launch a new campaign to highlight the plight of the Awá, backed by Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth. "The Awá and the uncontacted Awá are really on the brink," she said.
Global Environment - Biodiversity - Decidious Forest Biome This biome is found in three separate regions in the northern hemisphere. The types of trees you can find in these three regions are broad leafed deciduous trees and some of the evergreen species. The trees are more commonly known as ash, beech, birch and northern arrowwood. Also found in this biome are wild flowers such as oxlip, bluebells, painted trillium and primrose. The soil is very fertile. There are many types of animals in the deciduous forest ranging from mammals like deer to bugs like mosquitoes. A few common animals found in the deciduous forest are, deer, gray squirrels, mice raccoons, salamanders, snakes, robins, frogs and many types of insects. Most deciduous forests are found in Eastern North America somewhere around 35-48° N, and Europe and Asia around 45-60° N. The average temperature is around 50° F (about 10° C).
Botany Department, Smithsonian Institution