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Identifying the regulating factors on biodiversity in deep time

Grant number: 13/50904-3
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2014 - February 29, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Convênio/Acordo: University of Southampton
Principal Investigator:Tiago Bosisio Quental
Grantee:Tiago Bosisio Quental
Principal researcher abroad: Thomas Harold George Ezrad
Institution abroad: University of Southampton, England
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:12/04072-3 - The role of extinction and speciation rates, and the effect of different levels of biological organization on the origin and maintenance of biodiversity, AP.JP


Is the world full of species? The intuition of a finite limit to the diversity of Life on Earth appeals because Earth is a finite object. It therefore seems logical that there is some limit to the number of species that can co-exist in the different biomes. If this limit exists, then which environmental, ecological and biological processes determine it? Population biologists call such a limit the "carrying capacity". The regulating mechanisms are purported to be a density-dependent skeleton: environmental noise generates short-term fluctuations around the deterministic pattern. The co-option of such ecological theory into palaeobiology has a long history, but a simple re-interpretation of elementary ecological concepts is problematic because of environmental and ecological changes over million- year intervals. In the fossil record, the density-dependence is not a deterministic skeleton because any "taxonomic carrying capacity" is not fixed. Dr Tiago Quental and Dr Thomas Ezard will instigate a new collaboration and propose two workshops to address the fundamental question of what regulates biodiversity. Both workshops will have the participation of scientists from University of Southampton and Universidade de São Paulo but will also be open to participants beyond the two partner institutions. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MARSHALL, CHARLES R.; QUENTAL, TIAGO B.. The uncertain role of diversity dependence in species diversification and the need to incorporate time-varying carrying capacities. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, v. 371, n. 1691, . (12/04072-3, 13/50904-3)

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