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What the textbooks know that ain’t so: No consistent relationship between biodiversity and productivity

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In “Plant biodiversity theory debunked “ ( Nature News, September 22, 2011), Natasha Gilbert reports “Light, not productivity, may control species richness”:

According to biology text books, the relationship between species richness and productivity is hump-shaped. Biodiversity first rises as resources increase, until the area becomes so fertile that larger, fast-growing species begin to crowd out the smaller slow-growing plants, and biodiversity then declines.

But work published in Science today1 debunks this theory. Peter Adler, a plant ecologist at Utah State University in Logan, together with an international network of collaborators show that, on the small scale at least, there is no consistent relationship between biodiversity and productivity, although the link may still hold on regional or global scales.

“No consistent relationship” means that Darwinism may be the wrong lens, but don’t count on it getting changed – or anyone even acknowledging it – till the current textbook authors retire.

Meanwhile: Some life forms adapt to a cold environment just by being spherical (for mammals and flightless birds, fat)

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