First study to compare dietary signatures of African and South American mammals in quest to reconstruct ancient ecosystems finds need for revisions — ScienceDaily

Closed-canopy rainforests are a vital part of the Earth’s modern ecosystems, but tropical plants don’t preserve well in the fossil record so it is difficult to tell how long these habitats have existed and where rainforests might have once grown. Instead, scientists look to the diets of extinct animals, which lock evidence of the vegetation they ate into their teeth. A new study led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History finds that the paradigm used to identify closed-canopy rainforests through dietary signatures needs to be reassessed. The findings are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The Amazon is the world’s most diverse rainforest, home to one in 10 known species on Earth,” said Julia Tejada-Lara, who led the study as a graduate student at the Museum and Columbia University. “Closed-canopy rainforests have been proposed to occur in this area

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40% of Amazon could now exist as rainforest or savanna-like ecosystems

Amazon Rainforest
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A larger part of the Amazon rainforest than previously believed is at risk of crossing a tipping point at which it would become a savanna-type ecosystem, according to new research. The study, based on computer models and data analysis, is published in the journal Nature Communications.


Rainforests are sensitive to changes that affect rainfall for extended periods. If rainfall drops below a certain threshold, areas may shift into a savanna state.

“In around 40 percent of the Amazon, the rainfall is now at a level where the forest could exist in either state—rainforest or savanna, according to our findings,” says lead author Arie Staal, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Center and the Copernicus Institute of Utrecht University.

The conclusions are concerning because parts of the Amazon region are currently receiving less rain than they were previously, and this trend is expected to

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Why Should Leaders Stop Obsessing About Platforms And Ecosystems?

Why should leaders stop obsessing about platforms and ecosystems? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. 

Answer by Erich Joachimsthaler, Founder & CEO of Vivaldi, Author of The Interaction Field, in his Session: 

Company leaders have now learned that the traditional pipeline business model, also known as the experience curve or value chain, though it has been the foundation of every business until today, is also less important. For many businesses, the pipeline or value chain has been globalized, digitized and optimized. It has been the source of value creation through the supply-side economies of scale. In short, scale leads to lower unit cost of output.

Today, it becomes ever harder to squeeze out value from the value chain or pipeline

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