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Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

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Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Postby vozzie » Wed, 06 Jul 2011 9:45 am

I just did the hike up to the summit of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve the other day.

One of the things I found out was that there are more plant species in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve's 400 acres ... than there are in the whole of North America :o

Perhaps this says more about North America than it does about Singapore? :(

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Re: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 06 Jul 2011 11:22 am

vozzie wrote:I just did the hike up to the summit of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve the other day.

One of the things I found out was that there are more plant species in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve's 400 acres ... than there are in the whole of North America :o

Perhaps this says more about North America than it does about Singapore? :(


No, what it says, as been shown many times, is that rain forests contain the largest number of the world species as opposed to any other environment. This is reason why stopping rain forest destruction is so critical.

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Re: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Postby QRM » Wed, 06 Jul 2011 11:28 am

vozzie wrote:
Perhaps this says more about North America than it does about Singapore? :(


Eh?! Singapore is located in the tropics, lots of sun, rain = lots of plants. Taking an extreme to make a point, the Antarctic has fewer plant species than North America?

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 06 Jul 2011 11:42 am

Ditto.

Tropical [rain]forests generally have more bio diversity per area than temperate ones.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 06 Jul 2011 12:32 pm

Touché

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Postby vozzie » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 9:11 am

Ouch!
I seem to have hit a nerve.

Sun, rain, heat =Florida, Everglades ....
Rainforest (temperate or otherwise) = PNW ...

I have no scientific basis ... it just seemed strange to me that such a large and diverse area as North America has so few plant species... when compared to 400 acres in Singapore.

Maybe it was always like that?

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 9:31 am

vozzie wrote:Ouch!
I seem to have hit a nerve.

Sun, rain, heat =Florida, Everglades ....
Rainforest (temperate or otherwise) = PNW ...

I have no scientific basis ... it just seemed strange to me that such a large and diverse area as North America has so few plant species... when compared to 400 acres in Singapore.

Maybe it was always like that?


You could also take into account geography. I'm not a geologist nor a paleontologist but Singapore's (or at least the SEA islands) locations suggests than there are more millenia of access to migrant species. These transits also suggests more cross breeding and mutations and hence biodiversity.

The continental USA, on the other hand, seems to have broken off early from Pangaea (earlier than Asia and even South America). Hence, species did have much chance to cross breed or their adaptations were mostly due to similar environment, thus less diversity.

But if you're a creationist, the answer is God wants more biodiversity in SEA than north America.

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Postby poodlek » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 11:38 am

Just a thought, I'm no botanist: in a place where there are seasons (and even Florida has seasons) there must be a fixed amount of time between plant generations, meaning a fixed minimum amount of time for diversification to occur. At the equator, conceivably (and I don't know if this is the case, it's just a guess) plants could have multiple generations in a single year, meaning a much higher rate of diversification.

I don't think it says anything about N. America-if you want to talk about quantity of plants, take a trip 100km outside of any major city in Canada and tell me how many plants you see :-P The vast majority of Canada is covered in forests, and I know the USA has its fair share too.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 11:49 am

poodlek wrote:Just a thought, I'm no botanist: in a place where there are seasons (and even Florida has seasons) there must be a fixed amount of time between plant generations, meaning a fixed minimum amount of time for diversification to occur. At the equator, conceivably (and I don't know if this is the case, it's just a guess) plants could have multiple generations in a single year, meaning a much higher rate of diversification.

I don't think it says anything about N. America-if you want to talk about quantity of plants, take a trip 100km outside of any major city in Canada and tell me how many plants you see :-P The vast majority of Canada is covered in forests, and I know the USA has its fair share too.


I thought about that too but I keep thinking about the Amazon rainforest and even the Great Barrier Reef.

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Postby poodlek » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 12:18 pm

nakatago wrote:
poodlek wrote:Just a thought, I'm no botanist: in a place where there are seasons (and even Florida has seasons) there must be a fixed amount of time between plant generations, meaning a fixed minimum amount of time for diversification to occur. At the equator, conceivably (and I don't know if this is the case, it's just a guess) plants could have multiple generations in a single year, meaning a much higher rate of diversification.

I don't think it says anything about N. America-if you want to talk about quantity of plants, take a trip 100km outside of any major city in Canada and tell me how many plants you see :-P The vast majority of Canada is covered in forests, and I know the USA has its fair share too.


I thought about that too but I keep thinking about the Amazon rainforest and even the Great Barrier Reef.


The Amazon is on the equator too...and the Great Barrier Reef - I suppose marine life propagates differently.

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Postby vozzie » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 12:26 pm

if you want to talk about quantity of plants, take a trip 100km outside of any major city in Canada and tell me how many plants you see The vast majority of Canada is covered in forests, and I know the USA has its fair share too.


I don't exactly know what point you're making here. Canada and the USA are both part of North America, yes, and, yes, they are smothered in forests ... but that has no bearing on the diversity of species.

Is it good that they are smothered in forests? You bet.

But why there isn't the variety of plant life still interests me ... although I won't kill myself if I don't ever find out why. It's just an observation.

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Postby poodlek » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 12:46 pm

vozzie wrote:
if you want to talk about quantity of plants, take a trip 100km outside of any major city in Canada and tell me how many plants you see The vast majority of Canada is covered in forests, and I know the USA has its fair share too.


I don't exactly know what point you're making here. Canada and the USA are both part of North America, yes, and, yes, they are smothered in forests ... but that has no bearing on the diversity of species.

Is it good that they are smothered in forests? You bet.

But why there isn't the variety of plant life still interests me ... although I won't kill myself if I don't ever find out why. It's just an observation.


I didn't miss that...I know you were talking about variety and I addressed that in the first part of my post. You seemed to insinuate (forgive me if I'm wrong) that it was N. America's fault it didn't have the diversity of plant species that Bukit Timah Reserve does. But if N. American pollution or whatever is to blame, then wouldn't there be a uniform reduction in vegetation overall? Don't let a statistic steer you wrong: North America is very rich in flora and fauna.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 12:55 pm

More fascinating facts (source):

- A single pond in Brazil can sustain a greater variety of fish than is found in all of Europe's rivers.
- A 25-acre plot of rainforest in Borneo may contain more than 700 species of trees - a number equal to the total tree diversity of North America.
- A single rainforest reserve in Peru is home to more species of birds than are found in the entire United States.
- A single tree in Peru was found to harbor forty-three different species of ants, about the entire number of ant species in the British Isles.
- The number of species of fish in the Amazon exceeds the number found in the entire Atlantic Ocean.

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Postby vozzie » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 12:59 pm

To be honest, that is exactly what I first thought when I read the figures.

Considering the continual coverage of pollution, urban crawl and clearing issues in the USA, I daresay many people might jump to that conclusion ... how else could you explain such a discrepancy?

However, on further consideration, maybe there is a logical ecological reason. I just don't know what it is.

P.S. It would be interesting to find out what the North American figures were ... say, 300 years ago.

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Postby poodlek » Thu, 07 Jul 2011 1:28 pm

vozzie wrote:To be honest, that is exactly what I first thought when I read the figures.

Considering the continual coverage of pollution, urban crawl and clearing issues in the USA, I daresay many people might jump to that conclusion ... how else could you explain such a discrepancy?

However, on further consideration, maybe there is a logical ecological reason. I just don't know what it is.

P.S. It would be interesting to find out what the North American figures were ... say, 300 years ago.


I'm pretty certain Bukit Timah would still have had the edge even 10,000 years ago, although undoubtedly some species have become extinct due to man's influence.


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