Modern evolutionary biology seeks to understand the genetic basis of adaptation and high-altitude environments provide an excellent system for studying how organisms cope with a multitude of stresses such as low levels of oxygen, low temperature, high levels of UV radiation, and strong seasonality.
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The prevalence of mutualism nature, in which different species cooperate for common benefit, is difficult to explain. Theory conflicts on whether mutualisms should be stable or abandoned over evolutionary time. On the one hand, natural selection is expected to favour exploitation over cooperation because individuals that derive benefit from a mutualistic partner can maximize their own fitness by cheating, or otherwise avoiding the costs of cooperation.
It is well known that nutrient addition can lead to a loss in plant diversity, but a recent international study involving Dr. Andrew MacDougall has shed light on the fundamental mechanisms influencing biodiversity loss and plant species co-existence.