Ecosystem effects of biodiversity loss could rival impacts of climate change, pollution
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Loss of biodiversity appears to impact ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution and other major forms of environmental stress, according to a new study from an international research team.
The study is the first comprehensive effort to directly compare the impacts of biological diversity loss to the anticipated effects of a host of other human-caused environmental changes.
The results highlight the need for stronger local, national and international efforts to protect biodiversity and the benefits it provides, according to the researchers, who are based at nine institutions in the United States, Canada and Sweden.
"Loss of biological diversity due to species extinctions is going to have major impacts on our planet, and we better prepare ourselves to deal with them," said Professor Brad Cardinale, one of the authors who is an ecologist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. The study was published online in the journal Nature, May 2, 2012.
Caption: Researchers measuring the productivity of algae in a stream. Image credit: Brad Cardinale.
U-M News Service press release
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