Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Endangered Species Up The Risk Of Extinction For Other Species In Ecological Community

Date:
May 11, 2008
Source:
Linköping University
Summary:
An endangered species of flora or fauna ups the risk of the extinction of the other species in its ecological community. Trophically unique species are more vulnerable for cascading extinction, according to studies of a team of theoretical biologists.

An endangered species of flora or fauna ups the risk of the extinction of the other species in its ecological community. Trophically unique species are more vulnerable for cascading extinction, according to studies of a team of theoretical biologists active at Linköping University and the University of Sheffield.

The researchers simulated what happens in a food web when a species dies out, to see which species might die out and what the consequences might be in each case. Findings indicate that secondary extinction gives rise to a greater decline in trophic diversity than can be explained by mere chance.

A jackstraws analogy can be made. In the game of jackstraws, or spillikins, the players try to pull a stick out of a jumbled pile without moving the other sticks. The sticks can represent members of an ecological community. Some species, like some sticks, can easily be moved with no consequences to their neighbors. Others occupy a unique position in the food web and their removal will have a considerable impact on other members.

One instance of this is the sea otter. It lives on mussels and sea urchins, and when it disappeared from the tang forests along the Pacific coastline of the Americas, entire ecosystems collapsed. Many other species in the otter's ecosystem became locally extinct.

The LiU-Sheffield study shows that those species, which disappear in the second wave of extinction, have a trophically unique role. Once these keystone species are identified, conservation activities can be directed where they will help most.

The LiU scientists Bo Ebenman, Anna Eklöf and Charlotte Borrvall together with Owen L Petchey from the University of Sheffield, England, publish their team findings in the journal: The American Naturalist. Their article "Trophically Unique Species are Vulnerable to Cascading Extinction" is also featured in Nature Research Highlights.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Linköping University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Linköping University. "Endangered Species Up The Risk Of Extinction For Other Species In Ecological Community." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080508142820.htm>.
Linköping University. (2008, May 11). Endangered Species Up The Risk Of Extinction For Other Species In Ecological Community. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080508142820.htm
Linköping University. "Endangered Species Up The Risk Of Extinction For Other Species In Ecological Community." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080508142820.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — An international team uncovered a large ancient wine celler that likely belonged to a Cannonite ruler. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins