Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New constellations of species change ecosystems

Date:
June 11, 2011
Source:
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish)
Summary:
Human activities that are causing global climate changes and destroying habitats in nature are leading to the extinction of many species from Earth's ecosystems. At the same time, many species are expanding the range of their habitat. In a new article, scientists offer suggestions for how research can get better at understanding species loss and the simultaneous gain of new species and how this affects the function of the ecosystem.

Human activities that are causing global climate changes and destroying habitats in nature are leading to the extinction of many species from Earth's ecosystems. At the same time, many species are expanding the range of their habitat.

Related Articles


An article by Professor David Wardle at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Umeε in collaboration with researchers in the UK, the US, and the Netherlands, now being published in the journal Science, sheds new light on this subject.

The scientists offer suggestions for how research can get better at understanding species loss and the simultaneous gain of new species and how this affects the function of the ecosystem.

At the same time as species disappear or are made extinct, many species expand their range as a result of humans introducing new species to new environments and because certain species benefit from ongoing climate change.

Some researchers have studied the consequences of losing a species in an ecosystem, while others have been interested in what happens when new species are added.

Even though species loss and species gain occur in parallel, researchers have not studied these two phenomena at the same time. However, it is important to do so if we wish to understand how human activities impact ecosystems' production, nutritional cycle, and capacity to store carbon.

The authors of the article make it clear that the species gained by the ecosystems due to human activities affect the ecosystems in a different way than the species that are lost. This means that the main impact of human activity on ecosystems may arise from our replacing species with other species that behave differently. It is stressed that these effects are most acute when the species dominate (have great biomass) in the ecosystem or have such key characteristics that they determine how the ecosystems function.

In the article the authors highlight that much remains unknown regarding how this simultaneous loss and gain of species can affect ecosystems.

Considerable and important advances have been made regarding how and why new (invasive) species change ecosystems, because much of the research in this area has focused on how the properties of the new species impact the ecosystems.

Today we have limited knowledge of how species loss affects ecosystems, because this has mainly been studied in a random selection of species in controlled experiments, despite the fact that species do not disappear from ecosystems by chance.

The authors emphasize the necessity of enhancing our knowledge of the changes in characteristics that have occurred as a result of species being lost and new species being added before researchers can say anything about how human activity impacts the function of ecosystems.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. A. Wardle, R. D. Bardgett, R. M. Callaway, W. H. Van der Putten. Terrestrial Ecosystem Responses to Species Gains and Losses. Science, 2011; 332 (6035): 1273 DOI: 10.1126/science.1197479

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "New constellations of species change ecosystems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110610081712.htm>.
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). (2011, June 11). New constellations of species change ecosystems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110610081712.htm
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "New constellations of species change ecosystems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110610081712.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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