Navigation Links
Loss of biodiversity increasingly threatens human well-being: UBC, University of Michigan research
Date:6/8/2012

The loss of the planet's biological diversity is increasingly threatening Mother Nature's ability to provide humans with goods and services like food, water, fodder, fertile soils, and protection from pests and disease, according to a sweeping review of 20 years of research by an international team of ecologists, including biologists from the University of British Columbia and McGill.

The 17 researchers present their findings in the June 7 edition of the journal Nature in a scientific consensus statement that summarizes evidence that has emerged from more than 1,000 ecological studies conducted since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"We've reached a point where efforts to preserve species and biological diversity might no longer be an act of altruism," says Diane Srivastava, Professor with the Department of Zoology and the Biodiversity Research Centre at University of British Columbia and author on the paper.

"This research review dramatically underscores the importance of strengthening--not weakening or curtailing--environmental assessment processes in order to stem the tide of the loss of species and diversity that so many humans benefit from and depend on. This is particularly true in economies heavily reliant on natural resources,like British Columbia's."

The balance of evidence reviewed in the study shows that genetic diversity increases the yield of commercial crops, enhances the production of wood in tree plantations, improves the production of fodder in grasslands, and increases the stability of yields in fisheries. Plant diversity also contributes to greater resistance to invasion by exotic plants, inhibits plant pathogens such as fungal and viral infections, increases above-ground carbon sequestration through enhanced biomass, and increases nutrient remineralization and soil organic matter.

"Much as the consensus statements by doctors led to public warnings that tobacco use is harmful to your health, this is a consensus statement by experts who agree that loss of Earth's wild species will be harmful to the world's ecosystems and may harm society by reducing ecosystem services that are essential to human health and prosperity," said Bradley Cardinale, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan and leader of the research effort.

"We need to take biodiversity loss far more seriously from individuals to international governing bodies and take greater action to prevent further losses of species."

The call to action comes as international leaders prepare to gather in Rio de Janeiro on June 20 for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as the Rio+20 Conference. The upcoming conference marks the 20th anniversary of 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, which resulted in 193 nations supporting the Convention on Biological Diversity's goals of biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources.

"We believe that ongoing loss of biological diversity is diminishing the ability of ecosystems to sustain human societies," says Andrew Gonzalez, Associate Professor with the Department of Biology and the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science at McGill University and author on the paper.


'/>"/>

Contact: Chris Balma
balma@science.ubc.ca
604-822-5082
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Managing biodiversity data from local government
2. A network of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe
3. The absence of elephants and rhinoceroses reduces biodiversity in tropical forests
4. Palms reveal the significance of climate change for tropical biodiversity
5. Top priorities in biodiversity science agreed
6. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
7. Beetle-fungus disease threatens crops and landscape trees in Southern California
8. CU research shows warming climate threatens ecology at mountain research site west of Boulder
9. Extreme weather threatens rich ecosystems
10. Worlds largest release of comprehensive human cancer genome data helps speed discoveries
11. Engineered microvessels provide a 3-D test bed for human diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/21/2016)... -- Unique technology combines v ...   Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... communications services, today announced it is working alongside SpeechPro ... particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, the ability ... a mobile app, alongside, and in combination with, traditional ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... -- Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew ... Hebrew University, announced today the formation of Neteera ... human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first ... ... emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... -- --> --> ... Market by Technology (Pattern Recognition), by Component (Hardware, Software, ... (On-Premises and Cloud), by Industry Vertical and by Region ... global market is expected to grow from USD 12.49 ... at a CAGR of 19.1%. , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Scientists at the University of Athens ... for mesothelioma may be hampering the research that could lead to one good one. ... to read it now. , The team evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company’s orphan drug ... the company’s second orphan drug designation granted by the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... La Jolla, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... and financial planning for corporate executives and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego ... leaders in the San Diego life science community attended the event with speakers Dr. ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... PrecisionAg® Media has ... 2017 and Beyond. The paper outlines the key trends that are creating both ... “We’ve witnessed a lot of highs and lows as the precision agriculture market ...
Breaking Biology Technology: