Navigation Links
Study proves that 1 extinction leads to another
Date:8/14/2012

When a carnivore becomes extinct, other predatory species could soon follow, according to new research. Scientists have previously put forward this theory, but a University of Exeter team has now carried out the first experiment to prove it.

Published today (15 August 2012) in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the study shows how the demise of one carnivore species can indirectly cause another to become extinct. The University of Exeter team believes any extinction can create a ripple effect across a food web, with far-reaching consequences for many other animals.

The research adds weight to growing evidence that a 'single species' approach to conservation, for example in fisheries management, is misguided. Instead the focus needs to be holistic, encompassing species across an entire ecosystem.

The researchers bred two species of parasitic wasps, along with the two types of aphids on which each wasp exclusively feeds. They set up tanks with different combinations of the species and observed them for eight weeks. In tanks that did not include the first species of wasp, the second went extinct within a few generations. In tanks in which they co-existed, both wasp species thrived.

In the absence of the first wasp species, its prey grew in numbers. This threatened the other aphid, which the second wasp species attacks, eventually leading to its extinction. Both types of aphids feed on the same plants and there was not enough food for one to survive when the other thrived in the absence of its wasp predator.

Lead researcher Dr Frank van Veen of the University of Exeter's Centre for Ecology and Conservation said: "Our experiment provides the first proof of something that biologists have argued for a long time: predators can have indirect effects on each other, to the extent that when one species is lost, the loss of these indirect effects can lead to further extinctions. Although our study focused on insects, the principle would be the same for predators in any ecosystem, ranging from big cats on the African plains to fish in our seas.

"Our research highlights the fact that a 'single species' approach to conservation can be ineffective and even counter-productive. For example, protecting cod could lead to increased fishing pressure on other predatory fish which then, by the mechanism we have demonstrated here, could lead to further negative effects on the cod."

The experiment was designed by a team of University of Exeter scientists and second-year undergraduate students. The idea came about during a seminar, in which students were challenged to design an experiment that could prove the theory that predators have indirect effects on each other. The students were so inspired by the idea of proving a long-held theory that more than 30 of them volunteered to conduct the experiment with their lecturers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sarah Hoyle
s.hoyle@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-272-2062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. NIH backs Rice University study of delay in gene transcription networks
2. Study of fruit fly chromosomes improves understanding of evolution and fertility
3. Selfish DNA in animal mitochondria offers possible tool to study aging
4. UIC study examines exercise and weight loss for older adults with osteoarthritis
5. Eating grapes may help protect heart health in men with metabolic syndrome, new study suggests
6. Carnegie Mellon study shows skin-aging radicals age naturally formed particles in the air
7. New UC Santa Barbara-based project to study contaminants in urban water environment
8. Study reveals impact of historical domestic cattle hybridization with American bison
9. NYU College of Nursings Dr. Anastasi awarded $2.5 million from NIH to study IBS symptom management
10. New study helps predict impact of ocean acidification on shellfish
11. Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers invent new tool to study single biological molecules
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study proves that 1 extinction leads to another
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016 On Monday, the Department of Homeland ... share solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request ... Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add biometrics ... the United States , in order to deter ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/9/2016)...  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the ... employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... NEW YORK , June 2, 2016   The ... (Weather), is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which ... advertising, by being able to ask questions via voice or ... Marketers have long ... with the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the ... the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s ... how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, ... after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells derived ... debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, ... biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed its ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received ... with the capital we need to meet our current ... essentially provide us the runway to complete validation on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... YORK , June 23, 2016 ... trading session at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial ... S&P 500 closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated ... INFI ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), ... Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more about ...
Breaking Biology Technology: