Category Archives: Biodiversity Loss

If we lose enough species, we’ll drive ourselves extinct as well

North American freshwater mussels are going extinct

Stokstad, E. 2012. Nearly Buried, Mussels Get a Helping Hand. Science Vol. 338, Issue 6109, pp. 876-878 [excerpts] Freshwater mussels are in trouble. They are the most endangered group of organisms in the United States, with most of their river … Continue reading

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Are humans an invasive species?

Rob Jordan. April 5, 2016. Populations of early human settlers grew like an ‘invasive species,’ Stanford researchers find. Stanford University. When humans colonized South America, their populations grew like a typical invasive species – an initial explosive growth rapidly reached … Continue reading

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Menhaden going extinct — the key food source at bottom of food web

[ This is a really long introduction so I can reply to a comment that menhaden are “neither overfished nor experiencing overfishing”.   Huh? Both their numbers and range are small compared to their original population. If there were a reduction, … Continue reading

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Humans driving species to extinction 1,000 times the natural rate

[ According to a paper published in Science the current rates of extinction are 1000 times the background rate. This estimate is higher than previous estimates is due to a more sophisticated analysis. ] Pimm, S.L., et al, 30 May … Continue reading

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Vines are taking over forests

Laurance, W. October 5, 2013. Planet of the vines: Climbing plants are taking over. NewScientist. Giant vines are beginning to strangle Earth’s tropical forests, and it’s not just due to climate change. Gaze out over a tropical rainforest and the … Continue reading

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Large animals driven extinct by human hunters still affect ecosystems today

Below is an excerpt/paraphrased of Michael Marshall’s 14 August 2013 NewScientist Ecosystems still feel the pain of ancient extinctions, the abstract of the original Nature Geoscience article, and future losses of large animals will affect tropical forests in the future. … Continue reading

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E. O. Wilson to save humanity from extinction, get rid of religion

[ Below is an excerpt, out of order, from New Scientist’s 21 Jan 2015 interview with E.O. Wilson “Religious faith is dragging us down“. The extinctions we cause will kill us too, says the sociobiology pioneer – the best thing … Continue reading

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Nearly a third of cacti threatened with extinction

Illegal trade contributes to placing cacti among world’s most threatened species – IUCN Red List 05 October 2015 | International news release Gland, Switzerland, 5 October 2015 (IUCN) – Thirty-one percent of cactus species are threatened with extinction, according to … Continue reading

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Arctic ice melt to release 1 trillion pieces of plastic into sea – a major threat to marine life

[Also see September 2015: Plastic for dinner: A quarter of fish sold at markets contain human-made debris. Original article here] Lewis, R. May 27, 2014. Arctic ice melt to release 1 trillion pieces of plastic into sea Increasing ice melt … Continue reading

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Cost of Invasive Species in the United States

[ My note: It’s been 15 years since this paper was written, yet it is so thorough and well-written that it stands up well today and still cited by thousands of other papers as the best estimate of what invasive … Continue reading

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