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2/11/2007

Risk Of Extinction Accelerated Due To Interacting Human Threats

Earth News
Photo Credit: Top left: John Veron from Corals of the World. Top right: Wolcott Henry/Marine Photobank, Bottom left: Steve Spring/Marine Photobank, Bottom right: NASA-GSFC/Marine Photobank

Feb 07, 2007
The simultaneous effect of habitat fragmentation, overexploitation, and climate warming could accelerate the decline of populations and substantially increase their risk of extinction, a study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B has warned.
Using experimental microcosm populations of rotifers (a type of zooplankton), the study found that individually each of these threats caused significant population declines. The study also found that the rate of declines was much accelerated when populations were exposed to more than one threat. These results indicate that multiple interacting threats are capable of causing rapid population extinction, and that all threats should be simultaneously reduced, if their synergies are to be avoided and if the current rate of species loss is to be reversed.
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