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Old 06-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #1
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Default Rare species perform unique roles

I have often thought that a species so rare as to be found only in very specialized niches must also contribute something important to that particular ecosystem.

Rare species perform unique roles, even in diverse ecosystems | Science Codex


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Using data from three very different ecosystemsócoral reefs, tropical forests and alpine meadowsóa team of researchers led by David Mouillot at the University of Montpellier 2, France, has shown that it is primarily the rare species, rather than the more common ones, that have distinct traits involved in unique ecological functions. As biodiversity declines, these unique features are therefore particularly vulnerable to extinction because rare species are likely to disappear first.
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Rare species are not just an ecological insurance," he said. "They perform additional ecological functions that could be important during rapid transitions experienced by ecosystems. The vulnerability of these functions, in particular biodiversity loss caused by climate change, highlights the underestimated role of rare species in the functioning and resilience of ecosystems. Our results call for new experiments to explicitly test the influence of species rarity and the uniqueness of combinations of traits on ecological processes." This line of research will also inform the lively debate about the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:43 AM   #2
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I have often thought that a species so rare as to be found only in very specialized niches must also contribute something important to that particular ecosystem.
I've often thought that the less flashy, non-descript, easily-over-looked natives have a place in our yards. I know I'm thinking more along the lines of a restored habitat than a landscape. Especially in a meadow setting, I feel the "uglier" natives that can blend in with the beautiful ones and fulfill the niche they provide.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
I've often thought that the less flashy, non-descript, easily-over-looked natives have a place in our yards. I know I'm thinking more along the lines of a restored habitat than a landscape. Especially in a meadow setting, I feel the "uglier" natives that can blend in with the beautiful ones and fulfill the niche they provide.
Hey dap, no such thing as an ugly native plant. They are all beautiful. Maybe that's where my "weed " thing comes into play. If it is "ugly " it must be a weed even though it is a native. Ok almost midnight I think I'm getting silly. Good night!
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
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Yikes! Did I call them ugly?! I meant understated.
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