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Old 12-01-2010, 07:05 PM   #1
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Default Our Health depends upon Biodiversity

"Dwindling biodiversity could cause more humans to contract infectious diseases such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus, according to scientists who have reviewed the results of 24 separate studies."


"The researchers are not sure why species that tend to transmit diseases appear less likely to go extinct but they speculate that their lifestyle and how they fit into the ecosystem may have an influence on both."

Dwindling biodiversity raises disease risk in humans, study finds | Environment | guardian.co.uk
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:26 PM   #2
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Every day more is learned about ecosystem services and how they work. Biodiversity is proving to be an very important factor in continuing and maintaining life on earth. Every species plays a role. Often other species can not play the same role exactly the same way causing a ripple effect in the ecosystem.
Who would think that an oppossum would be a factor in controling ticks that pass on Lyme disease.
We should not be looking at ways to eradicate pest species but instead learning what is out of whack to such a degree as to allow the population imbalance.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
Every day more is learned about ecosystem services and how they work. Biodiversity is proving to be an very important factor in continuing and maintaining life on earth. Every species plays a role. Often other species can not play the same role exactly the same way causing a ripple effect in the ecosystem.
Who would think that an oppossum would be a factor in controling ticks that pass on Lyme disease.
We should not be looking at ways to eradicate pest species but instead learning what is out of whack to such a degree as to allow the population imbalance.
Yes, WE SHOULD, but will we??? We're a society that only reacts to emergencies. If there is an epidemic caused by a paucity of one species or another, we'll address the problem. Otherwise there's money and fame to be gained and utilized elsewhere. Unfortunately, I see no sign of this changing any time soon.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:48 AM   #4
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In the book 'The Diversity Of Life' Edward O Wilson 2001 edition page 214 there is a discussion about disease and the loss of species diversity.In Brazil there was a law going into effect at the time the first edition was written that was to save 50% of rain forest on any given tract of land during clear cutting. This resulted in many different sized parcels of forest being isolated, from very small areas of only a few acres to larger areas with longer distances between forested sections. This gave a unique opportunity to observe the changes in species abundance. Very interesting read.
But in particular is this tidbit.
Quote:
Bert Klein,"A first order disruption of some scarabs, will undoubtedly result in second order changes in mite dispersal, which may trigger third order changes in populations of dung and carrion breeding flies. What fourth order changes could occur because of changes in fly abundance needs further study. By eating and burying dung and carrion, the Scarabaeinae kill nematode larvae and other gastrointestinal parasites of vertebrates. Thus, a change in dung beetle communities may alter the incidence of parasites and disease in some isolated forest fragments or biological reserves."
It has been many years and much written since. The correlation between species diversity and disease seems clear.
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