Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ceballos and Ehrlich (2009) reflection

Two things hit me from this paper (PNAS 166: 3841 - 3846):

1.) "our results suggest that many more unheralded organisms in all groups have likely recently gone extinct without being noticed. That implies that levels if species extinction have been grossly underestimated." I had to reflect on this. It make sense. How are we to know what is all out there? Just like sampling regimes, I cannot know every insects that is in my prairies, that would take too much time and effort. So, one must have to expect that he/she will underestimate extinction rate.

2.) "It is also crucial that the number and diversity of populations - many of which are clearly more genetically and ecologically differentiated that previously thought - and the ecosystem services they provide, also be preserved and, where possible, restored." Yes, it is crucial to have more diverse systems so that ecosystems to function properly.

So, what I got from paper, was not on ecosystem services that organism can supply us, but on conservation. This is one reason that I really enjoy this paper, because they did not focus of the need of diverse ecosystems to serve us. This is what we need to focus on (basically because humans are already greedy enough). What need to be talked aboot is for the greater good of the ecosystem, for all organisms to be able function properly, not for our individual needs. What scientist need to be focused on, and already has is one sense or another, is how each species is critical for the correct functioning of the ecosystem. What is the fail of this paper is the use of the word "ecosyetem services" because it did not have much of an emphasis in this paper.

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