Photo with 55 notes
Ecosystems change long before species are lost
Rice U. researchers take detailed look at how biodiversity within species impacts communities Communities in nature are likely to be a lot more sensitive to change than previously thought, according to a new study at Rice University.
The study, which appears this week in Nature Communications, shows that scientists concerned about human influence on the biosphere need to take a deeper look at how altering the dynamics of a population — for example, by removing large members of a species through overfishing — can have measurable consequences, said Rice ecologist Volker Rudolf.
Caption: Rice University researchers studied 35,000 creatures pulled from dozens of miniature environments to gauge the effects of changes within populations of dragonflies and diving beetles on their environments. The results, they said, show that changes to an ecosystem appear long before a species disappears entirely.
Credit: Rudolf Lab/Rice University