Scientists describe ‘hidden biodiversity crisis’ as loss of variation within species – ScienceDaily

Scientists describe 'hidden biodiversity crisis' as loss of variation within species - ScienceDaily

The rapid loss of variation within species is a hidden crisis in biodiversity, according to the authors of a new study examining how this variation supports essential ecological functions and the benefits that nature provides to humans.

Published March 1 in Nature Ecology and Evolution, the study highlights the need to better understand and conserve variations within species in order to safeguard nature’s contributions to humans.

“Biodiversity means more that the number of species, and when we focus on species-level extinctions, we’re missing part of the story, ”said corresponding author Eric Palkovacs, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the ‘UC Santa Cruz. “Intraspecies variation is a neglected aspect of biodiversity, but it has value to people, and we need to start recognizing it and protecting this form of biodiversity.”

An earlier study by first author Simone Des Roches, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Santa Cruz now at the University of Washington, showed that the loss of variation within species can have serious ecological consequences. This prompted Des Roches and Palkovacs to reflect on the broader implications of their findings on the nature of values ​​and services …

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