Study to predict species likely to become extinct

June 16th, 2008 - 3:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 16 (IANS) A new ecological study will help identify species likely to become extinct under environmental changes or those likely to become a pest. Researchers analysed more than 8,900 legume species, or fabaceae, a plant family, and found a correlation between its traits and its susceptibility to threats or invasiveness.

“The urgency and scale of the global biodiversity crisis means we need good predictors of a species’ likelihood of going extinct or becoming invasive in non-native areas,” said Corey Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide, who led the study.

“This study provides good evidence that we can take any group of species and predict how individual species will respond to changes in the environment through events such as climate change or habitat loss.

“Developing evidence-based rules of thumb for categorising poorly studied species according to their susceptibility will aid decision makers in choosing best ways to allocate finite conservation resources,” said Bradshaw.

The study, the first of its kind, has been published online in the Journal of Ecology.

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