Good Oak News

Friday, December 10, 2010

Biodiversity loss: grossly underestimated and directly effecting our health

The loss of biodiversity is a issue that concerns me greatly.  My desire to preserve the amazing native plants and animals of the midwest is the reason I started my business.  As such, couple recent articles in Science Daily have caught my attention.  The first, Ecological Effects of Biodiversity Loss Underestimated, discusses how the complexity of an ecosystem can unwind as even a single species is lost.  It describes how many animals, particularly invertebrates can be "picky eaters" and require different food sources at different stages of their life.  If one plant species is lost from a community than several species of insects may go with it, leaving fewer food resources for the larger vertebrates that most of us think of as "wildlife".

This loss of species means we end up with a simplified ecosystem, and these simplified ecosystems will inevitably become unstable without the natural system of competition among various species providing checks and balances.  The article, Loss of Species Large and Small Threatens Human Health, Study Finds, explores the direct effect this has on people, such the increased transmission of infectious diseases like Lyme's disease.

So recent research is building the case for the importance of preserving ever scrap of biodiversity that we have.  Every plant and animal species is important, and we are today, right here in the midwest, loosing some species, particularly insects, before we even knew they existed.  Other such as "common" prairie plants we take for granted even though their populations are roughly 1% what they once were, with a corresponding loss of genetic diversity within these species.  The only way to stem this lost is to preserve and especially to restore natural areas and to re-create new ones where they have previously been lost.  That is the mission of Good Oak Ecological Services, I hope you will partner with us to achieve it.