19 February 2013

Trophic cascade

Wiping out top predators like lions, wolves and sharks is tragic, bad for ecosystems – and can make climate change worse. Mass extinctions of the big beasts of the jungles, grasslands and oceans could already be adding to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
-- report, original paper.

It looks as if, across a range of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, climates and predators, carbon dioxide emissions typically increased more than tenfold after the predators are removed.

(Photo by Brian Skerry: Gray reef shark at Kingman Reef, where predator populations remain large)

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