Monday, March 31, 2008

A holistic way to measure ecosystem health

A new study devises a more comprehensive method for measuring ecosystem health. From New Scientist: When it comes to measuring ecosystem health, top predators such as tigers get all the ink. Their numbers are relatively easy to measure, they are sensitive to pollution – and they are great for publicity.

However, a more holistic analysis suggests that prey species may be a better overall indictor of health. Tobias Roth and Darius Weber at the Swiss Biodiversity Monitoring Programme in Basel, analysed data on plant, bird and butterfly species richness from across Switzerland. They compared the richness of sites where birds of prey had been spotted to areas where they were absent.....

Don't focus only on predators -- yawning lion shot by John Storr, Wikimedia Commons

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