Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Can fossils reveal how to reverse biodiversity loss?

Environmental News Network via Click Green: Many native species have vanished from tropical islands because of human impact, but University of Florida scientists have discovered how fossils can be used to restore lost biodiversity.

The key lies in organic materials found in fossil bones, which contain evidence for how ancient ecosystems functioned, according to a new study published in the September issue of the Journal of Herpetology.

Pre-human island ecosystems provide vital clues for saving endangered island species and re-establishing native species, said lead author Alex Hastings, who conducted work for the study as graduate student at the Florida Museum of Natural History and UF department of geological sciences.

"Our work is particularly relevant to endangered species that are currently living in marginal environments," said Hastings, currently a postdoctoral researcher at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. "A better understanding of species’ natural roles in ecosystems untouched by people might improve their prospects for survival."…

Barracudasauroides panxianensis Stage : Anisian from 247.2 million years ago until ~242 million years ago. Shot by Didier Descouens, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons 3.0 license

No comments: