Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to make ecosystems more productive?

The productivity of ecosystems is one of the key things for human well being. Ecosystems provide us with the essential services such as food, water and oxygen production, and preserving our current ecosystems is really the key to our future well being.

But given the ongoing huge biodiversity loss, and the fact that human population is constantly increasing we must not only find the ways to preserve current ecosystems but we also need to make them more productive so they could provide us with more resources needed for our "usual way of life".

How do we do that? How to make ecosystems more productive given the fact that so many species are threatened with extinction? According to the latest study published in the American Journal of Botany the key to improving productivity of a given ecosystem lies in rich plant diversity.

The scientists have calculated that ecosystems rich with plants have 1,5 times bigger productivity compared to the ecosystems consisting only of one one plant( the so called monocultural ecosystems).

The ecosystems with rich plant biodiversity are able to more efficiently capture the sunlight and nutrients compared to monocultural ecosystems, and this is the main reason behind their improved productivity. Not only that, these ecosystems are also capable to produce oxygen twice as quickly as compared to monoculturals.

This was one of the most comprehensive studies on biodiversity which included analysis of nearly 600 previous research studies.

The world leaders are still underestimating the impact of huge biodiversity loss, and are not doing enough to stop it. Biodiversity loss is the result of several different factors such as climate change, habitat loss, deforestation, invasive species.

These factors have extremely negative impact on productivity of many ecosystems which is already causing huge damage to world's economy. Biodiversity loss must be stopped or else our future generations will curse a sad heritage that was left to them by their ignorant ancestors.

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