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A small genetic change can cause altering of communities

Photo credit: Nature World News

 

Climate Change and Evolution: Small Changes Can Alter Entire Ecosystems

by Samantha Mathewson

Even the slightest of changes in one species can throw off entire ecosystems, researchers say, after recently studying genetic mutations. While many studies have examined how environmental changes are linked to species extinctions, scientists from Trinity College Dublin examined ecosystem changes on a much finer scale.

“We know that predators are hugely important in influencing how ecosystems are structured, as they control the numbers and diversity of other species in the food web. It is incredible that such a small genetic change can cause these mutants to completely alter communities as much as the extinction of something as important as a predator,” Dr. Ian Donohue, assistant professor of zoology at Trinity, said in a news release.

Read the full article: Nature World News

 

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.