Indispensable ecological role: what will cause the extinction of animals
17:08 Telegraph Today hightech.fm Photo: pixabay.com news environment:Endangered because of climate change animals play an indispensable role in ecosystems.
According to UN estimates, by 2050 the Earth will die almost 1 million species of animals, including a huge number of insects. Already, 75% of the land and 40% ocean and 50% of river waters “exhibit degradation due to human activities”.
This is mainly due to emissions of greenhouse gases. According to the organization, since 1980, the level of anthropogenic emissions increased two times, this has led to the increase in the average temperature on Earth at least 0.7 °C.
The researchers calculated the peculiarities of the influence on ecosystems of all living birds and mammals on the basis of six characteristics — body mass, the size of the litter, the difference between the generations, the width of the habitat, the type of diet and dietary diversity. This allowed them to identify the different types and combine these data with information from the red data book of species threatened with extinction.
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Work has shown that mammals such as Asian elephant and Sumatran rhinoceros and birds such as bustard, the Amsterdam Albatross and the Somali ostrich, are under threat and are very different from each other from an environmental point of view. Thus, the disappearance of these species may lead to the loss of unique ecological roles.
These roles are very diverse: herbivorous animals, such as elephants and hippos, can influence the structure of vegetation and nutrient Cycling, and prey — white-tailed eagle, leopard, gray wolf and Cougar — can prevent overgrazing, improve productivity and limit the spread of disease.
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