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  운영자 2005-02-15 14:22:29 | Hit : 8117 | Vote : 2223
Subject   [자료] 서식지 단편화에 의한 기생충 초래와 질병
Loss of Dung Beetles Puts Ecosystems in Deep Doo-Doo

Like an overengineered airplane, ecosystems are thought to have redundant functions that should prevent a single extinction from triggering more serious consequences. Many animal species disperse seeds, for example. So when one such species disappears, others
face less competition and ought to become more abundant, taking up any slack. New research suggests that may not always be true. The study examined the fate of dung beetles, which collect dung, bury it, snack on it, and lay their eggs in it. Burying the seed-laden dung also enriches the soil and helps plants regenerate. Trond Larsen, a graduate
student at Princeton University, found that the beetle species best at burying dung were the first to disappear from forest fragments. Alarmingly, related species did not become more abundant. Much dung then went unburied. “It tells us that the level of resilience in ecosystems to damage or biodiversity loss could be much less than we thought,” says Richard Ostfeld of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. Larsen studied 42 species of dung beetles in eastern Venezuela, where a hydroelectric dam completed in 1986 flooded 4300 square kilometers of tropical forest and created more than 100 forest islands. He found that smaller islands had fewer species of beetles and that the larger beetles were most frequently missing.

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