Estimates will be around 500 E/MSY in the coming century if this method is used.
The background rate is 500 times the value.
The number of species increases with the size of the habitat.
There is an interactive exploration of the causes of the endangerment or extinction of some species.
It's not clear why biologists are concerned about it.
The extinction of the passenger pigeon, the dodo bird, and the woolly mammoth may appear to be an emotional one.
The loss of a particular species is unimportant from the perspective of evolution and ecology, as the loss of a keystone species can lead to ecological disaster.
It is a normal part of evolution.
The loss of tens of thousands of species within our lifetimes is likely to have dramatic effects on human welfare through the collapse of ecosystems and in added costs to maintain food production, clean air and water.
Early hunter-gatherer societies first settled in one place and then heavily modified their environment.
Humans have difficulty in recognizing their dependence on undomesticated living things on the planet.
Every other species on the planet is dependent on the human species, just as they are dependent on the human species.
The human species cannot exist without a supportive environment.
Archeological evidence shows that humans have been using plants for thousands of years.
The first written account of herbal remedies is believed to have been found in a Chinese document from around 2800 BC.
Contemporary indigenous societies that live close to the land have a good knowledge of the uses of plants.
The importance of these plant compounds is recognized by modern pharmaceutical science.
Plants were once used to make many medicines.
At one time, 25 percent of modern drugs contained at least one plant extract.
Synthetic versions of natural plant ingredients are replacing natural ones.
Antibiotics, which are responsible for extraordinary improvements in health and lifespans in developed countries, are largely derived from fungi andbacteria.
Catharanthus roseus has a number of properties.
It is a source of vincristine, a drug used in the treatment of lymphomas.
Five drugs based on animal toxins were approved by the FDA in 2007.
There are at least six drugs that are being used in other countries.
There are toxins from mammals, snakes, lizards, fish, snails, and scorpions.
These medicines improve the lives of people.
Living organisms can be used to make new compounds that can be used as medicines.
35 percent of new drugs brought to market between 1981 and 2002 were derived from natural compounds, and 1/3 of pharmaceutical research and development is spent on natural compounds.
The disappearance of species will reduce the opportunities for new drugs.
Humans have been breeding and selecting crop varieties for over 10,000 years.
The crop diversity matched the cultural diversity of the population.
Around 7,000 years ago, potatoes were domesticated in the central Andes.
There are seven species of potatoes that are grown in that region.
There were many gardens growing potatoes in the capital of the Inka.
Each variety has been bred to thrive in certain environments.
The demands of the topography, the limited movement of people, and the demands created by crop rotation for different varieties that will do well in different fields are some of the factors that drive the diversity.
There are many examples of human-generated diversity.
The demands for food value, adaptation to growing conditions, and resistance to pests have led to the creation of diverse varieties of plants and animals.
The potato shows risks of low crop diversity.
The Irish potato famine occurred when a single variety became susceptible to a potato disease, wiping out the entire crop.
The loss of the potato crop led to mass famine and deaths of over one million people, as well as mass emigration of nearly two million people.
Crop diversity and disease resistance are benefits, and lack of diversity is a risk.
To keep up with evolving pest organisms, seed companies must continually breed new varieties.
As they focus on selling fewer varieties in more areas of the world, these same seed companies have participated in the decline of the number of varieties available.
These wild forms are often the source of new genes that can be used to create new varieties.
The loss of wild species will affect crop improvement.
Our continued food supply is ensured by maintaining the genetic diversity of wild species.
Seed banks of crop varieties have been maintained by the government since the 1920s.
Over time, seed banks are lost through accidents and there is no way to replace them.
Losses can be replaced from Svalbard if a regional seed bank stores varieties there.
The deep underground location of the vault in the arctic means that the vault's systems will not compromise the climatic conditions inside the vault.
The seeds of Earth's diverse crops are stored in the Global Seed Vault.
Crop success is dependent on the quality of the soil.
Although some agricultural soils are rendered sterile using controversial cultivation and chemical treatments, most contain a huge diversity of organisms that break down organic matter into compounds that crops need for growth.
Water and oxygen dynamics in the soil are important for plant growth.
The cost of food would go up if farmers had to use alternate means to maintain arable soil.
They occur as a result of the diverse metabolism of the organisms living there, but they provide benefits to human food production, drinking water availability, and breathable air.
Various species of bees, other insects, and birds are involved in pollination of plants.
According to one estimate, honey bee pollination provides the United States with a $1.6 billion annual benefit.
Colony collapse disorder is a syndrome that has caused large losses to honey bee populations in North America.
If these species were lost, it would be hard to grow any of the 150 United States crops requiring pollination, including grapes, oranges, lemons, peppers, most brassica (broccoli and cauliflower), and many berries, melons, and nuts.
Humans compete for their food with crop pests.
Pesticides are costly and lose their effectiveness over time as pest populations evolve.
They endanger the health of consumers and agricultural workers by killing non-pest species.
Ecologists believe that the majority of the work in removing pests is done by animals, but the impact has not been studied.