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View Diary: If a Species goes Extinct in the Forest, Before anyone Names it ... (14 comments)

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  •  Biodiversity = Productivity! (1+ / 0-)
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    Darwin's conjecture about diverse species making beter use of resources due to non-overlapping niches has been empirically verified:

    The experimental result from Marc William Cadotte confirms a prediction made by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species, first published in 1859. Darwin had said that a plot of land growing distantly related grasses would be more productive than a plot with a single species of grass.
    Since then, many experiments have shown that multi-species plots are more productive. Cadotte's experiment showed for the first time that species with the greatest evolutionary distance from one another have the greatest productivity gains.
    The close with the important takeaway:
    What's interesting about his result is that evolutionary distance is all you need to know to predict productivity. The result suggests that as plant species disappear the Earth will become less productive, and plants will draw even less carbon from the atmosphere, possibly increasing the rate of global warming.
    Just another feedback mechanism helping us fuck ourselves, nothing to see here.

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