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Extinction in ocean's mud presages key ecological changes

l variety of life found in an ecosystem."

Despite that, the discovery that the order in which animals go extinct is important and essential to knowing what the long-term environmental effects will be.

"The finding is important because it argues that the particular cause of extinction ultimately governs the ecosystem-level consequences of biodiversity loss," the researchers conclude.

In short, predicting how coastal environments will cope as animal species decline as a result of human activity will depend on a better grasp of why species are at risk and how that risk is amplified or minimized by an animal's functional traits.

In addition to Cardinale and Solan, authors of the Science paper include Amy Downing of Ohio Wesleyan University, Katharina Engelhardt of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Jennifer Ruesink of the University of Washington and Diane Srivastava of the University of British Columbia.


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Contact: Bradley Cardinale
bjcardinale@wisc.edu
608-262-9226
University of Wisconsin-Madison
11-Nov-2004


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