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The Six Scenarios:
[Species Collapse]
[Infectious Disease]
[Climate Chaos]
[Resource Depletion]
[Biology Breach]


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Posted Sat Jan 8 2011: from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
What triggers mass extinctions? Study shows how invasive species stop new life
An influx of invasive species can stop the dominant natural process of new species formation and trigger mass extinction events, according to research results published today in the journal PLoS ONE. The study of the collapse of Earth's marine life 378 to 375 million years ago suggests that the planet's current ecosystems, which are struggling with biodiversity loss, could meet a similar fate. Although Earth has experienced five major mass extinction events, the environmental crash during the Late Devonian was unlike any other in the planet's history. The actual number of extinctions wasn't higher than the natural rate of species loss, but very few new species arose.... In a departure from previous studies, Stigall used phylogenetic analysis, which draws on an understanding of the tree of evolutionary relationships to examine how individual speciation events occurred.... As sea levels rose and the continents closed in to form connected land masses, however, some species gained access to environments they hadn't inhabited before. The hardiest of these invasive species that could thrive on a variety of food sources and in new climates became dominant, wiping out more locally adapted species. The invasive species were so prolific at this time that it became difficult for many new species to arise.
[Read more stories about: sixth extinction, tipping point, hunting to extinction, habitat loss, ecosystem interrelationships]

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claude says: "really should have a look at daniel quinn's book : Ishmael. makes you understand much and be more efficient !!!"

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'Doc Jim says:
Hmmm. Wasn't it about 200,000 years ago that we left the savannah and began to take over the world?

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