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What are therare speciesand why must everything be done to save them?
The question is not purely of an ethical nature, the safeguarding of biodiversity and in particular ofrare specieshas very good reasons for existing. Even among conservationists there are those who think thatrare speciesare not all that important for the well-being of ecosystems: an environment rich in biodiversity typically hosts few dominant species and many rare species and, the idea is thatrare speciesmay not be decisive for the ecosystem because these perform replication roles, that is, they perform functions that in nature are already performed by the most common species.
Unfortunately this idea is more than wrong, to investigate the importance ofrare specieswas David Mouillot lecturer and researcher at the University of Montpellier 2, in the south of France. In his article published in PLoS Biology, David Mouillot shed light on the function ofrare species. Its publication was the result of an analysis that studied a flood of data, in particular, the researcher collected data on the diffusion and characters of 850 fish from the Pacific coral reefs, 3,000 alpine plants and 660 tropical trees.
The research has placed the emphasis on the relationships between habitat andrare species, the environments examined are those of the Pacific seabed, followed by the tropical and alpine environment. Thus it has been seen that many essential functions in each environment are highly dependent onrare species which are the repositories of combinations of unique traits.
In the Alps, the granite saxifrage is irreplaceable for various pollinating insects. The tropical tree Pouteria maxima has unparalleled resistance to both fires and drought. The disappearance of therare speciesit would compromise the adaptability of entire ecosystems. The example of the Pacific seabed is given precisely by the analysis of corals, in corals common fish cannot control the explosions of macroalgae foreseen withclimate changes, an adequate answer could be given byrare specieslike that of Platax pinnatus, more commonly called batfish.
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