You probably heard it before. Climate change and human pressures (increased pollution, deforestation, harvesting, nutrient inputs, noise etc..) are the major culprits of 'biodiversity loss'.
But after reading a few articles and worrying for a while, it all washes up over our heads as we get on with our daily tasks. I mean, biodiversity loss might happen but it will not directly impact us on our limited time on this planet. Maybe it will our gran children, maybe our great great grand children. But hey, I am single and even the idea of children seem so far away. So I get on with my day, with this idea of biodiversity loss hiding somewhere behind my endless to-do list. Maybe to reappear in my job (I am interested in understanding what will cause it, how to slow it down, and how are organisms really impacted by changes in their environments). Nonetheless, if I, a person who is in the ecology science field, don't spend much of my day worrying, how can we get everyone else to worry and actually do something to slow down all of the pressures that we are putting in the environment?
By putting biodiversity loss in perspective.
And so here I will start with my first post of a series of posts discussing the impacts of biodiversity loss on something that is part of our daily lives, maybe routines.
I will start with a recent article published in Science that explains how coffee plants are under risk of extinction.
More precisely, studies found that 60% of wild coffee species are under threat of extinction . Now, you say, that leaves 40% plus all the plants that are actually cultivated, so your (and mine) caffeine addiction could still be supported. But there is a catch: less variation. And lower availability will mean higher prices (think about that offer and demand). And Arabica, the most common found coffee, is already under threat (and was already highlighted in this study in 2012!)...
So. Species loss = More boring coffee
A second point, is that loss of biodiveristy = loss of genetic diversity = loss of ability of creating new commercial crops that can be resistant to droughts, pests and other threats.
So Species loss = higher likelihood (or greater rate) of further species loss
Savour that coffee while you can, and maybe switch that disposable cup for a reusable one while you can?
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