Communication

Feeding the ecosystem change

  • A scientific study of the Laboratory of Population Ecology IMEDEA (CSIC- UIB), argues that predictable anthropogenic food subsidies provided by humans to animals through activities such as farming, ranching, commercial fishing and trade has shaped many communities and ecosystems as we see them nowadays.

Mallorca, 2014, 31st January. Since the days of the hunter -gatherers to Neolithic societies, and especially in developed countries- contemporary humans have contributed ( voluntarily or involuntarily) to feed a multitude of animal species, disrupting communities and ecosystems. The scientific study published in the journal Ecology Letters, explains that some species are more adept at exploiting these leftovers than others, which may affect the stability of communities and food webs by altering competition for interference (which is caused by the availability of food , reproduction, or a particular habitat, for example) and predator-prey interactions.

The species that take advantage of the food of human origin have increased their numbers in specific locations, mainly due to the relatively higher spatio-temporal predictability of such food subsidies. Daniel Oro (IMEDEA CSIC-UIB), co-author of the study , notes that " many ecological processes that affect populations, communities and ecosystems, such as resilience, extinction thresholds, transition dynamics and the different forms of competition when extinction cascades are modeled , can be explored by comparing subsidized and unsubsidized systems.

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(Continue reading attached Press Release)