May 042017

Thursday, May 18, 2017 – 15:30, room U7-06, Building U7

Giovanni Strona, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate D – Sustainable Resources, Bio-Economy Unit, Via Enrico Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, Italy

There are more than 8M species on earth, most of which are yet to be described. According to a conservative estimate, we are losing 0.22% of this diversity per year, which means more than two species per hour. The problem is that most extinction events happen unnoticed, since we tend to focus on charismatic species, and to underestimate the huge impact that co-extinctions, that is the loss of consumers following the decline of their resources, may have on biodiversity. Since extinction is a fundamental ecological process, complex natural systems should be robust to species loss. Actually, their complexity is a strong evidence of that. Yet, they are likely not prepared to withstand the current extinction rate, which is one thousand times higher than the natural one. For this, it seems obvious to look at the magnitude of Global Change as the main driver of species loss. In this seminar, I will show that the picture is more complicated, and that the identity of species going extinct is as important as their number

Host: Simone Montano

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