Ecological and Evolutionary Processes

Authored by: Roland C. de Gouvenain , Gopalasamy Reuben Clements

Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138333918
eBook ISBN: 9780429445651
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780429445651-35

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Abstract

Because many of the natural resources we harvest are the products of ecosystems, overexploitation of these resources can degrade the ecological and evolutionary processes that sustain these ecosystems. Loss of species and genetic diversity from unsustainable resource extraction removes the natural variation upon which natural selection operates to allow evolutionary change, and without which the earth’s biota may no longer be able to adapt to human-induced or natural environmental changes. Sustainable resource extraction, combined with scientifically based conservation strategies that maximize evolutionary potential of targeted populations of plants and animals, will ensure that the ecosystems that generate these resources will maintain the capacity to do so as Earth’s environments change.

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