Mosquitoes: just how much biodiversity does humanity need?

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If a world without mosquitoes (Nature 466, 432–434; 2010) would be better for humanity and inflict no more than “collateral damage” on ecosystems, then what else might we reasonably eliminate from the face of the planet — deadly snakes, plague locusts?

Never mind that the collateral damage of eradicating mosquitoes might include the loss of a group of pollinators and a primary food source for many species. Perhaps another organism will come along to fill the niche eventually — assuming that organisms are replaceable and interchangeable.

In which case, ecologists have to ask what minimum level of biodiversity is required for functional provision of ecosystem services to sustain humanity.

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See Also: Mosquitoes: schemes to render them extinct are impracticable

See Also: Mosquitoes: first evaluate impacts of eradicating them

See Also: Mosquitoes: retain an ex situ population for ecological insurance

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