Researchers warn of ‘extinction domino effect’

Researchers warn that a single species’ extinction can have a ripple effect through the food web.
©Tom Shockey

New research explores the possibilities of a single species’ extinction triggering an “extinction domino effect.” Writing in Scientific Reports, researchers warn of extreme environmental change causing extinctions of plants and animals that could in turn trigger other extinctions through the food web. The scientists simulated 2,000 “virtual earths” and subjected their models to catastrophic environmental changes, from climate change to nuclear winter to asteroid impacts, that in the worst case annihilated all life. “Ecological dependencies amplify the direct effects of environmental change on the collapse of planetary diversity,” they wrote.=

Read the study here.