2.3.1 Drivers of biodiversity loss
Biodiversity is subjected to numerous forces that threaten the loss of species and the depaupering of natural resources (Brand et al., 2008).
Biodiversity loss drivers (mechanisms that influence the extinction of a species) are generally encompassed in (but are not limited to): environmental stress, large environmental disturbances, extreme environmental conditions, severe limitation of resources, the introduction of non-native species, or geographic isolation (Slingenberg et al., 2009).
The most prevalent manner biodiversity is removed or reduced is extinction. When a species or group becomes extinct it no longer has any known members of that species left on Earth.
When a species becomes endangered or extinct, more than just that species is affected. The disappearance of a single species acts like a ripple in a pond (Slingenberg et al., 2009); spreading through the ecosystem and affecting other species in unexpected ways. In general, species extinction primarily disrupts the food chain, leaving the ecosystem at greater risk for further biodiversity loss.
While natural disasters and extreme ecosystems are naturally occurring, humans cause much of the environmental stress which is a direct driver of biodiversity loss. Habitat change or …show more content…
However, some argue that larger populations require more land to live on, wealthier populations consume more resources, and advances in certain technologies can lead to a degradation of ecosystems. These factors are thought to help speed up or act as a catalyst to the effects of direct drivers, including habitat loss and overexploitation. Yet, the negative qualities of these indirect drivers of biodiversity loss are not universally accepted; some argue that technological change allows a more efficient use of resources and that cultural belief can impart a conservation ethic (Slingenberg et al.,