The present rate of species loss projects that half of all existing plant, animal, and microbe species on Earth will become extinct by the end of this century (Myers, 2003a; Wilson, 2003). This projected high rate of extinction due to human activities is alarming because many of these organisms are vital to the safe and productive function of ecological systems that sustain our planet and the global economy (Dirzo and Raven, 2003). Indeed, agricultural productivity and public health depend on the activities of diverse natural biota. From 10 to 50 million species of plants, animals, and microbes fulfill the ecological needs on Earth (Pimm et al., 1995; Pimm, 2002).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Environmental Science(all)