October 27, 2006
Which species should we preserve?
Earlier this year I asked my students to write a short essay to answer the question, which species should we preserve? I explicitly told them not to argue that we should preserve all species, as many species as possible, or no species at all, and we later discussed why any of those answers would lead nowhere. A few weeks ago George M. Woodwell argued that we should preserve all species. Now Bradley J. Cardinale and collaborators state "that a precautionary approach to preserving as much biodiversity as possible is warranted." And they do that after finding evidence that biomass production in local ecosystems does not decrease when all but the single most productive species disappear. I will keep my eyes open to see who argues that we should preserve no species.