The number of species that are currently listed as threatened with extinction globally has reached over 13,000 species, according to a new study.
The report, published in the journal Conservation Biology, details the status of more than 4,000 freshwater and saltwater species that make up the world’s oceans.
Researchers used a mathematical model to calculate the impact that species extinction would have on the oceans’ biodiversity, as well as the effects that species have on ecosystems.
“These are species that exist in all parts of the world, but they are not all in the same places or in the right places at the right time,” said lead author Dr. Robert Burdick, an ecologist at the University of Washington.
The study found that species loss in freshwater ecosystems will have a major impact on ecosystems’ ability to regenerate.
“The ecosystem is the place where we put all the species, and that means they have to survive,” said Burdack.
In some cases, species that would have died off in other regions could thrive in freshwater.
“In some places, you have species that were here previously, but are now gone,” he said.
“It will lead to a situation where you’re going to have species extinction in some places.”
Burdick and his colleagues found that when it comes to species extinction, ecosystems are much more complex than we previously thought.
“We can’t simply say we’ve done this or we’ve been here,” he explained.
“So we need to understand these ecosystems better.”
The researchers also discovered that the effects of species extinction can be large, with species in some cases being completely wiped out.
The impact of extinction on ecosystem health has been well documented in the past, but the new study highlights the extent of the problem and shows how important it is to understand how it can happen.
“What’s happening in the oceans is that we’re changing the chemistry of the oceans.
It’s happening with more frequency than we realized.
We’re starting to see it,” Burdicks said.
The new study is a milestone in the research that Burdickers and his co-authors have been working on for the past five years.
“If we could have done this a decade ago, we probably would have never seen this,” Biddick said.
To see the full study, visit http://www.cbsnews.com/news/aquaculture/fish-in-sea-islands-explode-over-species-extinction