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Extinction, Substitution, and Ecosystem Services
Paul R. Ehrlich and Harold A. Mooney
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Apr., 1983), pp. 248-254
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1309037
Page Count: 7
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The loss of services to humanity following extinctions ranges from trivial to catastrophic, depending on the number of elements (populations, species, guilds) deleted and the degree of control each exerted in the system. Most attempts to substitute other organisms for those lost have been unsuccessful, to one degree or another, and prospects for increasing the success rate in the foreseeable future are not great. Attempts to supply the lost services by other means tend to be expensive failures in the long run. A conservative approach to the maintenance of services through minimizing anthropogenic extinctions is recommended.
BioScience © 1983 American Institute of Biological Sciences