The sight of ticks, fleas, and any other parasitic bugs is not something people wish for. On the contrary, the market hosts a vast array of products that help them guard themselves and their homes against such creatures. However, they are still representing an important link in our ecosystem. Their existence renders some positive effects to the well being of a habitat as well. However, climate change might trigger the extinction of one-third of parasite species on Earth.
A Team of 17 Scientists Studied Parasite Species and Their Habitats for Years
Journal Science Advances published a new study about a topic that might not be so popular among people, namely parasites. The paper claims that climate change is already showing its menacing teeth across numerous areas. However, scientists have paid little importance so far on the subject of parasites and how they cope with these changing conditions. The study aims to rectify this blind spot and give a scientific insight into the latest status regarding this small link in our ecosystem.
The findings of this study point out the fact that parasites are an important aspect of the world. While their survival capabilities are extremely impressive, they are far from being immune to climate change. The new scientific paper was the result of years of work 17 researchers from eight different countries put in to learn more about these creatures’ needs and habitat. They also got help from the U.S. National Parasite Collection and extensive databases on feather mites, ticks, fleas, and bee mites.
If One-Third of Species Disappears, the Victorious Ones Will Be Bigger and More Invasive and Will Fill the Missing Gaps
Scientists consulted climate forecasts to analyze the way all 457 parasite species would evolve in the future. This is how researchers found that climate change affects these insects more than their hosts. One of the top conclusions was that one-third of such species might go extinct by the year of 2070. The main concern for their survivability will be the loss of their natural habitat.
However, lead author of the study, Colin Carlson, claimed that the end of a species means the well-being of another. Therefore, the disturbance in the natural balance that climate change can generate will mean the end of small species and a thriving period for more powerful parasites due to lack of competition. The result might be an Earth populated by more invasive parasites than usual. Therefore, we might dislike our small ticks now, but in the future we might confront with bigger and more invasive species that will take their place.
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