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Places in Noah’s Ark will be distributed in accordance with the genetic principle2008-11-06 10:45
The Earth is suffering of its 6th cataclysm. A group of scientists decided to determine who will find his/her place in the new Ark, should something terrible happen. The genetic aspect is going to be the chief principle in this choice.gt-en-newsitem-inside
Luis Álvarez, the winner of the Nobel Prize in 1968, together with a group of other American scientist discovered that a mass mortality of flora and fauna, occurred 65 million years ago, was the fifth in the history of the planet and was caused by a collision with a meteorite. After this event a new generation of mammals and plants appeared - the gymnospermous.
Today we are facing the sixth cataclysm: human activities are the main reason of many animal species extinction. To be stronger or fitter is no longer enough. The extinction of one species may cause the domino effect.
The group of biologists from the California University took the liberty of determining which plants one should preferably take to Noah's Ark. The results of the research were published in PNAS. The main result is: genetically unique species should be the first to "save". And that is the harsh reality for those who will be left outboard. However, the scientists are sure that to save everything is merely impossibly.
The main bricks in the fragile building of ecosystems are the ones that are genetically unique. They are more important than those species that can be easily replaced with allied species.
The mountain buttercup - ('Ranuculus acris') - is a typically endemic species for mountain ecosystems of Europe and Asia, the authors of the research state. Its extinction will be a greater harm than extinction of, for example, gowan (Bellis perennis) or sunflower ('Helianthus annuus'). The two latter species are genetically allied, and should one of the extinct; the other will fill the ecological niche. The researchers are sure: «Genetic variety is the determinative principle in the decision on importance of saving the species».