facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: Longer human life spans will affect species, environment

Oct. 9, 2013 at 5:26 PM   |   Comments

DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Increases in human life expectancy could increase the rate of species extinctions and lead to a rise in invasive species around the world, U.S. researchers say.

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, report their examination of 15 social and ecological variables -- from tourism and per capita gross domestic product to water stress and political stability -- correlated with the numbers of invasive and endangered birds and mammals, two indicators of what conservationists have dubbed "land sickness."

Although rarely included in indexes examining human impacts on the environment, human life expectancy is a key predictor of global invasions and extinctions, they said.

"It's not a random pattern," UC Davis postdoctoral scholar Aaron Lotz said. "Out of all this data, that one factor -- human life expectancy -- was the determining factor for endangered and invasive birds and mammals."

Other factors considered were agricultural intensity, rainfall, pesticide regulation, energy efficiency, wilderness protection and total population.

The study's results suggest the need for a better understanding of the complex interactions among humans and their environment, Lotz said.

"Some studies have this view that there's wildlife and then there's us," he said. "But we're part of the ecosystem. We need to start relating humans to the environment in our research and not leave them out of the equation. We need to realize we have a direct link to nature."

Topics: UC Davis
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth
2
Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time
3
Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes
4
Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space
5
Astronomers discover worst-smelling comet in space Astronomers discover worst-smelling comet in space
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback