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Specialist Vs Generalist and Biodiversity

  1. Aug 25, 2010 #1
    A long time ago in highschool I was taught that there was a clear difference between specialist species and generalist species. A specialist species had been brutaly wedged into an temporay enviromental niche and could not generaly be the precursor to a large number of new species because it did not have good generalist traits that could let them expand into other enviroments, they could only specialize further. However a generalist was a wide rangeing species that could eat many things, effectively deal with many predators, and withstand a good deal of enviromental change.

    My question is thus, if many enviromentalist include specialist in the way they count biodiversity, are they not making a mistake? Are they not species who have many genes disabled and do not have much to offer the total diversity? Are they not doomed in the next natural enviromental change? In my mind they are merely canaries in the coal mine that can report that conditions are changeing.

    I simply feel like the word Biodiversity is becomeing a political and religious buzz word that is becomeing seperated from science and used as a tool to control people.

    For the recorde I think that we need a carbon neutral energy future as soon as possible and I do not feel that we should exploit every resource available but I am worried that the discussion is flying off the rails of rational science and might form yet another pervers religion.
  2. jcsd
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