Its not whether animals will survive, it's whether man has the will to save them" Anthony Douglas Williams
The relationship between species diversity and ecosystem function is very complex and not well understood. There may be gradual and reversible decreases in function with decreased biodiversity. There may be effectively no change until a tipping point occurs. The analogy here is popping out rivets from an aircraft wing. The aircraft will fly unimpaired if a few rivets are removed here or there, but to continue to remove rivets is to move the system closer to catastrophic failure.
This latest research tells us what we already knew. Humans have in the space of a few centuries swung a wrecking ball through the Earth’s biosphere. Liquidating biodiversity to produce products and services has an end point. Science is starting to sketch out what that end point could look like but it cannot tell us why to stop before we reach it.
If we regard the Earth as nothing more than a source of resources and a drain for our pollution, if we value other species only in terms of what they can provide to us, then we we will continue to unpick the fabric of life, or remove further rivets from spaceship earth. This not only increases the risk that it will cease to function in the ways that we and future generations will depend on, but can only reduce the complexity and beauty of our home in the cosmos.