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News Release 11-071

Precedent-Setting Evidence of the Benefits of Biodiversity

New evidence that biodiversity promotes water quality suggests that accelerating species losses may compromise water quality

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Photo of a stream flowing through a forest.

The loss of biodiversity through species extinctions may be compromising the ability of the planet to cleanse itself of human-caused pollution.

Credit: 2011 Jupiter Images Corporation


Bradley Cardinale of the University of Michigan discusses his recent study showing that biodiversity promotes water quality. This is the first study to nail a cause-and-effect relationship between biodiversity and water quality, and one of the few studies ever to rigorously document benefits of biodiversity.

Credit: University of Michigan/National Science Foundation