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Posted Fri Apr 8 2011: from Reuters:
Biodiversity vital to streams as extinctions rise
As Earth enters a period of mass extinction, a study released on Wednesday offers a new reason to preserve biodiversity: it's an effective, natural pollution scrubber in streams. Environmental activists have long warned that waning biodiversity means the loss of such ecological services as stream-cleaning, control of pests and diseases and increased productivity in fisheries. The latest study, published in the journal Nature, shows how this works, demonstrating that streams that contain more species have better water quality than streams that have fewer. The species being discussed are microorganisms such as algae that incorporate elements of pollution into their bodies. The more types of algae there are in a stream, each with a minutely different habitat, the better they are collectively at filtering pollution out of the water.
[Read more stories about: ecosystem interrelationships, water issues, sixth extinction, toxic water]

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'Doc Jim says:
Can't we just bioengineer a quicker picker-upper?

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