A third of the parasite species in this world could be wiped out by climate change, creating huge impact on the ecosystem, a new study reveals.
The researchers analysed the global distribution of 457 parasites, using different climate models and found that a third of the parasites would go extinct as their habitats becomes unsuitable and their hosts go on to decline.
“If parasites face severe extinction risk in a changing climate, then the cascading impacts on ecosystems are likely to be profound,” the researchers said in the study, published in Scienece Advances.
“ Many parasites play an important immunoregulatory role in host populations, and some studies have found that a higher diversity of parasites can act as a partial buffer against the emergence of a virulent pathogen,” they added.
Major extinctions among parasites could also lead to invasion of surviving parasites into new areas, affecting wildlife and humans.