WWU biologist: plant diversity key to ecosystem

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) -- A Western Washington University biologist says global climate change and pollution are not the only major problems threating the environment. David Hooper says the loss of plant diversity may be just as dangerous.

The Western Washington University professor shared his perspective at a workshop in California at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.

Hooper tells The Bellingham Herald (http://is.gd/2hGiAg) that researchers from nine institutions were a little surprised by their findings that were published in the journal Nature this past week. Hooper was the lead author of the paper that shows future species loss could reduce plant production as much as global warming and pollution. Their study is the first comprehensive effort to make such a comparison.