Saving the Whales, Google style
For those of you who have not been swayed by emotional appeals to save the (insert cute cuddly creature here), some researchers may have an answer to quantifying what species are most important to each ecosystem, via ripping off Google pagerank:
“While several previous studies have looked at the robustness of food webs to a variety of sequences of species loss, none of them have come up with a way to identify the most devastating sequence of extinctions,” said food web biologist Jennifer Dunne of the Santa Fe Institute, who was not involved in the research. Using a modified version of PageRank, Dunne said, the researchers were able to identify which species extinctions within a food web would lead to biggest chain-reaction of species death.
via Google Algorithm Predicts When Species Will Go 404, Not Found | Wired Science | Wired.com.
Greenpeace 2.0, powered by numbers, can’t be far behind.