Ecological Impact

Is there nothing to be said about a cockroach which is nice?

It must have done a favor for somebody once or twice. No one will speak up for it in friendly conversations. Everyone cold-shoulders it except for its relations. Whenever it is mentioned, people's faces turn to ice. Is there nothing to be said about the cockroach which is nice?

As a whole, cockroaches are considered garbage collectors in terrestrial ecosystems. They recycle dead plants, dead animals, and excrement, processes that are critical to a balanced environment. Here we describe some mechanisms by which cockroaches contribute to ecosystem functioning via the breakdown of organic matter and the release of nutrients. We also summarize their ecological impact on numerous floral, faunal, and microbial components of the habitats in which they live, on a variety of scales ranging from the strictly local to the global.

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