The dilution effect, a commonly held belief that the risk of animal-to-human disease transmission is lower in areas where there are more species, doesn't appear to be supported by scientific evidence, according to new research. The meta-analysis finds the relationship between zoonoses and species richness is complex, variable and dependent on myriad factors, and more research is needed. The authors note that advocating for biodiversity using the dilution effect represents "an oversimplification of disease ecology and epidemiology."

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