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1.
Glob Chang Biol ; 26(1): 3-30, 2020 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31663217

RESUMO

Because of human action, the Earth has entered an era where profound changes in the global environment are creating novel conditions that will be discernable far into the future. One consequence may be a large reduction of the Earth's biodiversity, potentially representing a sixth mass extinction. With effective stewardship, the global change drivers that threaten the Earth's biota could be alleviated, but this requires clear understanding of the drivers, their interactions, and how they impact ecological communities. This review identifies 10 anthropogenic global change drivers and discusses how six of the drivers (atmospheric CO2 enrichment, climate change, land transformation, species exploitation, exotic species invasions, eutrophication) impact Earth's biodiversity. Driver impacts on a particular species could be positive or negative. In either case, they initiate secondary responses that cascade along ecological lines of connection and in doing so magnify the initial impact. The unique nature of the threat to the Earth's biodiversity is not simply due to the magnitude of each driver, but due to the speed of change, the novelty of the drivers, and their interactions. Emphasizing one driver, notably climate change, is problematic because the other global change drivers also degrade biodiversity and together threaten the stability of the biosphere. As the main academic journal addressing global change effects on living systems, GCB is well positioned to provide leadership in solving the global change challenge. If humanity cannot meet the challenge, then GCB is positioned to serve as a leading chronicle of the sixth mass extinction to occur on planet Earth.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Ecossistema , Mudança Climática , Extinção Biológica , Atividades Humanas , Humanos
2.
Ecol Lett ; 23(3): 439-446, 2020 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31854097

RESUMO

Leigh Van Valen famously stated that under constant conditions extinction probability is independent of species age. To test this 'law of constant extinction', we developed a new method using deep learning to infer age-dependent extinction and analysed 450 myr of marine life across 21 invertebrate clades. We show that extinction rate significantly decreases with age in > 90% of the cases, indicating that most species died out soon after their appearance while those which survived experienced ever decreasing extinction risk. This age-dependent extinction pattern is stronger towards the Equator and holds true when the potential effects of mass extinctions and taxonomic inflation are accounted for. These results suggest that the effect of biological interactions on age-dependent extinction rate is more intense towards the tropics. We propose that the latitudinal diversity gradient and selection at the species level account for this exceptional, yet little recognised, macroevolutionary and macroecological pattern.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Extinção Biológica , Animais , Evolução Biológica , Fósseis , Invertebrados
3.
Biol Lett ; 15(12): 20190633, 2019 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31847745

RESUMO

Population decline is a process, yet estimates of current extinction rates often consider just the final step of that process by counting numbers of species lost in historical times. This neglects the increased extinction risk that affects a large proportion of species, and consequently underestimates the effective extinction rate. Here, we model observed trajectories through IUCN Red List extinction risk categories for all bird species globally over 28 years, and estimate an overall effective extinction rate of 2.17 × 10-4/species/year. This is six times higher than the rate of outright extinction since 1500, as a consequence of the large number of species whose status is deteriorating. We very conservatively estimate that global conservation efforts have reduced the effective extinction rate by 40%, but mostly through preventing critically endangered species from going extinct rather than by preventing species at low risk from moving into higher-risk categories. Our findings suggest that extinction risk in birds is accumulating much more than previously appreciated, but would be even greater without conservation efforts.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Extinção Biológica , Animais , Biodiversidade , Aves , Espécies em Perigo de Extinção
4.
Nat Ecol Evol ; 3(12): 1650-1654, 2019 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31712696

RESUMO

In an age of mass extinctions, confirming the survival of lost species provides rare second chances for biodiversity conservation. The silver-backed chevrotain Tragulus versicolor, a diminutive species of ungulate known only from Vietnam, has been lost to science for almost three decades. Here, we provide evidence that the silver-backed chevrotain still exists and the first photographs of the species in the wild, and urge immediate conservation actions to ensure its survival.


Assuntos
Ruminantes , Prata , Animais , Biodiversidade , Extinção Biológica , Vietnã
5.
Zootaxa ; 4624(1): zootaxa.4624.1.12, 2019 Jun 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31716244

RESUMO

It is now generally accepted that we are going through a major mass extinction event that is causing biodiversity loss at alarming rates (Barnosky et al. 2011). We also know that many species remain to be formally described (e.g. Huber 2014), and concerns have been raised as to whether we will be able to document these before they go extinct (Costello et al. 2013). On one hand, the number of recognized species increases exponentially (e.g. Agnarsson et al. 2013; Sangster Luksenburg 2015). On the other, taxonomic descriptions are becoming more complete and detailed, which is necessarily more time-consuming, leading to an overall decline in the number of species described per taxonomist (Sangster Luksenburg 2015). In this scenario, any method or protocol that increases efficiency in taxonomic descriptions is welcome.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Extinção Biológica , Animais
6.
Ecol Lett ; 22(12): 2087-2096, 2019 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31612627

RESUMO

Habitat loss leads to species extinctions, both immediately and over the long term as 'extinction debt' is repaid. The same quantity of habitat can be lost in different spatial patterns with varying habitat fragmentation. How this translates to species loss remains an open problem requiring an understanding of the interplay between community dynamics and habitat structure across temporal and spatial scales. Here we develop formulas that characterise extinction debt in a spatial neutral model after habitat loss and fragmentation. Central to our formulas are two new metrics, which depend on properties of the taxa and landscape: 'effective area', measuring the remaining number of individuals and 'effective connectivity', measuring individuals' ability to disperse through fragmented habitat. This formalises the conventional wisdom that habitat area and habitat connectivity are the two critical requirements for long-term preservation of biodiversity. Our approach suggests that mechanistic fragmentation metrics help resolve debates about fragmentation and species loss.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Extinção Biológica , Biodiversidade
7.
Oecologia ; 191(3): 645-656, 2019 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31641862

RESUMO

Invasions can trigger cascades in ecological communities by altering species interactions. Following the introduction of cats and foxes into Australia, one tenth of Australia's terrestrial mammal species became extinct, due to predation, while many continue to decline. The broader consequences for Australian ecosystems are poorly understood. Soil-dwelling invertebrates are likely to be affected by the loss of fossorial native mammals, which are predators and disturbance agents. Using reintroductions as a model for ecosystems prior to species loss, we tested the hypothesis that mammal reintroduction leads to reduced vegetation cover and altered termite assemblages, including declines in abundance and biomass and changed species composition. We hypothesised that the magnitude of mammal reintroduction effects would diminish with increasing aridity, which affects resource availability. We compared six paired sites inside and outside three reintroduction sanctuaries across an aridity gradient. We sampled termite assemblages using soil trenches and measured habitat availability. Reintroductions were associated with increased bare ground and reduced vegetation, compared with controls. Aridity also had an underlying influence on vegetation cover by limiting water availability. Termite abundance and biomass were lower where mammals were reintroduced and the magnitude of this effect decreased with increasing aridity. Termite abundance was highest under wood, and soil-nesting wood-feeders were most affected inside sanctuaries. Ecological cascades resulting from exotic predator invasions are thus likely to have increased termite biomass and altered termite assemblages, but impacts may be lower in less-productive habitats. Our findings have implications for reserve carrying capacities and understanding of assemblage reconstruction following ecological cascades.


Assuntos
Extinção Biológica , Isópteros , Animais , Austrália , Biomassa , Gatos , Ecossistema , Espécies Introduzidas , Invertebrados , Mamíferos
8.
Oecologia ; 191(4): 721-729, 2019 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31650235

RESUMO

Why are some mammals more vulnerable to extinction than others? Past studies have explored many life history traits as correlates of extinction, but have not been successful at developing a unified understanding of why some species become extinct while other species persist despite  living at the same time, under similar conditions, and facing equivalent challenges. I propose that the lens of wildlife behavior may bring into focus a more comprehensive view of why some species have gone extinct while others persist. The fossil record has recorded extinction events over carnivoran history; unfortunately, behavior is not well recorded in the fossil record. As a proxy for behavior, I examine relative encephalization (RE), brain size after controlling for body mass and phylogeny, as it has been found to be biologically relevant in understanding a wide variety of animal behavioral traits. I focus on the data-rich order Carnivora for which there are comprehensive data on brain size and extinction between 40 and 0.012 million years ago. I use Cox proportional-hazards models to assess the role that RE and body size have played on extinction risk for 224 species in the order Carnivora that existed between 40 and 0.012 million years ago. I show generally that carnivoran species with reduced RE had higher relative risks of extinction. Additionally, I find an interaction between RE and body size such that RE had the largest effects on relative extinction risk in the smallest-bodied species. These results suggest that RE is important for understanding extinction risk in Carnivora over geologic time frames.


Assuntos
Carnívoros , Animais , Evolução Biológica , Tamanho Corporal , Encéfalo , Extinção Biológica , Fósseis , Filogenia
9.
Nature ; 574(7777): 242-245, 2019 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31554971

RESUMO

The Chicxulub bolide impact 66 million years ago drove the near-instantaneous collapse of ocean ecosystems. The devastating loss of diversity at the base of ocean food webs probably triggered cascading extinctions across all trophic levels1-3 and caused severe disruption of the biogeochemical functions of the ocean, and especially disrupted the cycling of carbon between the surface and deep sea4,5. The absence of sufficiently detailed biotic data that span the post-extinction interval has limited our understanding of how ecosystem resilience and biochemical function was restored; estimates6-8 of ecosystem 'recovery' vary from less than 100 years to 10 million years. Here, using a 13-million-year-long nannoplankton time series, we show that post-extinction communities exhibited 1.8 million years of exceptional volatility before a more stable equilibrium-state community emerged that displayed hallmarks of resilience. The transition to this new equilibrium-state community with a broader spectrum of cell sizes coincides with indicators of carbon-cycle restoration and a fully functioning biological pump9. These findings suggest a fundamental link between ecosystem recovery and biogeochemical cycling over timescales that are longer than those suggested by proxies of export production7,8, but far shorter than the return of taxonomic richness6. The fact that species richness remained low as both community stability and biological pump efficiency re-emerged suggests that ecological functions rather than the number of species are more important to community resilience and biochemical functions.


Assuntos
Aclimatação , Biodiversidade , Ecossistema , Extinção Biológica , Animais , Isótopos de Carbono/análise , Cadeia Alimentar , Fósseis , História Antiga , Plâncton/classificação , Plâncton/isolamento & purificação
10.
Science ; 365(6457): 1002-1007, 2019 09 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31488683

RESUMO

The impacts of human and natural disturbances on coral reefs are typically quantified through visible damage (e.g., reduced coral coverage as a result of bleaching events), but changes in environmental conditions may also cause damage in less visible ways. Despite the current paradigm, which suggests consistent, highly synchronized spawning events, corals that reproduce by broadcast spawning are particularly vulnerable because their reproductive phenology is governed by environmental cues. Here, we quantify coral spawning intensity during four annual reproductive seasons, alongside laboratory analyses at the polyp, colony, and population levels, and we demonstrate that, compared with historical data, several species from the Red Sea have lost their reproductive synchrony. Ultimately, such a synchrony breakdown reduces the probability of successful fertilization, leading to a dearth of new recruits, which may drive aging populations to extinction.


Assuntos
Antozoários/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Recifes de Corais , Extinção Biológica , Organismos Hermafroditas/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Animais , Oceano Índico , Reprodução
11.
Biol Lett ; 15(9): 20190491, 2019 09 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31480938

RESUMO

Human intervention, pre-human climate change (or a combination of both), as well as genetic effects, contribute to species extinctions. While many species from oceanic islands have gone extinct due to direct human impacts, the effects of pre-human climate change and human settlement on the genomic diversity of insular species and the role that loss of genomic diversity played in their extinctions remains largely unexplored. To address this question, we sequenced whole genomes of two extinct New Zealand passerines, the huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) and South Island kokako (Callaeas cinereus). Both species showed similar demographic trajectories throughout the Pleistocene. However, the South Island kokako continued to decline after the last glaciation, while the huia experienced some recovery. Moreover, there was no indication of inbreeding resulting from recent mating among closely related individuals in either species. This latter result indicates that population fragmentation associated with forest clearing by Maori may not have been strong enough to lead to an increase in inbreeding and exposure to genomic erosion. While genomic erosion may not have directly contributed to their extinctions, further habitat fragmentation and the introduction of mammalian predators by Europeans may have been an important driver of extinction in huia and South Island kokako.


Assuntos
Extinção Biológica , Genoma , Animais , Ecossistema , Genômica , Nova Zelândia
13.
Environ Monit Assess ; 191(9): 571, 2019 Aug 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31420753

RESUMO

In Poland, lake minnow (Eupallasella percnurus Pall.) inhabit 160 sites, including 44 in the eastern part of the country. Their habitats are mainly small and shallow peat holes vulnerable to complete destruction due to being dried or overgrown. Such processes are regularly observed, with ~ 60% of sites having vanished since the 1950s. Therefore, this species is one of the most endangered fish species from the Cyprinidae family in Polish inland waters. A GIS approach was adopted to fully analyze their habitat loss. The habitat area was marked in four time periods (from the 1960s to 2018) in reference to 26 sites composed of 111 reservoirs and representing almost 60% of all those documented in Eastern Poland. On this basis, the rate at which the habitat will vanish and the predicted time when this will happen were calculated. The results showed that the mean vanishing rate oscillates between 1 and 2% of the area per year for 50% of the analyzed sites (N = 13). For three sites (11%), this value does not exceed 1% of each area per year and is higher than 2% for the rest of the sites (39%). The results indicate that if the process of overgrowing and shallowing is not stopped, 58% of the analyzed sites will disappear in the next 50 years (including 8 (31%) in the next 20 years). This trend may lead to a serious decline in the species population or even its extinction in the next decades. Passive protection has proven to be insufficient in preserving lake minnow habitats. Therefore, there is an urgent need to undertake decisive protection action, as proposed in this manuscript.


Assuntos
Cyprinidae/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Ecossistema , Espécies em Perigo de Extinção , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Lagos/química , Animais , Extinção Biológica , Polônia
14.
Ecol Appl ; 29(8): e01989, 2019 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31376197

RESUMO

Species-focused conservation planning is often based on reducing local extinction risk at key sites. However, with increasing levels of habitat fragmentation and pressures from climate change and overexploitation, surrounding landscapes also influence the persistence of species populations, and their effects are increasingly incorporated in conservation planning and management for both species and communities. Here, we present a framework based on metapopulation dynamics in fragmented landscapes, for quantifying the survival (resistance) and reestablishment of species populations following localized extinction events (resilience). We explore the application of this framework to guide the conservation of a group of threatened bird species endemic to papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) swamps in East and Central Africa. Using occupancy data for five species collected over two years from a network of wetlands in Uganda, we determine the local and landscape factors that influence local extinction and colonization, and map expected rates of population turnover across the network to draw inferences about the locations that contribute most to regional resistance and resilience for all species combined. Slight variation in the factors driving extinction and colonization between individual papyrus birds led to species-specific differences in the spatial patterns of site-level resistance and resilience. However, despite this, locations with the highest resistance and/or resilience overlapped for most species and reveal where resources could be invested for multispecies persistence. This novel simplified framework can aid decision making associated with conservation planning and prioritization for multiple species residing in overlapping, fragmented habitats; helping to identify key sites that warrant urgent conservation protection, with consideration of the need to adapt and respond to future change.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Animais , Aves , Mudança Climática , Extinção Biológica , Áreas Alagadas
16.
BMC Evol Biol ; 19(1): 175, 2019 08 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31462290

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Organisms are expected to respond to changing environmental conditions through local adaptation, range shift or local extinction. The process of local adaptation can occur by genetic changes or phenotypic plasticity, and becomes especially relevant when dispersal abilities or possibilities are somehow constrained. For genetic changes to occur, mutations are the ultimate source of variation and the mutation rate in terms of a mutator locus can be subject to evolutionary change. Recent findings suggest that the evolution of the mutation rate in a sexual species can advance invasion speed and promote adaptation to novel environmental conditions. Following this idea, this work uses an individual-based model approach to investigate if the mutation rate can also evolve in a sexual species experiencing different conditions of directional climate change, under different scenarios of colored stochastic environmental noise, probability of recombination and of beneficial mutations. The color of the noise mimicked investigating the evolutionary dynamics of the mutation rate in different habitats. RESULTS: The results suggest that the mutation rate in a sexual species experiencing directional climate change scenarios can evolve and reach relatively high values mainly under conditions of complete linkage of the mutator locus and the adaptation locus. In contrast, when they are unlinked, the mutation rate can slightly increase only under scenarios where at least 50% of arising mutations are beneficial and the rate of environmental change is relatively fast. This result is robust under different scenarios of stochastic environmental noise, which supports the observation of no systematic variation in the mutation rate among organisms experiencing different habitats. CONCLUSIONS: Given that 50% beneficial mutations may be an unrealistic assumption, and that recombination is ubiquitous in sexual species, the evolution of an elevated mutation rate in a sexual species experiencing directional climate change might be rather unlikely. Furthermore, when the percentage of beneficial mutations and the population size are small, sexual species (especially multicellular ones) producing few offspring may be expected to react to changing environments not by adaptive genetic change, but mainly through plasticity. Without the ability for a plastic response, such species may become - at least locally - extinct.


Assuntos
Mudança Climática , Taxa de Mutação , Adaptação Fisiológica , Evolução Biológica , Simulação por Computador , Ecossistema , Extinção Biológica , Mutação , Densidade Demográfica , Reprodução
18.
Trends Ecol Evol ; 34(11): 977-986, 2019 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31324345

RESUMO

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species includes assessment of extinction risk for 98 512 species, plus documentation of their range, habitat, elevation, and other factors. These range, habitat and elevation data can be matched with terrestrial land cover and elevation datasets to map the species' area of habitat (AOH; also known as extent of suitable habitat; ESH). This differs from the two spatial metrics used for assessing extinction risk in the IUCN Red List criteria: extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO). AOH can guide conservation, for example, through targeting areas for field surveys, assessing proportions of species' habitat within protected areas, and monitoring habitat loss and fragmentation. We recommend that IUCN Red List assessments document AOH wherever practical.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Extinção Biológica , Animais , Ecossistema , Espécies em Perigo de Extinção
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