Kevin J. Gaston

Learn More
To a first approximation, the distribution of biodiversity across the Earth can be described in terms of a relatively small number of broad-scale spatial patterns. Although these patterns are increasingly well documented, understanding why they exist constitutes one of the most significant intellectual challenges to ecologists and biogeographers. Theory is,(More)
Functional diversity is a component of biodiversity that generally concerns the range of things that organisms do in communities and ecosystems. Here, we review how functional diversity can explain and predict the impact of organisms on ecosystems and thereby provide a mechanistic link between the two. Critical points in developing predictive measures of(More)
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species was increasingly used during the 1980s to assess the conservation status of species for policy and planning purposes. This use stimulated the development of a new set of quantitative criteria for listing species in the categories of threat: critically endangered,(More)
The Fifth World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa, announced in September 2003 that the global network of protected areas now covers 11.5% of the planet's land surface. This surpasses the 10% target proposed a decade earlier, at the Caracas Congress, for 9 out of 14 major terrestrial biomes. Such uniform targets based on percentage of area have become(More)
Biodiversity hotspots have a prominent role in conservation biology, but it remains controversial to what extent different types of hotspot are congruent. Previous studies were unable to provide a general answer because they used a single biodiversity index, were geographically restricted, compared areas of unequal size or did not quantitatively compare(More)
The arrival of humans on oceanic islands has precipitated a wave of extinctions among the islands' native birds. Nevertheless, the magnitude of this extinction event varies markedly between avifaunas. We show that the probability that a bird species has been extirpated from each of 220 oceanic islands is positively correlated with the number of exotic(More)
The world's human population is becoming concentrated into cities, giving rise to concerns that it is becoming increasingly isolated from nature. Urban public greenspaces form the arena of many people's daily contact with nature and such contact has measurable physical and psychological benefits. Here we show that these psychological benefits increase with(More)
Correlations between the amount of energy received by an assemblage and the number of species that it contains are very general, and at the macro-scale such species-energy relationships typically follow a monotonically increasing curve. Whilst the ecological literature contains frequent reports of such relationships, debate on their causal mechanisms is(More)
Global conservation strategies commonly assume that different taxonomic groups show congruent geographical patterns of diversity, and that the distribution of extinction-prone species in one group can therefore act as a surrogate for vulnerable species in other groups when conservation decisions are being made. The validity of these assumptions remains(More)
1. Spatial and temporal patterns in functional diversity can reveal the patterns and processes behind community assembly and whether ecological redundancy exists. Here, we analyse functional diversity in British avian assemblages over a period of about 20 years. 2. Functional diversity is generally lower than expected by chance, indicating that assemblages(More)