Xingli Giam

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In the last few decades, there has been a remarkable discovery of new species of plants, invertebrates and vertebrates, in what have been called the new age of discovery. However, owing to anthropogenic impacts such as habitat conversion, many of the still unknown species may go extinct before being scientifically documented (i.e. 'crypto-extinctions').(More)
Each year, numerous species thought to have disappeared are rediscovered. Yet, do these rediscoveries represent the return of viable populations or the delayed extinction of doomed species? We document the number, distribution and conservation status of rediscovered amphibian, bird, and mammal species globally. Over the past 122 years, at least 351 species(More)
Environmental protection is critical to maintain ecosystem services essential for human well-being. It is important to be able to rank countries by their environmental impact so that poor performers as well as policy 'models' can be identified. We provide novel metrics of country-specific environmental impact ranks - one proportional to total resource(More)
Intact tropical rainforests on continents and continental islands are considered to be relatively resistant to invasions by introduced plant species, but fragmentation and degradation may render them susceptible, especially to species from predominantly shade-tolerant families with centres of diversity in the tropics, such as palms. We investigated the(More)
Selective logging is one of the most common forms of forest use in the tropics. Although the effects of selective logging on biodiversity have been widely studied, there is little agreement on the relationship between life-history traits and tolerance to logging. In this study, we assessed how species traits and logging practices combine to determine(More)
Because both descriptions of species and modern human-driven extinctions started around the same time (i.e., eighteenth century), a logical expectation is that a large proportion of species may have gone extinct without ever having been recorded. Despite this evident and widely recognized assumption, the loss of undescribed species has never been estimated.(More)
Global climate change is known to affect the assembly of ecological communities by altering species' spatial distribution patterns, but little is known about how climate change may affect community assembly by changing species' temporal co-occurrence patterns, which is highly likely given the widely observed phenological shifts associated with climate(More)
How many species have gone extinct in modern times before being described by science? To answer this question, and thereby get a full assessment of humanity's impact on biodiversity, statistical methods that quantify undetected extinctions are required. Such methods have been developed recently, but they are limited by their reliance on parametric(More)
Anthropogenic land-cover change is driving biodiversity loss worldwide. At the epicenter of this crisis lies Southeast Asia, where biodiversity-rich forests are being converted to oil-palm monocultures. As demand for palm oil increases, there is an urgent need to find strategies that maintain biodiversity in plantations. Previous studies found that(More)