Biodiversity: Species loss revisited

  title={Biodiversity: Species loss revisited},
  author={Carsten Rahbek and Robert K. Colwell},
Conservationists predict massive extinctions as a result of habitat loss. Habitat loss undoubtedly does drive extinctions, but dealing with an unmet assumption that underlies these predictions yields much lower estimates. See Letter p.368 There is broad agreement that Earth is facing a biodiversity crisis, but estimating extinction rates remains a daunting task, not least because it is almost impossible to determine when the very last individual of a species has died. Fangliang He and Stephen… 

Quantifying the scale of genetic diversity extinction in the Anthropocene

By bridging biodiversity and population genetics theories, this work introduces the first mathematical framework to understand the loss of naturally occurring DNA mutations within a species—what is called genetic diversity extinction.

Genetic diversity loss in the Anthropocene

More species than ever before are at risk of extinction due to anthropogenic habitat loss and climate change. But even species that are not threatened have seen reductions in their populations and

Effect of Landscape Structure on Species Diversity

The spatial patterns of species distribution in fragmented landscapes, assuming a neutral community model, are addressed, and it is shown that the first and second commonest species have approximately self-similar spatial distributions across scales, with the fractal dimensions of the support of the first- and second-commonest species being very robust to changes in the spatial pattern of the landscape.

Multiple Perspectives on Biodiversity Conservation: From Concept to Heated Debate

This chapter will initially explore the concept of biodiversity and its different interpretations, owing to its extensive and varied use since the 1990s. In addition to the well-known definition

Historical records reveal the distinctive associations of human disturbance and extreme climate change with local extinction of mammals

The quantitative evidence for anthropogenic and climatic associations with mammalian extinction provided insights into the driving processes of species extinction, which has important implications for biodiversity conservation under accelerating global changes.

Modeling Extinction Risk of Endemic Birds of Mainland China

  • Youhua Chen
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    International journal of evolutionary biology
  • 2013
Existence risk of endemic birds in mainland China always tended to be similar within subclades over the evolutionary time of species divergence, and the overall evolution of extinction risk of species presented a conservatism pattern.

Which Species Count? Reflections on the Concept of Species Richness for Biodiversity Endpoints in Lca

A reflection on the concept of species richness as it is currently used in Life Cycle Impact Assessment methodologies, and a rationale under which a model can be considered to fit LCA’s purpose is proposed.

Patterns of biodiverse, understudied groups do not mirror those of the surrogate groups that set conservation priorities: a case study from the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain of eastern North America

Although no group is an effective indicator for high alpha diversity sites of other organisms, a significant correlation between the community assemblages of lichens and woody plants suggests that protecting varied types of plant communities might serve as a workable surrogate for protecting lichens.


Several recent studies insist that multiplying the indices used to measure biological di- versity (or rather, characteristics, related to it) makes no contribution to comparative studies, or to our

Local Gazetteers Reveal Contrasting Patterns of Historical Distribution Changes between Apex Predators and Mesopredators in Eastern China

Recon reconstructions provide direct proof of human disturbance on mammal distribution in China, and extend support for the mesopredator release hypothesis, and tested the predator guild hypothesis by proving that dhole were successful to coexist with tiger and leopard in history.



Species–area relationships always overestimate extinction rates from habitat loss

It is concluded that extinctions caused by habitat loss require greater loss of habitat than previously thought, but the results must not lead to complacency about extinction due to habitat loss, which is a real and growing threat.


At low levels of habitat de- struction, estimates of species loss using the endemics-area relationship are significantly lower than existing estimates, but a rapid rise in predicted species loss when a threshold of habitat loss is exceeded suggests that extrapolation of recent rates ofspecies loss may underestimate future species extinctions under continued land clearing.

The Future of Biodiversity

Estimates of future extinctions are hampered by the authors' limited knowledge of which areas are rich in endemics, and regions rich in species found only within them (endemics) dominate the global patterns of extinction.

Extinction risk from climate change

Estimates of extinction risks for sample regions that cover some 20% of the Earth's terrestrial surface show the importance of rapid implementation of technologies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for carbon sequestration.


The results suggest that biotic or abiotic forces contributing to regional-scale species dominance and conspecific clustering may increase the risk of extinctions under habitat loss.

Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived?

Differences between fossil and modern data and the addition of recently available palaeontological information influence understanding of the current extinction crisis, and results confirm that current extinction rates are higher than would be expected from the fossil record.

On the implications of species-area relationships for endemism, spatial turnover, and food web patterns

Consequences of species-area relationships (SARs) of the form S = cA are derived. One consequence is an endemics-area relationship (EAR); it is of the same power-law form as the SAR but with an

The Bjørn-again economist The Skeptical Environmentalist. Measuring The Real State of The World

application of DDT is also convincinglydescribed. This account provides afascinating insight into the understandableoptimism that fuelled the Global MalariaEradication Campaign. This is, perhaps,