WorldWideScience

Sample records for biodiversity extinction event

  1. The current biodiversity extinction event: scenarios for mitigation and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novacek, M J; Cleland, E E

    2001-05-08

    The current massive degradation of habitat and extinction of species is taking place on a catastrophically short timescale, and their effects will fundamentally reset the future evolution of the planet's biota. The fossil record suggests that recovery of global ecosystems has required millions or even tens of millions of years. Thus, intervention by humans, the very agents of the current environmental crisis, is required for any possibility of short-term recovery or maintenance of the biota. Many current recovery efforts have deficiencies, including insufficient information on the diversity and distribution of species, ecological processes, and magnitude and interaction of threats to biodiversity (pollution, overharvesting, climate change, disruption of biogeochemical cycles, introduced or invasive species, habitat loss and fragmentation through land use, disruption of community structure in habitats, and others). A much greater and more urgently applied investment to address these deficiencies is obviously warranted. Conservation and restoration in human-dominated ecosystems must strengthen connections between human activities, such as agricultural or harvesting practices, and relevant research generated in the biological, earth, and atmospheric sciences. Certain threats to biodiversity require intensive international cooperation and input from the scientific community to mitigate their harmful effects, including climate change and alteration of global biogeochemical cycles. In a world already transformed by human activity, the connection between humans and the ecosystems they depend on must frame any strategy for the recovery of the biota.

  2. Coral reefs as drivers of cladogenesis: expanding coral reefs, cryptic extinction events, and the development of biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowman, P F; Bellwood, D R

    2011-12-01

    Diversification rates within four conspicuous coral reef fish families (Labridae, Chaetodontidae, Pomacentridae and Apogonidae) were estimated using Bayesian inference. Lineage through time plots revealed a possible late Eocene/early Oligocene cryptic extinction event coinciding with the collapse of the ancestral Tethyan/Arabian hotspot. Rates of diversification analysis revealed elevated cladogenesis in all families in the Oligocene/Miocene. Throughout the Miocene, lineages with a high percentage of coral reef-associated taxa display significantly higher net diversification rates than expected. The development of a complex mosaic of reef habitats in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA) during the Oligocene/Miocene appears to have been a significant driver of cladogenesis. Patterns of diversification suggest that coral reefs acted as a refuge from high extinction, as reef taxa are able to sustain diversification at high extinction rates. The IAA appears to support both cladogenesis and survival in associated lineages, laying the foundation for the recent IAA marine biodiversity hotspot. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  3. Extinction debt: a challenge for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuussaari, Mikko; Bommarco, Riccardo; Heikkinen, Risto K; Helm, Aveliina; Krauss, Jochen; Lindborg, Regina; Ockinger, Erik; Pärtel, Meelis; Pino, Joan; Rodà, Ferran; Stefanescu, Constantí; Teder, Tiit; Zobel, Martin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2009-10-01

    Local extinction of species can occur with a substantial delay following habitat loss or degradation. Accumulating evidence suggests that such extinction debts pose a significant but often unrecognized challenge for biodiversity conservation across a wide range of taxa and ecosystems. Species with long generation times and populations near their extinction threshold are most likely to have an extinction debt. However, as long as a species that is predicted to become extinct still persists, there is time for conservation measures such as habitat restoration and landscape management. Standardized long-term monitoring, more high-quality empirical studies on different taxa and ecosystems and further development of analytical methods will help to better quantify extinction debt and protect biodiversity.

  4. Extinction Events Can Accelerate Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehman, Joel; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2015-01-01

    Extinction events impact the trajectory of biological evolution significantly. They are often viewed as upheavals to the evolutionary process. In contrast, this paper supports the hypothesis that although they are unpredictably destructive, extinction events may in the long term accelerate...... evolution by increasing evolvability. In particular, if extinction events extinguish indiscriminately many ways of life, indirectly they may select for the ability to expand rapidly through vacated niches. Lineages with such an ability are more likely to persist through multiple extinctions. Lending...... computational support for this hypothesis, this paper shows how increased evolvability will result from simulated extinction events in two computational models of evolved behavior. The conclusion is that although they are destructive in the short term, extinction events may make evolution more prolific...

  5. The silent mass extinction of insect herbivores in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Carlos Roberto

    2009-12-01

    Habitat loss is silently leading numerous insects to extinction. Conservation efforts, however, have not been designed specifically to protect these organisms, despite their ecological and evolutionary significance. On the basis of species-host area equations, parameterized with data from the literature and interviews with botanical experts, I estimated the number of specialized plant-feeding insects (i.e., monophages) that live in 34 biodiversity hotspots and the number committed to extinction because of habitat loss. I estimated that 795,971-1,602,423 monophagous insect species live in biodiversity hotspots on 150,371 endemic plant species, which is 5.3-10.6 monophages per plant species. I calculated that 213,830-547,500 monophagous species are committed to extinction in biodiversity hotspots because of reduction of the geographic range size of their endemic hosts. I provided rankings of biodiversity hotspots on the basis of estimated richness of monophagous insects and on estimated number of extinctions of monophagous species. Extinction rates were predicted to be higher in biodiversity hotspots located along strong environmental gradients and on archipelagos, where high spatial turnover of monophagous species along the geographic distribution of their endemic plants is likely. The results strongly support the overall strategy of selecting priority conservation areas worldwide primarily on the basis of richness of endemic plants. To face the global decline of insect herbivores, one must expand the coverage of the network of protected areas and improve the richness of native plants on private lands.

  6. Linking indices for biodiversity monitoring to extinction risk theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Michael A; Moore, Alana L; Krauss, Jochen; Morgan, John W; Clements, Christopher F

    2014-12-01

    Biodiversity indices often combine data from different species when used in monitoring programs. Heuristic properties can suggest preferred indices, but we lack objective ways to discriminate between indices with similar heuristics. Biodiversity indices can be evaluated by determining how well they reflect management objectives that a monitoring program aims to support. For example, the Convention on Biological Diversity requires reporting about extinction rates, so simple indices that reflect extinction risk would be valuable. We developed 3 biodiversity indices that are based on simple models of population viability that relate extinction risk to abundance. We based the first index on the geometric mean abundance of species and the second on a more general power mean. In a third index, we integrated the geometric mean abundance and trend. These indices require the same data as previous indices, but they also relate directly to extinction risk. Field data for butterflies and woodland plants and experimental studies of protozoan communities show that the indices correlate with local extinction rates. Applying the index based on the geometric mean to global data on changes in avian abundance suggested that the average extinction probability of birds has increased approximately 1% from 1970 to 2009. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Global warming and extinctions of endemic species from biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jay R. Malcolm; Canran Liu; Ronald P. Neilson; Lara Hansen; Lee. Hannah

    2006-01-01

    Global warming is a key threat to biodiversity, but few researchers have assessed the magnitude of this threat at the global scale. We used major vegetation types (biomes) as proxies for natural habitats and, based on projected future biome distributions under doubled-C02 climates, calculated changes in habitat areas and associated extinctions of...

  8. Global warming and extinctions of endemic species from biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malcolm, Jay R; Liu, Canran; Neilson, Ronald P; Hansen, Lara; Hannah, Lee

    2006-04-01

    Global warming is a key threat to biodiversity, but few researchers have assessed the magnitude of this threat at the global scale. We used major vegetation types (biomes) as proxies for natural habitats and, based on projected future biome distributions under doubled-CO2 climates, calculated changes in habitat areas and associated extinctions of endemic plant and vertebrate species in biodiversity hotspots. Because of numerous uncertainties in this approach, we undertook a sensitivity analysis of multiple factors that included (1) two global vegetation models, (2) different numbers of biome classes in our biome classification schemes, (3) different assumptions about whether species distributions were biome specific or not, and (4) different migration capabilities. Extinctions were calculated using both species-area and endemic-area relationships. In addition, average required migration rates were calculated for each hotspot assuming a doubled-CO2 climate in 100 years. Projected percent extinctions ranged from hotspots were the Cape Floristic Region, Caribbean, Indo-Burma, Mediterranean Basin, Southwest Australia, and Tropical Andes, where plant extinctions per hotspot sometimes exceeded 2000 species. Under the assumption that projected habitat changes were attained in 100 years, estimated global-warming-induced rates of species extinctions in tropical hotspots in some cases exceeded those due to deforestation, supporting suggestions that global warming is one of the most serious threats to the planet's biodiversity.

  9. Biodiversity, extinctions, and evolution of ecosystems with shared resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, Vladimir; Vakulenko, Sergey; Wennergren, Uno

    2017-03-01

    We investigate the formation of stable ecological networks where many species share the same resource. We show that such a stable ecosystem naturally occurs as a result of extinctions. We obtain an analytical relation for the number of coexisting species, and we find a relation describing how many species that may become extinct as a result of a sharp environmental change. We introduce a special parameter that is a combination of species traits and resource characteristics used in the model formulation. This parameter describes the pressure on the system to converge, by extinctions. When that stress parameter is large, we obtain that the species traits are concentrated at certain values. This stress parameter is thereby a parameter that determines the level of final biodiversity of the system. Moreover, we show that the dynamics of this limit system can be described by simple differential equations.

  10. The Astronomical Pulse of Global Extinction Events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F.V. Lewis

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The linkage between astronomical cycles and the periodicity of mass extinctions is reviewed and discussed. In particular, the apparent 26 million year cycle of global extinctions may be related to the motion of the solar system around the galaxy, especially perpendicular to the galactic plane. The potential relevance of Milankovitch cycles is also explored in the light of current evidence for the possible causes of extinction events over a geological timescale.

  11. Enhancing Divergent Search through Extinction Events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehman, Joel; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2015-01-01

    for the capacity to evolve. This hypothesis is tested through experiments in two evolutionary robotics domains. The results show that combining extinction events with divergent search increases evolvability, while combining them with convergent search offers no similar benefit. The conclusion is that extinction...

  12. Linking Indices for Biodiversity Monitoring to Extinction Risk Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccarthy, Michael A; Moore, Alana L; Krauss, Jochen; Morgan, John W; Clements, Christopher F

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity indices often combine data from different species when used in monitoring programs. Heuristic properties can suggest preferred indices, but we lack objective ways to discriminate between indices with similar heuristics. Biodiversity indices can be evaluated by determining how well they reflect management objectives that a monitoring program aims to support. For example, the Convention on Biological Diversity requires reporting about extinction rates, so simple indices that reflect extinction risk would be valuable. We developed 3 biodiversity indices that are based on simple models of population viability that relate extinction risk to abundance. We based the first index on the geometric mean abundance of species and the second on a more general power mean. In a third index, we integrated the geometric mean abundance and trend. These indices require the same data as previous indices, but they also relate directly to extinction risk. Field data for butterflies and woodland plants and experimental studies of protozoan communities show that the indices correlate with local extinction rates. Applying the index based on the geometric mean to global data on changes in avian abundance suggested that the average extinction probability of birds has increased approximately 1% from 1970 to 2009. Conectando Índices para el Monitoreo de la Biodiversidad con la Teoría de Riesgo de Extinción Resumen Los índices de biodiversidad combinan frecuentemente los datos de diferentes especies cuando se usan en los programas de monitoreo. Las propiedades heurísticas pueden sugerir índices preferidos, pero carecemos de medios objetivos para discriminar a los índices con propiedades heurísticas similares. Los índices de biodiversidad pueden evaluarse al determinar qué tan bien reflejan los objetivos de manejo que un programa de monitoreo busca apoyar. Por ejemplo, la Convención sobre la Diversidad Biológica requiere reportar las tasas de extinción, así que los

  13. Phylogenetic Patterns of Extinction Risk in the Eastern Arc Ecosystems, an African Biodiversity Hotspot

    OpenAIRE

    Yessoufou, Kowiyou; Daru, Barnabas H.; Davies, T. Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    There is an urgent need to reduce drastically the rate at which biodiversity is declining worldwide. Phylogenetic methods are increasingly being recognised as providing a useful framework for predicting future losses, and guiding efforts for pre-emptive conservation actions. In this study, we used a reconstructed phylogenetic tree of angiosperm species of the Eastern Arc Mountains - an important African biodiversity hotspot - and described the distribution of extinction risk across taxonomic ...

  14. Consequences of biodiversity loss diverge from expectation due to post-extinction compensatory responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Matthias S.; Garcia, Clement; Bolam, Stefan G.; Parker, Ruth; Godbold, Jasmin A.; Solan, Martin

    2017-03-01

    Consensus has been reached that global biodiversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning and the sustainability of services beneficial to humanity. However, the ecosystem consequences of extinction in natural communities are moderated by compensatory species dynamics, yet these processes are rarely accounted for in impact assessments and seldom considered in conservation programmes. Here, we use marine invertebrate communities to parameterise numerical models of sediment bioturbation - a key mediator of biogeochemical cycling - to determine whether post-extinction compensatory mechanisms alter biodiversity-ecosystem function relations following non-random extinctions. We find that compensatory dynamics lead to trajectories of sediment mixing that diverge from those without compensation, and that the form, magnitude and variance of each probabilistic distribution is highly influenced by the type of compensation and the functional composition of surviving species. Our findings indicate that the generalized biodiversity-function relation curve, as derived from multiple empirical investigations of random species loss, is unlikely to yield representative predictions for ecosystem properties in natural systems because the influence of post-extinction community dynamics are under-represented. Recognition of this problem is fundamental to management and conservation efforts, and will be necessary to ensure future plans and adaptation strategies minimize the adverse impacts of the biodiversity crisis.

  15. Phylogenetic patterns of extinction risk in the eastern arc ecosystems, an African biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yessoufou, Kowiyou; Daru, Barnabas H; Davies, T Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    There is an urgent need to reduce drastically the rate at which biodiversity is declining worldwide. Phylogenetic methods are increasingly being recognised as providing a useful framework for predicting future losses, and guiding efforts for pre-emptive conservation actions. In this study, we used a reconstructed phylogenetic tree of angiosperm species of the Eastern Arc Mountains - an important African biodiversity hotspot - and described the distribution of extinction risk across taxonomic ranks and phylogeny. We provide evidence for both taxonomic and phylogenetic selectivity in extinction risk. However, we found that selectivity varies with IUCN extinction risk category. Vulnerable species are more closely related than expected by chance, whereas endangered and critically endangered species are not significantly clustered on the phylogeny. We suggest that the general observation for taxonomic and phylogenetic selectivity (i.e. phylogenetic signal, the tendency of closely related species to share similar traits) in extinction risks is therefore largely driven by vulnerable species, and not necessarily the most highly threatened. We also used information on altitudinal distribution and climate to generate a predictive model of at-risk species richness, and found that greater threatened species richness is found at higher altitude, allowing for more informed conservation decision making. Our results indicate that evolutionary history can help predict plant susceptibility to extinction threats in the hyper-diverse but woefully-understudied Eastern Arc Mountains, and illustrate the contribution of phylogenetic approaches in conserving African floristic biodiversity where detailed ecological and evolutionary data are often lacking.

  16. Phylogenetic patterns of extinction risk in the eastern arc ecosystems, an African biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kowiyou Yessoufou

    Full Text Available There is an urgent need to reduce drastically the rate at which biodiversity is declining worldwide. Phylogenetic methods are increasingly being recognised as providing a useful framework for predicting future losses, and guiding efforts for pre-emptive conservation actions. In this study, we used a reconstructed phylogenetic tree of angiosperm species of the Eastern Arc Mountains - an important African biodiversity hotspot - and described the distribution of extinction risk across taxonomic ranks and phylogeny. We provide evidence for both taxonomic and phylogenetic selectivity in extinction risk. However, we found that selectivity varies with IUCN extinction risk category. Vulnerable species are more closely related than expected by chance, whereas endangered and critically endangered species are not significantly clustered on the phylogeny. We suggest that the general observation for taxonomic and phylogenetic selectivity (i.e. phylogenetic signal, the tendency of closely related species to share similar traits in extinction risks is therefore largely driven by vulnerable species, and not necessarily the most highly threatened. We also used information on altitudinal distribution and climate to generate a predictive model of at-risk species richness, and found that greater threatened species richness is found at higher altitude, allowing for more informed conservation decision making. Our results indicate that evolutionary history can help predict plant susceptibility to extinction threats in the hyper-diverse but woefully-understudied Eastern Arc Mountains, and illustrate the contribution of phylogenetic approaches in conserving African floristic biodiversity where detailed ecological and evolutionary data are often lacking.

  17. Altered primary production during mass-extinction events

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Schootbrugge, B.; Gollner, S.

    2013-01-01

    The Big Five mass-extinction events are characterized by dramatic changes in primary producers. Initial disturbance to primary producers is usually followed by a succession of pioneers that represent qualitative and quantitative changes in standing crops of land plants and/or phytoplankton. On land,

  18. Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Thomas W; Jenkins, Stuart R; Kingham, Rachel; Kenworthy, Joseph; Hawkins, Stephen J; Hiddink, Jan G

    2011-01-01

    Key ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling could be deteriorating as a result of biodiversity loss. However, currently we lack the ability to predict the consequences of realistic species loss on ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test whether species contributions to community biomass can be used as surrogate measures of their contribution to ecosystem processes. These were gross community productivity in a salt marsh plant assemblage and an intertidal macroalgae assemblage; community clearance of microalgae in sessile suspension feeding invertebrate assemblage; and nutrient uptake in an intertidal macroalgae assemblage. We conducted a series of biodiversity manipulations that represented realistic species extinction sequences in each of the three contrasting assemblages. Species were removed in a subtractive fashion so that biomass was allowed to vary with each species removal, and key ecosystem processes were measured at each stage of community disassembly. The functional contribution of species was directly proportional to their contribution to community biomass in a 1:1 ratio, a relationship that was consistent across three contrasting marine ecosystems and three ecosystem processes. This suggests that the biomass contributed by a species to an assemblage can be used to approximately predict the proportional decline in an ecosystem process when that species is lost. Such predictions represent "worst case scenarios" because, over time, extinction resilient species can offset the loss of biomass associated with the extinction of competitors. We also modelled a "best case scenario" that accounts for compensatory responses by the extant species with the highest per capita contribution to ecosystem processes. These worst and best case scenarios could be used to predict the minimum and maximum species required to sustain threshold values of ecosystem processes in the future.

  19. Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas W Davies

    Full Text Available Key ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling could be deteriorating as a result of biodiversity loss. However, currently we lack the ability to predict the consequences of realistic species loss on ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test whether species contributions to community biomass can be used as surrogate measures of their contribution to ecosystem processes. These were gross community productivity in a salt marsh plant assemblage and an intertidal macroalgae assemblage; community clearance of microalgae in sessile suspension feeding invertebrate assemblage; and nutrient uptake in an intertidal macroalgae assemblage. We conducted a series of biodiversity manipulations that represented realistic species extinction sequences in each of the three contrasting assemblages. Species were removed in a subtractive fashion so that biomass was allowed to vary with each species removal, and key ecosystem processes were measured at each stage of community disassembly. The functional contribution of species was directly proportional to their contribution to community biomass in a 1:1 ratio, a relationship that was consistent across three contrasting marine ecosystems and three ecosystem processes. This suggests that the biomass contributed by a species to an assemblage can be used to approximately predict the proportional decline in an ecosystem process when that species is lost. Such predictions represent "worst case scenarios" because, over time, extinction resilient species can offset the loss of biomass associated with the extinction of competitors. We also modelled a "best case scenario" that accounts for compensatory responses by the extant species with the highest per capita contribution to ecosystem processes. These worst and best case scenarios could be used to predict the minimum and maximum species required to sustain threshold values of ecosystem processes in the future.

  20. Tying Extinction Events to Comet Impacts Large Enough to Cause an Extinction in Themselves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgener, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    Comets over 35 km in size impacting Earth will create vast fireballs, and will boil large parts of the oceans, causing extinction events in themselves. They will likely provide enough energy to shatter the crust and eject large masses of molten rock from the mantle, forming traps. Traps are clearly associated with extinction events, but are not expected to cause extinctions. While Chicxulub is recognized to have occurred at the time of the K/Pg boundary layer, it is recognized as being too small in itself to cause an extinction. Are large comet impacts likely? The Kuiper belt has more than 100,000 objects over 100 km in diameter and millions over 10 km. Typically their orbits are less stable than asteroid orbits due to large bodies such as Pluto moving through the belt. The asteroid belt has only 10,000 objects over 10 km diameter. Comet impacts should be more common than asteroid impacts, yet none of the recognized craters are expected to be due to comets. There are many features on Earth that are poorly explained by Plate Tectonics that would be well explained if they were considered to be comet impact craters. A consideration of the Black Sea and the Tarim Basin will show that impact interpretations are a better fit than the present Plate Tectonics' explanations. Both basins are in the midst of mountain building from plate collisions, but are themselves not being disturbed by the plate collisions. Both are ellipses angled at 23.4 degrees to the equator, matching the angle expected for a low angle impact from a comet traveling in the ecliptic. Both are too deep at 15 km depths to be standard oceans (typically 5 km deep). Both are filled with horizontal layers of sediments, undisturbed by the mountain building occurring at the edges. Both have thin crusts and high Moho boundaries. Both have thin lithosphere. Yet both show GPS movement of the land around them moving away from them, as though they were much thicker and stronger than the surrounding land. The Tarim

  1. Biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Giraldo; Luis Jair

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity is a really surprising ecological event, as long as there is an extraordinary chemical and biochemical homogeneity at the very foundation of all living beings. It is believed that there are at least three phenomena that may explain it: Darwinian evolution, that is a kind of ramifying evolution; structural coupling, as defined by H. Maturana; and, finally, thermodynamical phenomena, as presented by S. Kauffman leaning on the concepts of organization and a propagating organization that diversifies, and they are all interpreted by E. D. Schneider and J. J. Kay from the idea of Earth as a thermodynamical system. The explanatory importance of this idea in the current environmental crisis, evident in other events such as global warming, is of great relevance.

  2. Periodic Impact Cratering and Extinction Events Over the Last 260 Million Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampino, Michael R.; Caldeira, Ken

    2015-01-01

    The claims of periodicity in impact cratering and biological extinction events are controversial. Anewly revised record of dated impact craters has been analyzed for periodicity, and compared with the record of extinctions over the past 260 Myr. A digital circular spectral analysis of 37 crater ages (ranging in age from 15 to 254 Myr ago) yielded evidence for a significant 25.8 +/- 0.6 Myr cycle. Using the same method, we found a significant 27.0 +/- 0.7 Myr cycle in the dates of the eight recognized marine extinction events over the same period. The cycles detected in impacts and extinctions have a similar phase. The impact crater dataset shows 11 apparent peaks in the last 260 Myr, at least 5 of which correlate closely with significant extinction peaks. These results suggest that the hypothesis of periodic impacts and extinction events is still viable.

  3. Building physiological toughness: Some aversive events during extinction may attenuate return of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culver, Najwa C; Stevens, Stephan; Fanselow, Michael S; Craske, Michelle G

    2018-03-01

    Although exposure therapy is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, fear sometimes returns following successful therapy. Recent literature in animal models indicates that incorporating some aversive events into extinction training may offset these return of fear effects. The effect of occasional reinforced extinction trials was investigated in a sample of thirty-nine participants using a fear conditioning and extinction paradigm. Participants either underwent traditional extinction procedures during which the conditional stimulus which had been paired with the unconditional stimulus (US) during acquisition training (CS+) was presented alone with no presentations of the US or partially reinforced extinction during which there were several unpredicted CS+/US pairings. As measured by skin conductance responses, physiological fear responding remained elevated during extinction for participants who experienced partially reinforced extinction; however, these participants demonstrated protection from rapid reacquisition effects. Results from the subjective US-expectancy ratings did not provide evidence of protection against rapid reacquisition in the partially reinforced extinction group; however, there was evidence of protection from spontaneous recovery effects. Lastly, as measured by valence ratings, it was unclear whether partially reinforced extinction provided protection from fear recovery effects. Although participants who experienced partially reinforced extinction demonstrated protection from rapid reacquisition as measured by skin conductance responses, they also demonstrated significantly higher levels of physiological fear responding during extinction which made the results of the spontaneous recovery test more difficult to interpret. Occasional CS-US pairings during extinction may protect against return of fear effects. Clinical implications are discussed. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Biodiversity, Extinction, and Humanity’s Future: The Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Human Population and Resource Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick L. Hindmarsh

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Human actions have altered global environments and reduced biodiversity by causing extinctions and reducing the population sizes of surviving species. Increasing human population size and per capita resource use will continue to have direct and indirect ecological and evolutionary consequences. As a result, future generations will inhabit a planet with significantly less wildlife, reduced evolutionary potential, diminished ecosystem services, and an increased likelihood of contracting infectious disease. The magnitude of these effects will depend on the rate at which global human population and/or per capita resource use decline to sustainable levels and the degree to which population reductions result from increased death rates rather than decreased birth rates.

  5. The influence of environmental forcing on biodiversity and extinction in a resource competition model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakulenko, Sergey A.; Sudakov, Ivan; Mander, Luke

    2018-03-01

    In this paper, we study a model of many species that compete, directly or indirectly, for a pool of common resources under the influence of periodic, stochastic, and/or chaotic environmental forcing. Using numerical simulations, we find the number and sequence of species going extinct when the community is initially packed with a large number of species of random initial densities. Thereby, any species with a density below a given threshold is regarded to be extinct.

  6. The influence of environmental forcing on biodiversity and extinction in a resource competition model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakulenko, Sergey A; Sudakov, Ivan; Mander, Luke

    2018-03-01

    In this paper, we study a model of many species that compete, directly or indirectly, for a pool of common resources under the influence of periodic, stochastic, and/or chaotic environmental forcing. Using numerical simulations, we find the number and sequence of species going extinct when the community is initially packed with a large number of species of random initial densities. Thereby, any species with a density below a given threshold is regarded to be extinct.

  7. Biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity offers multiple opportunities for development and improving human well-being. It is the basis for essential environmental services upon which life on Earth depends. Thus, its conservation and sustainable use are of critical importance...

  8. A Field-Based Biomimicry Exercise Helps Students Discover Connections among Biodiversity, Form and Function, and Species Conservation during Earth's Sixth Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soja, Constance M.

    2014-01-01

    In a first-year seminar on mass extinctions, a field-based, paleontology-focused exercise promotes active learning about Earth's biodiversity, form and function, and the biomimicry potential of ancient and modern life. Students study Devonian fossils at a local quarry and gain foundational experience in describing anatomy and relating form to…

  9. Does red noise increase or decrease extinction risk? Single extreme events versus series of unfavorable conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwager, Monika; Johst, Karin; Jeltsch, Florian

    2006-06-01

    Recent theoretical studies have shown contrasting effects of temporal correlation of environmental fluctuations (red noise) on the risk of population extinction. It is still debated whether and under which conditions red noise increases or decreases extinction risk compared with uncorrelated (white) noise. Here, we explain the opposing effects by introducing two features of red noise time series. On the one hand, positive autocorrelation increases the probability of series of poor environmental conditions, implying increasing extinction risk. On the other hand, for a given time period, the probability of at least one extremely bad year ("catastrophe") is reduced compared with white noise, implying decreasing extinction risk. Which of these two features determines extinction risk depends on the strength of environmental fluctuations and the sensitivity of population dynamics to these fluctuations. If extreme (catastrophic) events can occur (strong noise) or sensitivity is high (overcompensatory density dependence), then temporal correlation decreases extinction risk; otherwise, it increases it. Thus, our results provide a simple explanation for the contrasting previous findings and are a crucial step toward a general understanding of the effect of noise color on extinction risk.

  10. Conditions for extinction events in chemical reaction networks with discrete state spaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Matthew D; Anderson, David F; Craciun, Gheorghe; Brijder, Robert

    2018-05-01

    We study chemical reaction networks with discrete state spaces and present sufficient conditions on the structure of the network that guarantee the system exhibits an extinction event. The conditions we derive involve creating a modified chemical reaction network called a domination-expanded reaction network and then checking properties of this network. Unlike previous results, our analysis allows algorithmic implementation via systems of equalities and inequalities and suggests sequences of reactions which may lead to extinction events. We apply the results to several networks including an EnvZ-OmpR signaling pathway in Escherichia coli.

  11. Late Frasnian mass extinction: Conodont event stratigraphy, global changes, and possible causes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandberg, Charles A.; Ziegler, Willi; Dreesen, Roland; Butler, Jamie L.

    1988-01-01

    Several abrupt changes in conodont biofacies are documented to occur synchronously at six primary control sections across the Frasnian-Famennian boundary in Euramerica. These changes occurred within a time-span of only about 100,000 years near the end of the latest Frasnian linguiformis Zone, which is formally named to replace the Uppermost gigas Zone. The conodont-biofacies changes are interpreted to reflect a eustatic rise followed by an abrupt eustatic fall immediately preceding the late Frasnian mass extinction. Two new conodont species are named and described. Ancyrognathus ubiquitus n.sp. is recorded only just below and above the level of late Frasnian extinction and hence is a global marker for that event. Palmatolepispraetriangularis n.sp. is the long-sought Frasnian ancestor of the formerly cryptogenic species, Pa. triangularis, indicator of the earliest Famennian Lower triangularis Zone. The actual extinction event occurred entirely within the Frasnian and is interpreted to have been of brief duration-from as long as 20,000 years to as short as several days. The eustatic rise-and-fall couplet associated with the late Frasnian mass extinction is similar to eustatic couplets associated with the demise of most Frasnian (F2h) reefs worldwide about 1 m.y. earlier and with a latest Famennian mass extinction about 9.5 m.y. later. All these events may be directly or indirectly attributable to extraterrestrial triggering mechanisms. An impact of a small bolide or a near miss of a larger bolide may have caused the earlier demise of Frasnian reefs. An impact of possibly the same larger bolide in the Southern Hemisphere would explain the late Frasnian mass extinction. Global regression during the Famennian probably resulted from Southern-Hemisphere glaciation triggered by the latest Frasnian impact. Glaciation probably was the indirect cause of the latest Famennian mass extinction.

  12. Future habitat loss and extinctions driven by land-use change in biodiversity hotspots under four scenarios of climate-change mitigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jantz, Samuel M; Barker, Brian; Brooks, Thomas M; Chini, Louise P; Huang, Qiongyu; Moore, Rachel M; Noel, Jacob; Hurtt, George C

    2015-08-01

    Numerous species have been pushed into extinction as an increasing portion of Earth's land surface has been appropriated for human enterprise. In the future, global biodiversity will be affected by both climate change and land-use change, the latter of which is currently the primary driver of species extinctions. How societies address climate change will critically affect biodiversity because climate-change mitigation policies will reduce direct climate-change impacts; however, these policies will influence land-use decisions, which could have negative impacts on habitat for a substantial number of species. We assessed the potential impact future climate policy could have on the loss of habitable area in biodiversity hotspots due to associated land-use changes. We estimated past extinctions from historical land-use changes (1500-2005) based on the global gridded land-use data used for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report and habitat extent and species data for each hotspot. We then estimated potential extinctions due to future land-use changes under alternative climate-change scenarios (2005-2100). Future land-use changes are projected to reduce natural vegetative cover by 26-58% in the hotspots. As a consequence, the number of additional species extinctions, relative to those already incurred between 1500 and 2005, due to land-use change by 2100 across all hotspots ranged from about 220 to 21000 (0.2% to 16%), depending on the climate-change mitigation scenario and biological factors such as the slope of the species-area relationship and the contribution of wood harvest to extinctions. These estimates of potential future extinctions were driven by land-use change only and likely would have been higher if the direct effects of climate change had been considered. Future extinctions could potentially be reduced by incorporating habitat preservation into scenario development to reduce projected future land-use changes in hotspots or by

  13. First evidence for a massive extinction event affecting bees close to the K-T boundary.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra M Rehan

    Full Text Available Bees and eudicot plants both arose in the mid-late Cretaceous, and their co-evolutionary relationships have often been assumed as an important element in the rise of flowering plants. Given the near-complete dependence of bees on eudicots we would expect that major extinction events affecting the latter would have also impacted bees. However, given the very patchy distribution of bees in the fossil record, identifying any such extinctions using fossils is very problematic. Here we use molecular phylogenetic analyses to show that one bee group, the Xylocopinae, originated in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the early radiation of the eudicots. Lineage through time analyses for this bee subfamily show very early diversification, followed by a long period of seemingly no radiation and then followed by rapid diversification in each of the four constituent tribes. These patterns are consistent with both a long-fuse model of radiation and a massive extinction event close to the K-T boundary. We argue that massive extinction is much more plausible than a long fuse, given the historical biogeography of these bees and the diversity of ecological niches that they occupy. Our results suggest that events near the K-T boundary would have disrupted many plant-bee relationships, with major consequences for the subsequent evolution of eudicots and their pollinators.

  14. First evidence for a massive extinction event affecting bees close to the K-T boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehan, Sandra M; Leys, Remko; Schwarz, Michael P

    2013-01-01

    Bees and eudicot plants both arose in the mid-late Cretaceous, and their co-evolutionary relationships have often been assumed as an important element in the rise of flowering plants. Given the near-complete dependence of bees on eudicots we would expect that major extinction events affecting the latter would have also impacted bees. However, given the very patchy distribution of bees in the fossil record, identifying any such extinctions using fossils is very problematic. Here we use molecular phylogenetic analyses to show that one bee group, the Xylocopinae, originated in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the early radiation of the eudicots. Lineage through time analyses for this bee subfamily show very early diversification, followed by a long period of seemingly no radiation and then followed by rapid diversification in each of the four constituent tribes. These patterns are consistent with both a long-fuse model of radiation and a massive extinction event close to the K-T boundary. We argue that massive extinction is much more plausible than a long fuse, given the historical biogeography of these bees and the diversity of ecological niches that they occupy. Our results suggest that events near the K-T boundary would have disrupted many plant-bee relationships, with major consequences for the subsequent evolution of eudicots and their pollinators.

  15. Extinction of an introduced warm-climate alien species, Xenopus laevis, by extreme weather events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinsley, Richard C; Stott, Lucy C; Viney, Mark E; Mable, Barbara K; Tinsley, Matthew C

    Invasive, non-native species represent a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. The African amphibian Xenopus laevis is widely regarded as an invasive species and a threat to local faunas. Populations originating at the Western Cape, South Africa, have been introduced on four continents, mostly in areas with a similar Mediterranean climate. Some introduced populations are also established in cooler environments where persistence for many decades suggests a capacity for long-term adaptation. In these cases, recent climate warming might enhance invasion ability, favouring range expansion, population growth and negative effects on native faunas. In the cool temperate UK, populations have been established for about 50 years in Wales and for an unknown period, probably >20 years, in England (Lincolnshire). Our field studies over 30 and 10 years, respectively, show that in favourable conditions there may be good recruitment, fast individual growth rates and large body size; maximum longevity exceeds 23 years. Nevertheless, areas of distribution remained limited, with numbers extinct. The winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 experienced extreme cold and drought (December 2010 was the coldest in 120 years and the third driest in 100 years). The extinction of X. laevis in these areas indicates that even relatively long-established alien species remain vulnerable to rare extreme weather conditions.

  16. The fungal and acritarch events as time markers for the latest Permian mass extinction: An update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Rampino

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The latest Permian extinction (252 Myr ago was the most severe in the geologic record. On land, widespread Late Permian gymnosperm/seed-fern dominated forests appear to have suffered rapid and almost complete destruction, as evidenced by increased soil erosion and changes in fluvial style in deforested areas, signs of wildfires, replacement of trees by lower plants, and almost complete loss of peat-forming and fire-susceptible vegetation. Permian–Triassic boundary strata at many sites show two widespread palynological events in the wake of the forest destruction: The fungal event, evidenced by a thin zone with >95% fungal cells (Reduviasporonites and woody debris, found in terrestrial and marine sediments, and the acritarch event, marked by the sudden flood of unusual phytoplankton in the marine realm. These two events represent the global temporary explosive spread of stress-tolerant and opportunistic organisms on land and in the sea just after the latest Permian disaster. They represent unique events, and thus they can provide a time marker in correlating latest Permian marine and terrestrial sequences.

  17. The Case for the Younger Dryas Extraterrestrial Impact Event: Mammoth, Megafauna and Clovis Extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Firestone, Richard B.

    2009-01-01

    The onset of >1000 years of Younger Dryas cooling, broad-scale extinctions, and the disappearance of the Clovis culture in North America simultaneously occurred 12,900 years ago followed immediately by the appearance of a carbon-rich black layer at many locations. In situ bones of extinct megafauna and Clovis tools occur only beneath this black layer and not within or above it. At the base of the black mat at 9 Clovis-age sites in North America and a site in Belgium numerous extraterrestrial impact markers were found including magnetic grains highly enriched in iridium, magnetic microspherules, vesicular carbon spherules enriched in cubic, hexagonal, and n-type nanodiamonds, glass-like carbon containing Fullerenes and nanodiamonds, charcoal, soot, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The same impact markers were found mixed throughout the sediments of 15 Carolina Bays, elliptical depressions along the Atlantic coast, whose parallel major axes point towards either the Great Lakes or Hudson Bay. The magnetic grains and spherules have an unusual Fe/Ti composition similar to lunar Procellarum KREEP Terrane and the organic constituents are enriched in 14C leading to radiocarbon dates often well into the future. These characteristics are inconsistent with known meteorites and suggest that the impact was by a previous unobserved, possibly extrasolar body. The concentration of impact markers peaks near the Great Lakes and their unusually high water content suggests that a 4.6 km-wide comet fragmented and exploded over the Laurentide Ice Sheet creating numerous craters that now persist at the bottom of the Great Lakes. The coincidence of this impact, the onset of Younger Dryas cooling, extinction of the megafauna, and the appearance of a black mat strongly suggests that all these events are directly related. These results have unleashed an avalanche of controversy which I will address in this paper.

  18. The changing role of mammal life histories in Late Quaternary extinction vulnerability on continents and islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, S Kathleen; Miller, Joshua H; Fraser, Danielle; Smith, Felisa A; Boyer, Alison; Lindsey, Emily; Mychajliw, Alexis M

    2016-06-01

    Understanding extinction drivers in a human-dominated world is necessary to preserve biodiversity. We provide an overview of Quaternary extinctions and compare mammalian extinction events on continents and islands after human arrival in system-specific prehistoric and historic contexts. We highlight the role of body size and life-history traits in these extinctions. We find a significant size-bias except for extinctions on small islands in historic times. Using phylogenetic regression and classification trees, we find that while life-history traits are poor predictors of historic extinctions, those associated with difficulty in responding quickly to perturbations, such as small litter size, are good predictors of prehistoric extinctions. Our results are consistent with the idea that prehistoric and historic extinctions form a single continuing event with the same likely primary driver, humans, but the diversity of impacts and affected faunas is much greater in historic extinctions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. A computational approach to extinction events in chemical reaction networks with discrete state spaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Matthew D

    2017-12-01

    Recent work of Johnston et al. has produced sufficient conditions on the structure of a chemical reaction network which guarantee that the corresponding discrete state space system exhibits an extinction event. The conditions consist of a series of systems of equalities and inequalities on the edges of a modified reaction network called a domination-expanded reaction network. In this paper, we present a computational implementation of these conditions written in Python and apply the program on examples drawn from the biochemical literature. We also run the program on 458 models from the European Bioinformatics Institute's BioModels Database and report our results. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Ecological selectivity of the emerging mass extinction in the oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Jonathan L; Bush, Andrew M; Heim, Noel A; Knope, Matthew L; McCauley, Douglas J

    2016-09-16

    To better predict the ecological and evolutionary effects of the emerging biodiversity crisis in the modern oceans, we compared the association between extinction threat and ecological traits in modern marine animals to associations observed during past extinction events using a database of 2497 marine vertebrate and mollusc genera. We find that extinction threat in the modern oceans is strongly associated with large body size, whereas past extinction events were either nonselective or preferentially removed smaller-bodied taxa. Pelagic animals were victimized more than benthic animals during previous mass extinctions but are not preferentially threatened in the modern ocean. The differential importance of large-bodied animals to ecosystem function portends greater future ecological disruption than that caused by similar levels of taxonomic loss in past mass extinction events. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. Redox conditions and marine microbial community changes during the end-Ordovician mass extinction event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolarek, Justyna; Marynowski, Leszek; Trela, Wiesław; Kujawski, Piotr; Simoneit, Bernd R. T.

    2017-02-01

    /S boundary implied enhanced microbial activity following the mass extinction event.

  2. Mass Extinction and the Disappearance of Unknown Mammal Species: Scenario and Perspectives of a Biodiversity Hotspot's Hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Rossano Mendes Pontes

    Full Text Available We aimed to determine the conservation status of medium- and large-sized mammals and evaluate the impact of 500 years of forest fragmentation on this group of animals in the Pernambuco Endemism Center, in the biogeographical zone of the Atlantic forest north of the São Francisco River in northeastern Brazil. Line transect surveys were performed in 21 forest fragments, resulting in a checklist of the mammals of the entire Pernambuco Endemism Center area. We ran a generalized linear model (Factorial ANCOVA to analyze to what extent the vegetation type, fragment area, isolation, sampling effort (as total kilometers walked, or higher-order interactions predicted (a richness and (b sighting rates. To determine if the distribution of the species within the forest fragments exhibited a nested pattern, we used the NODF metric. Subsequently, we performed a Binomial Logistic Regression to predict the probability of encountering each species according to fragment size. Out of 38 medium- and large-sized mammal species formerly occurring in the study area, only 53.8% (n = 21 were sighted. No fragment hosted the entire remaining mammal community, and only four species (19% occurred in very small fragments (73.3% of the remaining forest fragments, with a mean size of 2.8 ha. The mammalian community was highly simplified, with all large mammals being regionally extinct. Neither the species richness nor sighting rate was controlled by the vegetation type, the area of the forest fragments, isolation or any higher-order interaction. Although a highly significant nested subset pattern was detected, it was not related to the ranking of the area of forest fragments or isolation. The probability of the occurrence of a mammal species in a given forest patch varied unpredictably, and the probability of detecting larger species was even observed to decrease with increasing patch size. In an ongoing process of mass extinction, half of the studied mammals have gone

  3. Salinity changes and anoxia resulting from enhanced run-off during the late Permian global warming and mass extinction event

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. E. van Soelen

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The late Permian biotic crisis had a major impact on marine and terrestrial environments. Rising CO2 levels following Siberian Trap volcanic activity were likely responsible for expanding marine anoxia and elevated water temperatures. This study focuses on one of the stratigraphically most expanded Permian–Triassic records known, from Jameson Land, East Greenland. High-resolution sampling allows for a detailed reconstruction of the changing environmental conditions during the extinction event and the development of anoxic water conditions. Since very little is known about how salinity was affected during the extinction event, we especially focus on the aquatic palynomorphs and infer changes in salinity from changes in the assemblage and morphology. The start of the extinction event, here defined by a peak in spore : pollen, indicating disturbance and vegetation destruction in the terrestrial environment, postdates a negative excursion in the total organic carbon, but predates the development of anoxia in the basin. Based on the newest estimations for sedimentation rates, the marine and terrestrial ecosystem collapse took between 1.6 and 8 kyr, a much shorter interval than previously estimated. The palynofacies and palynomorph records show that the environmental changes can be explained by enhanced run-off and increased primary productivity and water column stratification. A lowering in salinity is supported by changes in the acritarch morphology. The length of the processes of the acritarchs becomes shorter during the extinction event and we propose that these changes are evidence for a reduction in salinity in the shallow marine setting of the study site. This inference is supported by changes in acritarch distribution, which suggest a change in palaeoenvironment from open marine conditions before the start of the extinction event to more nearshore conditions during and after the crisis. In a period of sea-level rise, such a reduction

  4. Salinity changes and anoxia resulting from enhanced run-off during the late Permian global warming and mass extinction event

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Soelen, Elsbeth E.; Twitchett, Richard J.; Kürschner, Wolfram M.

    2018-04-01

    The late Permian biotic crisis had a major impact on marine and terrestrial environments. Rising CO2 levels following Siberian Trap volcanic activity were likely responsible for expanding marine anoxia and elevated water temperatures. This study focuses on one of the stratigraphically most expanded Permian-Triassic records known, from Jameson Land, East Greenland. High-resolution sampling allows for a detailed reconstruction of the changing environmental conditions during the extinction event and the development of anoxic water conditions. Since very little is known about how salinity was affected during the extinction event, we especially focus on the aquatic palynomorphs and infer changes in salinity from changes in the assemblage and morphology. The start of the extinction event, here defined by a peak in spore : pollen, indicating disturbance and vegetation destruction in the terrestrial environment, postdates a negative excursion in the total organic carbon, but predates the development of anoxia in the basin. Based on the newest estimations for sedimentation rates, the marine and terrestrial ecosystem collapse took between 1.6 and 8 kyr, a much shorter interval than previously estimated. The palynofacies and palynomorph records show that the environmental changes can be explained by enhanced run-off and increased primary productivity and water column stratification. A lowering in salinity is supported by changes in the acritarch morphology. The length of the processes of the acritarchs becomes shorter during the extinction event and we propose that these changes are evidence for a reduction in salinity in the shallow marine setting of the study site. This inference is supported by changes in acritarch distribution, which suggest a change in palaeoenvironment from open marine conditions before the start of the extinction event to more nearshore conditions during and after the crisis. In a period of sea-level rise, such a reduction in salinity can only be

  5. Isotopic evidence bearing on Late Triassic extinction events, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, and implications for the duration and cause of the Triassic/Jurassic mass extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, P.D.; Garrison, G.H.; Haggart, J.W.; Kring, D.A.; Beattie, M.J.

    2004-01-01

    Stable isotope analyses of Late Triassic to earliest Jurassic strata from Kennecott Point in the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada shows the presence of two distinct and different organic carbon isotope anomalies at the Norian/Rhaetian and Rhaetian/Hettangian (=Triassic/Jurassic) stage boundaries. At the older of these boundaries, which is marked by the disappearance of the bivalve Monotis, the isotope record shows a series of short-lived positive excursions toward heavier values. Strata approaching this boundary show evidence of increasing anoxia. At the higher boundary, marked by the disappearance of the last remaining Triassic ammonites and over 50 species of radiolarians, the isotopic pattern consists of a series of short duration negative anomalies. The two events, separated by the duration of the Rhaetian age, comprise the end-Triassic mass extinction. While there is no definitive evidence as to cause, the isotopic record does not appear similar to that of the impact-caused Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary extinction. ?? 2004 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. The latest Paleocene benthic extinction event: Punctuated turnover in outer neritic benthic foraminiferal faunas from Gebel Aweina, Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    Speijer, Robert; Schmitz, B; Aubry, MP; Charisi, SD

    1995-01-01

    We investigated the benthic foraminiferal record of the neritic sequence at Gebel Aweina (Nile Valley, Egypt) in relation to the latest Paleocene deep-sea benthic extinction event (BEE). At Gebel Aweina an expanded sequence, spanning calcareous nannofossil Zones NP8-NPlO, is continuously exposed and yields calcareous microfauna throughout. The BEE level is situated about halfway through Zone NP9 at 17m above the base of the Esna Formation. Detailed biostratigraphic and isotopic studies have i...

  7. Lineage extinction and replacement in dengue type 1 virus populations are due to stochastic events rather than to natural selection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hlaing Myat Thu; Lowry, Kym; Jiang Limin; Thaung Hlaing; Holmes, Edward C.; Aaskov, John

    2005-01-01

    Between 1996 and 1998, two clades (B and C; genotype I) of dengue virus type 1 (DENV-1) appeared in Myanmar (Burma) that were new to that location. Between 1998 and 2000, a third clade (A; genotype III) of DENV-1, which had been circulating at that locality for at least 25 years, became extinct. These changes preceded the largest outbreak of dengue recorded in Myanmar, in 2001, in which more than 95% of viruses recovered from patients were DENV-1, but where the incidence of severe disease was much less than in previous years. Phylogenetic analyses of viral genomes indicated that the two new clades of DENV-1 did not arise from the, now extinct, clade A viruses nor was the extinction of this clade due to differences in the fitness of the viral populations. Since the extinction occurred during an inter-epidemic period, we suggest that it was due to a stochastic event attributable to the low rate of virus transmission in this interval

  8. The biodiversity from Bogota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calvachi Zambrano, Byron

    2002-01-01

    It is about the flora biodiversity and fauna that it occupied the savannah of Bogota originally, about the flora and extinct fauna and of the flora and fauna that still persist in spite of the colonization

  9. The end-Triassic mass extinction: A new correlation between extinction events and δ13C fluctuations from a Triassic-Jurassic peritidal succession in western Sicily

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todaro, Simona; Rigo, Manuel; Randazzo, Vincenzo; Di Stefano, Pietro

    2018-06-01

    A new δ13Ccarb curve was obtained from an expanded peritidal succession in western Sicily and was used to investigate the relationships between isotopic signatures and biological events on carbonate platforms across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (TJB). The resulting curve shows two main negative carbon isotopic excursions (CIEs) that fit well with the "Initial" and "Main" CIEs that are recognized worldwide and linked to the End-Triassic Extinction (ETE). In the studied section, the first negative CIE marks the disappearance of the large megalodontids, which were replaced by small and thin-shelled specimens, while the "Main" CIE corresponds to the last occurrence (LO) of the megalodontids and, approximately 50 m upsection, to the total demise of the Rhaetian benthic foraminifer community. Upward, the carbon curve shows a positive trend (ca. +1‰) and a gradual recovery of the benthic communities after an approximately 10 m-thick barren interval populated only by the problematic alga Thaumatoporella parvovesiculifera. A comparison between the Mt. Sparagio δ13Ccarb curve and other coeval Ccarb and Corg curves from carbonate platform, ramp and deep basin successions indicates similar isotopic trends; however, the diverse magnitudes and responses of benthic communities confirm that the carbon cycle perturbations have been globally significant, and were influenced by external forces such as CAMP volcanism. The multiphase nature of the extinction pulses could have been caused by local environmental changes related to transgression/regression phenomena. Overall, this study adds new data and a new timing to the effect of the acidification process on carbon productivity and benthic communities in different environments across the TJB.

  10. Tracking a genetic signal of extinction-recolonization events in a neotropical tree species: Vouacapoua americana Aublet in French Guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutech, Cyril; Maggia, Laurent; Tardy, Christophe; Joly, Hélène I; Jarne, Philippe

    2003-12-01

    Drier periods from the late Pleistocene and early Holocene have been hypothesized to have caused the disappearance of various rainforest species over large geographical areas in South America and restricted the extant populations to mesic sites. Subsequent improvement in climatic conditions has been associated with recolonization. Changes in population size associated with these extinction-recolonization events should have affected genetic diversity within species. However, these historical hypotheses and their genetic consequences have rarely been tested in South America. Here, we examine the diversity of the chloroplast and nuclear genomes in a Neotropical rainforest tree species, Vouacapoua americana (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae) in French Guiana. The chloroplast diversity was analyzed using a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method (six pairs of primers) in 29 populations distributed over most of French Guiana, and a subset of 17 populations was also analyzed at nine polymorphic microsatellite loci. To determine whether this species has experienced extinction-recolonization, we sampled populations in areas supposedly not or only slightly affected by climatic changes, where the populations would not have experienced frequent extinction, and in areas that appear to have been recently recolonized. In the putatively recolonized areas, we found patches of several thousands of hectares homogeneous for chloroplast variation that can be interpreted as the effect of recolonization processes from several geographical origins. In addition, we observed that, for both chloroplast and nuclear genomes, the populations in newly recolonized areas exhibited a significantly smaller allelic richness than others. Controlling for geographic distance, we also detected a significant correlation between chloroplast and nuclear population differentiation. This result indicates a cytonuclear disequilibrium that can be interpreted as a historical signal

  11. Major consequences of an intense dense shelf water cascading event on deep-sea benthic trophic conditions and meiofaunal biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Pusceddu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Numerous submarine canyons around the world are preferential conduits for episodic dense shelf water cascading (DSWC, which quickly modifies physical and chemical ambient conditions while transporting large amounts of material towards the base of slope and basin. Observations conducted during the last 20 yr in the Lacaze-Duthiers and Cap de Creus canyons (Gulf of Lion, NW Mediterranean Sea report several intense DSWC events. The effects of DSWC on deep-sea ecosystems are almost unknown. To investigate the effects of these episodic events, we analysed changes in the meiofaunal biodiversity inside and outside the canyon. Sediment samples were collected at depths varying from ca. 1000 to > 2100 m in May 2004 (before a major event, April 2005 (during a major cascading event and in October 2005, August 2006, April 2008 and April 2009 (after a major event. We report here that the late winter–early spring 2005 cascading led to a reduction of the organic matter contents in canyon floor sediments down to 1800 m depth, whereas surface sediments at about 2200 m depth showed an increase. Our findings suggest that the nutritional material removed from the shallower continental shelf, canyon floor and flanks, and also the adjacent open slope was rapidly transported to the deep margin. During the cascading event the meiofaunal abundance and biodiversity in the studied deep-sea sediments were significantly lower than after the event. Benthic assemblages during the cascading were significantly different from those in all other sampling periods in both the canyon and deep margin. After only six months from the cessation of the cascading, benthic assemblages in the impacted sediments were again similar to those observed in other sampling periods, thus illustrating a quick recovery. Since the present climate change is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of these episodic events, we anticipate that they will increasingly affect benthic bathyal

  12. Geochemical and palynological records for the end-Triassic Mass-Extinction Event in the NE Paris Basin (Luxemburg)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlmann, Natascha; van de Schootbrugge, Bas; Thein, Jean; Fiebig, Jens; Franz, Sven-Oliver; Hanzo, Micheline; Colbach, Robert; Faber, Alain

    2016-04-01

    The End-Triassic mass-extinction event is one of the "big five" mass extinctions in Earth's history. Large scale flood basalt volcanism associated with the break-up of Pangaea, which resulted in the opening of the central Atlantic Ocean, is considered as the leading cause. In addition, an asteroid impact in Rochechouart (France; 201 ± 2 Ma) may have had a local influence on ecosystems and sedimentary settings. The Luxembourg Embayment, in the NE Paris Basin, offers a rare chance to study both effects in a range of settings from deltaic to lagoonal. A multidisciplinary study (sedimentology, geochemistry, palynology) has been carried out on a number of outcrops and cores that span from the Norian to lower Hettangian. Combined geochemical and palynological records from the Boust core drilled in the NE Paris Basin, provide evidence for paleoenvironmental changes associated with the end-Triassic mass-extinction event. The Triassic-Jurassic stratigraphy of the Boust core is well constrained by palynomorphs showing the disappaerance of typical Triassic pollen taxa (e.g. Ricciisporites tuberculates) and the occurrence of the marker species Polypodiisporites polymicroforatus within the uppermost Rhaetian, prior to the Hettangian dominance of Classopollis pollen. The organic carbon stable isotope record (δ13Corg) spanning the Norian to Hettangian, shows a series of prominent negative excursions within the middle Rhaetian, followed by a trend towards more positive values (approx -24 per mille) within the uppermost Rhaetian Argiles de Levallois Member. The lowermost Hettangian is characterized by a major negative excursion, reaching - 30 per mille that occurs in organic-rich sediments. This so-called "main negative excursion" is well-known from other locations, for example from Mariental in Northern Germany and from St Audrie's Bay in England, and Stenlille in Denmark. Based on redox-sensitive trace element records (V, Cr, Ni, Co, Th, U) the lowermost Hettangian in most of

  13. Extinction and the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, ,. J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The author examines evidence of mass extinctions in the fossil record and searches for reasons for such large extinctions. Five major mass extinctions eliminated at least 40 percent of animal genera in the oceans and from 65 to 95 percent of ocean species. Questions include the occurrence of gradual or catastrophic extinctions, causes, environment, the capacity of a perturbation to cause extinctions each time it happens, and the possibility and identification of complex events leading to a mass extinction.

  14. Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel; Cowles, Jane; Díaz, Sandra; Hector, Andy; Mace, Georgina M.; Wardle, David A.; O’Connor, Mary I.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Turnbull, Lindsay A.; Thompson, Patrick L.; Larigauderie, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Biodiversity enhances many of nature’s benefits to people, including the regulation of climate and the production of wood in forests, livestock forage in grasslands and fish in aquatic ecosystems. Yet people are now driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history. Human dependence and influence on biodiversity have mainly been studied separately and at contrasting scales of space and time, but new multiscale knowledge is beginning to link these relationships. Biodiversity loss substantially diminishes several ecosystem services by altering ecosystem functioning and stability, especially at the large temporal and spatial scales that are most relevant for policy and conservation. PMID:28569811

  15. Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel; Cowles, Jane; Díaz, Sandra; Hector, Andy; Mace, Georgina M; Wardle, David A; O'Connor, Mary I; Duffy, J Emmett; Turnbull, Lindsay A; Thompson, Patrick L; Larigauderie, Anne

    2017-05-31

    Biodiversity enhances many of nature's benefits to people, including the regulation of climate and the production of wood in forests, livestock forage in grasslands and fish in aquatic ecosystems. Yet people are now driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history. Human dependence and influence on biodiversity have mainly been studied separately and at contrasting scales of space and time, but new multiscale knowledge is beginning to link these relationships. Biodiversity loss substantially diminishes several ecosystem services by altering ecosystem functioning and stability, especially at the large temporal and spatial scales that are most relevant for policy and conservation.

  16. Effects of temperature and copper pollution on soil community--extreme temperature events can lead to community extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menezes-Oliveira, Vanessa B; Scott-Fordsmand, Janeck J; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Amorim, Monica J B

    2013-12-01

    Global warming affects ecosystems and species' diversity. The physiology of individual species is highly influenced by changes in temperature. The effects on species communities are less studied; they are virtually unknown when combining effects of pollution and temperature. To assess the effects of temperature and pollution in the soil community, a 2-factorial soil mesocosms multispecies experiment was performed. Three exposure periods (28 d, 61 d, and 84 d) and 4 temperatures (19 °C, 23 °C, 26 °C, and 29 °C) were tested, resembling the mean annual values for southern Europe countries and extreme events. The soil used was from a field site, clean, or spiked with Cu (100 mg Cu/kg). Results showed clear differences between 29 °C treatment and all other temperature treatments, with a decrease in overall abundance of organisms, further potentiated by the increase in exposure time. Folsomia candida was the most abundant species and Enchytraeus crypticus was the most sensitive to Cu toxicity. Differences in species optimum temperatures were adequately covered: 19 °C for Hypoaspis aculeifer or 26 °C for E. crypticus. The temperature effects were more pronounced the longer the exposure time. Feeding activity decreased with higher temperature and exposure time, following the decrease in invertebrate abundance, whereas for the same conditions the organic matter turnover increased. Hence, negative impacts on ecosystem services because of temperature increase can be expected by changes on soil function and as consequence of biodiversity loss. © 2013 SETAC.

  17. Biological Extinction in Earth History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raup, David M.

    1986-03-01

    Virtually all plant and animal species that have ever lived on the earth are extinct. For this reason alone, extinction must play an important role in the evolution of life. The five largest mass extinctions of the past 600 million years are of greatest interest, but there is also a spectrum of smaller events, many of which indicate biological systems in profound stress. Extinction may be episodic at all scales, with relatively long periods of stability alternating with short-lived extinction events. Most extinction episodes are biologically selective, and further analysis of the victims and survivors offers the greatest chance of deducing the proximal causes of extinction. A drop in sea level and climatic change are most frequently invoked to explain mass extinctions, but new theories of collisions with extraterrestrial bodies are gaining favor. Extinction may be constructive in a Darwinian sense or it may only perturb the system by eliminating those organisms that happen to be susceptible to geologically rare stresses.

  18. Biological extinction in earth history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raup, D. M.

    1986-01-01

    Virtually all plant and animal species that have ever lived on the earth are extinct. For this reason alone, extinction must play an important role in the evolution of life. The five largest mass extinctions of the past 600 million years are of greatest interest, but there is also a spectrum of smaller events, many of which indicate biological systems in profound stress. Extinction may be episodic at all scales, with relatively long periods of stability alternating with short-lived extinction events. Most extinction episodes are biologically selective, and further analysis of the victims and survivors offers the greatest chance of deducing the proximal causes of extinction. A drop in sea level and climatic change are most frequently invoked to explain mass extinctions, but new theories of collisions with extraterrestrial bodies are gaining favor. Extinction may be constructive in a Darwinian sense or it may only perturb the system by eliminating those organisms that happen to be susceptible to geologically rare stresses.

  19. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... and applications.?Good surrogates of biodiversity are necessary to help identify conservation areas that will be effective in preventing species extinctions. Birds perform fairly well as surrogates in cases where birds are relatively speciose, but overall effectiveness will be improved by adding additional data...... from other taxa, in particular from range-restricted species. Conservation solutions with focus on birds as biodiversity surrogate could therefore benefit from also incorporating species data from other taxa....

  20. Hydrocarbon Biomarker Stratigraphy of C-Isotopic Excursions Marking Chemical Changes in the Ocean with Contemporanious Biotic Extinction-Radiation Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summons, Roger E.

    2004-01-01

    One paper recording progress in this topic has been accepted for publication. We report a method for the rigorous identification of biomarkers (crocetane and PMI) that may be specific for methanotrophic and methanogenic archaea and, perhaps, the process of anaerobic oxidation of methane. If catastrophic methane efflux from sub-sea methane hydrate is responsible for extinction events, as has been hypothesized by many workers, then we might expect to find biomarkers for methane oxidation in sediments marking some extinction boundaries. Unfortunately, identifying crocetane and PMI with certainty is not a trivial exercise and these biomarkers appear to have been mis-identified in a recent publication by workers from Curtin University. Barber et al. (2001) identified crocetane and PMI in sediments deposited in the basal Triassic of the Perth Basin, Australia. However, Barber et al. (2001) also found crocetane and PMI in many other sediments and oils in a way that was inconsistent with our knowledge of these systems.

  1. Extinction risk escalates in the tropics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana C Vamosi

    Full Text Available The latitudinal biodiversity gradient remains one of the most widely recognized yet puzzling patterns in nature. Presently, the high level of extinction of tropical species, referred to as the "tropical biodiversity crisis", has the potential to erode this pattern. While the connection between species richness, extinction, and speciation has long intrigued biologists, these interactions have experienced increased poignancy due to their relevancy to where we should concentrate our conservation efforts. Natural extinction is a phenomenon thought to have its own latitudinal gradient, with lower extinction rates in the tropics being reported in beetles, birds, mammals, and bivalves. Processes that have buffered ecosystems from high extinction rates in the past may also buffer ecosystems against disturbance of anthropogenic origin. While potential parallels between historical and present-day extinction patterns have been acknowledged, they remain only superficially explored and plant extinction patterns have been particularly neglected. Studies on the disappearances of animal species have reached conflicting conclusions, with the rate of extinction appearing either higher or lower in species richness hotspots. Our global study of extinction risk in vascular plants finds disproportionately higher extinction risk in tropical countries, even when indicators of human pressure (GDP, population density, forest cover change are taken into account. Our results are at odds with the notion that the tropics represent a museum of plant biodiversity (places of historically lowered extinction and we discuss mechanisms that may reconcile this apparent contradiction.

  2. Extinction risk escalates in the tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vamosi, Jana C; Vamosi, Steven M

    2008-01-01

    The latitudinal biodiversity gradient remains one of the most widely recognized yet puzzling patterns in nature. Presently, the high level of extinction of tropical species, referred to as the "tropical biodiversity crisis", has the potential to erode this pattern. While the connection between species richness, extinction, and speciation has long intrigued biologists, these interactions have experienced increased poignancy due to their relevancy to where we should concentrate our conservation efforts. Natural extinction is a phenomenon thought to have its own latitudinal gradient, with lower extinction rates in the tropics being reported in beetles, birds, mammals, and bivalves. Processes that have buffered ecosystems from high extinction rates in the past may also buffer ecosystems against disturbance of anthropogenic origin. While potential parallels between historical and present-day extinction patterns have been acknowledged, they remain only superficially explored and plant extinction patterns have been particularly neglected. Studies on the disappearances of animal species have reached conflicting conclusions, with the rate of extinction appearing either higher or lower in species richness hotspots. Our global study of extinction risk in vascular plants finds disproportionately higher extinction risk in tropical countries, even when indicators of human pressure (GDP, population density, forest cover change) are taken into account. Our results are at odds with the notion that the tropics represent a museum of plant biodiversity (places of historically lowered extinction) and we discuss mechanisms that may reconcile this apparent contradiction.

  3. Filling in biodiversity threat gaps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joppa, L. N.; O'Connor, Brian; Visconti, Piero

    2016-01-01

    increase to 10,000 times the background rate should species threatened with extinction succumb to pressures they face (4). Reversing these trends is a focus of the Convention on Biological Diversity's 2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its 20 Aichi Targets and is explicitly incorporated...... into the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We identify major gaps in data available for assessing global biodiversity threats and suggest mechanisms for closing them....

  4. Impossible Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S.

    2003-03-01

    Every 225 million years the Earth, and all the life on it, completes one revolution around the Milky Way Galaxy. During this remarkable journey, life is influenced by calamitous changes. Comets and asteroids strike the surface of the Earth, stars explode, enormous volcanoes erupt, and, more recently, humans litter the planet with waste. Many animals and plants become extinct during the voyage, but humble microbes, simple creatures made of a single cell, survive this journey. This book takes a tour of the microbial world, from the coldest and deepest places on Earth to the hottest and highest, and witnesses some of the most catastrophic events that life can face. Impossible Extinction tells this remarkable story to the general reader by explaining how microbes have survived on Earth for over three billion years. Charles Cockell received his doctorate from the University of Oxford, and is currently a microbiologist with rhe Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), based at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. His research focusses on astrobiology, life in the extremes and the human exploration of Mars. Cockell has been on expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic, Mongolia, and in 1993 he piloted a modified insect-collecting ultra-light aircraft over the Indonesian rainforests. He is Chair of the Twenty-one Eleven Foundation for Exploration, a charity that supports expeditions that forge links between space exploration and environmentalism.

  5. Beringian Megafaunal Extinctions at ~37 ka B.P.: Do Micrometeorites Embedded in Fossil Tusks and Skulls Indicate an Extraterrestial Precursor to the Younger Dryas Event?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagstrum, J. T.; Firestone, R. B.; West, A.

    2009-12-01

    Studies of Late Pleistocene megafaunal fossils and their ancient DNA from Beringia (eastern Siberia, Alaska, and the emerged Bering Strait) indicate sharp declines in steppe bison population diversity and horse body size, extinction of the Alaskan wild ass, and local extinctions of brown bear and woolly mammoth genetic lines beginning at about 37 ka B.P. Beringia is also well known for its remarkably preserved Late Pleistocene frozen animal mummies. 14C ages of these mummies are bimodally distributed, having peaks coincident with the earlier ~37 ka B.P., and ~13 ka B.P. Younger Dryas, onset extinction events. Associated with the ~37 ka B.P. event are, for example, the Berezovka mammoth, headless Selerikan horse, steppe bison “Blue Babe”, and baby mammoths “Dima” and “Lyuba”. Analyses of these and other mummies indicate that they died instantly, in mostly healthy condition, with gut contents and high fat reserves indicative of a late summer to autumn season. An assortment of uneaten limbs and other body parts from a variety of species have also been found. Uniformitarian death scenarios inadequately account for the lack of evidence of normal predation and scavenging. Extensive internal injuries (e.g. large bone fractures, hemorrhaging) and apparent rapid burial of the mummies also indicate that something truly unusual happened at the time of these extinction events. We have discovered what appear to be micrometeorites embedded in seven Alaskan mammoth tusks and a Siberian bison skull acquired from commercial sources. 14C ages for five of these fossils have a weighted mean age of 33 ± 2 ka B.P. Laser ablation ICP-MS and XRF analyses of the particles indicate high Fe contents with compositions enriched in Ni and depleted in Ti, similar to Fe meteorites and unlike any natural terrestrial sources. Microprobe analyses of a Fe-Ni sulfide grain from tusk 2 also show that it contains between 3 and 20 weight percent Ni. SEM images and XRF analyses of a bison

  6. Amphibian decline and extinction: what we know and what we need to learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, James P

    2010-11-01

    For over 350 million yr, thousands of amphibian species have lived on Earth. Since the 1980s, amphibians have been disappearing at an alarming rate, in many cases quite suddenly. What is causing these declines and extinctions? In the modern era (post 1500) there are 6 leading causes of biodiversity loss in general, and all of these acting alone or together are responsible for modern amphibian declines: commercial use; introduced/exotic species that compete with, prey on, and parasitize native frogs and salamanders; land use change; contaminants; climate change; and infectious disease. The first 3 causes are historical in the sense that they have been operating for hundreds of years, although the rate of change due to each accelerated greatly after about the mid-20th century. Contaminants, climate change, and emerging infectious diseases are modern causes suspected of being responsible for the so-called 'enigmatic decline' of amphibians in protected areas. Introduced/exotic pathogens, land use change, and infectious disease are the 3 causes with a clear role in amphibian decline as well as extinction; thus far, the other 3 causes are only implicated in decline and not extinction. The present work is a review of the 6 causes with a focus on pathogens and suggested areas where new research is needed. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a chytrid fungus that is an emerging infectious disease causing amphibian population decline and species extinction. Historically, pathogens have not been seen as a major cause of extinction, but Bd is an exception, which is why it is such an interesting, important pathogen to understand. The late 20th and early 21st century global biodiversity loss is characterized as a sixth extinction event. Amphibians are a striking example of these losses as they disappear at a rate that greatly exceeds historical levels. Consequently, modern amphibian decline and extinction is a lens through which we can view the larger story of biodiversity

  7. Magnetostratigraphy of a Marine Triassic-Jurassic Boundary Section, Kennecott Point, Queen Charlotte Islands: Implications for the Temporal Correlation of a 'Big Five' Mass Extinction Event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilburn, I. A.; Kirschvink, J. L.; Ward, P. D.; Haggart, J. W.; Raub, T. D.

    2008-12-01

    Several causes have been proposed for Triassic-Jurassic (T-J) boundary extinctions, including global ocean anoxia/euxinia, an impact event, and/or eruption of the massive Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), but poor intercontinental correlation makes testing these difficult. Sections at Kennecott Point, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia span the late Norian through Rhaetian (Triassic) and into the earliest Hettangian (Jurassic) and provide the best integrated magneto- and chemostratigraphic framework for placing necessary temporal constraints upon the T-J mass extinctions. At Kennecott Point, turnover of radiolaria and ammonoids define the T-J boundary marine extinction and are coincident with a 2 ‰ negative excursion in δ13Corg similar in magnitude to that observed at Ferguson Hill (Muller Canyon), Nevada (1, 2). With Conodont Alteration Index values in the 1-2 range, Kennecott Point provides the ideal setting for use of magnetostratigraphy to tie the marine isotope excursion into the chronostratigraphic framework of the Newark, Hartford, and Fundy Basins. In the summer of 2005, we collected a ~1m resolution magnetostratigraphic section from 105 m of deep marine, silt- and sandstone turbidites and interbedded mudstones, spanning the T-J boundary at Kennecott Point. Hybrid progressive demagnetization - including zero-field, low-temperature cycling; low-field AF cleaning; and thermal demagnetization in ~25°C steps to 445°C under flowing N2 gas (3) - first removed a Northerly, steeply inclined component interpreted to be a Tertiary overprint, revealing an underlying dual-polarity component of moderate inclination. Five major polarity zones extend through our section, with several short, one-sample reversals interspersed amongst them. Comparison of this pattern with other T-J boundary sections (4-6) argues for a Northern hemisphere origin of our site, albeit with large vertical-axis rotations. A long normal chron bounds the T-J boundary punctuated

  8. Early Jurassic diversification of pycnodontiform fishes (Actinopterygii, Neopterygii) after the end-Triassic extinction event: evidence from a new genus and species, Grimmenodon aureum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpf, Sebastian; Ansorge, Jörg; Pfaff, Cathrin; Kriwet, Jürgen

    2017-07-04

    A new genus and species of pycnodontiform fishes, Grimmenodon aureum , from marginal marine, marine-brackish lower Toarcian ( Harpoceras exaratum ammonite subzone) clay deposits of Grimmen in northeastern Germany is described. The single specimen represents a diagnostic left prearticular dentition characterized by unique tooth arrangement and ornamentation patterns. Grimmenodon aureum , gen. et sp. nov., is the second unambiguously identified pycnodontiform species from the Early Jurassic, in addition to Eomesodon liassicus from the early Lower Jurassic of western Europe. We also report an indeterminate pycnodontiform tooth crown from the upper Pliensbachian ( Pleuroceras apyrenum ammonite subzone) of the same site. The material expands the Early Jurassic range of pycnodontiforms significantly northwards and confirms their presence before and immediately following the onset of the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE) in the marginal marine ecosystems south of the Fennoscandian Shield. Moreover, the new records indicate that the Early Jurassic diversity of pycnodontiform fishes was greater than previously assumed and probably equaled that of the Late Triassic. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction event did not affect pycnodontiform fishes significantly. Micro-computed tomography was used to study the internal anatomy of the prearticular of Grimmenodon aureum , gen. et sp. nov. Our results show that no replacement teeth were formed within the tooth-bearing bone but rather were added posteriorly to functional teeth. http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:A56BDE9C-40C4-4CFA-9C2E-F5FA35A66F2 Citation for this article: Stumpf, S., J. Ansorge, C. Pfaff, and J. Kriwet. 2017. Early Jurassic diversification of pycnodontiform fishes (Actinopterygii, Neopterygii) after the end-Triassic extinction event: Evidence from a new genus and species, Grimmenodon aureum . Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2017.1344679.

  9. Late Quaternary climate change shapes island biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weigelt, Patrick; Steinbauer, Manuel; Cabral, Juliano

    2016-01-01

    Island biogeographical models consider islands either as geologically static with biodiversity resulting from ecologically neutral immigration–extinction dynamics1, or as geologically dynamic with biodiversity resulting from immigration–speciation–extinction dynamics influenced by changes in island...... sea levels3, 4 and caused massive changes in island area, isolation and connectivity5, orders of magnitude faster than the geological processes of island formation, subsidence and erosion considered in island theory2, 6. Consequences of these oscillations for present biodiversity remain unassessed5, 7...

  10. Rethinking Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Niv, Yael; Daw, Nathaniel; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2015-01-01

    Extinction serves as the leading theoretical framework and experimental model to describe how learned behaviors diminish through absence of anticipated reinforcement. In the past decade, extinction has moved beyond the realm of associative learning theory and behavioral experimentation in animals and has become a topic of considerable interest in the neuroscience of learning, memory, and emotion. Here, we review research and theories of extinction, both as a learning process and as a behavioral technique, and consider whether traditional understandings warrant a re-examination. We discuss the neurobiology, cognitive factors, and major computational theories, and revisit the predominant view that extinction results in new learning that interferes with expression of the original memory. Additionally, we reconsider the limitations of extinction as a technique to prevent the relapse of maladaptive behavior, and discuss novel approaches, informed by contemporary theoretical advances, that augment traditional extinction methods to target and potentially alter maladaptive memories. PMID:26447572

  11. Rethinking Extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Niv, Yael; Daw, Nathaniel; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2015-01-01

    Extinction serves as the leading theoretical framework and experimental model to describe how learned behaviors diminish through absence of anticipated reinforcement. In the past decade, extinction has moved beyond the realm of associative learning theory and behavioral experimentation in animals and has become a topic of considerable interest in the neuroscience of learning, memory, and emotion. Here, we review research and theories of extinction, both as a learning process and as a behavior...

  12. Latest Paleocene benthic extinction event on the southern Tethyan shelf (Egypt): Foraminiferal stable isotopic (δ13C, δ18O) records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, B.; Speijer, R. P.; Aubry, M.-P.

    1996-04-01

    The dramatic global extinction of 35% 50% of benthic foraminifera species in the deep sea in the latest Paleocene and associated negative excursions in δ13C and δ18O may be related to spreading of warm, saline bottom water from subtropical Tethyan shallow regions over the sea floor worldwide. Our study of neritic sections in Egypt shows that in the southern shallow Tethys, a prominent long-term change in bottom-water chemistry, sedimentation, and benthic foraminifera fauna was initiated at the time when the deep-sea benthic extinction event (BEE) took place. Bottom-water δ13C values on the Tethyan shelf show a sudden 3.0‰ negative shift at this event; however, contrary to the deep sea, in which the δ13C excursion was of short duration, Tethyan δ13C values did not fully return to preboundary values, but remained depressed by ˜1.5‰ for at least 1 m.y. The δ13C values at the Egyptian shelf during the BEE are much lower than would be expected if this was a source region for global deep water. The δ18O values indicate no significant change in bottom-water salinity or temperature at the BEE. The long-lasting environmental changes that began on the Egyptian shelf at the BEE may be related to, for example, gateway reorganization along the Tethyan seaway. Paleogeographic changes possibly also triggered a change in the loci of global deep-water formation; however, these loci must be sought in another part of the Tethys.

  13. Atmospheric carbon injection linked to end-Triassic mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhl, Micha; Bonis, Nina R; Reichart, Gert-Jan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Kürschner, Wolfram M

    2011-07-22

    The end-Triassic mass extinction (~201.4 million years ago), marked by terrestrial ecosystem turnover and up to ~50% loss in marine biodiversity, has been attributed to intensified volcanic activity during the break-up of Pangaea. Here, we present compound-specific carbon-isotope data of long-chain n-alkanes derived from waxes of land plants, showing a ~8.5 per mil negative excursion, coincident with the extinction interval. These data indicate strong carbon-13 depletion of the end-Triassic atmosphere, within only 10,000 to 20,000 years. The magnitude and rate of this carbon-cycle disruption can be explained by the injection of at least ~12 × 10(3) gigatons of isotopically depleted carbon as methane into the atmosphere. Concurrent vegetation changes reflect strong warming and an enhanced hydrological cycle. Hence, end-Triassic events are robustly linked to methane-derived massive carbon release and associated climate change.

  14. The impact of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event on the global sulfur cycle: Evidence from Seymour Island, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witts, James D.; Newton, Robert J.; Mills, Benjamin J. W.; Wignall, Paul B.; Bottrell, Simon H.; Hall, Joanna L. O.; Francis, Jane E.; Alistair Crame, J.

    2018-06-01

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 million years ago led to large changes to the global carbon cycle, primarily via a decrease in primary or export productivity of the oceans. However, the effects of this event and longer-term environmental changes during the Late Cretaceous on the global sulfur cycle are not well understood. We report new carbonate associated sulfate (CAS) sulfur isotope data derived from marine macrofossil shell material from a highly expanded high latitude Maastrichtian to Danian (69-65.5 Ma) succession located on Seymour Island, Antarctica. These data represent the highest resolution seawater sulfate record ever generated for this time interval, and are broadly in agreement with previous low-resolution estimates for the latest Cretaceous and Paleocene. A vigorous assessment of CAS preservation using sulfate oxygen, carbonate carbon and oxygen isotopes and trace element data, suggests factors affecting preservation of primary seawater CAS isotopes in ancient biogenic samples are complex, and not necessarily linked to the preservation of original carbonate mineralogy or chemistry. Primary data indicate a generally stable sulfur cycle in the early-mid Maastrichtian (69 Ma), with some fluctuations that could be related to increased pyrite burial during the 'mid-Maastrichtian Event'. This is followed by an enigmatic +4‰ increase in δ34SCAS during the late Maastrichtian (68-66 Ma), culminating in a peak in values in the immediate aftermath of the K-Pg extinction which may be related to temporary development of oceanic anoxia in the aftermath of the Chicxulub bolide impact. There is no evidence of the direct influence of Deccan volcanism on the seawater sulfate isotopic record during the late Maastrichtian, nor of a direct influence by the Chicxulub impact itself. During the early Paleocene (magnetochron C29R) a prominent negative excursion in seawater δ34S of 3-4‰ suggests that a global decline in organic carbon burial

  15. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Tim S; Glen, Alistair S; Nimmo, Dale G; Ritchie, Euan G; Dickman, Chris R

    2016-10-04

    Invasive species threaten biodiversity globally, and invasive mammalian predators are particularly damaging, having contributed to considerable species decline and extinction. We provide a global metaanalysis of these impacts and reveal their full extent. Invasive predators are implicated in 87 bird, 45 mammal, and 10 reptile species extinctions-58% of these groups' contemporary extinctions worldwide. These figures are likely underestimated because 23 critically endangered species that we assessed are classed as "possibly extinct." Invasive mammalian predators endanger a further 596 species at risk of extinction, with cats, rodents, dogs, and pigs threatening the most species overall. Species most at risk from predators have high evolutionary distinctiveness and inhabit insular environments. Invasive mammalian predators are therefore important drivers of irreversible loss of phylogenetic diversity worldwide. That most impacted species are insular indicates that management of invasive predators on islands should be a global conservation priority. Understanding and mitigating the impact of invasive mammalian predators is essential for reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss.

  16. Founder takes all: density-dependent processes structure biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, Jonathan M; Fraser, Ceridwen I; Hewitt, Godfrey M

    2013-02-01

    Density-dependent processes play a key role in the spatial structuring of biodiversity. Specifically, interrelated demographic processes, such as gene surfing, high-density blocking, and competitive exclusion, can generate striking geographic contrasts in the distributions of genes and species. Here, we propose that well-studied evolutionary and ecological biogeographic patterns of postglacial recolonization, progressive island colonization, microbial sectoring, and even the 'Out of Africa' pattern of human expansion, are fundamentally similar, underpinned by a 'founder takes all' density-dependent principle. Additionally, we hypothesize that older historic constraints of density-dependent processes are seen today in the dramatic biogeographic shifts that occur in response to human-mediated extinction events, whereby surviving lineages rapidly expand their ranges to replace extinct sister taxa. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. End-Devonian extinction and a bottleneck in the early evolution of modern jawed vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallan, Lauren Cole; Coates, Michael I

    2010-06-01

    The Devonian marks a critical stage in the early evolution of vertebrates: It opens with an unprecedented diversity of fishes and closes with the earliest evidence of limbed tetrapods. However, the latter part of the Devonian has also been characterized as a period of global biotic crisis marked by two large extinction pulses: a "Big Five" mass extinction event at the Frasnian-Famennian stage boundary (374 Ma) and the less well-documented Hangenberg event some 15 million years later at the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary (359 Ma). Here, we report the results of a wide-ranging analysis of the impact of these events on early vertebrate evolution, which was obtained from a database of vertebrate occurrences sampling over 1,250 taxa from 66 localities spanning Givetian to Serpukhovian stages (391 to 318 Ma). We show that major vertebrate clades suffered acute and systematic effects centered on the Hangenberg extinction involving long-term losses of over 50% of diversity and the restructuring of vertebrate ecosystems worldwide. Marine and nonmarine faunas were equally affected, precluding the existence of environmental refugia. The subsequent recovery of previously diverse groups (including placoderms, sarcopterygian fish, and acanthodians) was minimal. Tetrapods, actinopterygians, and chondrichthyans, all scarce within the Devonian, undergo large diversification events in the aftermath of the extinction, dominating all subsequent faunas. The Hangenberg event represents a previously unrecognized bottleneck in the evolutionary history of vertebrates as a whole and a historical contingency that shaped the roots of modern biodiversity.

  18. Backyard Biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Sarah S.

    2002-01-01

    Describes a field trip experience for the Earth Odyssey project for elementary school students focusing on biodiversity. Introduces the concept of diversity, field work, species richness, and the connection between animals and their habitat. (YDS)

  19. Teaching Biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Author Affiliations. Madhav Gadgil1 2. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India. Biodiversity Unit, Jowaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur P.O. Jakkur, Bangalore 560064, India ...

  20. Planetary Scale Events

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    contraction. Chance and disjunct distributions: genetic drift. The Indian Raft: Dispersals and originations-an island ecosystem. Biodiversity and permissive ecology-Laonastes from Laos. Mass extinction survivors: a brave new world each time!

  1. Mass extinction in poorly known taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Régnier, Claire; Achaz, Guillaume; Lambert, Amaury; Cowie, Robert H; Bouchet, Philippe; Fontaine, Benoît

    2015-06-23

    Since the 1980s, many have suggested we are in the midst of a massive extinction crisis, yet only 799 (0.04%) of the 1.9 million known recent species are recorded as extinct, questioning the reality of the crisis. This low figure is due to the fact that the status of very few invertebrates, which represent the bulk of biodiversity, have been evaluated. Here we show, based on extrapolation from a random sample of land snail species via two independent approaches, that we may already have lost 7% (130,000 extinctions) of the species on Earth. However, this loss is masked by the emphasis on terrestrial vertebrates, the target of most conservation actions. Projections of species extinction rates are controversial because invertebrates are essentially excluded from these scenarios. Invertebrates can and must be assessed if we are to obtain a more realistic picture of the sixth extinction crisis.

  2. Beyond biodiversity: fish metagenomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alba Ardura

    Full Text Available Biodiversity and intra-specific genetic diversity are interrelated and determine the potential of a community to survive and evolve. Both are considered together in Prokaryote communities treated as metagenomes or ensembles of functional variants beyond species limits.Many factors alter biodiversity in higher Eukaryote communities, and human exploitation can be one of the most important for some groups of plants and animals. For example, fisheries can modify both biodiversity and genetic diversity (intra specific. Intra-specific diversity can be drastically altered by overfishing. Intense fishing pressure on one stock may imply extinction of some genetic variants and subsequent loss of intra-specific diversity. The objective of this study was to apply a metagenome approach to fish communities and explore its value for rapid evaluation of biodiversity and genetic diversity at community level. Here we have applied the metagenome approach employing the barcoding target gene coi as a model sequence in catch from four very different fish assemblages exploited by fisheries: freshwater communities from the Amazon River and northern Spanish rivers, and marine communities from the Cantabric and Mediterranean seas.Treating all sequences obtained from each regional catch as a biological unit (exploited community we found that metagenomic diversity indices of the Amazonian catch sample here examined were lower than expected. Reduced diversity could be explained, at least partially, by overexploitation of the fish community that had been independently estimated by other methods.We propose using a metagenome approach for estimating diversity in Eukaryote communities and early evaluating genetic variation losses at multi-species level.

  3. Beyond biodiversity: fish metagenomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardura, Alba; Planes, Serge; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity and intra-specific genetic diversity are interrelated and determine the potential of a community to survive and evolve. Both are considered together in Prokaryote communities treated as metagenomes or ensembles of functional variants beyond species limits.Many factors alter biodiversity in higher Eukaryote communities, and human exploitation can be one of the most important for some groups of plants and animals. For example, fisheries can modify both biodiversity and genetic diversity (intra specific). Intra-specific diversity can be drastically altered by overfishing. Intense fishing pressure on one stock may imply extinction of some genetic variants and subsequent loss of intra-specific diversity. The objective of this study was to apply a metagenome approach to fish communities and explore its value for rapid evaluation of biodiversity and genetic diversity at community level. Here we have applied the metagenome approach employing the barcoding target gene coi as a model sequence in catch from four very different fish assemblages exploited by fisheries: freshwater communities from the Amazon River and northern Spanish rivers, and marine communities from the Cantabric and Mediterranean seas.Treating all sequences obtained from each regional catch as a biological unit (exploited community) we found that metagenomic diversity indices of the Amazonian catch sample here examined were lower than expected. Reduced diversity could be explained, at least partially, by overexploitation of the fish community that had been independently estimated by other methods.We propose using a metagenome approach for estimating diversity in Eukaryote communities and early evaluating genetic variation losses at multi-species level.

  4. Geographies of Conservation I: De-extinction and Precision Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Adams, William Mark

    2016-01-01

    Extinction has long been a central concern in biodiversity conservation. Today, de-extinction offers interesting possibilities of restoring charismatic species and ecosystem function, but also risks and costs. Most de-extinction depends on genetic engineering and synthetic biology. These technologies are also proposed for use in ‘gene tweaking’ in wild species to enhance their chance of survival. Within conservation, the resulting debates pit an optimistic world of high-tech ‘precision con...

  5. Incorporating evolutionary history into conservation planning in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buerki, Sven; Callmander, Martin W; Bachman, Steven; Moat, Justin; Labat, Jean-Noël; Forest, Félix

    2015-02-19

    There is increased evidence that incorporating evolutionary history directly in conservation actions is beneficial, particularly given the likelihood that extinction is not random and that phylogenetic diversity (PD) is lost at higher rates than species diversity. This evidence is even more compelling in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, where less than 10% of the original vegetation remains. Here, we use the Leguminosae, an ecologically and economically important plant family, and a combination of phylogenetics and species distribution modelling, to assess biodiversity patterns and identify regions, coevolutionary processes and ecological factors that are important in shaping this diversity, especially during the Quaternary. We show evidence that species distribution and community PD are predicted by watershed boundaries, which enable the identification of a network of refugia and dispersal corridors that were perhaps important for maintaining community integrity during past climate change. Phylogenetically clustered communities are found in the southwest of the island at low elevation and share a suite of morphological characters (especially fruit morphology) indicative of coevolution with their main dispersers, the extinct and extant lemurs. Phylogenetically over-dispersed communities are found along the eastern coast at sea level and may have resulted from many independent dispersal events from the drier and more seasonal regions of Madagascar. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Timing of extinction relative to acquisition: A parametric analysis of fear extinction in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Norrholm, S.D.; Vervliet, B.; Jovanovic, T.; Boshoven, W.; Myers, K.M.; Davis, M.; Rothbaum, B.O.; Duncan, E.J.

    2008-01-01

    Fear extinction is a reduction in conditioned fear following repeated exposure to the feared cue in the absence of any aversive event. Extinguished fear often reappears after extinction through spontaneous recovery. Animal studies suggest that spontaneous recovery can be abolished if extinction

  7. Financial costs of meeting global biodiversity conservation targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McCarthy, Donal P.; Donald, Paul F.; Scharlemann, Jörn P.W.

    2012-01-01

    World governments have committed to halting human-induced extinctions and safeguarding important sites for biodiversity by 2020, but the financial costs of meeting these targets are largely unknown. We estimate the cost of reducing the extinction risk of all globally threatened bird species (by ≥1...

  8. International cooperation for biodiversity conservation : an economic analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alvarado Quesada, I.

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity decline poses significant threats to current and future generations. Although species extinction has been a natural process since the formation of Earth, recent rates of extinction are estimated to be from 100 to 1000 times larger when compared to fossil records. Almost all of the

  9. Reconsidering the extinction of ichthyosaurs

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Valentin

    2010-01-01

    Despite their extreme adaptation to life in open sea, ichthyosaurs were one of the first major groups of post-Triassic marine reptiles to disappear, at the end of Cenomanian, whereas plesiosaurs, mosasaurs and numerous families of marine crocodiles and sea turtles disappeared during the Cretaceous/Paleocene Extinction Event. It has been proposed that unique biological factors drove ichthyosaurs to extinction, namely a break in the food chain at the level of belemnites or a progressive ecologi...

  10. Interstellar Extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Gontcharov, George

    2017-01-01

    This review describes our current understanding of interstellar extinction. This differ substantially from the ideas of the 20th century. With infrared surveys of hundreds of millions of stars over the entire sky, such as 2MASS, SPITZER-IRAC, and WISE, we have looked at the densest and most rarefied regions of the interstellar medium at distances of a few kpc from the sun. Observations at infrared and microwave wavelengths, where the bulk of the interstellar dust absorbs and radiates, have br...

  11. Selecting for extinction: nonrandom disease-associated extinction homogenizes amphibian biotas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kevin G; Lips, Karen R; Chase, Jonathan M

    2009-10-01

    Studying the patterns in which local extinctions occur is critical to understanding how extinctions affect biodiversity at local, regional and global spatial scales. To understand the importance of patterns of extinction at a regional spatial scale, we use data from extirpations associated with a widespread pathogenic agent of amphibian decline, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) as a model system. We apply novel null model analyses to these data to determine whether recent extirpations associated with Bd have resulted in selective extinction and homogenization of diverse tropical American amphibian biotas. We find that Bd-associated extinctions in this region were nonrandom and disproportionately, but not exclusively, affected low-occupancy and endemic species, resulting in homogenization of the remnant amphibian fauna. The pattern of extirpations also resulted in phylogenetic homogenization at the family level and ecological homogenization of reproductive mode and habitat association. Additionally, many more species were extirpated from the region than would be expected if extirpations occurred randomly. Our results indicate that amphibian declines in this region are an extinction filter, reducing regional amphibian biodiversity to highly similar relict assemblages and ultimately causing amplified biodiversity loss at regional and global scales.

  12. Biodiversity Conservation, Tourism and Development in Okomu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The increased rate of species extinction as a result of expanding human population, resource exploitation and land use threatens biological diversity. Biodiversity by definition refers to the life forms on earth. This includes the millions of plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the intricate ...

  13. Extinction Risk in Successional Landscapes Subject to Catastrophic Disturbances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Boughton

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available We explore the thesis that stochasticity in successional-disturbance systems can be an agent of species extinction. The analysis uses a simple model of patch dynamics for seral stages in an idealized landscape; each seral stage is assumed to support a specialist biota. The landscape as a whole is characterized by a mean patch birth rate, mean patch size, and mean lifetime for each patch type. Stochasticity takes three forms: (1 patch stochasticity is randomness in the birth times and sizes of individual patches, (2 landscape stochasticity is variation in the annual means of birth rate and size, and (3 turnover mode is whether a patch is eliminated by disturbance or by successional change. Analytical and numerical analyses of the model suggest that landscape stochasticity is the most important agent. Landscape stochasticity increases the extinction risk to species by increasing the risk that the habitat will fluctuate to zero, by reducing the mean abundance of species, and by increasing the variance in species abundance. The highest risk was found to occur in species that inhabit patches with short lifetimes. The results of this general model suggest an important mechanism by which climate change threatens biodiversity: an increase in the frequency of extreme climate events will probably cause pulses of disturbance during some time periods; these in turn would cause wider fluctuations in annual disturbance rates and thus increase the overall level of landscape stochasticity. However, the model also suggests that humans can manipulate landscape stochasticity to reduce risk. In particular, if managed disturbances were more evenly distributed in time, attrition of the regional biota might be prevented. Other work on the connection between patch dynamics and extinction risk assumes the absence of landscape stochasticity and thus overlooks an important component of risk to biodiversity.

  14. Recent trends in local-scale marine biodiversity reflect community structure and human impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elahi, Robin; O'Connor, Mary I; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Dunic, Jillian; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Hensel, Marc J S; Kearns, Patrick J

    2015-01-01

    The modern biodiversity crisis reflects global extinctions and local introductions. Human activities have dramatically altered rates and scales of processes that regulate biodiversity at local scales [1-7]. Reconciling the threat of global biodiversity loss [2, 4, 6-9] with recent evidence of

  15. ASSESSING THE INFLUENCE OF THE SOLAR ORBIT ON TERRESTRIAL BIODIVERSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feng, F.; Bailer-Jones, C. A. L.

    2013-01-01

    The terrestrial record shows a significant variation in the extinction and origination rates of species during the past half-billion years. Numerous studies have claimed an association between this variation and the motion of the Sun around the Galaxy, invoking the modulation of cosmic rays, gamma rays, and comet impact frequency as a cause of this biodiversity variation. However, some of these studies exhibit methodological problems, or were based on coarse assumptions (such as a strict periodicity of the solar orbit). Here we investigate this link in more detail, using a model of the Galaxy to reconstruct the solar orbit and thus a predictive model of the temporal variation of the extinction rate due to astronomical mechanisms. We compare these predictions as well as those of various reference models with paleontological data. Our approach involves Bayesian model comparison, which takes into account the uncertainties in the paleontological data as well as the distribution of solar orbits consistent with the uncertainties in the astronomical data. We find that various versions of the orbital model are not favored beyond simpler reference models. In particular, the distribution of mass extinction events can be explained just as well by a uniform random distribution as by any other model tested. Although our negative results on the orbital model are robust to changes in the Galaxy model, the Sun's coordinates, and the errors in the data, we also find that it would be very difficult to positively identify the orbital model even if it were the true one. (In contrast, we do find evidence against simpler periodic models.) Thus, while we cannot rule out there being some connection between solar motion and biodiversity variations on the Earth, we conclude that it is difficult to give convincing positive conclusions of such a connection using current data.

  16. The quest for chron E23r at Partridge Island, bay of Fundy, Canada: CAMP emplacement postdates the end-Triassic extinction event at the North American craton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deenen, M.H.L.; Krijgsman, W.; Ruhl, M.

    2011-01-01

    The Partridge Island stratigraphic section at the Bay of Fundy, Maritime Canada, reveals a continental sedimentary succession with the end-Triassic mass extinction level closely followed by basalts of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP). New Paleomagnetic data show that a short reverse

  17. A global synthesis of plant extinction rates in urban areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahs, Amy K; McDonnell, Mark J; McCarthy, Michael A; Vesk, Peter A; Corlett, Richard T; Norton, Briony A; Clemants, Steven E; Duncan, Richard P; Thompson, Ken; Schwartz, Mark W; Williams, Nicholas S G

    2009-11-01

    Plant extinctions from urban areas are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide. To minimize this threat, it is critical to understand what factors are influencing plant extinction rates. We compiled plant extinction rate data for 22 cities around the world. Two-thirds of the variation in plant extinction rates was explained by a combination of the city's historical development and the current proportion of native vegetation, with the former explaining the greatest variability. As a single variable, the amount of native vegetation remaining also influenced extinction rates, particularly in cities > 200 years old. Our study demonstrates that the legacies of landscape transformations by agrarian and urban development last for hundreds of years, and modern cities potentially carry a large extinction debt. This finding highlights the importance of preserving native vegetation in urban areas and the need for mitigation to minimize potential plant extinctions in the future.

  18. Quantifying the extent of North American mammal extinction relative to the pre-anthropogenic baseline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Marc A; Barnosky, Anthony D; Graham, Russell W

    2009-12-16

    Earth has experienced five major extinction events in the past 450 million years. Many scientists suggest we are now witnessing a sixth, driven by human impacts. However, it has been difficult to quantify the real extent of the current extinction episode, either for a given taxonomic group at the continental scale or for the worldwide biota, largely because comparisons of pre-anthropogenic and anthropogenic biodiversity baselines have been unavailable. Here, we compute those baselines for mammals of temperate North America, using a sampling-standardized rich fossil record to reconstruct species-area relationships for a series of time slices ranging from 30 million to 500 years ago. We show that shortly after humans first arrived in North America, mammalian diversity dropped to become at least 15%-42% too low compared to the "normal" diversity baseline that had existed for millions of years. While the Holocene reduction in North American mammal diversity has long been recognized qualitatively, our results provide a quantitative measure that clarifies how significant the diversity reduction actually was. If mass extinctions are defined as loss of at least 75% of species on a global scale, our data suggest that North American mammals had already progressed one-fifth to more than halfway (depending on biogeographic province) towards that benchmark, even before industrialized society began to affect them. Data currently are not available to make similar quantitative estimates for other continents, but qualitative declines in Holocene mammal diversity are also widely recognized in South America, Eurasia, and Australia. Extending our methodology to mammals in these areas, as well as to other taxa where possible, would provide a reasonable way to assess the magnitude of global extinction, the biodiversity impact of extinctions of currently threatened species, and the efficacy of conservation efforts into the future.

  19. Quantifying the extent of North American mammal extinction relative to the pre-anthropogenic baseline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc A Carrasco

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Earth has experienced five major extinction events in the past 450 million years. Many scientists suggest we are now witnessing a sixth, driven by human impacts. However, it has been difficult to quantify the real extent of the current extinction episode, either for a given taxonomic group at the continental scale or for the worldwide biota, largely because comparisons of pre-anthropogenic and anthropogenic biodiversity baselines have been unavailable. Here, we compute those baselines for mammals of temperate North America, using a sampling-standardized rich fossil record to reconstruct species-area relationships for a series of time slices ranging from 30 million to 500 years ago. We show that shortly after humans first arrived in North America, mammalian diversity dropped to become at least 15%-42% too low compared to the "normal" diversity baseline that had existed for millions of years. While the Holocene reduction in North American mammal diversity has long been recognized qualitatively, our results provide a quantitative measure that clarifies how significant the diversity reduction actually was. If mass extinctions are defined as loss of at least 75% of species on a global scale, our data suggest that North American mammals had already progressed one-fifth to more than halfway (depending on biogeographic province towards that benchmark, even before industrialized society began to affect them. Data currently are not available to make similar quantitative estimates for other continents, but qualitative declines in Holocene mammal diversity are also widely recognized in South America, Eurasia, and Australia. Extending our methodology to mammals in these areas, as well as to other taxa where possible, would provide a reasonable way to assess the magnitude of global extinction, the biodiversity impact of extinctions of currently threatened species, and the efficacy of conservation efforts into the future.

  20. Extinctions. Paleontological baselines for evaluating extinction risk in the modern oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finnegan, Seth; Anderson, Sean C; Harnik, Paul G; Simpson, Carl; Tittensor, Derek P; Byrnes, Jarrett E; Finkel, Zoe V; Lindberg, David R; Liow, Lee Hsiang; Lockwood, Rowan; Lotze, Heike K; McClain, Craig R; McGuire, Jenny L; O'Dea, Aaron; Pandolfi, John M

    2015-05-01

    Marine taxa are threatened by anthropogenic impacts, but knowledge of their extinction vulnerabilities is limited. The fossil record provides rich information on past extinctions that can help predict biotic responses. We show that over 23 million years, taxonomic membership and geographic range size consistently explain a large proportion of extinction risk variation in six major taxonomic groups. We assess intrinsic risk-extinction risk predicted by paleontologically calibrated models-for modern genera in these groups. Mapping the geographic distribution of these genera identifies coastal biogeographic provinces where fauna with high intrinsic risk are strongly affected by human activity or climate change. Such regions are disproportionately in the tropics, raising the possibility that these ecosystems may be particularly vulnerable to future extinctions. Intrinsic risk provides a prehuman baseline for considering current threats to marine biodiversity. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. Is Chicxulub Too Small to be the Source of the K/Pg Boundary Layer and the Cause of the Dinosaur Extinction Event and would the Amazon Basin Considered as an Impact Feature fit the Evidence Better?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgener, J. A.

    2016-12-01

    The Chicxulub impact is well associated with the K/Pg boundary layer and extinction event [Schulte et al., 2010]. However, most agree that Chicxulub is considered to be too small to have caused the extinction in itself [Kring, 2007; Keller, 2014]. Keller [2014] discusses how the K/Pg extinction event may have been due to many factors, of which Chicxulub would be part, but global warming or volcanic fumes or other factors were the main killers. There are several features in the K/Pg layer that require a much higher energy impact than Chicxulub. The worldwide distribution of shocked crystals does not fit Chicxulub - Chicxulub would only send such granules 400 km away [Morgan et al, 2006]. The Fern Spore anomaly extends too far from Chicxulub indicating a much larger fireball and impact [Fleming 1990; Robertson, 2103]. Fireballs falling around the planet have been proposed and dismissed as not possible. [Goldin & Melosh, 2009] and [Adair,2010] rule out a firestorm from ejecta. One of the reasons that Chicxulub is convincingly attributed with the K/Pg boundary layer is the calculation that the size of the impacting asteroid should have been about 10 km in diameter, based on the thickness of the boundary layer and the amount of iridium in the boundary layer [Alvarez, 1980]. Alvarez used the factor from the Krakatoa eruption (0.22) as the amount of asteroid material that would stay in the atmosphere. More recent studies imply that far less than 0.22 of an asteroid would stay in the atmosphere after an impact. When a comet hits at 55 - 72 km/sec, the vast majority of the comet material will be buried deep into the Earth or ejected at speeds in excess of the escape velocity, and very little would remain [Jeffers et al.2001]. Therefore a comet impact should leave a relatively small boundary layer, requiring a much larger impact by a comet to form what Alvaraz calculated for a 10 km asteroid. If a much larger impact occurred at the end of the Cretaceous, it would resolve the

  2. Red coral extinction risk enhanced by ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerrano, Carlo; Cardini, Ulisse; Bianchelli, Silvia; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Pusceddu, Antonio; Danovaro, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    The red coral Corallium rubrum is a habitat-forming species with a prominent and structural role in mesophotic habitats, which sustains biodiversity hotspots. This precious coral is threatened by both over-exploitation and temperature driven mass mortality events. We report here that biocalcification, growth rates and polyps' (feeding) activity of Corallium rubrum are significantly reduced at pCO2 scenarios predicted for the end of this century (0.2 pH decrease). Since C. rubrum is a long-living species (>200 years), our results suggest that ocean acidification predicted for 2100 will significantly increases the risk of extinction of present populations. Given the functional role of these corals in the mesophotic zone, we predict that ocean acidification might have cascading effects on the functioning of these habitats worldwide.

  3. Trophic redundancy reduces vulnerability to extinction cascades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Thébault, Elisa; Kehoe, Rachel; Frank van Veen, F J

    2018-03-06

    Current species extinction rates are at unprecedentedly high levels. While human activities can be the direct cause of some extinctions, it is becoming increasingly clear that species extinctions themselves can be the cause of further extinctions, since species affect each other through the network of ecological interactions among them. There is concern that the simplification of ecosystems, due to the loss of species and ecological interactions, increases their vulnerability to such secondary extinctions. It is predicted that more complex food webs will be less vulnerable to secondary extinctions due to greater trophic redundancy that can buffer against the effects of species loss. Here, we demonstrate in a field experiment with replicated plant-insect communities, that the probability of secondary extinctions is indeed smaller in food webs that include trophic redundancy. Harvesting one species of parasitoid wasp led to secondary extinctions of other, indirectly linked, species at the same trophic level. This effect was markedly stronger in simple communities than for the same species within a more complex food web. We show that this is due to functional redundancy in the more complex food webs and confirm this mechanism with a food web simulation model by highlighting the importance of the presence and strength of trophic links providing redundancy to those links that were lost. Our results demonstrate that biodiversity loss, leading to a reduction in redundant interactions, can increase the vulnerability of ecosystems to secondary extinctions, which, when they occur, can then lead to further simplification and run-away extinction cascades. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  4. Dental Disparity and Ecological Stability in Bird-like Dinosaurs prior to the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Derek W; Brown, Caleb M; Evans, David C

    2016-05-23

    The causes, rate, and selectivity of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction continue to be highly debated [1-5]. Extinction patterns in small, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including birds) are important for understanding extant biodiversity and present an enigma considering the survival of crown group birds (Neornithes) and the extinction of their close kin across the end-Cretaceous boundary [6]. Because of the patchy Cretaceous fossil record of small maniraptorans [7-12], this important transition has not been closely examined in this group. Here, we test the hypothesis that morphological disparity in bird-like dinosaurs was decreasing leading up to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, as has been hypothesized in some dinosaurs [13, 14]. To test this, we examined tooth morphology, an ecological indicator in fossil reptiles [15-19], from over 3,100 maniraptoran teeth from four groups (Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae, Richardoestesia, and cf. Aves) across the last 18 million years of the Cretaceous. We demonstrate that tooth disparity, a proxy for variation in feeding ecology, shows no significant decline leading up to the extinction event within any of the groups. Tooth morphospace occupation also remains static over this time interval except for increased size during the early Maastrichtian. Our data provide strong support that extinction within this group occurred suddenly after a prolonged period of ecological stability. To explain this sudden extinction of toothed maniraptorans and the survival of Neornithes, we propose that diet may have been an extinction filter and suggest that granivory associated with an edentulous beak was a key ecological trait in the survival of some lineages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Mass extinctions of Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, B.; Fernandez, P.; Pereira, B.

    2015-01-01

    Throughout the history of our planet, there have been global phenomena which have led to the disappearance of a large number of species: It is what is known as mass or massive extinctions. This article will make a tour of these large events, from the most remote antiquity to the present day. Today we find ourselves immersed in a process unprecedented since we are eyewitnesses and, more important still, an active part in the decision-making process to try to mitigate their effects. (Author)

  6. The Late Ordovician Extinction: How it became the best understood of the five major extinctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, P.

    2003-04-01

    The end Ordovician extinction has become arguably the best-understood major extinction event in Earth History. A plethora of workers have established the pattern of faunal change and causes of the extinction with remarkably little disagreement. The first indication of increased extinction at the end of the Ordovician was a graph of global diversity patterns by Norman Newell in 1967, although he did not recognize it as a major event. The presence of a major extinction event became clear as William Berry and Art Boucot assembled data for Silurian correlation charts in the late 1960s. The first reports of North African glaciation in the late 1960s provided a cause for the extinction and study of the event snowballed. It was no accident that recognition of the extinction began in North America, because it was there that the extinction completely overturned faunas in the epicontinental seas. Glacio-eustatic regression of shallow seaway coincided with the disappearance of endemic Laurentian faunas and replacement by a highly cosmopolitan fauna in the Silurian. Once the event was established in North America, paleontologists soon found evidence of the event around the globe. The well-documented Hirnantia Fauna was found to correspond to the glacial interval, and Pat Brenchley soon recognized that there were two pulses of extinction, at the beginning and end of the glaciation. At the same time that the faunal changes were being documented geologic studies of the glaciation provided information on the environmental changes associated with the extinction. The timing of the glacial maximum was established in Africa and by the presence of dropstones in high latitude marine rocks. The 1990s saw geochemical techniques employed that allowed examination of atmospheric CO2 and temperature changes. In many places carbonate deposition declined. Glacio-eustatic regression was obvious in many areas, and a sea-level decline in the range of 50-100 m was established. Shallow

  7. Extinction debt on oceanic islands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Triantis, Kostas A.; Borges, Paulo A. V.; Ladle, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    the magnitude of such future extinction events has been hampered by potentially inaccurate assumptions about the slope of species-area relationships, which are habitat- and taxon-specific. We overcome this challenge by applying a method that uses the historical sequence of deforestation in the Azorean Islands...

  8. Thermal Transgressions and Phanerozoic Extinctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worsley, T. R.; Kidder, D. L.

    2007-12-01

    A number of significant Phanerozoic extinctions are associated with marine transgressions that were probably driven by rapid ocean warming. The conditions associated with what we call thermal transgressions are extremely stressful to life on Earth. The Earth system setting associated with end-Permian extinction exemplifies an end-member case of our model. The conditions favoring extreme warmth and sea-level increases driven by thermal expansion are also conducive to changes in ocean circulation that foster widespread anoxia and sulfidic subsurface ocean waters. Equable climates are characterized by reduced wind shear and weak surface ocean circulation. Late Permian and Early Triassic thermohaline circulation differs considerably from today's world, with minimal polar sinking and intensified mid-latitude sinking that delivers sulfate from shallow evaporative areas to deeper water where it is reduced to sulfide. Reduced nutrient input to oceans from land at many of the extinction intervals results from diminished silicate weathering and weakened delivery of iron via eolian dust. The falloff in iron-bearing dust leads to minimal nitrate production, weakening food webs and rendering faunas and floras more susceptible to extinction when stressed. Factors such as heat, anoxia, ocean acidification, hypercapnia, and hydrogen sulfide poisoning would significantly affect these biotas. Intervals of tectonic quiescence set up preconditions favoring extinctions. Reductions in chemical silicate weathering lead to carbon dioxide buildup, oxygen drawdown, nutrient depletion, wind and ocean current abatement, long-term global warming, and ocean acidification. The effects of extinction triggers such as large igneous provinces, bolide impacts, and episodes of sudden methane release are more potent against the backdrop of our proposed preconditions. Extinctions that have characteristics we call for in the thermal transgressions include the Early Cambrian Sinsk event, as well as

  9. Latest paleocene benthic extinction event on the southern tethyan shelf (Egypt): Foraminiferal stable isotopic (delta C-13,delta O-18) records

    OpenAIRE

    Schmitz, B; Speijer, Robert; Aubry, MP

    1996-01-01

    The dramatic global extinction of 35%-50% of benthic foraminifera species in the deep sea in the latest Paleocene and associated negative excursions in delta(13)C and delta(18)O may be related to spreading of warm, saline bottom water from subtropical Tethyan shallow regions over the sea floor worldwide, Our study of neritic sections in Egypt shows that in the southern shallow Tethys, a prominent long-term change in bottom-water chemistry, sedimentation, and benthic foraminifera fauna was ini...

  10. A phantom extinction? New insights into extinction dynamics of the Don-hare Lepus tanaiticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prost, S; Knapp, M; Flemmig, J; Hufthammer, A K; Kosintsev, P; Stiller, M; Hofreiter, M

    2010-09-01

    The Pleistocene to Holocene transition was accompanied by a worldwide extinction event affecting numerous mammalian species. Several species such as the woolly mammoth and the giant deer survived this extinction wave, only to go extinct a few thousand years later during the Holocene. Another example for such a Holocene extinction is the Don-hare, Lepus tanaiticus, which inhabited the Russian plains during the late glacial. After being slowly replaced by the extant mountain hare (Lepus timidus), it eventually went extinct during the middle Holocene. Here, we report the phylogenetic relationship of L. tanaiticus and L. timidus based on a 339-basepair (bp) fragment of the mitochondrial D-loop. Phylogenetic tree- and network reconstructions do not support L. tanaiticus and L. timidus being different species. Rather, we suggest that the two taxa represent different morphotypes of a single species and the extinction of 'L. tanaiticus' represents the disappearance of a local morphotype rather than the extinction of a species.

  11. Seasonal atmospheric extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mikhail, J.S.

    1979-01-01

    Mean monochromatic extinction coefficients at various wavelengths at the Kottamia Observatory site have shown the existence of a seasonal variation of atmospheric extinction. The extinction of aerosol compontnts with wavelengths at winter represent exceedingly good conditions. Spring gives the highest extinction due to aerosol. (orig.)

  12. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Parrots and macaws: Species in extinction danger?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castro ramirez, Jose; Moyano P, Edgar A

    1994-01-01

    The paper refers to the privileged position of Colombia due to their position in the tropic, the influence of two oceans, their wide hydrographic net, variety of climates, etc; they make that Colombia occupies first places in biodiversity; but due to the indiscriminate pruning of primary forest, they make that this enormous biological potential is seriously threatened, where many of its birds are in extinction road

  14. How humans drive speciation as well as extinction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bull, Joseph William; Maron, M.

    2016-01-01

    influence upon divergence in microorganisms. Even if human activities resulted in no net loss of species diversity by balancing speciation and extinction rates, this would probably be deemed unacceptable. We discuss why, based upon ‘no net loss’ conservation literature— considering phylogenetic diversity...... and other metrics, risk aversion, taboo trade-offs and spatial heterogeneity. We conclude that evaluating speciation alongside extinction could result in more nuanced understanding of biosphere trends, clarifying what it is we actually value about biodiversity....

  15. The fossil record of the sixth extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotnick, Roy E; Smith, Felisa A; Lyons, S Kathleen

    2016-05-01

    Comparing the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis with those in the fossil record is difficult without an understanding of differential preservation. Integrating data from palaeontological databases with information on IUCN status, ecology and life history characteristics of contemporary mammals, we demonstrate that only a small and biased fraction of threatened species (fossil record, compared with 20% of non-threatened species. We find strong taphonomic biases related to body size and geographic range. Modern species with a fossil record tend to be large and widespread and were described in the 19(th) century. The expected magnitude of the current extinction based only on species with a fossil record is about half of that of one based on all modern species; values for genera are similar. The record of ancient extinctions may be similarly biased, with many species having originated and gone extinct without leaving a tangible record. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  16. The extinction of the dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Barrett, Paul M; Carrano, Matthew T; Evans, David C; Lloyd, Graeme T; Mannion, Philip D; Norell, Mark A; Peppe, Daniel J; Upchurch, Paul; Williamson, Thomas E

    2015-05-01

    Non-avian dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago, geologically coincident with the impact of a large bolide (comet or asteroid) during an interval of massive volcanic eruptions and changes in temperature and sea level. There has long been fervent debate about how these events affected dinosaurs. We review a wealth of new data accumulated over the past two decades, provide updated and novel analyses of long-term dinosaur diversity trends during the latest Cretaceous, and discuss an emerging consensus on the extinction's tempo and causes. Little support exists for a global, long-term decline across non-avian dinosaur diversity prior to their extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. However, restructuring of latest Cretaceous dinosaur faunas in North America led to reduced diversity of large-bodied herbivores, perhaps making communities more susceptible to cascading extinctions. The abruptness of the dinosaur extinction suggests a key role for the bolide impact, although the coarseness of the fossil record makes testing the effects of Deccan volcanism difficult. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  17. Hopping hotspots: global shifts in marine biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renema, W; Bellwood, D R; Braga, J C; Bromfield, K; Hall, R; Johnson, K G; Lunt, P; Meyer, C P; McMonagle, L B; Morley, R J; O'Dea, A; Todd, J A; Wesselingh, F P; Wilson, M E J; Pandolfi, J M

    2008-08-01

    Hotspots of high species diversity are a prominent feature of modern global biodiversity patterns. Fossil and molecular evidence is starting to reveal the history of these hotspots. There have been at least three marine biodiversity hotspots during the past 50 million years. They have moved across almost half the globe, with their timing and locations coinciding with major tectonic events. The birth and death of successive hotspots highlights the link between environmental change and biodiversity patterns. The antiquity of the taxa in the modern Indo-Australian Archipelago hotspot emphasizes the role of pre-Pleistocene events in shaping modern diversity patterns.

  18. Towards a Duty of Care for Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, G.; Curtis, A.; Allan, C.

    2010-04-01

    The decline in biodiversity is a worldwide phenomenon, with current rates of species extinction more dramatic than any previously recorded. Habitat loss has been identified as the major cause of biodiversity decline. In this article we suggest that a statutory duty of care would complement the current mix of policy options for biodiversity conservation. Obstacles hindering the introduction of a statutory duty of care include linguistic ambiguity about the terms ‘duty of care’ and ‘stewardship’ and how they are applied in a natural resource management context, and the absence of a mechanism to guide its implementation. Drawing on international literature and key informant interviews we have articulated characteristics of duty of care to reduce linguistic ambiguity, and developed a framework for implementing a duty of care for biodiversity at the regional scale. The framework draws on key elements of the common law ‘duty of care’, the concepts of ‘taking reasonable care’ and ‘avoiding foreseeable harm’, in its logic. Core elements of the framework include desired outcomes for biodiversity, supported by current recommended practices. The focus on outcomes provides opportunities for the development of innovative management practices. The framework incorporates multiple pathways for the redress of non-compliance including tiered negative sanctions, and positive measures to encourage compliance. Importantly, the framework addresses the need for change and adaptation that is a necessary part of biodiversity management.

  19. The biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Loreau, Michel

    2015-02-01

    Habitat destruction is driving biodiversity loss in remaining ecosystems, and ecosystem functioning and services often directly depend on biodiversity. Thus, biodiversity loss is likely creating an ecosystem service debt: a gradual loss of biodiversity-dependent benefits that people obtain from remaining fragments of natural ecosystems. Here, we develop an approach for quantifying ecosystem service debts, and illustrate its use to estimate how one anthropogenic driver, habitat destruction, could indirectly diminish one ecosystem service, carbon storage, by creating an extinction debt. We estimate that c. 2-21 Pg C could be gradually emitted globally in remaining ecosystem fragments because of plant species loss caused by nearby habitat destruction. The wide range for this estimate reflects substantial uncertainties in how many plant species will be lost, how much species loss will impact ecosystem functioning and whether plant species loss will decrease soil carbon. Our exploratory analysis suggests that biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debts can be globally substantial, even when locally small, if they occur diffusely across vast areas of remaining ecosystems. There is substantial value in conserving not only the quantity (area), but also the quality (biodiversity) of natural ecosystems for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Understanding and protecting the world's biodiversity: the role and legacy of the SCAR programme "Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic".

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Prisco, Guido; Convey, Peter; Gutt, Julian; Cowan, Don; Conlan, Kathleen; Verde, Cinzia

    2012-12-01

    Current global changes are prompting scientists and governments to consider the risk of extinction of species inhabiting environments influenced by ice. Concerted, multidisciplinary, international programmes aimed at understanding life processes, evolution and adaptations in the Polar Regions will help to counteract such an event by protecting polar life and ecosystems. There is a long tradition of international scientific cooperation in Antarctica that provides a strong foundation for such approaches. While basic understanding is emerging, we still largely lack predictive biological models, and need to achieve further integration amongst biological and non-biological disciplines. The ongoing SCAR Science Research Programme, "Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic (EBA)" has successfully carried out its crucial role of providing an overarching umbrella for SCAR research in Life Sciences. Now is the time for aiming to progress beyond this important role, and the Antarctic biology community is proposing two programmes, focussed on distinct but complementary aspects of polar biology and working across marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments: "State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco)", and "Antarctic Thresholds--Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation (AnT-ERA)". These programmes are the legacy of EBA, and they are key to understanding and protect Antarctic biodiversity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Mass Extinctions and Supernova Explosions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korschinek, Gunther

    A nearby supernova (SN) explosion could have negatively influenced life on Earth, maybe even been responsible for mass extinctions. Mass extinction poses a significant extinction of numerous species on Earth, as recorded in the paleontologic, paleoclimatic, and geological record of our planet. Depending on the distance between the Sun and the SN, different types of threats have to be considered, such as ozone depletion on Earth, causing increased exposure to the Sun's ultraviolet radiation or the direct exposure of lethal X-rays. Another indirect effect is cloud formation, induced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere which result in a drop in the Earth's temperature, causing major glaciations of the Earth. The discovery of highly intensive gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), which could be connected to SNe, initiated further discussions on possible life-threatening events in the Earth's history. The probability that GRBs hit the Earth is very low. Nevertheless, a past interaction of Earth with GRBs and/or SNe cannot be excluded and might even have been responsible for past extinction events.

  2. Global biodiversity loss: Exaggerated versus realistic estimates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John C. Briggs

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available For the past 50 years, the public has been made to feel guilty about the tragedy of human-caused biodiversity loss due to the extinction of hundreds or thousands of species every year. Numerous articles and books from the scientific and popular press and publicity on the internet have contributed to a propaganda wave about our grievous loss and the beginning of a sixth mass extinction. However, within the past few years, questions have arisen about the validity of the data which led to the doom scenario. Here I show that, for the past 500 years, terrestrial animals (insects and vertebrates have been losing less than two species per year due to human causes. The majority of the extinctions have occurred on oceanic islands with little effect on continental ecology. In the marine environment, losses have also been very low. At the same time, speciation has continued to occur and biodiversity gain by this means may have equaled or even surpassed the losses. While species loss is not, so far, a global conservation problem, ongoing population declines within thousands of species that are at risk on land and in the sea constitute an extinction debt that will be paid unless those species can be rescued.

  3. Biodiversity hotspots house most undiscovered plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joppa, Lucas N; Roberts, David L; Myers, Norman; Pimm, Stuart L

    2011-08-09

    For most organisms, the number of described species considerably underestimates how many exist. This is itself a problem and causes secondary complications given present high rates of species extinction. Known numbers of flowering plants form the basis of biodiversity "hotspots"--places where high levels of endemism and habitat loss coincide to produce high extinction rates. How different would conservation priorities be if the catalog were complete? Approximately 15% more species of flowering plant are likely still undiscovered. They are almost certainly rare, and depending on where they live, suffer high risks of extinction from habitat loss and global climate disruption. By using a model that incorporates taxonomic effort over time, regions predicted to contain large numbers of undiscovered species are already conservation priorities. Our results leave global conservation priorities more or less intact, but suggest considerably higher levels of species imperilment than previously acknowledged.

  4. Assessing Extinction Risk: Integrating Genetic Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Dunham

    1999-06-01

    Full Text Available Risks of population extinction have been estimated using a variety of methods incorporating information from different spatial and temporal scales. We briefly consider how several broad classes of extinction risk assessments, including population viability analysis, incidence functions, and ranking methods integrate information on different temporal and spatial scales. In many circumstances, data from surveys of neutral genetic variability within, and among, populations can provide information useful for assessing extinction risk. Patterns of genetic variability resulting from past and present ecological and demographic events, can indicate risks of extinction that are otherwise difficult to infer from ecological and demographic analyses alone. We provide examples of how patterns of neutral genetic variability, both within, and among populations, can be used to corroborate and complement extinction risk assessments.

  5. Episodic events in long-term geological processes: A new classification and its applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitry A. Ruban

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Long-term geological processes are usually described with curves reflecting continuous changes in the characteristic parameters through the geological history, and such curves can be employed directly for recognition of episodic (relatively long-term events linked to these changes. The episodic events can be classified into several categories according to their scale (ordinary and anomalous events, “shape” (positive, negative, and neutral events, and relation to long-term trend change (successive, interruptive, facilitative, stabilizing, transformative, increasing, and decreasing. Many types of these events can be defined depending on the combination of the above-mentioned patterns. Of course, spatial rank, duration, and origin can be also considered in description of these events. The proposed classification can be applied to events in some real long-term geological processes, which include global sea-level changes, biodiversity dynamics, lithospheric plate number changes, and palaeoclimate changes. Several case examples prove the usefulness of the classification. It is established that the Early Valanginian (Early Cretaceous eustatic lowstand (the lowest position of the sea level in the entire Cretaceous was negative, but ordinary and only interruptive event. In the other case, it becomes clear that the only end-Ordovician and the Permian/Triassic mass extinctions transformed the trends of the biodiversity dynamics (from increase to decrease and from decrease to increase respectively, and the only Cretaceous/Paleogene mass extinction was really anomalous event on the Phanerozoic biodiversity curve. The new palaeontological data are employed to reconstruct the diversity dynamics of brachiopods in Germany (without the Alps and the Swiss Jura Mountains. The further interpretation of the both diversity curves implies that the Early Toarcian mass extinction affected the regional brachiopod faunas strongly, but this event was only decreasing

  6. Modeling galactic extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Cecchi-Pestellini, C.; Mulas, G.; Casu, S.; Iatì, M. A.; Saija, R.; Cacciola, A.; Borghese, F.; Denti, P.

    2011-01-01

    We present a model for interstellar extinction dust, in which we assume a bimodal distribution of extinction carriers, a dispersion of core-mantle grains, supplemented by a collection of PAHs in free molecular form. We use state-of-the-art methods to calculate the extinction due to macroscopic dust particles, and the absorption cross-sections of PAHs in four different charge states. While successfull for most of observed Galactic extinction curves, in few cases the model cannot provide reliab...

  7. International trade drives biodiversity threats in developing nations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenzen, M; Moran, D; Kanemoto, K; Foran, B; Lobefaro, L; Geschke, A

    2012-06-06

    Human activities are causing Earth's sixth major extinction event-an accelerating decline of the world's stocks of biological diversity at rates 100 to 1,000 times pre-human levels. Historically, low-impact intrusion into species habitats arose from local demands for food, fuel and living space. However, in today's increasingly globalized economy, international trade chains accelerate habitat degradation far removed from the place of consumption. Although adverse effects of economic prosperity and economic inequality have been confirmed, the importance of international trade as a driver of threats to species is poorly understood. Here we show that a significant number of species are threatened as a result of international trade along complex routes, and that, in particular, consumers in developed countries cause threats to species through their demand of commodities that are ultimately produced in developing countries. We linked 25,000 Animalia species threat records from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List to more than 15,000 commodities produced in 187 countries and evaluated more than 5 billion supply chains in terms of their biodiversity impacts. Excluding invasive species, we found that 30% of global species threats are due to international trade. In many developed countries, the consumption of imported coffee, tea, sugar, textiles, fish and other manufactured items causes a biodiversity footprint that is larger abroad than at home. Our results emphasize the importance of examining biodiversity loss as a global systemic phenomenon, instead of looking at the degrading or polluting producers in isolation. We anticipate that our findings will facilitate better regulation, sustainable supply-chain certification and consumer product labelling.

  8. Possible Origin of Stagnation and Variability of Earth's Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stollmeier, Frank; Geisel, Theo; Nagler, Jan

    2014-06-01

    The magnitude and variability of Earth's biodiversity have puzzled scientists ever since paleontologic fossil databases became available. We identify and study a model of interdependent species where both endogenous and exogenous impacts determine the nonstationary extinction dynamics. The framework provides an explanation for the qualitative difference of marine and continental biodiversity growth. In particular, the stagnation of marine biodiversity may result from a global transition from an imbalanced to a balanced state of the species dependency network. The predictions of our framework are in agreement with paleontologic databases.

  9. Modern examples of extinctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lövei, Gabor L

    2013-01-01

    No species lives forever, and extinction is the ultimate fate of all living species. The fossil record indicates that a recent extinction wave affecting terrestrial vertebrates was parallel with the arrival of modern humans to areas formerly uninhabited by them. These modern instances of extinction...

  10. Future threats to biodiversity and pathways to their prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilman, David; Clark, Michael; Williams, David R; Kimmel, Kaitlin; Polasky, Stephen; Packer, Craig

    2017-05-31

    Tens of thousands of species are threatened with extinction as a result of human activities. Here we explore how the extinction risks of terrestrial mammals and birds might change in the next 50 years. Future population growth and economic development are forecasted to impose unprecedented levels of extinction risk on many more species worldwide, especially the large mammals of tropical Africa, Asia and South America. Yet these threats are not inevitable. Proactive international efforts to increase crop yields, minimize land clearing and habitat fragmentation, and protect natural lands could increase food security in developing nations and preserve much of Earth's remaining biodiversity.

  11. Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

    OpenAIRE

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2017-01-01

    The strong focus on species extinctions, a critical aspect of the contemporary pulse of biological extinction, leads to a common misimpression that Earth’s biota is not immediately threatened, just slowly entering an episode of major biodiversity loss. This view overlooks the current trends of population declines and extinctions. Using a sample of 27,600 terrestrial vertebrate species, and a more detailed analysis of 177 mammal species, we show the extremely high degree of population decay in...

  12. Atmospheric Carbon Injection Linked to End-Triassic Mass Extinction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruhl, M.; Bonis, N.R.; Reichart, G.J.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Kürschner, W.M.

    2011-01-01

    The end-Triassic mass extinction (similar to 201.4 million years ago), marked by terrestrial ecosystem turnover and up to similar to 50% loss in marine biodiversity, has been attributed to intensified volcanic activity during the break-up of Pangaea. Here, we present compound-specific carbon-isotope

  13. Climate changes and biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertelsmeier, C.

    2011-01-01

    As some people forecast an average temperature increase between 1 and 3.5 degrees by the end of the century, with higher increases under high latitudes (it could reach 8 degrees in some regions of Canada), other changes will occur: precipitations, sea level rise, reductions in polar ice, extreme climatic events, glacier melting, and so on. The author discusses how these changes will impact biodiversity as they will threat habitat and living conditions of many species. Some studies assess a loss of 15 to 37 per cent of biodiversity by 2050. Moreover, physiology is influenced by temperature: for some species, higher temperatures favour the development of female embryos, or the increase of their population, or may result in an evolution of their reproduction strategy. Life rhythm will also change, for plants as well as for animals. Species will keep on changing their distribution area, but some others will not be able to and are therefore threatened. Finally, as the evolutions concern their vectors, some diseases will spread in new regions

  14. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.

  15. Mass extinctions: Ecological selectivity and primary production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Melissa Clark; Thayer, Charles W.

    1991-09-01

    If mass extinctions were caused by reduced primary productivity, then extinctions should be concentrated among animals with starvation-susceptible feeding modes, active lifestyles, and high-energy budgets. The stratigraphic ranges (by stage) of 424 genera of bivalves and 309 genera of articulate brachiopods suggest that there was an unusual reduction of primary productivity at the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary extinction. For bivalves at the K/T, there were (1) selective extinction of suspension feeders and other susceptible trophic categories relative to deposit feeders and other resistant categories, and (2) among suspension feed-ers, selective extinction of bivalves with active locomotion. During the Permian-Triassic (P/Tr) extinction and Jurassic background time, extinction rates among suspension feeders were greater for articulate brachiopods than for bivalves. But during the K/T event, extinction rates of articulates and suspension-feeding bivalves equalized, possibly because the low-energy budgets of articulates gave them an advantage when food was scarce.

  16. Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jingjing; Crowther, Thomas W; Picard, Nicolas; Wiser, Susan; Zhou, Mo; Alberti, Giorgio; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; McGuire, A David; Bozzato, Fabio; Pretzsch, Hans; de-Miguel, Sergio; Paquette, Alain; Hérault, Bruno; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Barrett, Christopher B; Glick, Henry B; Hengeveld, Geerten M; Nabuurs, Gert-Jan; Pfautsch, Sebastian; Viana, Helder; Vibrans, Alexander C; Ammer, Christian; Schall, Peter; Verbyla, David; Tchebakova, Nadja; Fischer, Markus; Watson, James V; Chen, Han Y H; Lei, Xiangdong; Schelhaas, Mart-Jan; Lu, Huicui; Gianelle, Damiano; Parfenova, Elena I; Salas, Christian; Lee, Eungul; Lee, Boknam; Kim, Hyun Seok; Bruelheide, Helge; Coomes, David A; Piotto, Daniel; Sunderland, Terry; Schmid, Bernhard; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie; Sonké, Bonaventure; Tavani, Rebecca; Zhu, Jun; Brandl, Susanne; Vayreda, Jordi; Kitahara, Fumiaki; Searle, Eric B; Neldner, Victor J; Ngugi, Michael R; Baraloto, Christopher; Frizzera, Lorenzo; Bałazy, Radomir; Oleksyn, Jacek; Zawiła-Niedźwiecki, Tomasz; Bouriaud, Olivier; Bussotti, Filippo; Finér, Leena; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Jucker, Tommaso; Valladares, Fernando; Jagodzinski, Andrzej M; Peri, Pablo L; Gonmadje, Christelle; Marthy, William; O'Brien, Timothy; Martin, Emanuel H; Marshall, Andrew R; Rovero, Francesco; Bitariho, Robert; Niklaus, Pascal A; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Chamuya, Nurdin; Valencia, Renato; Mortier, Frédéric; Wortel, Verginia; Engone-Obiang, Nestor L; Ferreira, Leandro V; Odeke, David E; Vasquez, Rodolfo M; Lewis, Simon L; Reich, Peter B

    2016-10-14

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126 permanent plots, spanning 44 countries and most terrestrial biomes, we reveal a globally consistent positive concave-down BPR, showing that continued biodiversity loss would result in an accelerating decline in forest productivity worldwide. The value of biodiversity in maintaining commercial forest productivity alone-US$166 billion to 490 billion per year according to our estimation-is more than twice what it would cost to implement effective global conservation. This highlights the need for a worldwide reassessment of biodiversity values, forest management strategies, and conservation priorities. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  17. Are marine and nonmarine extinctions correlated?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampino, Michael R.

    Recent papers in Eos have debated the possible relationships between marine mass extinctions, comet showers, and volcanism [Alvarez, 1986; Officer and Grieve, 1986], and ail three might be linked [Rampino, 1987]. Moreover, as Officer and Grieve [ 1986] point out, various other causes have been suggested for given extinction events, including changes in climate, ocean circulation, and sea level fluctuations, possibly related to plate tectonics and continental positions. Also under debate is the issue of whether mass extinctions were gradual, stepped, or geologically sudden events (see, for example, Hut et al. [1987]). A missing ingredient thus far in these debates has been the record of faunal diversity of nonmarine animals. Does this show any agreement with the marine extinction record?

  18. Events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor V. Karyakin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The 9th ARRCN Symposium 2015 was held during 21st–25th October 2015 at the Novotel Hotel, Chumphon, Thailand, one of the most favored travel destinations in Asia. The 10th ARRCN Symposium 2017 will be held during October 2017 in the Davao, Philippines. International Symposium on the Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus «The Montagu's Harrier in Europe. Status. Threats. Protection», organized by the environmental organization «Landesbund für Vogelschutz in Bayern e.V.» (LBV was held on November 20-22, 2015 in Germany. The location of this event was the city of Wurzburg in Bavaria.

  19. Elevational distribution and extinction risk in birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel L White

    Full Text Available Mountainous regions are hotspots of terrestrial biodiversity. Unlike islands, which have been the focus of extensive research on extinction dynamics, fewer studies have examined mountain ranges even though they face increasing threats from human pressures - notably habitat conversion and climate change. Limits to the taxonomic and geographical extent and resolution of previously available information have precluded an explicit assessment of the relative role of elevational distribution in determining extinction risk. We use a new global species-level avian database to quantify the influence of elevational distribution (range, maximum and midpoint on extinction risk in birds at the global scale. We also tested this relationship within biogeographic realms, higher taxonomic levels, and across phylogenetic contrasts. Potential confounding variables (i.e. phylogenetic, distributional, morphological, life history and niche breadth were also tested and controlled for. We show that the three measures of elevational distribution are strong negative predictors of avian extinction risk, with elevational range comparable and complementary to that of geographical range size. Extinction risk was also found to be positively associated with body weight, development and adult survival, but negatively associated with reproduction and niche breadth. The robust and consistent findings from this study demonstrate the importance of elevational distribution as a key driver of variation in extinction dynamics in birds. Our results also highlight elevational distribution as a missing criterion in current schemes for quantifying extinction risk and setting species conservation priorities in birds. Further research is recommended to test for generality across non-avian taxa, which will require an advance in our knowledge of species' current elevational ranges and increased efforts to digitise and centralise such data.

  20. 'Tales of Symphonia': extinction dynamics in response to past climate change in Madagascan rainforests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virah-Sawmy, Malika; Bonsall, Michael B; Willis, Katherine J

    2009-12-23

    Madagascar's rainforests are among the most biodiverse in the world. Understanding the population dynamics of important species within these forests in response to past climatic variability provides valuable insight into current and future species composition. Here, we use a population-level approach to analyse palaeoecological records over the last 5300 years to understand how populations of Symphonia cf. verrucosa became locally extinct in some rainforest fragments along the southeast coast of Madagascar in response to rapid climate change, yet persisted in others. Our results indicate that regional (climate) variability contributed to synchronous decline of S. cf. verrucosa populations in these forests. Superimposed on regional fluctuations were local processes that could have contributed or mitigated extinction. Specifically, in the forest with low soil nutrients, population model predictions indicated that there was coexistence between S. cf. verrucosa and Erica spp., but in the nutrient-rich forest, interspecific effects between Symphonia and Erica spp. may have pushed Symphonia to extinction at the peak of climatic change. We also demonstrate that Symphonia is a good indicator of a threshold event, exhibiting erratic fluctuations prior to and long after the critical climatic point has passed.

  1. Young People's Views on the Importance of Conserving Biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, Marcus; Sharp, John

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the findings of a study of the views of 15 and 16 year-olds on the importance of biodiversity conservation. Reports general disapproval for human economic activities that might threaten wildlife with extinction, although significantly fewer boys than girls held this view. (Contains 16 references.) (Author/YDS)

  2. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E; Safi, Kamran

    2011-09-12

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future.

  3. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E.; Safi, Kamran

    2011-01-01

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future. PMID:21807728

  4. Bimodal extinction without cross-modal extinction.

    OpenAIRE

    Inhoff, A W; Rafal, R D; Posner, M J

    1992-01-01

    Three patients with unilateral neurological injury were clinically examined. All showed consistent unilateral extinction in the tactile and visual modalities on simultaneous intramodal stimulation. There was virtually no evidence for cross-modal extinction, however, so that contralateral stimulation of one modality would have extinguished perception of ipsilateral stimuli in the other modality. It is concluded that the attentional system controlling the encoding of tactile and visual stimuli ...

  5. Mutualism Disruption Threatens Global Plant Biodiversity: A Systematic Review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare E Aslan

    Full Text Available As global environmental change accelerates, biodiversity losses can disrupt interspecific interactions. Extinctions of mutualist partners can create "widow" species, which may face reduced ecological fitness. Hypothetically, such mutualism disruptions could have cascading effects on biodiversity by causing additional species coextinctions. However, the scope of this problem - the magnitude of biodiversity that may lose mutualist partners and the consequences of these losses - remains unknown.We conducted a systematic review and synthesis of data from a broad range of sources to estimate the threat posed by vertebrate extinctions to the global biodiversity of vertebrate-dispersed and -pollinated plants. Though enormous research gaps persist, our analysis identified Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and global oceanic islands as geographic regions at particular risk of disruption of these mutualisms; within these regions, percentages of plant species likely affected range from 2.1-4.5%. Widowed plants are likely to experience reproductive declines of 40-58%, potentially threatening their persistence in the context of other global change stresses.Our systematic approach demonstrates that thousands of species may be impacted by disruption in one class of mutualisms, but extinctions will likely disrupt other mutualisms, as well. Although uncertainty is high, there is evidence that mutualism disruption directly threatens significant biodiversity in some geographic regions. Conservation measures with explicit focus on mutualistic functions could be necessary to bolster populations of widowed species and maintain ecosystem functions.

  6. Colloquium paper: three ambitious (and rather unorthodox) assignments for the field of biodiversity genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avise, John C

    2008-08-12

    The field of molecular genetics has many roles in biodiversity assessment and conservation. I summarize three of those standard roles and propose logical extensions of each. First, many biologists suppose that a comprehensive picture of the Tree of Life will soon emerge from multilocus DNA sequence data interpreted in concert with fossils and other evidence. If nonreticulate trees are indeed valid metaphors for life's history, then a well dated global phylogeny will offer an opportunity to erect a universally standardized scheme of biological classification. If life's history proves to be somewhat reticulate, a web-like phylogenetic pattern should become evident and will offer opportunities to reevaluate the fundamental nature of evolutionary processes. Second, extensive networks of wildlife sanctuaries offer some hope for shepherding appreciable biodiversity through the ongoing extinction crisis, and molecular genetics can assist in park design by helping to identify key species, historically important biotic areas, and biodiversity hotspots. An opportunity centers on the concept of Pleistocene Parks that could protect "legacy biotas" in much the same way that traditional national parks preserve special geological features and historical landmarks honor legacy events in human affairs. Third, genetic perspectives have become an integral part of many focused conservation efforts by unveiling ecological, behavioral, or evolutionary phenomena relevant to population management. They also can open opportunities to educate the public about the many intellectual gifts and aesthetic marvels of the natural world.

  7. Late Quaternary climate change shapes island biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weigelt, Patrick; Steinbauer, Manuel Jonas; Cabral, Juliano Sarmento; Kreft, Holger

    2016-04-07

    Island biogeographical models consider islands either as geologically static with biodiversity resulting from ecologically neutral immigration-extinction dynamics, or as geologically dynamic with biodiversity resulting from immigration-speciation-extinction dynamics influenced by changes in island characteristics over millions of years. Present climate and spatial arrangement of islands, however, are rather exceptional compared to most of the Late Quaternary, which is characterized by recurrent cooler and drier glacial periods. These climatic oscillations over short geological timescales strongly affected sea levels and caused massive changes in island area, isolation and connectivity, orders of magnitude faster than the geological processes of island formation, subsidence and erosion considered in island theory. Consequences of these oscillations for present biodiversity remain unassessed. Here we analyse the effects of present and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) island area, isolation, elevation and climate on key components of angiosperm diversity on islands worldwide. We find that post-LGM changes in island characteristics, especially in area, have left a strong imprint on present diversity of endemic species. Specifically, the number and proportion of endemic species today is significantly higher on islands that were larger during the LGM. Native species richness, in turn, is mostly determined by present island characteristics. We conclude that an appreciation of Late Quaternary environmental change is essential to understand patterns of island endemism and its underlying evolutionary dynamics.

  8. Extinction with multiple excitors

    OpenAIRE

    McConnell, Bridget L.; Miguez, Gonzalo; Miller, Ralph R.

    2013-01-01

    Four conditioned suppression experiments with rats, using an ABC renewal design, investigated the effects of compounding the target conditioned excitor with additional, nontarget conditioned excitors during extinction. Experiment 1 showed stronger extinction, as evidenced by less renewal, when the target excitor was extinguished in compound with a second excitor, relative to when it was extinguished with associatively neutral stimuli. Critically, this deepened extinction effect was attenuated...

  9. A robust nonparametric method for quantifying undetected extinctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Ryan A; Giam, Xingli; Sadanandan, Keren R; Fung, Tak; Rheindt, Frank E

    2016-06-01

    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 assumptions; specifically, they assume the pools of extant and undetected species decay exponentially, whereas real detection rates vary temporally with survey effort and real extinction rates vary with the waxing and waning of threatening processes. We devised a new, nonparametric method for estimating undetected extinctions. As inputs, the method requires only the first and last date at which each species in an ensemble was recorded. As outputs, the method provides estimates of the proportion of species that have gone extinct, detected, or undetected and, in the special case where the number of undetected extant species in the present day is assumed close to zero, of the absolute number of undetected extinct species. The main assumption of the method is that the per-species extinction rate is independent of whether a species has been detected or not. We applied the method to the resident native bird fauna of Singapore. Of 195 recorded species, 58 (29.7%) have gone extinct in the last 200 years. Our method projected that an additional 9.6 species (95% CI 3.4, 19.8) have gone extinct without first being recorded, implying a true extinction rate of 33.0% (95% CI 31.0%, 36.2%). We provide R code for implementing our method. Because our method does not depend on strong assumptions, we expect it to be broadly useful for quantifying undetected extinctions. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Trends in the extinction of carnivores in Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cartagena–Matos, B.

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The extinction of top predators, such as mammalian carnivores can lead to dramatic changes in foodweb structure and ecosystem dynamics. Since all native Malagasy terrestrial mammalian carnivores are endemic, their extinction implies a significant loss of biodiversity in Madagascar. Here we review the literature on Madagascar’s mammalian carnivores, aiming to determine which species are most likely to become extinct in the near future in view of the factors threatening their survival. We scored each factor according to its impact on the species. According to our results, the giant–striped mongoose, Galidictis grandidieri, is the most likely species to next become extinct. This is no surprise because this species is considered one of the rarest carnivores in the world, inhabiting only a small, threatened forest ecosystem. Our results emphasize the need for robust data about each species to help and support decision–makers implement conservation measures.

  11. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; de Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtěch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W; Smith, Melinda D; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F; van der Putten, Wim H; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-22

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

  12. Physiological advantages of dwarfing in surviving extinctions in high-CO2 oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garilli, Vittorio; Rodolfo-Metalpa, Riccardo; Scuderi, Danilo; Brusca, Lorenzo; Parrinello, Daniela; Rastrick, Samuel P. S.; Foggo, Andy; Twitchett, Richard J.; Hall-Spencer, Jason M.; Milazzo, Marco

    2015-07-01

    Excessive CO2 in the present-day ocean-atmosphere system is causing ocean acidification, and is likely to cause a severe biodiversity decline in the future, mirroring effects in many past mass extinctions. Fossil records demonstrate that organisms surviving such events were often smaller than those before, a phenomenon called the Lilliput effect. Here, we show that two gastropod species adapted to acidified seawater at shallow-water CO2 seeps were smaller than those found in normal pH conditions and had higher mass-specific energy consumption but significantly lower whole-animal metabolic energy demand. These physiological changes allowed the animals to maintain calcification and to partially repair shell dissolution. These observations of the long-term chronic effects of increased CO2 levels forewarn of changes we can expect in marine ecosystems as CO2 emissions continue to rise unchecked, and support the hypothesis that ocean acidification contributed to past extinction events. The ability to adapt through dwarfing can confer physiological advantages as the rate of CO2 emissions continues to increase.

  13. End Ordovician extinctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harper, David A. T.; Hammarlund, Emma; Rasmussen, Christian M. Ø.

    2014-01-01

    -global anoxia associated with a marked transgression during the Late Hirnantian. Most recently, however, new drivers for the extinctions have been proposed, including widespread euxinia together with habitat destruction caused by plate tectonic movements, suggesting that the end Ordovician mass extinctions were...

  14. Business and biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Rasmus Meyer; Lehmann, Martin; Christensen, Per

    Despite the overall importance of biodiversity, the quality measures of biodiversity show worrying figures. Numerous human impacts on nature impose serious hazard to its inherent diversity. This expansion of human activities leaves the battle against loss of biodiversity to be a great challenge......, but the effort has until now considered biodiversity actions relatively little, compared to other areas such as e.g. climate related actions. Nevertheless, the opportunity for businesses to meet their responsibilities and lift a share of the challenge is far from being just a romantic thought. Nor...... is the challenge of engaging businesses in responsible actions. The core challenge is to create awareness of the environmental phenomenon biodiversity, inform about the significance of business involvement, and encourage the business world to participate in this process of protecting biodiversity as the valuable...

  15. The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turvey, Samuel T; Fritz, Susanne A

    2011-09-12

    Although the recent historical period is usually treated as a temporal base-line for understanding patterns of mammal extinction, mammalian biodiversity loss has also taken place throughout the Late Quaternary. We explore the spatial, taxonomic and phylogenetic patterns of 241 mammal species extinctions known to have occurred during the Holocene up to the present day. To assess whether our understanding of mammalian threat processes has been affected by excluding these taxa, we incorporate extinct species data into analyses of the impact of body mass on extinction risk. We find that Holocene extinctions have been phylogenetically and spatially concentrated in specific taxa and geographical regions, which are often not congruent with those disproportionately at risk today. Large-bodied mammals have also been more extinction-prone in most geographical regions across the Holocene. Our data support the extinction filter hypothesis, whereby regional faunas from which susceptible species have already become extinct now appear less threatened; they may also suggest that different processes are responsible for driving past and present extinctions. We also find overall incompleteness and inter-regional biases in extinction data from the recent fossil record. Although direct use of fossil data in future projections of extinction risk is therefore not straightforward, insights into extinction processes from the Holocene record are still useful in understanding mammalian threat.

  16. Mass Extinctions and Biosphere-Geosphere Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothman, Daniel; Bowring, Samuel

    2015-04-01

    Five times in the past 500 million years, mass extinctions have resulted in the loss of greater than three-fourths of living species. Each of these events is associated with significant environmental change recorded in the carbon-isotopic composition of sedimentary rocks. There are also many such environmental events in the geologic record that are not associated with mass extinctions. What makes them different? Two factors appear important: the size of the environmental perturbation, and the time scale over which it occurs. We show that the natural perturbations of Earth's carbon cycle during the past 500 million years exhibit a characteristic rate of change over two orders of magnitude in time scale. This characteristic rate is consistent with the maximum rate that limits quasistatic (i.e., near steady-state) evolution of the carbon cycle. We identify this rate with marginal stability, and show that mass extinctions occur on the fast, unstable side of the stability boundary. These results suggest that the great extinction events of the geologic past, and potentially a "sixth extinction" associated with modern environmental change, are characterized by common mechanisms of instability.

  17. Extinction of NGC 7027

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seaton, M.J.

    1979-01-01

    Emission intensities of recombination lines in hydrogenic spectra are known accurately relative to intensities in the free-free radio continuum. For NGC 7027 intensities have been measured for the radio continuum and for H I and He II lines in the wavelength range from lambda = 2.17 μm to lambda = 1640 A: comparison with the calculated emission intensities gives the extinction. Determinations of the standard interstellar extinction function are critically discussed. The extinction deduced for the total radiation from NGC 7027 has a dependence on wavelength for 6563 A >= lambda >= 1640 A which is in excellent agreement with the adopted standard results, but there are some anomalies for longer wavelengths and for the ratio of total to selective extinction. These can be explained using a model which allows for a local contribution to the extinction which is variable over the surface of the nebula. (author)

  18. Interstellar extinction correlations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, A.P.; Williams, D.A.; Duley, W.W.

    1987-01-01

    A recently proposed model for interstellar grains in which the extinction arises from small silicate cores with mantles of hydrogenated amorphous carbon (HAC or α-C:H), and large, but thinly coated, silicate grains can successfully explain many of the observed properties of interstellar dust. The small silicate cores give rise to the 2200 A extinction feature. The extinction in the visual is produced by the large silicates and the HAC mantles on the small cores, whilst the far UV extinction arises in the HAC mantles with a small contribution form the silicate grains. The grain model requires that the silicate material is the more resilient component and that variations in the observed extinction from region to region are due to the nature and depletion of the carbon in the HAC mantles. (author)

  19. Biodiversity and Climate Change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Onyango, J.C.O.; Ojoo-Massawa, E.; Abira, M.A.

    1997-01-01

    Biological diversity or biodiversity is crucial for ecological stability including regulation of climate change, recreational and medicinal use; and scientific advancement. Kenya like other developing countries, especially, those in Sub-Saharan Africa, will continue to depend greatly on her biodiversity for present and future development. This important resource must, therefore be conserved. This chapter presents an overview of Kenya's biodiversity; its importance and initiatives being undertaken for its conservation; and in detail, explores issues of climate change and biodiversity, concentrating on impacts of climate change

  20. Problems of Biodiversity Management in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OKID PARAMA ASTIRIN

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Indonesia is an archipelago of 17.508 islands with land width of 1.9 millions km2 and sea of 3.1 millions km2, having many types of habitat and become one of biodiversity center in the world. There are about 28.000 plants species, 350.000 animals species and about 10.000 microbes predicted lived endemically in Indonesia. The country that represents only 1.32% of the world having 10% of total flowering plants, 12% of mammals, 16% reptiles and amphibian, 17% birds, 25% fishes and 15% of insects in the world. Most of the biodiversity were not investigated and utilized yet. The direct use of the biodiversity is not any risk, and in addition, between government, society and industries sometime does not have the same view and attitude. Habitat destruction and over-exploitation have caused Indonesia having long list of endangered species including 126 birds, 63 mammals and 21 reptiles. The extinction of some species occurred just few years ago like trulek jawa (Vanellus macropterus, insectivore bird (Eutrichomyias rowleyi in North Sulawesi, and tiger sub species (Panthera tigris in Java and Bali. It seems that now is time for all Indonesians to introspect and look for the way that can be used for preserving biodiversity.

  1. Optimal fire histories for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Luke T; Bennett, Andrew F; Clarke, Michael F; McCarthy, Michael A

    2015-04-01

    Fire is used as a management tool for biodiversity conservation worldwide. A common objective is to avoid population extinctions due to inappropriate fire regimes. However, in many ecosystems, it is unclear what mix of fire histories will achieve this goal. We determined the optimal fire history of a given area for biological conservation with a method that links tools from 3 fields of research: species distribution modeling, composite indices of biodiversity, and decision science. We based our case study on extensive field surveys of birds, reptiles, and mammals in fire-prone semi-arid Australia. First, we developed statistical models of species' responses to fire history. Second, we determined the optimal allocation of successional states in a given area, based on the geometric mean of species relative abundance. Finally, we showed how conservation targets based on this index can be incorporated into a decision-making framework for fire management. Pyrodiversity per se did not necessarily promote vertebrate biodiversity. Maximizing pyrodiversity by having an even allocation of successional states did not maximize the geometric mean abundance of bird species. Older vegetation was disproportionately important for the conservation of birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Because our method defines fire management objectives based on the habitat requirements of multiple species in the community, it could be used widely to maximize biodiversity in fire-prone ecosystems. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Forecasting effects of global warming on biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Botkin, D.B.; Saxe, H.; Araújo, M.B.

    2007-01-01

    The demand for accurate forecasting of the effects of global warming on biodiversity is growing, but current methods for forecasting have limitations. In this article, we compare and discuss the different uses of four forecasting methods: (1) models that consider species individually, (2) niche...... and theoretical ecological results suggest that many species could be at risk from global warming, during the recent ice ages surprisingly few species became extinct. The potential resolution of this conundrum gives insights into the requirements for more accurate and reliable forecasting. Our eight suggestions...

  3. Invasive species and biodiversity crises: testing the link in the late devonian.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alycia L Stigall

    Full Text Available During the Late Devonian Biodiversity Crisis, the primary driver of biodiversity decline was the dramatic reduction in speciation rates, not elevated extinction rates; however, the causes of speciation decline have been previously unstudied. Speciation, the formation of new species from ancestral populations, occurs by two primary allopatric mechanisms: vicariance, where the ancestral population is passively divided into two large subpopulations that later diverge and form two daughter species, and dispersal, in which a small subset of the ancestral population actively migrates then diverges to form a new species. Studies of modern and fossil clades typically document speciation by vicariance in much higher frequencies than speciation by dispersal. To assess the mechanism behind Late Devonian speciation reduction, speciation rates were calculated within stratigraphically constrained species-level phylogenetic hypotheses for three representative clades and mode of speciation at cladogenetic events was assessed across four clades in three phyla: Arthropoda, Brachiopoda, and Mollusca. In all cases, Devonian taxa exhibited a congruent reduction in speciation rate between the Middle Devonian pre-crisis interval and the Late Devonian crisis interval. Furthermore, speciation via vicariance is almost entirely absent during the crisis interval; most episodes of speciation during this time were due to dispersal. The shutdown of speciation by vicariance during this interval was related to widespread interbasinal species invasions. The lack of Late Devonian vicariance is diametrically opposed to the pattern observed in other geologic intervals, which suggests the loss of vicariant speciation attributable to species invasions during the Late Devonian was a causal factor in the biodiversity crisis. Similarly, modern ecosystems, in which invasive species are rampant, may be expected to exhibit similar shutdown of speciation by vicariance as an outcome of the

  4. Invasive species and biodiversity crises: testing the link in the late devonian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stigall, Alycia L

    2010-12-29

    During the Late Devonian Biodiversity Crisis, the primary driver of biodiversity decline was the dramatic reduction in speciation rates, not elevated extinction rates; however, the causes of speciation decline have been previously unstudied. Speciation, the formation of new species from ancestral populations, occurs by two primary allopatric mechanisms: vicariance, where the ancestral population is passively divided into two large subpopulations that later diverge and form two daughter species, and dispersal, in which a small subset of the ancestral population actively migrates then diverges to form a new species. Studies of modern and fossil clades typically document speciation by vicariance in much higher frequencies than speciation by dispersal. To assess the mechanism behind Late Devonian speciation reduction, speciation rates were calculated within stratigraphically constrained species-level phylogenetic hypotheses for three representative clades and mode of speciation at cladogenetic events was assessed across four clades in three phyla: Arthropoda, Brachiopoda, and Mollusca. In all cases, Devonian taxa exhibited a congruent reduction in speciation rate between the Middle Devonian pre-crisis interval and the Late Devonian crisis interval. Furthermore, speciation via vicariance is almost entirely absent during the crisis interval; most episodes of speciation during this time were due to dispersal. The shutdown of speciation by vicariance during this interval was related to widespread interbasinal species invasions. The lack of Late Devonian vicariance is diametrically opposed to the pattern observed in other geologic intervals, which suggests the loss of vicariant speciation attributable to species invasions during the Late Devonian was a causal factor in the biodiversity crisis. Similarly, modern ecosystems, in which invasive species are rampant, may be expected to exhibit similar shutdown of speciation by vicariance as an outcome of the modern biodiversity

  5. A scenario for impacts of water availability loss due to climate change on riverine fish extinction rates

    OpenAIRE

    Tedesco, Pablo; Oberdorff, Thierry; Cornu, Jean-François; Beauchard, O.; Brosse, S.; Durr, H. H.; Grenouillet, G.; Leprieur, F.; Tisseuil, Clément; Zaiss, Rainer; Hugueny, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    1. Current models estimating impact of habitat loss on biodiversity in the face of global climate change usually project only percentages of species committed to extinction' on an uncertain time-scale. Here, we show that this limitation can be overcome using an empirically derived background extinction rate-area' curve to estimate natural rates and project future rates of freshwater fish extinction following variations in river drainage area resulting from global climate change.2. Based on fu...

  6. Adaptive Dynamics, Control, and Extinction in Networked Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-09

    network geometries. From the pre-history of paths that go extinct, a density function is created from the prehistory of these paths, and a clear local...density plots of Fig. 3b. Using the IAMM to compute the most probable path and comparing it to the prehistory of extinction events on stochastic networks

  7. Is IR going extinct?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Audra

    2016-01-01

    A global extinction crisis may threaten the survival of most existing life forms. Influential discourses of ‘existential risk’ suggest that human extinction is a real possibility, while several decades of evidence from conservation biology suggests that the Earth may be entering a ‘sixth mass extinction event’. These conditions threaten the possibilities of survival and security that are central to most branches of International Relations. However, this discipline lacks a framework for addressing (mass) extinction. From notions of ‘nuclear winter’ and ‘omnicide’ to contemporary discourses on catastrophe, International Relations thinking has treated extinction as a superlative of death. This is a profound category mistake: extinction needs to be understood not in the ontic terms of life and death, but rather in the ontological context of be(com)ing and negation. Drawing on the work of theorists of the ‘inhuman’ such as Quentin Meillassoux, Claire Colebrook, Ray Brassier, Jean-Francois Lyotard and Nigel Clark, this article provides a pathway for thinking beyond existing horizons of survival and imagines a profound transformation of International Relations. Specifically, it outlines a mode of cosmopolitics that responds to the element of the inhuman and the forces of extinction. Rather than capitulating to narratives of tragedy, this cosmopolitics would make it possible to think beyond the restrictions of existing norms of ‘humanity’ to embrace an ethics of gratitude and to welcome the possibility of new worlds, even in the face of finitude.

  8. Recovering biodiversity knowledge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijerink, G.W.; Smolders, H.; Sours, S.; Pou, S.

    2005-01-01

    Cambodian¿s civil wars have seriously affected the country¿s agro-biodiversity and the farmers¿ traditional knowledge in this field. The PEDIGREA project aims at conserving on-farm agro-biodiversity conservation and in Cambodia it focuses on vegetable diversity. It tries to link the preservation of

  9. In Defence of Biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Archer, Alfred; Burch Brown, Joanna

    2017-01-01

    The concept of biodiversity has played a central role within conservation biology over the last thirty years. Precisely how it should be understood, however, is a matter of ongoing debate. In this paper we defend what we call a classic multidimensional conception of biodiversity. We begin by

  10. Temporal Dynamics of Recovery from Extinction Shortly after Extinction Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archbold, Georgina E.; Dobbek, Nick; Nader, Karim

    2013-01-01

    Evidence suggests that extinction is new learning. Memory acquisition involves both short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) components; however, few studies have examined early phases of extinction retention. Retention of auditory fear extinction was examined at various time points. Shortly (1-4 h) after extinction acquisition…

  11. Global forest loss disproportionately erodes biodiversity in intact landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betts, Matthew G; Wolf, Christopher; Ripple, William J; Phalan, Ben; Millers, Kimberley A; Duarte, Adam; Butchart, Stuart H M; Levi, Taal

    2017-07-27

    Global biodiversity loss is a critical environmental crisis, yet the lack of spatial data on biodiversity threats has hindered conservation strategies. Theory predicts that abrupt biodiversity declines are most likely to occur when habitat availability is reduced to very low levels in the landscape (10-30%). Alternatively, recent evidence indicates that biodiversity is best conserved by minimizing human intrusion into intact and relatively unfragmented landscapes. Here we use recently available forest loss data to test deforestation effects on International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List categories of extinction risk for 19,432 vertebrate species worldwide. As expected, deforestation substantially increased the odds of a species being listed as threatened, undergoing recent upgrading to a higher threat category and exhibiting declining populations. More importantly, we show that these risks were disproportionately high in relatively intact landscapes; even minimal deforestation has had severe consequences for vertebrate biodiversity. We found little support for the alternative hypothesis that forest loss is most detrimental in already fragmented landscapes. Spatial analysis revealed high-risk hot spots in Borneo, the central Amazon and the Congo Basin. In these regions, our model predicts that 121-219 species will become threatened under current rates of forest loss over the next 30 years. Given that only 17.9% of these high-risk areas are formally protected and only 8.9% have strict protection, new large-scale conservation efforts to protect intact forests are necessary to slow deforestation rates and to avert a new wave of global extinctions.

  12. Climate constrains the evolutionary history and biodiversity of crocodylians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannion, Philip D; Benson, Roger B J; Carrano, Matthew T; Tennant, Jonathan P; Judd, Jack; Butler, Richard J

    2015-09-24

    The fossil record of crocodylians and their relatives (pseudosuchians) reveals a rich evolutionary history, prompting questions about causes of long-term decline to their present-day low biodiversity. We analyse climatic drivers of subsampled pseudosuchian biodiversity over their 250 million year history, using a comprehensive new data set. Biodiversity and environmental changes correlate strongly, with long-term decline of terrestrial taxa driven by decreasing temperatures in northern temperate regions, and biodiversity decreases at lower latitudes matching patterns of increasing aridification. However, there is no relationship between temperature and biodiversity for marine pseudosuchians, with sea-level change and post-extinction opportunism demonstrated to be more important drivers. A 'modern-type' latitudinal biodiversity gradient might have existed throughout pseudosuchian history, and range expansion towards the poles occurred during warm intervals. Although their fossil record suggests that current global warming might promote long-term increases in crocodylian biodiversity and geographic range, the 'balancing forces' of anthropogenic environmental degradation complicate future predictions.

  13. Ca and Sr isotope records support ocean acidification during end-Permian mass extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J.; Jacobson, A. D.; Zhang, H.; Ramezani, J.; Sageman, B. B.; Hurtgen, M.; Bowring, S. A.; Shen, S.

    2017-12-01

    The end-Permian mass extinction represents the most devastating loss of biodiversity during the Phanerozoic. A negative carbon isotope (δ13C) excursion that accompanies the event suggests a significant perturbation to the global carbon cycle, likely induced by CO2 emissions during eruption of the Siberian Traps large igneous province. The carbon cycle is linked with the Ca and Sr cycles through chemical weathering and carbonate precipitation. Therefore, analyses of Ca (δ44/40Ca), radiogenic Sr (87Sr/86Sr), and stable Sr (δ88/86Sr) isotope abundance variations in marine carbonate rocks spanning the Permian-Triassic Boundary (PTB) can reveal key information about biogeochemical changes that occurred during this time. We report δ44/40Ca, 87Sr/86Sr, and δ88/86Sr records analyzed by TIMS for the Meishan and Dajiang sections in China. δ44/40Ca values exhibit similar patterns in both sections. The values remain unchanged across the extinction event layer (EXT) and then decrease by 0.20‰ before increasing by 0.20‰ to 0.40‰ around the PTB. In the Meishan section, 87Sr/86Sr ratios increase after the EXT and return to pre-excursion levels by the PTB. Simultaneously, δ88/86Sr values decrease by 0.12‰ across the EXT and increase by 0.08‰ by the PTB. The patterns of our data support the hypothesis that elevated atmospheric CO2 levels enhanced chemical weathering inputs and might have caused transient ocean acidification, with an "alkalinity overshoot" and increased carbonate deposition occurring after the extinction. Additional measurements and model calculations are underway to help refine and improve these preliminary interpretations.

  14. Key Biodiversity Areas identification in the Upper Guinea forest biodiversity hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.M.L. Kouame

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Priority-setting approaches and tools are commons ways to support the rapid extinction of species and their habitats and the effective allocation of resources for their conservation. The Key Biodiversity Area (KBA approach is a method for the identification of fine-scale priority areas for conservation. This process led bottom-up has been used in the Upper Guinea Forest Ecosystem of West Africa where human-induced changes have increased the extinction risk of several endemic and threatened species. The irreplaceability and vulnerability criteria commonly used in conservation planning have been used to identify key biodiversity areas in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Point locality data were compiled from scientific reports, papers published in scientific journals and museum records. The delineation was conducted following a series of decision rules. In most cases existing IBA polygons and protected areas boundaries were used. For the new sites, temporary boundaries have been drawn and will be confirmed with land-use data. Preliminary KBA data were reviewed by specialists during formal workshops. One hundred and fifty four KBA have been identified in the five countries with 202 globally threatened species. Currently 63% of the KBA are protected. Two AZE sites still exist in the region. This assessment is a first step and is driven from the best available data at the time. There is a need to refine it with recent biodiversity surveys to assist decision-makers in achieving their conservation management goals.

  15. Dinosaur morphological diversity and the end-Cretaceous extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Norell, Mark A

    2012-05-01

    The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago is a perpetual topic of fascination, and lasting debate has focused on whether dinosaur biodiversity was in decline before end-Cretaceous volcanism and bolide impact. Here we calculate the morphological disparity (anatomical variability) exhibited by seven major dinosaur subgroups during the latest Cretaceous, at both global and regional scales. Our results demonstrate both geographic and clade-specific heterogeneity. Large-bodied bulk-feeding herbivores (ceratopsids and hadrosauroids) and some North American taxa declined in disparity during the final two stages of the Cretaceous, whereas carnivorous dinosaurs, mid-sized herbivores, and some Asian taxa did not. Late Cretaceous dinosaur evolution, therefore, was complex: there was no universal biodiversity trend and the intensively studied North American record may reveal primarily local patterns. At least some dinosaur groups, however, did endure long-term declines in morphological variability before their extinction.

  16. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships

  17. Predicting the risk of extinction from shared ecological characteristics

    OpenAIRE

    Kotiaho, Janne S.; Kaitala, Veijo; Komonen, Atte; Päivinen, Jussi

    2005-01-01

    Understanding the ultimate causes of population declines and extinction is vital in our quest to stop the currently rampant biodiversity loss. Comparison of ecological characteristics between threatened and nonthreatened species may reveal these ultimate causes. Here, we report an analysis of ecological characteristics of 23 threatened and 72 nonthreatened butterfly species. Our analysis reveals that threatened butterflies are characterized by narrow niche breadth, restricted resource distrib...

  18. Accelerated modern human-induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R; Barnosky, Anthony D; García, Andrés; Pringle, Robert M; Palmer, Todd M

    2015-06-01

    The oft-repeated claim that Earth's biota is entering a sixth "mass extinction" depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the "background" rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates. We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. The latter is conservatively low because listing a species as extinct requires meeting stringent criteria. Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate. Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

  19. Early Triassic alternative ecological states driven by anoxia, hyperthermals, and erosional pulses following the end-Permian mass extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietsch, C.; Petsios, E.; Bottjer, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    The end-Permian mass extinction, 252 million years ago, was the most devastating loss of biodiversity in Earth's history. Massive volcanic eruptions of the Siberian Traps and the concurrent burning of coal, carbonate, and evaporite deposits emplaced greenhouse and toxic gasses. Hyperthermal events of the surface ocean, up to 40°C, led to reduced gradient-driven ocean circulation which yielded extensive equatorial oxygen minimum zones. Today, anthropogenic greenhouse gas production is outpacing carbon input modeled for the end-Permian mass extinction, which suggests that modern ecosystems may yet experience a severe biotic crisis. The Early Triassic records the 5 million year aftermath of the end-Permian mass extinction and is often perceived as an interval of delayed recovery. We combined a new, high resolution carbon isotope record, sedimentological analysis, and paleoecological collections from the Italian Werfen Formation to fully integrate paleoenvironmental change with the benthic ecological response. We find that the marine ecosystem experienced additional community restructuring events due to subsequent hyperthermal events and pulses of erosion. The benthic microfauna and macrofauna both contributed to disaster communities that initially rebounded in the earliest Triassic. 'Disaster fauna' including microbialites, microconchids, foraminifera, and "flat clams" took advantage of anoxic conditions in the first ~500,000 years, dominating the benthic fauna. Later, in the re-oxygenated water column, opportunistic disaster groups were supplanted by a more diverse, mollusc-dominated benthic fauna and a complex ichnofauna. An extreme temperature run-up beginning in the Late Dienerian led to an additional hyperthermal event in the Late-Smithian which co-occurred with increased humidity and terrestrial run-off. Massive siliciclastic deposits replaced carbonate deposition which corresponds to the infaunalization of the benthic fauna. The disaster taxa dominated

  20. Co-extinction in a host-parasite network: identifying key hosts for network stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallas, Tad; Cornelius, Emily

    2015-08-17

    Parasites comprise a substantial portion of total biodiversity. Ultimately, this means that host extinction could result in many secondary extinctions of obligate parasites and potentially alter host-parasite network structure. Here, we examined a highly resolved fish-parasite network to determine key hosts responsible for maintaining parasite diversity and network structure (quantified here as nestedness and modularity). We evaluated four possible host extinction orders and compared the resulting co-extinction dynamics to random extinction simulations; including host removal based on estimated extinction risk, parasite species richness and host level contributions to nestedness and modularity. We found that all extinction orders, except the one based on realistic extinction risk, resulted in faster declines in parasite diversity and network structure relative to random biodiversity loss. Further, we determined species-level contributions to network structure were best predicted by parasite species richness and host family. Taken together, we demonstrate that a small proportion of hosts contribute substantially to network structure and that removal of these hosts results in rapid declines in parasite diversity and network structure. As network stability can potentially be inferred through measures of network structure, our findings may provide insight into species traits that confer stability.

  1. Flourishing ocean drives the end-Permian marine mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schobben, Martin; Stebbins, Alan; Ghaderi, Abbas; Strauss, Harald; Korn, Dieter; Korte, Christoph

    2015-08-18

    The end-Permian mass extinction, the most severe biotic crisis in the Phanerozoic, was accompanied by climate change and expansion of oceanic anoxic zones. The partitioning of sulfur among different exogenic reservoirs by biological and physical processes was of importance for this biodiversity crisis, but the exact role of bioessential sulfur in the mass extinction is still unclear. Here we show that globally increased production of organic matter affected the seawater sulfate sulfur and oxygen isotope signature that has been recorded in carbonate rock spanning the Permian-Triassic boundary. A bifurcating temporal trend is observed for the strata spanning the marine mass extinction with carbonate-associated sulfate sulfur and oxygen isotope excursions toward decreased and increased values, respectively. By coupling these results to a box model, we show that increased marine productivity and successive enhanced microbial sulfate reduction is the most likely scenario to explain these temporal trends. The new data demonstrate that worldwide expansion of euxinic and anoxic zones are symptoms of increased biological carbon recycling in the marine realm initiated by global warming. The spatial distribution of sulfidic water column conditions in shallow seafloor environments is dictated by the severity and geographic patterns of nutrient fluxes and serves as an adequate model to explain the scale of the marine biodiversity crisis. Our results provide evidence that the major biodiversity crises in Earth's history do not necessarily implicate an ocean stripped of (most) life but rather the demise of certain eukaryotic organisms, leading to a decline in species richness.

  2. Differential Regulation of Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Gene Expression after Extinction of a Recent Memory vs. Intermediate Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangha, Susan; Ilenseer, Jasmin; Sosulina, Ludmila; Lesting, Jorg; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2012-01-01

    Extinction reduces fear to stimuli that were once associated with an aversive event by no longer coupling the stimulus with the aversive event. Extinction learning is supported by a network comprising the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Previous studies implicate a critical role of GABA in extinction learning, specifically the GAD65…

  3. Biodiversity and global change

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Solbrig, Otto Thomas; Emden, H. M. van; Oordt, P. G. W. J. van; Solbrig, Otto T

    1992-01-01

    The IUBS symposium "Biodiversity and Global Change" held during the 24th General Assembly, 1-6 September, 1991, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, represented the first attempt to address the issue of bio...

  4. Funding begets biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahrends, Antje; Burgess, Neil David; Gereau, Roy E.

    2011-01-01

    Aim Effective conservation of biodiversity relies on an unbiased knowledge of its distribution. Conservation priority assessments are typically based on the levels of species richness, endemism and threat. Areas identified as important receive the majority of conservation investments, often...... facilitating further research that results in more species discoveries. Here, we test whether there is circularity between funding and perceived biodiversity, which may reinforce the conservation status of areas already perceived to be important while other areas with less initial funding may remain overlooked......, and variances decomposed in partial regressions. Cross-correlations are used to assess whether perceived biodiversity drives funding or vice versa. Results Funding explained 65% of variation in perceived biodiversity patterns – six times more variation than accounted for by 34 candidate environmental factors...

  5. Dimensions of biodiversity loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palma, De Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Bugter, Rob; Ferrier, Simon; Hoskins, Andrew J.; Potts, Simon G.; Roberts, Stuart P.M.; Schweiger, Oliver; Purvis, Andy

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Agricultural intensification and urbanization are important drivers of biodiversity change in Europe. Different aspects of bee community diversity vary in their sensitivity to these pressures, as well as independently influencing ecosystem service provision (pollination). To obtain a more

  6. Pollination decays in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vamosi, Jana C; Knight, Tiffany M; Steets, Janette A; Mazer, Susan J; Burd, Martin; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2006-01-24

    As pollinators decline globally, competition for their services is expected to intensify, and this antagonism may be most severe where the number of plant species is the greatest. Using meta-analysis and comparative phylogenetic analysis, we provide a global-scale test of whether reproduction becomes more limited by pollen receipt (pollen limitation) as the number of coexisting plant species increases. As predicted, we find a significant positive relationship between pollen limitation and species richness. In addition, this pattern is particularly strong for species that are obligately outcrossing and for trees relative to herbs or shrubs. We suggest that plants occurring in species-rich communities may be more prone to pollen limitation because of interspecific competition for pollinators. As a consequence, plants in biodiversity hotspots may have a higher risk of extinction and/or experience increased selection pressure to specialize on certain pollinators or diversify into different phenological niches. The combination of higher pollen limitation and habitat destruction represents a dual risk to tropical plant species that has not been previously identified.

  7. Stress and Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen; Holmes, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Stress has a critical role in the development and expression of many psychiatric disorders, and is a defining feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Stress also limits the efficacy of behavioral therapies aimed at limiting pathological fear, such as exposure therapy. Here we examine emerging evidence that stress impairs recovery from trauma by impairing fear extinction, a form of learning thought to underlie the suppression of trauma-related fear memories. We describe the major structural and functional abnormalities in brain regions that are particularly vulnerable to stress, including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus, which may underlie stress-induced impairments in extinction. We also discuss some of the stress-induced neurochemical and molecular alterations in these brain regions that are associated with extinction deficits, and the potential for targeting these changes to prevent or reverse impaired extinction. A better understanding of the neurobiological basis of stress effects on extinction promises to yield novel approaches to improving therapeutic outcomes for PTSD and other anxiety and trauma-related disorders. PMID:26105142

  8. Identification and protection of terrestrial global biodiversity hotspots: progress and challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Roy, Arijit

    2016-01-01

    Arijit Roy Forestry and Ecology Department, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun, India Abstract: Due to ever-increasing demand on the natural resources, earth is on the verge of a global mass extinction. The biodiversity hotspots are the remnant natural areas of high terrestrial biodiversity which are rapidly degrading and constitute more than half of the global endemic species in approximately 2% of the global land area which requires conservation and protection along with effort t...

  9. Genetic disruptions of Drosophila Pavlovian learning leave extinction learning intact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, H; Dubnau, J

    2010-03-01

    Individuals who experience traumatic events may develop persistent posttraumatic stress disorder. Patients with this disorder are commonly treated with exposure therapy, which has had limited long-term success. In experimental neurobiology, fear extinction is a model for exposure therapy. In this behavioral paradigm, animals are repeatedly exposed in a safe environment to the fearful stimulus, which leads to greatly reduced fear. Studying animal models of extinction already has lead to better therapeutic strategies and development of new candidate drugs. Lack of a powerful genetic model of extinction, however, has limited progress in identifying underlying molecular and genetic factors. In this study, we established a robust behavioral paradigm to study the short-term effect (acquisition) of extinction in Drosophila melanogaster. We focused on the extinction of olfactory aversive 1-day memory with a task that has been the main workhorse for genetics of memory in flies. Using this paradigm, we show that extinction can inhibit each of two genetically distinct forms of consolidated memory. We then used a series of single-gene mutants with known impact on associative learning to examine the effects on extinction. We find that extinction is intact in each of these mutants, suggesting that extinction learning relies on different molecular mechanisms than does Pavlovian learning.

  10. PEMBANGUNAN DATABASE MANGROVE UNTUK BIODIVERSITY INFORMATICS BIOFARMAKA IPB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeni Herdiyeni

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Mangroves are a source of traditional medicine that can be used as a source of bioactive compounds. With the conversion of mangrove ecosystem into another designation led to the extinction of mangrove ecosystems. Therefore we need a good management of natural resources. In natural resource management, biodiversity information is needed to sustain the species utilization, exploration potential of the species and their biological and ecological monitoring, policy making, and for the development of biotechnology innovation. Research center of IPB Biopharmaca (Institute for Research and Community Services of Bogor Agricultural University has the mandate to conduct research from upstream to downstream in the medicinal field. This study develops Indonesian mangrove biodiversity database for Biodiversity Informatics. Biodiversity informatics (BI is the development of computer-based technologies for the management of biodiversity information. BI can be used to improve the knowledge management (knowledge management, exploration, analysis, synthesis, and interpretation of data ranging from the level of genomic biodiversity, species level to the ecosystem level. From the results of this study are expected data, information and knowledge of natural wealth mangroves can be managed properly so that the preservation of natural resources can be properly maintained and can be used in particular to the field of medicinal studies.

  11. Interstellar dust and extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathis, J.S.

    1990-01-01

    It is noted that the term interstellar dust refers to materials with rather different properties, and that the mean extinction law of Seaton (1979) or Savage and Mathis (1979) should be replaced by the expression given by Cardelli et al. (1989), using the appropriate value of total-to-selective extinction. The older laws were appropriate for the diffuse ISM but dust in clouds differs dramatically in its extinction law. Dust is heavily processed while in the ISM by being included within clouds and cycled back into the diffuse ISM many times during its lifetime. Hence, grains probably reflect only a trace of their origin, although meteoritic inclusions with isotopic anomalies demonstrate that some tiny particles survive intact from a supernova origin to the present. 186 refs

  12. Seeking a paleontological signature for mass extinctions caused by flood basalt eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, J.; Bush, A. M.; Chang, E. T.; Heim, N. A.; Knope, M. L.; Pruss, S. B.

    2016-12-01

    Flood basalt eruptions coincide with numerous extinction events in the fossil record. Increasingly precise absolute age determinations for both the timing of eruption and of species extinctions have strengthened the case for flood basalt eruptions as the single most important trigger for major mass extinction events in the fossil record. However, the extent to which flood basalt eruptions cause a pattern of biotic loss distinctive from extinctions triggered by other geological or biological processes remains an open question. In the absence of diagnostic mapping between geological triggers and biological losses, establishing the identities of causal agents for mass extinctions will continue to depend primarily on evidence for temporal coincidence. Here we use a synoptic database of marine animal genera spanning the Phanerozoic, including times of first and last occurrence, body size, motility, life position, feeding mode, and respiratory physiology to assess whether extinction events temporally associated with flood basalt eruptions exhibit a diagnostic pattern of extinction selectivity. We further ask whether any events not associated with known large igneous provinces nevertheless display extinction patterns suggestive of such a cause. Finally, we ask whether extinction events associated with other primary causes, such as glaciation or bolide impact, are distinguishable from events apparently triggered by flood basalt eruptions on the basis of extinction selectivity patterns

  13. Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Barnosky, Anthony D.; García, Andrés; Pringle, Robert M.; Palmer, Todd M.

    2015-01-01

    The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates. We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. The latter is conservatively low because listing a species as extinct requires meeting stringent criteria. Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate. Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing. PMID:26601195

  14. Biological hierarchies and the nature of extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Congreve, Curtis R; Falk, Amanda R; Lamsdell, James C

    2018-05-01

    Hierarchy theory recognises that ecological and evolutionary units occur in a nested and interconnected hierarchical system, with cascading effects occurring between hierarchical levels. Different biological disciplines have routinely come into conflict over the primacy of different forcing mechanisms behind evolutionary and ecological change. These disconnects arise partly from differences in perspective (with some researchers favouring ecological forcing mechanisms while others favour developmental/historical mechanisms), as well as differences in the temporal framework in which workers operate. In particular, long-term palaeontological data often show that large-scale (macro) patterns of evolution are predominantly dictated by shifts in the abiotic environment, while short-term (micro) modern biological studies stress the importance of biotic interactions. We propose that thinking about ecological and evolutionary interactions in a hierarchical framework is a fruitful way to resolve these conflicts. Hierarchy theory suggests that changes occurring at lower hierarchical levels can have unexpected, complex effects at higher scales due to emergent interactions between simple systems. In this way, patterns occurring on short- and long-term time scales are equally valid, as changes that are driven from lower levels will manifest in different forms at higher levels. We propose that the dual hierarchy framework fits well with our current understanding of evolutionary and ecological theory. Furthermore, we describe how this framework can be used to understand major extinction events better. Multi-generational attritional loss of reproductive fitness (MALF) has recently been proposed as the primary mechanism behind extinction events, whereby extinction is explainable solely through processes that result in extirpation of populations through a shutdown of reproduction. While not necessarily explicit, the push to explain extinction through solely population-level dynamics

  15. Environmental conditions during the Frasnian-Fammenian mass extinction inferred from chlorophyll-derived porphyrin biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uveges, B. T.; Junium, C. K.; Cohen, P. A.; Boyer, D.

    2014-12-01

    The widespread mass extinction that occurred across the Frasnian- Fammenian (F-F) boundary was one of the largest losses of biodiversity in Earth's history. The F-F extinction interval is expressed in western New York State by two organic rich black shale intervals known as the Upper and Lower Kellwasser events. These shale intervals are well preserved, thermally immature, and are well constrained in age by conodont biostratigraphy, and thus provide an exceptional opportunity to study the organic material originating from the F-F boundary. In order to test hypotheses about the cause(s) and consequences of the FF biotic crisis, a broader knowledge of the organic carbon sources is needed, and a characterization of the marine primary producer communities will assist in this endeavor. One such avenue is through the study of chlorophyll-derived biomarkers (porphyrins). The organic extracts of powdered shale samples from the Kellwasser horizons were analyzed using HPLC/LC-MSn and diode array UV-Vis spectroscopy. Preliminary data from the Kellwasser intervals reveal only one porphyrin, with a mass (M+H) of 600. The UV-Vis absorbance spectrum (Soret = 405nm, α = 533nm, β = 570nm) of the metallated compound is consistent with that of a vanadyl porphyrin with a free-base (M+H) of 535. Collision-induced mass spectra displays mass losses of 43 and 57 daltons, which are consistent with an extended alkyl chain at the C-8 position. Extended alkyl chains at C-8 are exclusively associated with porphyrins derived from bacteriochlorophyll c, d or e. The presence of bacterioporphyrins is congruous with the episodic presence of anoxic and sulfidic conditions in the photic zone. What is surprising is that a bacteriochlorophyll- derived porphyrin is the most abundant in these sequences, and their study may help to elucidate the conditions surrounding the F-F mass extinction, and further constrain the fluctuations in marine oxygen content in the Upper Devonian Appalachian Basin.

  16. Impacts of climate change on the future of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellard, Céline; Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Leadley, Paul; Thuiller, Wilfried; Courchamp, Franck

    2012-04-01

    Many studies in recent years have investigated the effects of climate change on the future of biodiversity. In this review, we first examine the different possible effects of climate change that can operate at individual, population, species, community, ecosystem and biome scales, notably showing that species can respond to climate change challenges by shifting their climatic niche along three non-exclusive axes: time (e.g. phenology), space (e.g. range) and self (e.g. physiology). Then, we present the principal specificities and caveats of the most common approaches used to estimate future biodiversity at global and sub-continental scales and we synthesise their results. Finally, we highlight several challenges for future research both in theoretical and applied realms. Overall, our review shows that current estimates are very variable, depending on the method, taxonomic group, biodiversity loss metrics, spatial scales and time periods considered. Yet, the majority of models indicate alarming consequences for biodiversity, with the worst-case scenarios leading to extinction rates that would qualify as the sixth mass extinction in the history of the earth. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  17. Safety in numbers: extinction arising from predator-driven Allee effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Stephen D; Courchamp, Franck

    2010-05-01

    Experimental evidence of extinction via an Allee effect (AE) is a priority as more species become threatened by human activity. Kramer & Drake (2010) begin the International Year of Biodiversity with the important--but double-edged--demonstration that predators can induce an AE in their prey. The good news is that their experiments help bridge the knowledge gap between theoretical and empirical AEs. The bad news is that this predator-driven AE precipitates the prey extinction via a demographic AE. Although their findings will be sensitive to departures from their experimental protocol, this link between predation and population extinction could have important consequences for many prey species.

  18. Climate change: potential implications for Ireland's biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Alison

    2018-03-01

    A national biodiversity and climate change adaptation plan is being developed for Ireland by the Department of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment. In order to inform such a plan, it was necessary to review and synthesize some of the recent literature pertaining to the impact of climate change on biodiversity in Ireland. Published research on this topic fell within three broad categories: (i) changes in the timing of life-cycle events (phenology) of plants, birds, and insects; (ii) changes in the geographic range of some bird species; and (iii) changes in the suitable climatic zones of key habitats and species. The synthesis revealed evidence of (i) a trend towards earlier spring activity of plants, birds, and insects which may result in a change in ecosystem function; (ii) an increase in the number of bird species; and (iii) both increases and decreases in the suitable climatic area of key habitats and species, all of which are expected to impact Ireland's future biodiversity. This process identified data gaps and limitations in available information both of which could be used to inform a focused research strategy. In addition, it raises awareness of the potential implications of climate change for biodiversity in Ireland and elsewhere and demonstrates the need for biodiversity conservation plans to factor climate change into future designs.

  19. Extinction of sodium fires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malet, J.C.; Spagna, F.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents how, starting from a knowledge of sodium ignition and burning, principles for extinction (smothering catch trays, leak recuperation systems, powders) can be developed. These techniques applied in Superphenix 1 and PEC reactors have been tested in the ESMERALDA experimental program which is a joint French/Italian project. (author)

  20. Marine biodiversity in Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diaz, Juan Manuel

    2002-01-01

    One decade ago, the seas and oceans were considered biologically less diverse that the terrestrial environment. Now it is known that it is on the contrary; 33 of the 34 categories of animals (phylum), they are represented in the sea, compared with those solely 15 that exist in earth. The investigation about the diversity of life in the sea has been relatively scorned, but there are big benefits that we can wait if this is protected. The captures of fish depend on it; the species captured by the fisheries are sustained of the biodiversity of their trophic chains and habitats. The marine species are probably the biggest reservoir of chemical substances that can be used in pharmaceutical products. The genetic material of some species can be useful in biotechnical applications. The paper treats topics like the current state of the knowledge in marine biodiversity and it is done a diagnostic of the marine biodiversity in Colombia

  1. Uranium isotope evidence for an expansion of marine anoxia during the end-Triassic extinction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jost, Adam B.; Bachan, Aviv; van de Schootbrugge, Bas; Lau, Kimberly V.; Weaver, Karrie L.; Maher, Kate; Payne, Jonathan L.

    The end-Triassic extinction coincided with an increase in marine black shale deposition and biomarkers for photic zone euxinia, suggesting that anoxia played a role in suppressing marine biodiversity. However, global changes in ocean anoxia are difficult to quantify using proxies for local anoxia.

  2. ESTIMATING SPECIATION AND EXTINCTION RATES FROM DIVERSITY DATA AND THE FOSSIL RECORD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Etienne, Rampal S.; Apol, M. Emile F.

    Understanding the processes that underlie biodiversity requires insight into the evolutionary history of the taxa involved. Accurate estimation of speciation, extinction, and diversification rates is a prerequisite for gaining this insight. Here, we develop a stochastic birth-death model of

  3. Metapopulation extinction risk: dispersal's duplicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Kevin

    2009-09-01

    Metapopulation extinction risk is the probability that all local populations are simultaneously extinct during a fixed time frame. Dispersal may reduce a metapopulation's extinction risk by raising its average per-capita growth rate. By contrast, dispersal may raise a metapopulation's extinction risk by reducing its average population density. Which effect prevails is controlled by habitat fragmentation. Dispersal in mildly fragmented habitat reduces a metapopulation's extinction risk by raising its average per-capita growth rate without causing any appreciable drop in its average population density. By contrast, dispersal in severely fragmented habitat raises a metapopulation's extinction risk because the rise in its average per-capita growth rate is more than offset by the decline in its average population density. The metapopulation model used here shows several other interesting phenomena. Dispersal in sufficiently fragmented habitat reduces a metapopulation's extinction risk to that of a constant environment. Dispersal between habitat fragments reduces a metapopulation's extinction risk insofar as local environments are asynchronous. Grouped dispersal raises the effective habitat fragmentation level. Dispersal search barriers raise metapopulation extinction risk. Nonuniform dispersal may reduce the effective fraction of suitable habitat fragments below the extinction threshold. Nonuniform dispersal may make demographic stochasticity a more potent metapopulation extinction force than environmental stochasticity.

  4. Trajectories of Late Permian – Jurassic radiolarian extinction rates: no evidence for an end-Triassic mass extinction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Kiessling

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The hypothesis that ocean acidification was a proximate trigger of the marine end-Triassic mass extinction rests on the assumption that taxa that strongly invest in the secretion of calcium-carbonate skeletons were significantly more affected by the crisis than other taxa. An argument against this hypothesis is the great extinction toll of radiolarians that has been reported from work on local sections. Radiolarians have siliceous tests and thus should be less affected by ocean acidification. We compiled taxonomically vetted occurrences of late Permian and Mesozoic radiolarians and analyzed extinction dynamics of radiolarian genera. Although extinction rates were high at the end of the Triassic, there is no evidence for a mass extinction in radiolarians but rather significantly higher background extinction in the Triassic than in the Jurassic. Although the causes for this decline in background extinction levels remain unclear, the lack of a major evolutionary response to the end-Triassic event, gives support for the hypothesis that ocean acidification was involved in the dramatic extinctions of many calcifying taxa. doi:10.1002/mmng.201000017

  5. THE SECONDARY EXTINCTION CORRECTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zachariasen, W. H.

    1963-03-15

    It is shown that Darwin's formula for the secondary extinction correction, which has been universally accepted and extensively used, contains an appreciable error in the x-ray diffraction case. The correct formula is derived. As a first order correction for secondary extinction, Darwin showed that one should use an effective absorption coefficient mu + gQ where an unpolarized incident beam is presumed. The new derivation shows that the effective absorption coefficient is mu + 2gQ(1 + cos/sup 4/2 theta )/(1 plus or minus cos/sup 2/2 theta )/s up 2/, which gives mu + gQ at theta =0 deg and theta = 90 deg , but mu + 2gQ at theta = 45 deg . Darwin's theory remains valid when applied to neutron diffraction. (auth)

  6. Galactic dust and extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyngaa, G.

    1979-01-01

    The ratio R between visual extinction and colour excess, is slightly larger than 3 and does not vary much throughout our part of the Galaxy. The distribution of dust in the galactic plane shows, on the large scale, a gradient with higher colour excesses towards l=50 0 than towards l=230 0 . On the smaller scale, much of the dust responsible for extinction is situated in clouds which tend to group together. The correlation between positions of interstellar dust clouds and positions of spiral tracers seems rather poor in our Galaxy. However, concentrated dark clouds as well as extended regions of dust show an inclined distribution similar to the Gould belt of bright stars. (Auth.)

  7. Warfare in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Thor; Brooks, Thomas M; Da Fonseca, Gustavo A B; Hoffmann, Michael; Lamoreux, John F; Machlis, Gary; Mittermeier, Cristina G; Mittermeier, Russell A; Pilgrim, John D

    2009-06-01

    Conservation efforts are only as sustainable as the social and political context within which they take place. The weakening or collapse of sociopolitical frameworks during wartime can lead to habitat destruction and the erosion of conservation policies, but in some cases, may also confer ecological benefits through altered settlement patterns and reduced resource exploitation. Over 90% of the major armed conflicts between 1950 and 2000 occurred within countries containing biodiversity hotspots, and more than 80% took place directly within hotspot areas. Less than one-third of the 34 recognized hotspots escaped significant conflict during this period, and most suffered repeated episodes of violence. This pattern was remarkably consistent over these 5 decades. Evidence from the war-torn Eastern Afromontane hotspot suggests that biodiversity conservation is improved when international nongovernmental organizations support local protected area staff and remain engaged throughout the conflict. With biodiversity hotspots concentrated in politically volatile regions, the conservation community must maintain continuous involvement during periods of war, and biodiversity conservation should be incorporated into military, reconstruction, and humanitarian programs in the world's conflict zones. ©2009 Society for Conservation Biology.

  8. Biodiversity and productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.R. Willig

    2011-01-01

    Researchers predict that human activities especially landscape modification and climate change will have a considerable impact on the distribution and abundance of species at local, regional, and global scales in the 21st century ( 1, 2). This is a concern for a number of reasons, including the potential loss of goods and services that biodiversity provides to people...

  9. When Leeches reveal Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnell, Ida Bærholm

    to provide information about vertebrate biodiversity. This thesis covers the development of a monitoring method based on iDNA extracted from terrestrial haematophagous leeches, a continuation of the work presented in Schnell et al., 2012. The chapters investigate and/or discuss different subjects regarding...

  10. Adaptive management to protect biodiversity: best available science and the Endangered Species Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although flawed, the most powerful tool for protecting biodiversity in the United States is the Endangered Species Act, which requires the use of the best available science to ensure that endangered and threatened species are not put in jeopardy of extinction. Unfortunately, the ...

  11. The role of wild and scenic rivers in the conservation of aquatic biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    John D. Rothlisberger; Tamara Heartsill Scalley; Russell F. Thurow

    2017-01-01

    Formerly diverse and abundant freshwater species are highly imperiled, with higher extinction rates than many other taxonomic groups worldwide. In the 50 years since passage of the US Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, wild and scenic rivers (WSRs) have contributed significantly to the conservation of native aquatic biodiversity as well as to the conservation and restoration...

  12. Protecting important sites for biodiversity contributes to meeting global conservation targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Scharlemann, Jörn P.W.; Evans, Mike I.

    2012-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of conservation efforts and now cover nearly 13% of the world's land surface, with the world's governments committed to expand this to 17%. However, as biodiversity continues to decline, the effectiveness of PAs in reducing the extinction risk of species re...

  13. Molecular evolution and the latitudinal biodiversity gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowle, E J; Morgan-Richards, M; Trewick, S A

    2013-06-01

    Species density is higher in the tropics (low latitude) than in temperate regions (high latitude) resulting in a latitudinal biodiversity gradient (LBG). The LBG must be generated by differential rates of speciation and/or extinction and/or immigration among regions, but the role of each of these processes is still unclear. Recent studies examining differences in rates of molecular evolution have inferred a direct link between rate of molecular evolution and rate of speciation, and postulated these as important drivers of the LBG. Here we review the molecular genetic evidence and examine the factors that might be responsible for differences in rates of molecular evolution. Critical to this is the directionality of the relationship between speciation rates and rates of molecular evolution.

  14. Ecological stability and biodiversity of disturbed land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tewary, B.K.; Singh, R.S.; Dhar, B.B.

    1996-01-01

    Ecosystems destruction by mining is an inevitable part of industrialisation. Disposal of debris and low grade ore and minerals reduces the vegetation cover and population of wild animals. Further it causes an unprecedented increase in the rate of accumulation of waste dumps, depleted topsoil, increase in sedimentation load and ultimately prevention of natural succession of native vegetation of the area. Revegetation of overburden dumps through systematic means increase slope stability, enhances the infiltration rate of rain water, increase in soil fertility and natural succession of the native plant species which maintain the long term stability of the ecosystems. Rapid growing population followed with extensive land clearing by the mineral and other industries have caused rapid increase in the extinction of biological diversity. In this paper an attempt is made to portray the natural succession process to preserve the biodiversity of the area. A case study for a coal mining area in India is given. 9 refs., 4 tabs

  15. Tropical shoreline ice in the late Cambrian: Implications for earth's climate between the Cambrian Explosion and the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runkel, Anthony C.; MacKey, T.J.; Cowan, Clinton A.; Fox, David L.

    2010-01-01

    Middle to late Cambrian time (ca. 513 to 488 Ma) is characterized by an unstable plateau in biodiversity, when depauperate shelf faunas suffered repeated extinctions. This poorly understood interval separates the Cambrian Explosion from the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event and is generally regarded as a time of sustained greenhouse conditions. We present evidence that suggests a drastically different climate during this enigmatic interval: Features indicative of meteoric ice are well preserved in late Cambrian equatorial beach deposits that correspond to one of the shelf extinction events. Thus, the middle to late Cambrian Earth was at least episodically cold and might best be considered a muted analogue to the environmental extremes that characterized the Proterozoic, even though cooling in the two periods may have occurred in response to different triggers. Such later Cambrian conditions may have significantly impacted evolution preceding the Ordovician radiation.

  16. Biodiversity hotspots: A shortcut for a more complicated concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Marchese

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In an era of human activities, global environmental changes, habitat loss and species extinction, conservation strategies are a crucial step toward minimizing biodiversity loss. For instance, oceans acidification and land use are intensifying in many places with negative and often irreversible consequences for biodiversity. Biodiversity hotspots, despite some criticism, have become a tool for setting conservation priorities and play an important role in decision-making for cost-effective strategies to preserve biodiversity in terrestrial and, to some extent, marine ecosystems. This area-based approach can be applied to any geographical scale and it is considered to be one of the best approaches for maintaining a large proportion of the world’s biological diversity. However, delineating hotspots includes quantitative criteria along with subjective considerations and the risk is to neglect areas, such as coldspots, with other types of conservation value. Nowadays, it is widely acknowledged that biodiversity is much more than just the number of species in a region and a conservation strategy cannot be based merely on the number of taxa present in an ecosystem. Therefore, the idea that strongly emerges is the need to reconsider conservation priorities and to go toward an interdisciplinary approach through the creation of science-policy partnerships.

  17. Stressor controllability modulates fear extinction in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Catherine A.; Gorun, Alyson; Reddan, Marianne C.; Ramirez, Franchesca; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic events are proposed to play a role in the development of anxiety disorders, however not all individuals exposed to extreme stress experience a pathological increase in fear. Recent studies in animal models suggest that the degree to which one is able to control an aversive experience is a critical factor determining its behavioral consequences. In this study, we examined whether stressor controllability modulates subsequent conditioned fear expression in humans. Participants were randomly assigned to an escapable stressor condition, a yoked inescapable stressor condition, or a control condition involving no stress exposure. One week later, all participants underwent fear conditioning, fear extinction, and a test of extinction retrieval the following day. Participants exposed to inescapable stress showed impaired fear extinction learning and increased fear expression the following day. In contrast, escapable stress improved fear extinction and prevented the spontaneous recovery of fear. Consistent with the bidirectional controllability effects previously reported in animal models, these results suggest that one's degree of control over aversive experiences may be an important factor influencing the development of psychological resilience or vulnerability in humans. PMID:24333646

  18. Caribbean landscapes and their biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. E. Lugo; E. H. Helmer; E. Santiago Valentín

    2012-01-01

    Both the biodiversity and the landscapes of the Caribbean have been greatly modified as a consequence of human activity. In this essay we provide an overview of the natural landscapes and biodiversity of the Caribbean and discuss how human activity has affected both. Our Caribbean geographic focus is on the insular Caribbean and the biodiversity focus is on the flora,...

  19. Forecasting the future of biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, M. C.; Sanders, Nate; Ferrier, Simon

    2011-01-01

    , but their application to forecasting climate change impacts on biodiversity has been limited. Here we compare forecasts of changes in patterns of ant biodiversity in North America derived from ensembles of single-species models to those from a multi-species modeling approach, Generalized Dissimilarity Modeling (GDM...... climate change impacts on biodiversity....

  20. Global attractors and extinction dynamics of cyclically competing species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rulands, Steffen; Zielinski, Alejandro; Frey, Erwin

    2013-05-01

    Transitions to absorbing states are of fundamental importance in nonequilibrium physics as well as ecology. In ecology, absorbing states correspond to the extinction of species. We here study the spatial population dynamics of three cyclically interacting species. The interaction scheme comprises both direct competition between species as in the cyclic Lotka-Volterra model, and separated selection and reproduction processes as in the May-Leonard model. We show that the dynamic processes leading to the transient maintenance of biodiversity are closely linked to attractors of the nonlinear dynamics for the overall species' concentrations. The characteristics of these global attractors change qualitatively at certain threshold values of the mobility and depend on the relative strength of the different types of competition between species. They give information about the scaling of extinction times with the system size and thereby the stability of biodiversity. We define an effective free energy as the negative logarithm of the probability to find the system in a specific global state before reaching one of the absorbing states. The global attractors then correspond to minima of this effective energy landscape and determine the most probable values for the species' global concentrations. As in equilibrium thermodynamics, qualitative changes in the effective free energy landscape indicate and characterize the underlying nonequilibrium phase transitions. We provide the complete phase diagrams for the population dynamics and give a comprehensive analysis of the spatio-temporal dynamics and routes to extinction in the respective phases.

  1. Stress-enhanced fear learning in rats is resistant to the effects of immediate massed extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Virginia A.; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced fear learning occurs subsequent to traumatic or stressful events and is a persistent challenge to the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Facilitation of learning produced by prior stress can elicit an exaggerated fear response to a minimally aversive event or stimulus. Stress-enhanced fear learning (SEFL) is a rat model of PTSD; rats previously exposed to the SEFL 15 electrical shocks procedure exhibit several behavioral responses similar to those seen in patients with PTSD. However, past reports found that SEFL is not mitigated by extinction (a model of exposure therapy) when the spaced extinction began 24 h after stress. Recent studies found that extinction from 10 min to 1 h subsequent to fear conditioning “erased” learning, whereas later extinction, occurring from 24 to 72 h after conditioning did not. Other studies indicate that massed extinction is more effective than spaced procedures. Therefore, we examined the time-dependent nature of extinction on the stress-induced enhancement of fear learning using a massed trial’s procedure. Experimental rats received 15 foot shocks and were given either no extinction or massed extinction 10 min or 72 h later. Our present data indicate that SEFL, following traumatic stress, is resistant to immediate massed extinction. Experimental rats showed exaggerated new fear learning regardless of when extinction training occurred. Thus, post-traumatic reactivity such as SEFL does not seem responsive to extinction treatments. PMID:22176467

  2. High male sexual investment as a driver of extinction in fossil ostracods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Maria João Fernandes; Puckett, T Markham; Lockwood, Rowan; Swaddle, John P; Hunt, Gene

    2018-04-01

    Sexual selection favours traits that confer advantages in the competition for mates. In many cases, such traits are costly to produce and maintain, because the costs help to enforce the honesty of these signals and cues 1 . Some evolutionary models predict that sexual selection also produces costs at the population level, which could limit the ability of populations to adapt to changing conditions and thus increase the risk of extinction 2-4 . Other models, however, suggest that sexual selection should increase rates of adaptation and enhance the removal of deleterious mutations, thus protecting populations against extinction 3, 5, 6 . Resolving the conflict between these models is not only important for explaining the history of biodiversity, but also relevant to understanding the mechanisms of the current biodiversity crisis. Previous attempts to test the conflicting predictions produced by these models have been limited to extant species and have thus relied on indirect proxies for species extinction. Here we use the informative fossil record of cytheroid ostracods-small, bivalved crustaceans with sexually dimorphic carapaces-to test how sexual selection relates to actual species extinction. We show that species with more pronounced sexual dimorphism, indicating the highest levels of male investment in reproduction, had estimated extinction rates that were ten times higher than those of the species with the lowest investment. These results indicate that sexual selection can be a substantial risk factor for extinction.

  3. De-extinction and Barriers to the Application of New Conservation Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddon, Philip J

    2017-07-01

    Decades of globally coordinated work in conservation have failed to slow the loss of biodiversity. To do better-even if that means nothing more than failing less spectacularly-bolder thinking is necessary. One of the first possible conservation applications of synthetic biology to be debated is the use of genetic tools to resurrect once-extinct species. Since the currency of conservation is biodiversity and the discipline of conservation biology was formed around the prevention of species extinctions, the prospect of reversing extinctions might have been expected to generate unreserved enthusiasm. But it was not universal acclaim that greeted the coming-out party for "de-extinction" that was the TEDx conference and accompanying National Geographic feature in 2013. Why the concern, the skepticism, even the hostility among many conservationists about the idea of restoring lost species? And how does this professional concern relate to public perception and support for conservation? This essay explores the barriers to the acceptance of risky new genomic-based conservation tools by considering five key areas and associated questions that could be addressed in relation to any new conservation tool. I illustrate these using the specific example of de-extinction, and in doing so, I consider whether de-extinction would necessarily be the best first point of engagement between conservation biology and synthetic biology. © 2017 The Hastings Center.

  4. Environmental Concerns: Biodiversity and Sustainable Environmental Protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khamala, C.P.M.

    2006-01-01

    Biodiversity is the science tha describes the great variety of living things, namely animals, plants and bacteria present on this planet and their successful adaptation to diverse habitats. In other words, it is the science designed to acquint us with the spectrum of animal and plant and other life inhabiting this earth. Simply stated, it means the variety and variability among living organisms and ecological complexes in which they live. Thus defined, biodiversity is important in the structuring of stable life-support systems on the planet. In a time when animal and plant species all over the world are increasingly subject to extinction and diminishing population sizes, it is important to understand something about this diversity (science) if anything is to be preserved (technology). The future of the human race may depend upon the study of science and technology of living organisms. This is because it is the total variety of living matter on which society depends for food, water and air. It is the environment

  5. Drivers of Pontocaspian Biodiversity Rise and Demise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesselingh, Frank; Flecker, Rachel; Wilke, Thomas; Leroy, Suzanne; Krijgsman, Wout; Stoica, Marius

    2015-04-01

    In the past two million years, the region of the Black Sea Basin, Caspian Basin and adjacent Anatolia and the Balkans were the stage of the evolution of a unique brackish water fauna, the so-called Pontocaspian fauna. The fauna is the result of assembly of genera with a Paratethyan origin and Anatolian origins during the Early Pleistocene. The rapid diversification of the Pontocaspian fauna is the result of the very dynamic nature of the lakes (the Caspian Sea is technically a lake) and seas in the region in the past two million years. In most times the various lake basins were isolated (like today), but in other episodes connections existed. Regional and global climate as well as the regional tectonic regimes were main drivers of lake basin evolution. Over the past 80 years a major biodiversity crisis is hitting the Pontocaspian faunas due to environmental degradation, pollution and invasive species. In the new EU-ETN PRIDE (Drivers of Pontocaspian Biodiversity Rise and Demise)we will be documenting the geological context of past diversifications and turnover events. We present examples of rapid turnover (biodiversity crises) in the Quaternary, assess driving forces and draw implications for the nature of the current human-mediated biodiversity crisis in the region.

  6. Pervasive Defaunation of Forest Remnants in a Tropical Biodiversity Hotspot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canale, Gustavo R.; Peres, Carlos A.; Guidorizzi, Carlos E.; Gatto, Cassiano A. Ferreira; Kierulff, Maria Cecília M.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical deforestation and forest fragmentation are among the most important biodiversity conservation issues worldwide, yet local extinctions of millions of animal and plant populations stranded in unprotected forest remnants remain poorly explained. Here, we report unprecedented rates of local extinctions of medium to large-bodied mammals in one of the world's most important tropical biodiversity hotspots. We scrutinized 8,846 person-years of local knowledge to derive patch occupancy data for 18 mammal species within 196 forest patches across a 252,669-km2 study region of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We uncovered a staggering rate of local extinctions in the mammal fauna, with only 767 from a possible 3,528 populations still persisting. On average, forest patches retained 3.9 out of 18 potential species occupancies, and geographic ranges had contracted to 0–14.4% of their former distributions, including five large-bodied species that had been extirpated at a regional scale. Forest fragments were highly accessible to hunters and exposed to edge effects and fires, thereby severely diminishing the predictive power of species-area relationships, with the power model explaining only ∼9% of the variation in species richness per patch. Hence, conventional species-area curves provided over-optimistic estimates of species persistence in that most forest fragments had lost species at a much faster rate than predicted by habitat loss alone. PMID:22905103

  7. Pervasive defaunation of forest remnants in a tropical biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo R Canale

    Full Text Available Tropical deforestation and forest fragmentation are among the most important biodiversity conservation issues worldwide, yet local extinctions of millions of animal and plant populations stranded in unprotected forest remnants remain poorly explained. Here, we report unprecedented rates of local extinctions of medium to large-bodied mammals in one of the world's most important tropical biodiversity hotspots. We scrutinized 8,846 person-years of local knowledge to derive patch occupancy data for 18 mammal species within 196 forest patches across a 252,669-km(2 study region of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We uncovered a staggering rate of local extinctions in the mammal fauna, with only 767 from a possible 3,528 populations still persisting. On average, forest patches retained 3.9 out of 18 potential species occupancies, and geographic ranges had contracted to 0-14.4% of their former distributions, including five large-bodied species that had been extirpated at a regional scale. Forest fragments were highly accessible to hunters and exposed to edge effects and fires, thereby severely diminishing the predictive power of species-area relationships, with the power model explaining only ~9% of the variation in species richness per patch. Hence, conventional species-area curves provided over-optimistic estimates of species persistence in that most forest fragments had lost species at a much faster rate than predicted by habitat loss alone.

  8. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

    Since the time of the Authors' study on this subject, a great deal of new information has become available. Concepts of the nature of extinctions have changed materially. The Authors' conclusion that a catastrophic event was not responsible for the extinction of vertebrates has modified to the extent that hypotheses involving either the impact of a massive extra-terrestrial body or volcanism provide plausible but not currently fully testable hypotheses. Stated changes resulted in a rapid decrease in organic diversity, as the ratio of origins of taxa to extinctions shifted from strongly positive to negative, with momentary equilibrium being reached at about the Permo-Triassic boundary. The proximate causes of the changes in the terrestrial biota appear to lie in two primary factors: (1) strong climatic changes (global mean temperatures, temperature ranges, humidity) and (2) susceptibility of the dominant vertebrates (large dicynodonts) and the glossopteris flora to disruption of the equlibrium of the world ecosystem. The following proximate causes have been proposed: (1) rhythmic fluctuations in solar radiation, (2) tectonic events as Pangea assembled, altering land-ocean relationships, patterns of wind and water circulation and continental physiography, (3) volcanism, and (4) changes subsequent to impacts of one or more massive extra terrestrial objects, bodies or comets. These hypotheses are discussed.

  9. From dinosaurs to dodos: who could and should we de-extinct?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Elizabeth Jones

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Reviving extinct species with new synthetic biology tools is as exciting an idea as it is controversial. Genomic manipulation of extinct species’ close relatives and/or cloning suitably preserved cells are the two main ways synthetic biology could be used to revive species. Discussions of where to target initial revival efforts have focused on species’ charisma (e.g. Woolly mammoth, Passenger pigeon with less emphasis on feasibility or the ecological, ethical and legal considerations. Here I discuss who we could and should de-extinct, focussing on these latter criteria. Given the current devastating anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity, I suggest that a better use of de-extinction technologies would be to focus them on preventing species extinctions by restoring populations of critically endangered species. For example, this could be through increasing population numbers through cloning or genomic manipulation to better enable susceptible species to adapt to global change or by restoring genetic diversity by reviving extinct sub-species (e.g. Quagga, Barbary lion. This idea circumvents many of the criticisms of de-extinction from conservationists, whilst retaining public interest in de-extinction.

  10. Modelling interstellar extinction: Pt. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, A.P.

    1988-01-01

    Several methods of calculating the extinction of porous silicate grains are discussed, these include effective medium theories and hollow spherical shells. Porous silicate grains are shown to produce enhanced infrared, ultraviolet and far-ultraviolet extinction and this effect can be used to reduce the abundance of carbon required to match the average interstellar extinction, however, matching the visual extinction is rather more problematical. We have shown that the enhanced extinction at long and short wavelengths have different origins, and have explained why the visual extinction is little affected by porosity. The implications of porous grains in the interstellar medium are discussed with particular reference to surface chemistry, the polarization of starlight, and their dynamical evolution. (author)

  11. Rescuing Ecosystems from Extinction Cascades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahasrabudhe, Sagar; Motter, Adilson

    2010-03-01

    Food web perturbations stemming from climate change, overexploitation, invasive species, and natural disasters often cause an initial loss of species that results in a cascade of secondary extinctions. Using a predictive modeling framework, here we will present a systematic network-based approach to reduce the number of secondary extinctions. We will show that the extinction of one species can often be compensated by the concurrent removal of a second specific species, which is a counter-intuitive effect not previously tested in complex food webs. These compensatory perturbations frequently involve long-range interactions that are not a priori evident from local predator-prey relationships. Strikingly, in numerous cases even the early removal of a species that would eventually be extinct by the cascade is found to significantly reduce the number of cascading extinctions. Other nondestructive interventions based on partial removals and growth suppression and/or mortality increase are shown to sometimes prevent all secondary extinctions.

  12. Acoustic integrated extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Norris, Andrew N.

    2015-01-01

    The integrated extinction (IE) is defined as the integral of the scattering cross section as a function of wavelength. Sohl et al. (2007 J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 122, 3206–3210. (doi:10.1121/1.2801546)) derived an IE expression for acoustic scattering that is causal, i.e. the scattered wavefront in the forward direction arrives later than the incident plane wave in the background medium. The IE formula was based on electromagnetic results, for which scattering is causal by default. Here, we der...

  13. Mass extinctions and supernova explosions

    OpenAIRE

    Korschinek, Gunther

    2016-01-01

    A nearby supernova (SN) explosion could have negatively influenced life on Earth, maybe even been responsible for mass extinctions. Mass extinction poses a significant extinction of numerous species on Earth, as recorded in the paleontologic, paleoclimatic, and geological record of our planet. Depending on the distance between the Sun and the SN, different types of threats have to be considered, such as ozone depletion on Earth, causing increased exposure to the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, o...

  14. Recent Trends in Local-Scale Marine Biodiversity Reflect Community Structure and Human Impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elahi, Robin; O'Connor, Mary I; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Dunic, Jillian; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Hensel, Marc J S; Kearns, Patrick J

    2015-07-20

    The modern biodiversity crisis reflects global extinctions and local introductions. Human activities have dramatically altered rates and scales of processes that regulate biodiversity at local scales. Reconciling the threat of global biodiversity loss with recent evidence of stability at fine spatial scales is a major challenge and requires a nuanced approach to biodiversity change that integrates ecological understanding. With a new dataset of 471 diversity time series spanning from 1962 to 2015 from marine coastal ecosystems, we tested (1) whether biodiversity changed at local scales in recent decades, and (2) whether we can ignore ecological context (e.g., proximate human impacts, trophic level, spatial scale) and still make informative inferences regarding local change. We detected a predominant signal of increasing species richness in coastal systems since 1962 in our dataset, though net species loss was associated with localized effects of anthropogenic impacts. Our geographically extensive dataset is unlikely to be a random sample of marine coastal habitats; impacted sites (3% of our time series) were underrepresented relative to their global presence. These local-scale patterns do not contradict the prospect of accelerating global extinctions but are consistent with local species loss in areas with direct human impacts and increases in diversity due to invasions and range expansions in lower impact areas. Attempts to detect and understand local biodiversity trends are incomplete without information on local human activities and ecological context. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. European mountain biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagy, Jennifer

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper, originally prepared as a discussion document for the ESF Exploratory Workshop «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop», provides an overview of current mountain biodiversity research in Europe. It discusses (a biogeographical trends, (b the general properties of biodiversity, (c environmental factors and the regulation of biodiversity with respect to ecosystem function, (d the results of research on mountain freshwater ecosystems, and (e climate change and air pollution dominated environmental interactions.- The section on biogeographical trends highlights the importance of altitude and latitude on biodiversity. The implications of the existence of different scales over the different levels of biodiversity and across organism groups are emphasised as an inherent complex property of biodiversity. The discussion on ecosystem function and the regulation of biodiversity covers the role of environmental factors, productivity, perturbation, species migration and dispersal, and species interactions in the maintenance of biodiversity. Regional and long-term temporal patterns are also discussed. A section on the relatively overlooked topic of mountain freshwater ecosystems is presented before the final topic on the implications of recent climate change and air pollution for mountain biodiversity.

    [fr] Ce document a été préparé à l'origine comme une base de discussion pour «ESF Exploratory Workshop» intitulé «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop»; il apporte une vue d'ensemble sur les recherches actuelles portant sur la biodiversité des montagnes en Europe. On y discute les (a traits biogéographiques, (b les caractéristiques générales- de la biodiversité, (c les facteurs environnementaux et la régulation de la biodiversité par rapport à la fonction des écosystèmes, (d les résultats des études sur les écosystèmes aquatiques des montagnes et (e les

  16. The value of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR. Alho

    Full Text Available In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence, biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper, resins, chemical organic products, genes as well as knowledge for biotechnology, including medicine and cosmetic sub-products. It also encompasses ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, reproductive and feeding habitats for commercial fish, some organisms that can create soil fertility through complex cycles and interactions, such as earthworms, termites and bacteria, in addition to fungi responsible for cycling nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur and making them available to plant absorption. These services are the benefits that people indirectly receive from natural ecosystem functions (air quality maintenance, regional climate, water quality, nutrient cycling, reproductive habitats of commercial fish, etc. with their related economic values.

  17. Extinction of H II regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Israel, F.P.; Kennicutt, R.C.

    1980-01-01

    Visual extinction of H II regions in nine nearby galaxies as derived from the ratio of the radio continuum emission to H-alpha emission is systematically larger than visual extinction deduced from the Balmer lines alone, if one assumes a value Av/E(B-V) 3. An optically-limited sample of about 30 extragalactic H II regions has a mean extinction of 1.7 m in the visual while about 1.2 m is not seen in the reddening of the Balmer lines. Both reddening and extinction decreases with increasing galactic radius, at least for M33 and M101

  18. A reconciliation of extinction theories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabine, T.M.

    1988-01-01

    The differences between previous theoretical treatments of extinction based on the Darwin intensity equations arise because of the different functional form chosen for the coupling constant σ. When the same function is used these theories make closely similar predictions. It is shown that a limiting condition on integrated intensity as the crystal size increases puts restrictions on the functions which may be used. A Lorentzian or Fresnellian function can be used for primary extinction while secondary extinction requires a Gaussian, rectangular or triangular function. An analytical expression is given for the variation in the value of the extinction factor with scattering angle. (orig.)

  19. Crowdfunding biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo-Cajiao, E; Archibald, C; Friedman, R; Steven, R; Fuller, R A; Game, E T; Morrison, T H; Ritchie, E G

    2018-05-26

    Raising funds is critical for conserving biodiversity and hence so too is scrutinizing emerging financial mechanisms that might help achieve this goal. In this context, anecdotal evidence indicates crowdfunding is being used to support a variety of activities needed for biodiversity conservation, yet its magnitude and allocation remain largely unknown. We conducted a global analysis to help address this knowledge gap, based on empirical data from conservation-focused projects extracted from crowdfunding platforms. For each project, we determined the funds raised, date, country of implementation, proponent characteristics, activity type, biodiversity realm, and target taxa. We identified 72 relevant platforms and 577 conservation-focused projects that have raised US$4 790 634 since 2009. Whilst proponents were based in 38 countries, projects were delivered across 80 countries, indicating a potential mechanism of resource mobilization. Proponents were from non-governmental organizations (35%), universities (30%), or were freelancers (26%). Most projects were for research (40%), persuasion (31%), and on-ground actions (21%). Projects have focused primarily on species (57.7%) and terrestrial ecosystems (20.3%), and less on marine (8.8%) and freshwater ecosystems (3.6%). Projects have focused on 208 species, including a disproportionate number of threatened bird and mammal species. Crowdfunding for biodiversity conservation has now become a global phenomenon and presents signals for potential expansion, despite possible pitfalls. Opportunities arise from its spatial amplifying effect, steady increase over time, inclusion of Cinderella species, adoption by multiple actors, and funding of a range of activities beyond research. Our study paves the way for further research on key questions, such as campaign success rates, effectiveness, and drivers of adoption. Even though the capital input of crowdfunding so far has been modest compared to other conservation finance

  20. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downey, Paul O; Richardson, David M

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat-in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the 'extinction trajectory', global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either 'in the wild' (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1-3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader threat

  1. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downey, Paul O.; Richardson, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat—in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the ‘extinction trajectory’, global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either ‘in the wild’ (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1–3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader

  2. Biodiversity at risk under future cropland expansion and intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehoe, Laura; Romero-Muñoz, Alfredo; Polaina, Ester; Estes, Lyndon; Kreft, Holger; Kuemmerle, Tobias

    2017-08-01

    Agriculture is the leading driver of biodiversity loss. However, its future impact on biodiversity remains unclear, especially because agricultural intensification is often neglected, and high path-dependency is assumed when forecasting agricultural development-although the past suggests that shock events leading to considerable agricultural change occur frequently. Here, we investigate the possible impacts on biodiversity of pathways of expansion and intensification. Our pathways are not built to reach equivalent production targets, and therefore they should not be directly compared; they instead highlight areas at risk of high biodiversity loss across the entire option space of possible agricultural change. Based on an extensive database of biodiversity responses to agriculture, we find 30% of species richness and 31% of species abundances potentially lost because of agricultural expansion across the Amazon and Afrotropics. Only 21% of high-risk expansion areas in the Afrotropics overlap with protected areas (compared with 43% of the Neotropics). Areas at risk of biodiversity loss from intensification are found in India, Eastern Europe and the Afromontane region (7% species richness, 13% abundance loss). Many high-risk regions are not adequately covered by conservation prioritization schemes, and have low national conservation spending and high agricultural growth. Considering rising agricultural demand, we highlight areas where timely land-use planning may proactively mitigate biodiversity loss.

  3. Ocean redox change at the Permian-Triassic mass extinction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruhl, Micha; Bjerrum, Christian J.; Canfield, Donald Eugene

    2013-01-01

    Earth’s history is marked by multiple events of ocean anoxia developing along continental margins and po¬tentially into the open ocean realm. These events of¬ten coincide with the emplacement of large igneous provinces (LIPs) on continents, major perturbations of global geochemical cycles and mar...... these oceanographic changes to similar observations for the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction and discuss environmental forcing, poten¬tially inherent to major volcanic events and leading to global environmental change and extinction...... ocean redox change over the largest mass extinction event in Earth history, at the Permian-Tri¬assic boundary (at ~252 Ma). This event is marked by a major perturbation in the global exogenic carbon cycle (and associated major negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE)), likely initiated by carbon...... (anoxic but not euxinic) coinciding with the main extinction event. Molybdenum enrichments, often indicative for freely available sulfide in the water-column, only occur dur¬ing the second phase of euxinia. This pattern of ocean redox-change in Svalbard direct¬ly reflects similar trends in Greenland...

  4. Elemental conservation units: communicating extinction risk without dictating targets for protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Chris C; Gross, Mart R

    2008-02-01

    Conservation biologists mostly agree on the need to identify and protect biodiversity below the species level but have not yet resolved the best approach. We addressed 2 issues relevant to this debate. First, we distinguished between the abstract goal of preserving the maximum amount of unique biodiversity and the pragmatic goal of minimizing the loss of ecological goods and services given that further loss of biodiversity seems inevitable. Second, we distinguished between the scientific task of assessing extinction risk and the normative task of choosing targets for protection. We propose that scientific advice on extinction risk be given at the smallest meaningful scale: the elemental conservation unit (ECU). An ECU is a demographically isolated population whose probability of extinction over the time scale of interest (say 100 years) is not substantially affected by natural immigration from other populations. Within this time frame, the loss of an ECU would be irreversible without human intervention. Society's decision to protect an ECU ought to reflect human values that have social, economic, and political dimensions. Scientists can best inform this decision by providing advice about the probability that an ECU will be lost and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of that loss in a form that can be integrated into landscape planning. The ECU approach provides maximum flexibility to decision makers and ensures that the scientific task of assessing extinction risk informs, but remains distinct from, the normative social challenge of setting conservation targets.

  5. Place of great extinctions in the new ecological paradigm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    О. Я. Кипоренко

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper demonstrates importance of the knowledge of the causes and consequences of the Great extinctions that occurred before the origin of man, in the formation of a new environmental paradigm. Were described methodological foundations of paleoecological studies. Were analyzed the fossilized remains found directly by the authors on the territory of Ukraine. In the development of new environmental paradigm is necessary to consider knowledge of the great extinction (the knowledge of the past, because it is an event, that can be used not only to study past, as well as predicting the same events in the future

  6. Global assessment of extinction risk to populations of Sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter S Rand

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Concern about the decline of wild salmon has attracted the attention of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN. The IUCN applies quantitative criteria to assess risk of extinction and publishes its results on the Red List of Threatened Species. However, the focus is on the species level and thus may fail to show the risk to populations. The IUCN has adapted their criteria to apply to populations but there exist few examples of this type of assessment. We assessed the status of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka as a model for application of the IUCN population-level assessments and to provide the first global assessment of the status of an anadromous Pacific salmon. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found from demographic data that the sockeye salmon species is not presently at risk of extinction. We identified 98 independent populations with varying levels of risk within the species' range. Of these, 5 (5% are already extinct. We analyzed the risk for 62 out of 93 extant populations (67% and found that 17 of these (27% are at risk of extinction. The greatest number and concentration of extinct and threatened populations is in the southern part of the North American range, primarily due to overfishing, freshwater habitat loss, dams, hatcheries, and changing ocean conditions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Although sockeye salmon are not at risk at the species-level, about one-third of the populations that we analyzed are at risk or already extinct. Without an understanding of risk to biodiversity at the level of populations, the biodiversity loss in salmon would be greatly underrepresented on the Red List. We urge government, conservation organizations, scientists and the public to recognize this limitation of the Red List. We also urge recognition that about one-third of sockeye salmon global population diversity is at risk of extinction or already extinct.

  7. Global extinction in spiral galaxies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tully, RB; Pierce, MJ; Saunders, W; Verheijen, MAW; Witchalls, PL

    Magnitude-limited samples of spiral galaxies drawn from the Ursa Major and Pisces Clusters are used to determine their extinction properties as a function of inclination. Imaging photometry is available for 87 spirals in the B, R, I, and K' bands. Extinction causes systematic scatter in

  8. Evolution: Postponing Extinction by Polyandry

    OpenAIRE

    Wade, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    Sex-ratio meiotic drive occurs when males produce a predominance of X-chromosome bearing sperm and an inordinate number of daughters. A driving X causes highly female-biased sex ratios and the risk of extinction. Polyandry can rescue a population from extinction.

  9. Optimising Extinction of Conditioned Disgust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosman, Renske C.; Borg, Charmaine; de Jong, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Maladaptive disgust responses are tenacious and resistant to exposure-based interventions. In a similar vein, laboratory studies have shown that conditioned disgust is relatively insensitive to Conditioned Stimulus (CS)-only extinction procedures. The relatively strong resistance to extinction might

  10. Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Josefsson, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural industrialization alters rural landscapes in Europe, causing large-scale and rapid loss of important biodiversity. The principal instruments to protect farmland biodiversity are various agri-environmental measures (AEMs) in the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). However, growing awareness of shortcomings to CAP biodiversity integration prompts examination of causes and potential solutions. This thesis assesses the importance of structural heterogeneity of crop and non-crop habi...

  11. Interdependence of specialization and biodiversity in Phanerozoic marine invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nürnberg, Sabine; Aberhan, Martin

    2015-03-17

    Studies of the dynamics of biodiversity often suggest that diversity has upper limits, but the complex interplay between ecological and evolutionary processes and the relative role of biotic and abiotic factors that set upper limits to diversity are poorly understood. Here we statistically assess the relationship between global biodiversity and the degree of habitat specialization of benthic marine invertebrates over the Phanerozoic eon. We show that variation in habitat specialization correlates positively with changes in global diversity, that is, times of high diversity coincide with more specialized faunas. We identify the diversity dynamics of specialists but not generalists, and origination rates but not extinction rates, as the main drivers of this ecological interdependence. Abiotic factors fail to show any significant relationship with specialization. Our findings suggest that the overall level of specialization and its fluctuations over evolutionary timescales are controlled by diversity-dependent processes--driven by interactions between organisms competing for finite resources.

  12. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  13. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity provides data and information on amphibians, disease agents (extent and distribution of infectious and parasitic...

  14. The biodiversity cost of carbon sequestration in tropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abreu, Rodolfo C R; Hoffmann, William A; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Pilon, Natashi A; Rossatto, Davi R; Durigan, Giselda

    2017-08-01

    Tropical savannas have been increasingly viewed as an opportunity for carbon sequestration through fire suppression and afforestation, but insufficient attention has been given to the consequences for biodiversity. To evaluate the biodiversity costs of increasing carbon sequestration, we quantified changes in ecosystem carbon stocks and the associated changes in communities of plants and ants resulting from fire suppression in savannas of the Brazilian Cerrado, a global biodiversity hotspot. Fire suppression resulted in increased carbon stocks of 1.2 Mg ha -1 year -1 since 1986 but was associated with acute species loss. In sites fully encroached by forest, plant species richness declined by 27%, and ant richness declined by 35%. Richness of savanna specialists, the species most at risk of local extinction due to forest encroachment, declined by 67% for plants and 86% for ants. This loss highlights the important role of fire in maintaining biodiversity in tropical savannas, a role that is not reflected in current policies of fire suppression throughout the Brazilian Cerrado. In tropical grasslands and savannas throughout the tropics, carbon mitigation programs that promote forest cover cannot be assumed to provide net benefits for conservation.

  15. To what extent can ecosystem services motivate protecting biodiversity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dee, Laura E; De Lara, Michel; Costello, Christopher; Gaines, Steven D

    2017-08-01

    Society increasingly focuses on managing nature for the services it provides people rather than for the existence of particular species. How much biodiversity protection would result from this modified focus? Although biodiversity contributes to ecosystem services, the details of which species are critical, and whether they will go functionally extinct in the future, are fraught with uncertainty. Explicitly considering this uncertainty, we develop an analytical framework to determine how much biodiversity protection would arise solely from optimising net value from an ecosystem service. Using stochastic dynamic programming, we find that protecting a threshold number of species is optimal, and uncertainty surrounding how biodiversity produces services makes it optimal to protect more species than are presumed critical. We define conditions under which the economically optimal protection strategy is to protect all species, no species, and cases in between. We show how the optimal number of species to protect depends upon different relationships between species and services, including considering multiple services. Our analysis provides simple criteria to evaluate when managing for particular ecosystem services could warrant protecting all species, given uncertainty. Evaluating this criterion with empirical estimates from different ecosystems suggests that optimising some services will be more likely to protect most species than others. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  16. Behavioral tagging of extinction learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho Myskiw, Jociane; Benetti, Fernando; Izquierdo, Iván

    2013-01-15

    Extinction of contextual fear in rats is enhanced by exposure to a novel environment at 1-2 h before or 1 h after extinction training. This effect is antagonized by administration of protein synthesis inhibitors anisomycin and rapamycin into the hippocampus, but not into the amygdala, immediately after either novelty or extinction training, as well as by the gene expression blocker 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole administered after novelty training, but not after extinction training. Thus, this effect can be attributed to a mechanism similar to synaptic tagging, through which long-term potentiation can be enhanced by other long-term potentiations or by exposure to a novel environment in a protein synthesis-dependent fashion. Extinction learning produces a tag at the appropriate synapses, whereas novelty learning causes the synthesis of plasticity-related proteins that are captured by the tag, strengthening the synapses that generated this tag.

  17. Extinction of Harrington's mountain goat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mead, J.I.; Martin, P.S.; Euler, R.C.; Long, A.; Jull, A.J.T.; Toolin, L.J.; Donahue, D.J.; Linick, T.W.

    1986-01-01

    Keratinous horn sheaths of the extinct Harrington's mountain goat, Oreamnos harringtoni, were recovered at or near the surface of dry caves of the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Twenty-three separate specimens from two caves were dated nondestructively by the tandem accelerator mass spectrometer (TAMS). Both the TAMS and the conventional dates indicate that Harrington's mountain goat occupied the Grand Canyon for at least 19,000 years prior to becoming extinct by 11,160 +/- 125 radiocarbon years before present. The youngest average radiocarbon dates on Shasta ground sloths, Nothrotheriops shastensis, from the region are not significantly younger than those on extinct mountain goats. Rather than sequential extinction with Harrington's mountain goat disappearing from the Grand Canyon before the ground sloths, as one might predict in view of evidence of climatic warming at the time, the losses were concurrent. Both extinctions coincide with the regional arrival of Clovis hunters

  18. A remote sensing research agenda for mapping and monitoring biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoms, D. M.; Estes, J. E.

    1993-01-01

    A remote sensing research agenda designed to expand the knowledge of the spatial distribution of species richness and its ecological determinants and to predict its response to global change is proposed. Emphasis is placed on current methods of mapping species richness of both plants and animals, hypotheses concerning the biophysical factors believed to determine patterns of species richness, and anthropogenic processes causing the accelerating rate of extinctions. It is concluded that biodiversity should be incorporated more prominently into the global change and earth system science paradigms.

  19. Extinction of metal fires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mellottee, H.

    1977-01-01

    The main points of a large bibliography on liquid and solid metal fires are set out. The various methods used to fight these fires are presented; covering by powders is specially emphasized. Since this method has promising results, the various possible techniques, extinction by cooling the metal, by blanketing, by formation of a continuous insulating layer (by fusion or pyrolysis of a powder) or by a surface reaction between powder and metal are studied. The conditions of conservation and use of powders are outlined, then the various powders are described: inert powders, powders undergoing a physical transformation (fusion or vitrification of an organic compound, fusion of eutectic inorganic mixtures), multiple effect powders. Precise examples are quoted [fr

  20. Measuring Extinction with ALE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmer, Peter C.; McGraw, J. T.; Gimmestad, G. G.; Roberts, D.; Stewart, J.; Smith, J.; Fitch, J.

    2007-12-01

    ALE (Astronomical LIDAR for Extinction) is deployed at the University of New Mexico's (UNM) Campus Observatory in Albuquerque, NM. It has begun a year-long testing phase prior deployment at McDonald Observatory in support of the CCD/Transit Instrument II (CTI-II). ALE is designed to produce a high-precision measurement of atmospheric absorption and scattering above the observatory site every ten minutes of every moderately clear night. LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) is the VIS/UV/IR analog of radar, using a laser, telescope and time-gated photodetector instead of a radio transmitter, dish and receiver. In the case of ALE -- an elastic backscatter LIDAR -- 20ns-long, eye-safe laser pulses are launched 2500 times per second from a 0.32m transmitting telescope co-mounted with a 50mm short-range receiver on an alt-az mounted 0.67m long-range receiver. Photons from the laser pulse are scattered and absorbed as the pulse propagates through the atmosphere, a portion of which are scattered into the field of view of the short- and long-range receiver telescopes and detected by a photomultiplier. The properties of a given volume of atmosphere along the LIDAR path are inferred from both the altitude-resolved backscatter signal as well as the attenuation of backscatter signal from altitudes above it. We present ALE profiles from the commissioning phase and demonstrate some of the astronomically interesting atmospheric information that can be gleaned from these data, including, but not limited to, total line-of-sight extinction. This project is funded by NSF Grant 0421087.

  1. Rewinding the process of mammalian extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saragusty, Joseph; Diecke, Sebastian; Drukker, Micha; Durrant, Barbara; Friedrich Ben-Nun, Inbar; Galli, Cesare; Göritz, Frank; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Hermes, Robert; Holtze, Susanne; Johnson, Stacey; Lazzari, Giovanna; Loi, Pasqualino; Loring, Jeanne F; Okita, Keisuke; Renfree, Marilyn B; Seet, Steven; Voracek, Thomas; Stejskal, Jan; Ryder, Oliver A; Hildebrandt, Thomas B

    2016-07-01

    With only three living individuals left on this planet, the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) could be considered doomed for extinction. It might still be possible, however, to rescue the (sub)species by combining novel stem cell and assisted reproductive technologies. To discuss the various practical options available to us, we convened a multidisciplinary meeting under the name "Conservation by Cellular Technologies." The outcome of this meeting and the proposed road map that, if successfully implemented, would ultimately lead to a self-sustaining population of an extremely endangered species are outlined here. The ideas discussed here, while centered on the northern white rhinoceros, are equally applicable, after proper adjustments, to other mammals on the brink of extinction. Through implementation of these ideas we hope to establish the foundation for reversal of some of the effects of what has been termed the sixth mass extinction event in the history of Earth, and the first anthropogenic one. Zoo Biol. 35:280-292, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Zoo Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 The Authors. Zoo Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Long-term archives reveal shifting extinction selectivity in China's postglacial mammal fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crees, Jennifer J.; Li, Zhipeng; Bielby, Jon; Yuan, Jing

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystems have been modified by human activities for millennia, and insights about ecology and extinction risk based only on recent data are likely to be both incomplete and biased. We synthesize multiple long-term archives (over 250 archaeological and palaeontological sites dating from the early Holocene to the Ming Dynasty and over 4400 historical records) to reconstruct the spatio-temporal dynamics of Holocene–modern range change across China, a megadiverse country experiencing extensive current-day biodiversity loss, for 34 mammal species over three successive postglacial time intervals. Our combined zooarchaeological, palaeontological, historical and current-day datasets reveal that both phylogenetic and spatial patterns of extinction selectivity have varied through time in China, probably in response both to cumulative anthropogenic impacts (an ‘extinction filter’ associated with vulnerable species and accessible landscapes being affected earlier by human activities) and also to quantitative and qualitative changes in regional pressures. China has experienced few postglacial global species-level mammal extinctions, and most species retain over 50% of their maximum estimated Holocene range despite millennia of increasing regional human pressures, suggesting that the potential still exists for successful species conservation and ecosystem restoration. Data from long-term archives also demonstrate that herbivores have experienced more historical extinctions in China, and carnivores have until recently displayed greater resilience. Accurate assessment of patterns of biodiversity loss and the likely predictive power of current-day correlates of faunal vulnerability and resilience is dependent upon novel perspectives provided by long-term archives. PMID:29167363

  3. Net present biodiversity value and the design of biodiversity offsets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overton, Jacob McC; Stephens, R T Theo; Ferrier, Simon

    2013-02-01

    There is an urgent need to develop sound theory and practice for biodiversity offsets to provide a better basis for offset multipliers, to improve accounting for time delays in offset repayments, and to develop a common framework for evaluating in-kind and out-of-kind offsets. Here, we apply concepts and measures from systematic conservation planning and financial accounting to provide a basis for determining equity across type (of biodiversity), space, and time. We introduce net present biodiversity value (NPBV) as a theoretical and practical measure for defining the offset required to achieve no-net-loss. For evaluating equity in type and space we use measures of biodiversity value from systematic conservation planning. Time discount rates are used to address risk of non-repayment, and loss of utility. We illustrate these concepts and measures with two examples of biodiversity impact-offset transactions. Considerable further work is required to understand the characteristics of these approaches.

  4. Education as a tool for addressing the extinction crisis: moving students from understanding to action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer-Horner, Lucas; Kirby, Rebecca; Vaughan, Christopher

    2010-12-01

    Human activity is leading to mass species extinctions worldwide. Conservation biology (CB) courses, taught worldwide at universities, typically focus on the proximal causes of extinction without teaching students how to respond to this crisis. The Extinction of Species 360 course has been taught yearly each fall semester to several hundred students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for over two decades. In 2007 the instructor and five teaching assistants combined principles driving extinctions, based on traditional lectures and discussion sections, with action-oriented education targeting individual consumer habits, to a group of 285 students. Students learn the science underpinning conservation efforts, as evidenced by highly significant learning (crisis and c) facilitated activities to reduce our impact and help alleviate the crisis. The results suggested students learned CB concepts and understood biodiversity's value, increased their awareness of the connection between personal consumption and extinction, and reduced their collective ecological footprints. Furthermore, students complemented their learning and multiplied the potential for consumption reduction, by participating in action-based activities. Such academic courses can provide a rigorous treatment of the direct and indirect causes of extinction while developing a student's sense of personal empowerment to help slow the extinction crisis.

  5. Direct numerical simulations of non-premixed ethylene-air flames: Local flame extinction criterion

    KAUST Repository

    Lecoustre, Vivien R.

    2014-11-01

    Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of ethylene/air diffusion flame extinctions in decaying two-dimensional turbulence were performed. A Damköhler-number-based flame extinction criterion as provided by classical large activation energy asymptotic (AEA) theory is assessed for its validity in predicting flame extinction and compared to one based on Chemical Explosive Mode Analysis (CEMA) of the detailed chemistry. The DNS code solves compressible flow conservation equations using high order finite difference and explicit time integration schemes. The ethylene/air chemistry is simulated with a reduced mechanism that is generated based on the directed relation graph (DRG) based methods along with stiffness removal. The numerical configuration is an ethylene fuel strip embedded in ambient air and exposed to a prescribed decaying turbulent flow field. The emphasis of this study is on the several flame extinction events observed in contrived parametric simulations. A modified viscosity and changing pressure (MVCP) scheme was adopted in order to artificially manipulate the probability of flame extinction. Using MVCP, pressure was changed from the baseline case of 1 atm to 0.1 and 10 atm. In the high pressure MVCP case, the simulated flame is extinction-free, whereas in the low pressure MVCP case, the simulated flame features frequent extinction events and is close to global extinction. Results show that, despite its relative simplicity and provided that the global flame activation temperature is correctly calibrated, the AEA-based flame extinction criterion can accurately predict the simulated flame extinction events. It is also found that the AEA-based criterion provides predictions of flame extinction that are consistent with those provided by a CEMA-based criterion. This study supports the validity of a simple Damköhler-number-based criterion to predict flame extinction in engineering-level CFD models. © 2014 The Combustion Institute.

  6. A tale of two extinctions : converging end-Permian and end-Triassic scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Schootbrugge, Bas; Wignall, Paul B.

    The end-Permian (c. 252 Ma) and end-Triassic (c. 201 Ma) mass-extinction events are commonly linked to the emplacement of the large igneous provinces of the Siberia Traps and Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, respectively. Accordingly, scenarios for both extinctions are increasingly convergent and

  7. Extinction debt and colonization credit delay range shifts of eastern North American trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Talluto, Matthew V.; Boulangeat, Isabelle; Vissault, Steve

    2017-01-01

    and biodiversity of forests, because they can result in 'extinction debts', where populations temporarily persist under unsuitable conditions, and 'colonization credits', where suitable locations are not occupied owing to slow demography and limited dispersal. Here we use a range dynamics model based...... on metapopulation theory to show that the distributions of 21 dominant trees in eastern North America are out of equilibrium with climate and demonstrate both extinction debt and colonization credit. Moreover, lags are more severe at northern range limits, suggesting that range contraction in response to warming...

  8. A scenario for impacts of water availability loss due to climate change on riverine fish extinction rates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tedesco, P.A.; Oberdorff, T.; Cornu, J.-F.; Beauchard, O.; Brosse, S.; Dürr, H.H.; Grenouillet, G.; Leprieur, F.; Tisseuil, C.; Zaiss, R.; Hugueny, B.

    2013-01-01

    1. Current models estimating impact of habitat loss on biodiversity in the face of global climate change usually project only percentages of species committed to extinction' on an uncertain time-scale. Here, we show that this limitation can be overcome using an empirically derived background

  9. Reconciling biodiversity and carbon conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Chris D; Anderson, Barbara J; Moilanen, Atte; Eigenbrod, Felix; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Quaife, Tristan; Roy, David B; Gillings, Simon; Armsworth, Paul R; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-05-01

    Climate change is leading to the development of land-based mitigation and adaptation strategies that are likely to have substantial impacts on global biodiversity. Of these, approaches to maintain carbon within existing natural ecosystems could have particularly large benefits for biodiversity. However, the geographical distributions of terrestrial carbon stocks and biodiversity differ. Using conservation planning analyses for the New World and Britain, we conclude that a carbon-only strategy would not be effective at conserving biodiversity, as have previous studies. Nonetheless, we find that a combined carbon-biodiversity strategy could simultaneously protect 90% of carbon stocks (relative to a carbon-only conservation strategy) and > 90% of the biodiversity (relative to a biodiversity-only strategy) in both regions. This combined approach encapsulates the principle of complementarity, whereby locations that contain different sets of species are prioritised, and hence disproportionately safeguard localised species that are not protected effectively by carbon-only strategies. It is efficient because localised species are concentrated into small parts of the terrestrial land surface, whereas carbon is somewhat more evenly distributed; and carbon stocks protected in one location are equivalent to those protected elsewhere. Efficient compromises can only be achieved when biodiversity and carbon are incorporated together within a spatial planning process. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Habitat modeling for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot

    2006-01-01

    Habitat models address only 1 component of biodiversity but can be useful in addressing and managing single or multiple species and ecosystem functions, for projecting disturbance regimes, and in supporting decisions. I review categories and examples of habitat models, their utility for biodiversity conservation, and their roles in making conservation decisions. I...

  11. Undergraduate Students' Attitudes toward Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hui-Ju; Lin, Yu-Teh Kirk

    2014-01-01

    The study investigated American and Taiwan undergraduate students' attitudes toward biodiversity. The survey questionnaire consisted of statements prompted by the question "To what extent do you agree with the following statements about problems with the biodiversity issues." Students indicated strongly disagree, disagree, agree,…

  12. Soil biodiversity for agricultural sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brussaard, L.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Brown, G.G.

    2007-01-01

    We critically highlight some evidence for the importance of soil biodiversity to sustaining (agro-)ecosystem functioning and explore directions for future research. We first deal with resistance and resilience against abiotic disturbance and stress. There is evidence that soil biodiversity does

  13. Biodiversity of the Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Parulekar, A.H.

    stream_size 2 stream_content_type text/plain stream_name Biodiversity_Western_Ghats_Inf_Kit_1994_3.1_1.pdf.txt stream_source_info Biodiversity_Western_Ghats_Inf_Kit_1994_3.1_1.pdf.txt Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 Content-Type text...

  14. Place prioritization for biodiversity content

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The prioritization of places on the basis of biodiversity content is part of any systematic biodiversity conservation planning process. The place prioritization procedure implemented in the ResNet software package is described. This procedure is primarily based on the principles of rarity and complementarity. Application of the ...

  15. Genetic sex determination and extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedrick, Philip W; Gadau, Jürgen; Page, Robert E

    2006-02-01

    Genetic factors can affect the probability of extinction either by increasing the effect of detrimental variants or by decreasing the potential for future adaptive responses. In a recent paper, Zayed and Packer demonstrate that low variation at a specific locus, the complementary sex determination (csd) locus in Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), can result in a sharply increased probability of extinction. Their findings illustrate situations in which there is a feedback process between decreased genetic variation at the csd locus owing to genetic drift and decreased population growth, resulting in an extreme type of extinction vortex for these ecologically important organisms.

  16. Insect biodiversity reduction of pine woods in southern Greece caused by the pine scale (Marchalina hellenica)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petrakis, P. V.; Spanos, K.; Feest, A.

    2011-07-01

    This paper deals with the impact of the pine scale (Marchalina hellenica Gennadius, Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Margarodidae) on the insect biodiversity of pinewoods in Attica, Greece. The comparison of biodiversities was done by estimating the biodiversity by the Ewens-Caswells V statistic in a set of nine sites each containing two linetransects. Transects pairs went through free and infested pine woods from the pine scale and each one had several tenth hectare plots on both sides. The ecosystem temperature (= disorder) of the sites was computed and found high, together with the idiosyncratic temperatures (= susceptibility to extinction) of the 158 species in order to detect local extinctions. The indicator values of insect species were computed on the basis of the relative cover of each plant species. The main findings of this study are (1) the reduction of insect species biodiversity because of the introduction of the pine scale, (2) the moderate increase of disorder in pine scale infested sites,(3) many insect species can characterize site groups but none of them can distinguish infested from pine scale free sites. The introduction of pine scale in pine woods disturbs their insect fauna before its influence to the floristic composition and the associated vegetation structure appears. The causes behind this reduction of biodiversity and the anthropogenic influences are discussed. (Author) 64 refs.

  17. Multiple Polyploidization Events across Asteraceae with Two Nested Events in the Early History Revealed by Nuclear Phylogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chien-Hsun; Zhang, Caifei; Liu, Mian; Hu, Yi; Gao, Tiangang; Qi, Ji; Ma, Hong

    2016-11-01

    Biodiversity results from multiple evolutionary mechanisms, including genetic variation and natural selection. Whole-genome duplications (WGDs), or polyploidizations, provide opportunities for large-scale genetic modifications. Many evolutionarily successful lineages, including angiosperms and vertebrates, are ancient polyploids, suggesting that WGDs are a driving force in evolution. However, this hypothesis is challenged by the observed lower speciation and higher extinction rates of recently formed polyploids than diploids. Asteraceae includes about 10% of angiosperm species, is thus undoubtedly one of the most successful lineages and paleopolyploidization was suggested early in this family using a small number of datasets. Here, we used genes from 64 new transcriptome datasets and others to reconstruct a robust Asteraceae phylogeny, covering 73 species from 18 tribes in six subfamilies. We estimated their divergence times and further identified multiple potential ancient WGDs within several tribes and shared by the Heliantheae alliance, core Asteraceae (Asteroideae-Mutisioideae), and also with the sister family Calyceraceae. For two of the WGD events, there were subsequent great increases in biodiversity; the older one proceeded the divergence of at least 10 subfamilies within 10 My, with great variation in morphology and physiology, whereas the other was followed by extremely high species richness in the Heliantheae alliance clade. Our results provide different evidence for several WGDs in Asteraceae and reveal distinct association among WGD events, dramatic changes in environment and species radiations, providing a possible scenario for polyploids to overcome the disadvantages of WGDs and to evolve into lineages with high biodiversity. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  18. Co-occurrence of linguistic and biological diversity in biodiversity hotspots and high biodiversity wilderness areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorenflo, L J; Romaine, Suzanne; Mittermeier, Russell A; Walker-Painemilla, Kristen

    2012-05-22

    As the world grows less biologically diverse, it is becoming less linguistically and culturally diverse as well. Biologists estimate annual loss of species at 1,000 times or more greater than historic rates, and linguists predict that 50-90% of the world's languages will disappear by the end of this century. Prior studies indicate similarities in the geographic arrangement of biological and linguistic diversity, although conclusions have often been constrained by use of data with limited spatial precision. Here we use greatly improved datasets to explore the co-occurrence of linguistic and biological diversity in regions containing many of the Earth's remaining species: biodiversity hotspots and high biodiversity wilderness areas. Results indicate that these regions often contain considerable linguistic diversity, accounting for 70% of all languages on Earth. Moreover, the languages involved are frequently unique (endemic) to particular regions, with many facing extinction. Likely reasons for co-occurrence of linguistic and biological diversity are complex and appear to vary among localities, although strong geographic concordance between biological and linguistic diversity in many areas argues for some form of functional connection. Languages in high biodiversity regions also often co-occur with one or more specific conservation priorities, here defined as endangered species and protected areas, marking particular localities important for maintaining both forms of diversity. The results reported in this article provide a starting point for focused research exploring the relationship between biological and linguistic-cultural diversity, and for developing integrated strategies designed to conserve species and languages in regions rich in both.

  19. The fossil record of evolution: Analysis of extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raup, D. M.

    1986-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that events in space have had direct effects on Earth history and on the history of life on Earth. Nowhere is this more evident than in mass extinction. The biosphere has undergone repeated devastation caused by relatively short-lived environmental stress, with species kill rates up to 80 and 95%. For five of the mass extinctions, geochemical or other evidence was reported suggesting large body impact as the cause of the environmental stress producing the extinctions. It was argued on statistical ground that the major extinction events are uniformly periodic in geological time. If it is true that large body impact is a principal cause of mass extinctions and if the periodicity is real, than a cosmic driving mechanism is inescapable. Paleontological data sets were developed which detail the ranges in geological time of about 4,000 families and 25,000 genera of fossil marine organisms. Analyses to date have concentrated on the most recent 250 million years. Associated with these studies are analyses of other aspects of Earth history which may have signatures indicative of extraterrestrial effects.

  20. Biodiversity in Benthic Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friberg, Nikolai; Carl, J. D.

    Foreword: This proceeding is based on a set of papers presented at the second Nordic Benthological Meeting held in Silkeborg, November 13-14, 1997. The main theme of the meeting was biodiversity in benthic ecology and the majority of contributions touch on this subject. In addition, the proceeding...... contains papers which cover other themes thus continuing with the spirit of the meetings in the Nordic Benthological Society (NORBS) by being an open forum for exchanging knowledge on all aspects of benthic ecology. Overall, we feel the proceeding contains a wide selection of very interesting papers...... representing the state-of-the-art of benthic ecology research within, and to a lesser degree, outside the Nordic countries. We wish to thank all the authors for their inspirational contributions to the proceeding, but we feel that a special thanks is due to the invited speakers for their readiness to produce...

  1. Climate change not to blame for late Quaternary megafauna extinctions in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltré, Frédérik; Rodríguez-Rey, Marta; Brook, Barry W; Johnson, Christopher N; Turney, Chris S M; Alroy, John; Cooper, Alan; Beeton, Nicholas; Bird, Michael I; Fordham, Damien A; Gillespie, Richard; Herrando-Pérez, Salvador; Jacobs, Zenobia; Miller, Gifford H; Nogués-Bravo, David; Prideaux, Gavin J; Roberts, Richard G; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2016-01-29

    Late Quaternary megafauna extinctions impoverished mammalian diversity worldwide. The causes of these extinctions in Australia are most controversial but essential to resolve, because this continent-wide event presaged similar losses that occurred thousands of years later on other continents. Here we apply a rigorous metadata analysis and new ensemble-hindcasting approach to 659 Australian megafauna fossil ages. When coupled with analysis of several high-resolution climate records, we show that megafaunal extinctions were broadly synchronous among genera and independent of climate aridity and variability in Australia over the last 120,000 years. Our results reject climate change as the primary driver of megafauna extinctions in the world's most controversial context, and instead estimate that the megafauna disappeared Australia-wide ∼13,500 years after human arrival, with shorter periods of coexistence in some regions. This is the first comprehensive approach to incorporate uncertainty in fossil ages, extinction timing and climatology, to quantify mechanisms of prehistorical extinctions.

  2. Pollinator declines. Extinctions of aculeate pollinators in Britain and the role of large-scale agricultural changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollerton, Jeff; Erenler, Hilary; Edwards, Mike; Crockett, Robin

    2014-12-12

    Pollinators are fundamental to maintaining both biodiversity and agricultural productivity, but habitat destruction, loss of flower resources, and increased use of pesticides are causing declines in their abundance and diversity. Using historical records, we assessed the rate of extinction of bee and flower-visiting wasp species in Britain from the mid-19th century to the present. The most rapid phase of extinction appears to be related to changes in agricultural policy and practice beginning in the 1920s, before the agricultural intensification prompted by the Second World War, often cited as the most important driver of biodiversity loss in Britain. Slowing of the extinction rate from the 1960s onward may be due to prior loss of the most sensitive species and/or effective conservation programs. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. Integrating Biodiversity Data into Botanic Collections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Today's species names are entry points into a web of publicly available knowledge and are integral parts of legislation concerning biological conservation and consumer safety. Species information usually is fragmented, can be misleading due to the existence of different names and might even be biased because of an identical name that is used for a different species. Safely navigating through the name space is one of the most challenging tasks when associating names with data and when decisions are made which name to include in legislation. Integrating publicly available dynamic data to characterise plant genetic resources of botanic gardens and other facilities will significantly increase the efficiency of recovering relevant information for research projects, identifying potentially invasive taxa, constructing priority lists and developing DNA-based specimen authentication. To demonstrate information availability and discuss integration into botanic collections, scientific names derived from botanic gardens were evaluated using the Encyclopedia of Life, The Catalogue of Life and The Plant List. 98.5% of the names could be verified by the combined use of these providers. Comparing taxonomic status information 13 % of the cases were in disagreement. About 7 % of the verified names were found to be included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, including one extinct taxon and three taxa with the status "extinct in the wild". As second most important factor for biodiversity loss, potential invasiveness was determined. Approximately 4 % of the verified names were detected using the Global Invasive Species Information Network, including 208 invasive taxa. According to Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe around 20 % of the verified names are European alien taxa including 15 of the worst European invasive taxa. Considering alternative names in the data recovery process, success increased up to 18 %.

  4. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Biodiversity informatics is a relatively new discipline extending computer science in the context of biodiversity data, and its development to date has not been uniform throughout the world. Digitizing effort and capacity building are costly, and ways should be found to prioritize them rationally. The proposed 'Biodiversity Informatics Potential (BIP) Index' seeks to fulfill such a prioritization role. We propose that the potential for biodiversity informatics be assessed through three concepts: (a) the intrinsic biodiversity potential (the biological richness or ecological diversity) of a country; (b) the capacity of the country to generate biodiversity data records; and (c) the availability of technical infrastructure in a country for managing and publishing such records. Methods Broadly, the techniques used to construct the BIP Index were rank correlation, multiple regression analysis, principal components analysis and optimization by linear programming. We built the BIP Index by finding a parsimonious set of country-level human, economic and environmental variables that best predicted the availability of primary biodiversity data accessible through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) network, and constructing an optimized model with these variables. The model was then applied to all countries for which sufficient data existed, to obtain a score for each country. Countries were ranked according to that score. Results Many of the current GBIF participants ranked highly in the BIP Index, although some of them seemed not to have realized their biodiversity informatics potential. The BIP Index attributed low ranking to most non-participant countries; however, a few of them scored highly, suggesting that these would be high-return new participants if encouraged to contribute towards the GBIF mission of free and open access to biodiversity data. Conclusions The BIP Index could potentially help in (a) identifying countries most likely to

  5. The Sixth Great Mass Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagler, Ron

    2012-01-01

    Five past great mass extinctions have occurred during Earth's history. Humanity is currently in the midst of a sixth, human-induced great mass extinction of plant and animal life (e.g., Alroy 2008; Jackson 2008; Lewis 2006; McDaniel and Borton 2002; Rockstrom et al. 2009; Rohr et al. 2008; Steffen, Crutzen, and McNeill 2007; Thomas et al. 2004;…

  6. Targeted habitat restoration can reduce extinction rates in fragmented forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newmark, William D; Jenkins, Clinton N; Pimm, Stuart L; McNeally, Phoebe B; Halley, John M

    2017-09-05

    The Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and the Atlantic Forest of Brazil are two of the most fragmented biodiversity hotspots. Species-area relationships predict that their habitat fragments will experience a substantial loss of species. Most of these extinctions will occur over an extended time, and therefore, reconnecting fragments could prevent species losses and allow locally extinct species to recolonize former habitats. An empirical relaxation half-life vs. area relationship for tropical bird communities estimates the time that it takes to lose one-half of all species that will be eventually lost. We use it to estimate the increase in species persistence by regenerating a forest connection 1 km in width among the largest and closest fragments at 11 locations. In the Eastern Arc Mountains, regenerating 8,134 ha of forest would create >316,000 ha in total of restored contiguous forest. More importantly, it would increase the persistence time for species by a factor of 6.8 per location or ∼2,272 years, on average, relative to individual fragments. In the Atlantic Forest, regenerating 6,452 ha of forest would create >251,000 ha in total of restored contiguous forest and enhance species persistence by a factor of 13.0 per location or ∼5,102 years, on average, relative to individual fragments. Rapidly regenerating forest among fragments is important, because mean time to the first determined extinction across all fragments is 7 years. We estimate the cost of forest regeneration at $21-$49 million dollars. It could provide one of the highest returns on investment for biodiversity conservation worldwide.

  7. Extinction in neutrally stable stochastic Lotka-Volterra models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrinevski, Alexander; Frey, Erwin

    2012-05-01

    Populations of competing biological species exhibit a fascinating interplay between the nonlinear dynamics of evolutionary selection forces and random fluctuations arising from the stochastic nature of the interactions. The processes leading to extinction of species, whose understanding is a key component in the study of evolution and biodiversity, are influenced by both of these factors. Here, we investigate a class of stochastic population dynamics models based on generalized Lotka-Volterra systems. In the case of neutral stability of the underlying deterministic model, the impact of intrinsic noise on the survival of species is dramatic: It destroys coexistence of interacting species on a time scale proportional to the population size. We introduce a new method based on stochastic averaging which allows one to understand this extinction process quantitatively by reduction to a lower-dimensional effective dynamics. This is performed analytically for two highly symmetrical models and can be generalized numerically to more complex situations. The extinction probability distributions and other quantities of interest we obtain show excellent agreement with simulations.

  8. Extinction of fish-shaped marine reptiles associated with reduced evolutionary rates and global environmental volatility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Valentin; Bardet, Nathalie; Benson, Roger B J; Arkhangelsky, Maxim S; Friedman, Matt

    2016-03-08

    Despite their profound adaptations to the aquatic realm and their apparent success throughout the Triassic and the Jurassic, ichthyosaurs became extinct roughly 30 million years before the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Current hypotheses for this early demise involve relatively minor biotic events, but are at odds with recent understanding of the ichthyosaur fossil record. Here, we show that ichthyosaurs maintained high but diminishing richness and disparity throughout the Early Cretaceous. The last ichthyosaurs are characterized by reduced rates of origination and phenotypic evolution and their elevated extinction rates correlate with increased environmental volatility. In addition, we find that ichthyosaurs suffered from a profound Early Cenomanian extinction that reduced their ecological diversity, likely contributing to their final extinction at the end of the Cenomanian. Our results support a growing body of evidence revealing that global environmental change resulted in a major, temporally staggered turnover event that profoundly reorganized marine ecosystems during the Cenomanian.

  9. Indicators for Monitoring Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bispo, A.; Cluzeau, D.; Creamer, R.

    2009-01-01

    is made for a set of suitable indicators for monitoring the decline in soil biodiversity (Bispo et al. 2007). These indicators were selected both from a literature review and an inventory of national monitoring programmes. Decline in soil biodiversity was defined as the reduction of forms of life living...... indicators are actually measured.   For monitoring application it was considered in ENVASSO that only three key indicators per soil stress were practical. For indicating biodiversity decline it was difficult to arrive at a small set of indicators due to the complexity of soil biota and functions. Therefore...

  10. Interactive Effects of Nitrogen and Climate Change on Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, E. M.; Bowman, W. D.; Clark, C. M.; Compton, J. E.; Pardo, L. H.; Soong, J.

    2011-12-01

    Biodiversity has been described as the diversity of life on earth within species, between species and in ecosystems. Biodiversity contributes to regulating ecosystem services like climate, flood, disease, and water quality regulation. Biodiversity also supports and sustains ecosystem services that provide material goods like food, fiber, fuel, timber and water, and to non-material benefits like educational, recreational, spiritual, and aesthetic ecosystem services. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment estimated that the rate of biodiversity loss due to human activity in the last 50 years has been more rapid than at any other time in human history, and that many of the drivers of biodiversity loss are increasing. The strongest drivers of biodiversity loss include habitat loss, overexploitation, invasive species, climate change, and pollution, including pollution from reactive nitrogen. Of these stressors, climate change and reactive nitrogen from anthropogenic activities are causing some of the most rapid changes. Climate change is causing warming trends that result in consistent patterns of poleward and elevational range shifts of flora and fauna, causing changes in biodiversity. Warming has also resulted in changes in phenology, particularly the earlier onset of spring events, migration, and lengthening of the growing season, disrupting predator-prey and plant-pollinator interactions. In addition to warming, elevated carbon dioxide by itself can affect biodiversity by influencing plant growth, soil water, tissue stoichiometry, and trophic interactions. Nitrogen enrichment also impacts ecosystems and biodiversity in a variety of ways. Nitrogen enhances plant growth, but has been shown to favor invasive, fast-growing species over native species adapted to low nitrogen conditions. Although there have been a limited number of empirical studies on climate change and nitrogen interactions, inferences can be drawn from observed responses to each stressor by itself. For

  11. Micro-evolutionary diversification among Indian Ocean parrots: temporal and spatial changes in phylogenetic diversity as a consequence of extinction and invasion

    OpenAIRE

    Jackson, H; Jones, C G; Agapow, P-M; Tatayah, V; Groombridge, Jim J.

    2015-01-01

    Almost 90% of global bird extinctions have occurred on islands. The loss of endemic spe- cies from island systems can dramatically alter evolutionary trajectories of insular species biodiversity, resulting in a loss of evolutionary diversity important for species adaptation to changing environments. The Western Indian Ocean islands have been the scene of evolution for a large number of endemic parrots. Since their discovery in the 16th cen- tury, many of these parrots have become extinct or h...

  12. Mass extinctions drove increased global faunal cosmopolitanism on the supercontinent Pangaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Button, David J; Lloyd, Graeme T; Ezcurra, Martín D; Butler, Richard J

    2017-10-10

    Mass extinctions have profoundly impacted the evolution of life through not only reducing taxonomic diversity but also reshaping ecosystems and biogeographic patterns. In particular, they are considered to have driven increased biogeographic cosmopolitanism, but quantitative tests of this hypothesis are rare and have not explicitly incorporated information on evolutionary relationships. Here we quantify faunal cosmopolitanism using a phylogenetic network approach for 891 terrestrial vertebrate species spanning the late Permian through Early Jurassic. This key interval witnessed the Permian-Triassic and Triassic-Jurassic mass extinctions, the onset of fragmentation of the supercontinent Pangaea, and the origins of dinosaurs and many modern vertebrate groups. Our results recover significant increases in global faunal cosmopolitanism following both mass extinctions, driven mainly by new, widespread taxa, leading to homogenous 'disaster faunas'. Cosmopolitanism subsequently declines in post-recovery communities. These shared patterns in both biotic crises suggest that mass extinctions have predictable influences on animal distribution and may shed light on biodiversity loss in extant ecosystems.Mass extinctions are thought to produce 'disaster faunas', communities dominated by a small number of widespread species. Here, Button et al. develop a phylogenetic network approach to test this hypothesis and find that mass extinctions did increase faunal cosmopolitanism across Pangaea during the late Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic.

  13. Neutral theory as a predictor of avifaunal extinctions after habitat loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halley, John M; Iwasa, Yoh

    2011-02-08

    The worldwide loss of natural habitats leads not only to the loss of habitat-endemic species but also to further and protracted extinctions in the reduced areas that remain. How rapid is this process? We use the neutral theory of biodiversity to answer this question, and we compare the results taken with observed rates of avifaunal extinctions. In the neutral model, we derive an exact solution for the rate of species loss in a closed community. The simple, closed-form solution exhibits hyperbolic decay of species richness with time, which implies a potentially rapid initial decline followed by much slower rates long term. Our empirical estimates of extinction times are based on published studies for avifaunal extinctions either on oceanic islands or in forest fragments, which span a total of six orders of magnitude in area. These estimates show that the time to extinction strongly depends on the area. The neutral-theory predictions agree well with observed rates over three orders of magnitude of area (between 100 and 100,000 ha) both for islands and forest fragments. Regarding the species abundance distribution, extinction times based on a broken-stick model led to better agreement with observation than if a log-series model was used. The predictions break down for very small or very large areas. Thus, neutrality may be an affordable assumption for some applications in ecology and conservation, particularly for areas of intermediate size.

  14. Impact Ejecta Layer from the Mid-Devonian: Possible Connection to Global Mass Extinctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellwood, Brooks B.; Benoist, Stephen L.; Hassani, Ahmed El; Wheeler, Christopher; Crick, Rex E.

    2003-06-01

    We have found evidence for a bolide impacting Earth in the mid-Devonian (~380 million years ago), including high concentrations of shocked quartz, Ni, Cr, As, V, and Co anomalies; a large negative carbon isotope shift (-9 per mil); and microspherules and microcrysts at Jebel Mech Irdane in the Anti Atlas desert near Rissani, Morocco. This impact is important because it is coincident with a major global extinction event (Kacák/otomari event), suggesting a possible cause-and-effect relation between the impact and the extinction. The result may represent the extinction of as many as 40% of all living marine animal genera.

  15. Synergies and trade-offs in achieving global biodiversity targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Marco, Moreno; Butchart, Stuart H M; Visconti, Piero; Buchanan, Graeme M; Ficetola, Gentile F; Rondinini, Carlo

    2016-02-01

    After their failure to achieve a significant reduction in the global rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, world governments adopted 20 new ambitious Aichi biodiversity targets to be met by 2020. Efforts to achieve one particular target can contribute to achieving others, but different targets may sometimes require conflicting solutions. Consequently, lack of strategic thinking might result, once again, in a failure to achieve global commitments to biodiversity conservation. We illustrate this dilemma by focusing on Aichi Target 11. This target requires an expansion of terrestrial protected area coverage, which could also contribute to reducing the loss of natural habitats (Target 5), reducing human-induced species decline and extinction (Target 12), and maintaining global carbon stocks (Target 15). We considered the potential impact of expanding protected areas to mitigate global deforestation and the consequences for the distribution of suitable habitat for >10,000 species of forest vertebrates (amphibians, birds, and mammals). We first identified places where deforestation might have the highest impact on remaining forests and then identified places where deforestation might have the highest impact on forest vertebrates (considering aggregate suitable habitat for species). Expanding protected areas toward locations with the highest deforestation rates (Target 5) or the highest potential loss of aggregate species' suitable habitat (Target 12) resulted in partially different protected area network configurations (overlapping with each other by about 73%). Moreover, the latter approach contributed to safeguarding about 30% more global carbon stocks than the former. Further investigation of synergies and trade-offs between targets would shed light on these and other complex interactions, such as the interaction between reducing overexploitation of natural resources (Targets 6, 7), controlling invasive alien species (Target 9), and preventing extinctions of native

  16. Economic inequality predicts biodiversity loss.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory M Mikkelson

    Full Text Available Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of species that are threatened or declining increases substantially with the Gini ratio of income inequality. At both levels of analysis, the connection between income inequality and biodiversity loss persists after controlling for biophysical conditions, human population size, and per capita GDP or income. Future research should explore potential mechanisms behind this equality-biodiversity relationship. Our results suggest that economic reforms would go hand in hand with, if not serving as a prerequisite for, effective conservation.

  17. Urban lifestyle and urban biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, L. K.; Lyytimäki, J.; Normander, B.

    2007-01-01

    This report is concerned with the relations between lifestyles of urban populations on one hand and protection of biodiversity in urban areas on the other. Urban areas are of importance for the general protection of biodiversity. In the surroundings of cities and within urban sprawls there can...... biodiversity, recreational, educational and other needs. However, uncovered and unsealed space is constantly under pressure for building and infrastructure development in the urban landscape, and the design and usages of urban green structure is a matter of differing interests and expectations. Integrating...... the green needs of urban lifestyle in the planning process does not come by itself. Nor does finding the synergies between urban lifestyle and urban biodiversity. Careful planning including stakeholder involvement is required. In this process various mapping techniques and use of indicators can be most...

  18. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, established the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) to address the need for coordinated and standardized monitoring of Arctic environments. The CBMP includes an international...... on developing and implementing long-term plans for monitoring the integrity of Arctic biomes: terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and coastal (under development) environments. The CBMP Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group (CBMP-TEMG) has developed the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (CBMP......-Terrestrial Plan/the Plan) as the framework for coordinated, long-term Arctic terrestrial biodiversity monitoring. The goal of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders, northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long...

  19. Economic inequality predicts biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikkelson, Gregory M; Gonzalez, Andrew; Peterson, Garry D

    2007-05-16

    Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of species that are threatened or declining increases substantially with the Gini ratio of income inequality. At both levels of analysis, the connection between income inequality and biodiversity loss persists after controlling for biophysical conditions, human population size, and per capita GDP or income. Future research should explore potential mechanisms behind this equality-biodiversity relationship. Our results suggest that economic reforms would go hand in hand with, if not serving as a prerequisite for, effective conservation.

  20. MCBS Sites of Biodiversity Significance

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data layer represents areas with varying levels of native biodiversity that may contain high quality native plant communities, rare plants, rare animals, and/or...

  1. Biodiversity versus cloning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaramillo T, Jose Hernan

    1998-01-01

    The announcement has been made on the cloning of mice in these days and he doesn't stop to miss, because the world lives a stage where conscience of the protection is creating that should be given to the biodiversity. It is known that alone we won't subsist and the protection of the means and all that contains that environment is of vital importance for the man. But it is also known that the vegetables and animal transgenic that they come to multiply the species have appeared that we prepare. The transgenic has been altered genetically, for substitution of one or more genes of other species, inclusive human genes. This represents an improvement compared with the investigations that gave origin to the cloning animal. But it is necessary to notice that to it you arrived through the cloning. This year 28 million hectares have been sowed in cultivations of transgenic seeds and there is around 700 bovine transgenic whose milk contains a necessary protein in the treatment of the man's illnesses

  2. Fungal biodiversity to biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambergo, Felipe S; Valencia, Estela Y

    2016-03-01

    Fungal habitats include soil, water, and extreme environments. With around 100,000 fungus species already described, it is estimated that 5.1 million fungus species exist on our planet, making fungi one of the largest and most diverse kingdoms of eukaryotes. Fungi show remarkable metabolic features due to a sophisticated genomic network and are important for the production of biotechnological compounds that greatly impact our society in many ways. In this review, we present the current state of knowledge on fungal biodiversity, with special emphasis on filamentous fungi and the most recent discoveries in the field of identification and production of biotechnological compounds. More than 250 fungus species have been studied to produce these biotechnological compounds. This review focuses on three of the branches generally accepted in biotechnological applications, which have been identified by a color code: red, green, and white for pharmaceutical, agricultural, and industrial biotechnology, respectively. We also discuss future prospects for the use of filamentous fungi in biotechnology application.

  3. Economic Inequality Predicts Biodiversity Loss

    OpenAIRE

    Mikkelson, Gregory M.; Gonzalez, Andrew; Peterson, Garry D.

    2007-01-01

    Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of sp...

  4. Biodiversity maintenance in food webs with regulatory environmental feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagdassarian, Carey K; Dunham, Amy E; Brown, Christopher G; Rauscher, Daniel

    2007-04-21

    Although the food web is one of the most fundamental and oldest concepts in ecology, elucidating the strategies and structures by which natural communities of species persist remains a challenge to empirical and theoretical ecologists. We show that simple regulatory feedbacks between autotrophs and their environment when embedded within complex and realistic food-web models enhance biodiversity. The food webs are generated through the niche-model algorithm and coupled with predator-prey dynamics, with and without environmental feedbacks at the autotroph level. With high probability and especially at lower, more realistic connectance levels, regulatory environmental feedbacks result in fewer species extinctions, that is, in increased species persistence. These same feedback couplings, however, also sensitize food webs to environmental stresses leading to abrupt collapses in biodiversity with increased forcing. Feedback interactions between species and their material environments anchor food-web persistence, adding another dimension to biodiversity conservation. We suggest that the regulatory features of two natural systems, deep-sea tubeworms with their microbial consortia and a soil ecosystem manifesting adaptive homeostatic changes, can be embedded within niche-model food-web dynamics.

  5. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Globally, forests cover nearly one third of the land area and they contain over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. Both the extent and quality of forest habitat continue to decrease and the associated loss of biodiversity jeopardizes forest ecosystem functioning and the ability of forests to provide ecosystem services. In the light of the increasing population pressure, it is of major importance not only to conserve, but also to restore forest ecosystems. Ecological restoration has recently started to adopt insights from the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) perspective. Central is the focus on restoring the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Here we provide an overview of important considerations related to forest restoration that can be inferred from this BEF-perspective. Restoring multiple forest functions requires multiple species. It is highly unlikely that species-poor plantations, which may be optimal for above-ground biomass production, will outperform species diverse assemblages for a combination of functions, including overall carbon storage and control over water and nutrient flows. Restoring stable forest functions also requires multiple species. In particular in the light of global climatic change scenarios, which predict more frequent extreme disturbances and climatic events, it is important to incorporate insights from the relation between biodiversity and stability of ecosystem functioning into forest restoration projects. Rather than focussing on species per se, focussing on functional diversity of tree species assemblages seems appropriate when selecting tree species for restoration. Finally, also plant genetic diversity and above - below-ground linkages should be considered during the restoration process, as these likely have prominent but until now poorly understood effects at the level of the ecosystem. The BEF-approach provides a useful framework to evaluate forest restoration in an ecosystem functioning context, but

  6. Different tolerances of symbiotic and nonsymbiotic ant-plant networks to species extinctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley Dattilo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of the mechanisms that shape biodiversity-stability relationships is essential to understand ecological and evolutionary dynamics of interacting species. However, most studies focus only on species loss and ignore the loss of interactions. In this study, I evaluated the topological structure of two different ant-plant networks: symbiotic (ants and myrmecophytes and nonsymbiotic (ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries. Moreover, I also evaluated in both networks the tolerance to plant and ant species extinction using a new approach. For this, I used models based on simulations of cumulative removals of species from the network at random. Both networks were fundamentally different in the interaction and extinction patterns. The symbiotic network was more specialized and less robust to species extinction. On the other hand, the nonsymbiotic network tends to be functionally redundant and more robust to species extinction. The difference for food resource utilization and ant nesting in both ant-plant interactions can explain the observed pattern. In short, I contributed in this manner to our understanding of the biodiversity maintenance and coevolutionary processes in facultative and obligate mutualisms.

  7. Protecting Important Sites for Biodiversity Contributes to Meeting Global Conservation Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.; Evans, Mike I.; Quader, Suhel; Aricò, Salvatore; Arinaitwe, Julius; Balman, Mark; Bennun, Leon A.; Bertzky, Bastian; Besançon, Charles; Boucher, Timothy M.; Brooks, Thomas M.; Burfield, Ian J.; Burgess, Neil D.; Chan, Simba; Clay, Rob P.; Crosby, Mike J.; Davidson, Nicholas C.; De Silva, Naamal; Devenish, Christian; Dutson, Guy C. L.; Fernández, David F. Día z; Fishpool, Lincoln D. C.; Fitzgerald, Claire; Foster, Matt; Heath, Melanie F.; Hockings, Marc; Hoffmann, Michael; Knox, David; Larsen, Frank W.; Lamoreux, John F.; Loucks, Colby; May, Ian; Millett, James; Molloy, Dominic; Morling, Paul; Parr, Mike; Ricketts, Taylor H.; Seddon, Nathalie; Skolnik, Benjamin; Stuart, Simon N.; Upgren, Amy; Woodley, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of conservation efforts and now cover nearly 13% of the world's land surface, with the world's governments committed to expand this to 17%. However, as biodiversity continues to decline, the effectiveness of PAs in reducing the extinction risk of species remains largely untested. We analyzed PA coverage and trends in species' extinction risk at globally significant sites for conserving birds (10,993 Important Bird Areas, IBAs) and highly threatened vertebrates and conifers (588 Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, AZEs) (referred to collectively hereafter as ‘important sites’). Species occurring in important sites with greater PA coverage experienced smaller increases in extinction risk over recent decades: the increase was half as large for bird species with>50% of the IBAs at which they occur completely covered by PAs, and a third lower for birds, mammals and amphibians restricted to protected AZEs (compared with unprotected or partially protected sites). Globally, half of the important sites for biodiversity conservation remain unprotected (49% of IBAs, 51% of AZEs). While PA coverage of important sites has increased over time, the proportion of PA area covering important sites, as opposed to less important land, has declined (by 0.45–1.14% annually since 1950 for IBAs and 0.79–1.49% annually for AZEs). Thus, while appropriately located PAs may slow the rate at which species are driven towards extinction, recent PA network expansion has under-represented important sites. We conclude that better targeted expansion of PA networks would help to improve biodiversity trends. PMID:22457717

  8. Protecting important sites for biodiversity contributes to meeting global conservation targets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart H M Butchart

    Full Text Available Protected areas (PAs are a cornerstone of conservation efforts and now cover nearly 13% of the world's land surface, with the world's governments committed to expand this to 17%. However, as biodiversity continues to decline, the effectiveness of PAs in reducing the extinction risk of species remains largely untested. We analyzed PA coverage and trends in species' extinction risk at globally significant sites for conserving birds (10,993 Important Bird Areas, IBAs and highly threatened vertebrates and conifers (588 Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, AZEs (referred to collectively hereafter as 'important sites'. Species occurring in important sites with greater PA coverage experienced smaller increases in extinction risk over recent decades: the increase was half as large for bird species with>50% of the IBAs at which they occur completely covered by PAs, and a third lower for birds, mammals and amphibians restricted to protected AZEs (compared with unprotected or partially protected sites. Globally, half of the important sites for biodiversity conservation remain unprotected (49% of IBAs, 51% of AZEs. While PA coverage of important sites has increased over time, the proportion of PA area covering important sites, as opposed to less important land, has declined (by 0.45-1.14% annually since 1950 for IBAs and 0.79-1.49% annually for AZEs. Thus, while appropriately located PAs may slow the rate at which species are driven towards extinction, recent PA network expansion has under-represented important sites. We conclude that better targeted expansion of PA networks would help to improve biodiversity trends.

  9. Biodiversity impact assessment (BIA+) - methodological framework for screening biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Lisa; Pflugmacher, Stephan; Berger, Markus; Finkbeiner, Matthias

    2018-03-01

    For the past 20 years, the life cycle assessment (LCA) community has sought to integrate impacts on biodiversity into the LCA framework. However, existing impact assessment methods still fail to do so comprehensively because they quantify only a few impacts related to specific species and regions. This paper proposes a methodological framework that will allow LCA practitioners to assess currently missing impacts on biodiversity on a global scale. Building on existing models that seek to quantify the impacts of human activities on biodiversity, the herein proposed methodological framework consists of 2 components: a habitat factor for 14 major habitat types and the impact on the biodiversity status in those major habitat types. The habitat factor is calculated by means of indicators that characterize each habitat. The biodiversity status depends on parameters from impact categories. The impact functions, relating these different parameters to a given response in the biodiversity status, rely on expert judgments. To ensure the applicability for LCA practitioners, the components of the framework can be regionalized on a country scale for which LCA inventory data is more readily available. The weighting factors for the 14 major habitat types range from 0.63 to 1.82. By means of area weighting of the major habitat types in a country, country-specific weighting factors are calculated. In order to demonstrate the main part of the framework, examples of impact functions are given for the categories "freshwater eutrophication" and "freshwater ecotoxicity" in 1 major habitat type. The results confirm suitability of the methodological framework. The major advantages are the framework's user-friendliness, given that data can be used from LCA databases directly, and the complete inclusion of all levels of biodiversity (genetic, species, and ecosystem). It is applicable for the whole world and a wide range of impact categories. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018;14:282-297.

  10. Extinction and recolonization of coastal megafauna following human arrival in New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Catherine J; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Prost, Stefan; Anderson, Christian N K; Knapp, Michael; Scofield, R Paul; Robertson, Bruce C; Smith, Ian; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth A; Chilvers, B Louise; Waters, Jonathan M

    2014-07-07

    Extinctions can dramatically reshape biological communities. As a case in point, ancient mass extinction events apparently facilitated dramatic new evolutionary radiations of surviving lineages. However, scientists have yet to fully understand the consequences of more recent biological upheaval, such as the megafaunal extinctions that occurred globally over the past 50 kyr. New Zealand was the world's last large landmass to be colonized by humans, and its exceptional archaeological record documents a vast number of vertebrate extinctions in the immediate aftermath of Polynesian arrival approximately AD 1280. This recently colonized archipelago thus presents an outstanding opportunity to test for rapid biological responses to extinction. Here, we use ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis to show that extinction of an endemic sea lion lineage (Phocarctos spp.) apparently facilitated a subsequent northward range expansion of a previously subantarctic-limited lineage. This finding parallels a similar extinction-replacement event in penguins (Megadyptes spp.). In both cases, an endemic mainland clade was completely eliminated soon after human arrival, and then replaced by a genetically divergent clade from the remote subantarctic region, all within the space of a few centuries. These data suggest that ecological and demographic processes can play a role in constraining lineage distributions, even for highly dispersive species, and highlight the potential for dynamic biological responses to extinction. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. Geographic range did not confer resilience to extinction in terrestrial vertebrates at the end-Triassic crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunhill, Alexander M; Wills, Matthew A

    2015-08-11

    Rates of extinction vary greatly through geological time, with losses particularly concentrated in mass extinctions. Species duration at other times varies greatly, but the reasons for this are unclear. Geographical range correlates with lineage duration amongst marine invertebrates, but it is less clear how far this generality extends to other groups in other habitats. It is also unclear whether a wide geographical distribution makes groups more likely to survive mass extinctions. Here we test for extinction selectivity amongst terrestrial vertebrates across the end-Triassic event. We demonstrate that terrestrial vertebrate clades with larger geographical ranges were more resilient to extinction than those with smaller ranges throughout the Triassic and Jurassic. However, this relationship weakened with increasing proximity to the end-Triassic mass extinction, breaking down altogether across the event itself. We demonstrate that these findings are not a function of sampling biases; a perennial issue in studies of this kind.

  12. The atmospheric extinction of light

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, Stephen W; Powell, Sean; Carroll, Joshua; Cowley, Michael

    2016-01-01

    An experiment is described that enables students to understand the properties of atmospheric extinction due to Rayleigh scattering. The experiment requires the use of red, green and blue lasers attached to a travelling microscope or similar device. The laser beams are passed through an artificial atmosphere, made from milky water, at varying depths, before impinging on either a light meter or a photodiode integral to a Picotech Dr. DAQ ADC. A plot of measured spectral intensity verses depth reveals the contribution Rayleigh scattering has to the extinction coefficient. For the experiment with the light meter, the extinction coefficients for red, green and blue light in the milky sample of water were 0.27, 0.36 and 0.47 cm −1 respectively and 0.032, 0.037 and 0.092 cm −1 for the Picotech Dr. DAQ ADC. (paper)

  13. Infectious Disease, Endangerment, and Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacPhee, Ross D. E.; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Infectious disease, especially virulent infectious disease, is commonly regarded as a cause of fluctuation or decline in biological populations. However, it is not generally considered as a primary factor in causing the actual endangerment or extinction of species. We review here the known historical examples in which disease has, or has been assumed to have had, a major deleterious impact on animal species, including extinction, and highlight some recent cases in which disease is the chief suspect in causing the outright endangerment of particular species. We conclude that the role of disease in historical extinctions at the population or species level may have been underestimated. Recent methodological breakthroughs may lead to a better understanding of the past and present roles of infectious disease in influencing population fitness and other parameters. PMID:23401844

  14. Information Transfer between Generations Linked to Biodiversity in Rock-Paper-Scissors Games

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranjan Bose

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecological processes, such as reproduction, mobility, and interaction between species, play important roles in the maintenance of biodiversity. Classically, the cyclic dominance of species has been modelled using the nonhierarchical interactions among competing species, represented by the “Rock-Paper-Scissors” (RPS game. Here we propose a cascaded channel model for analyzing the existence of biodiversity in the RPS game. The transition between successive generations is modelled as communication of information over a noisy communication channel. The rate of transfer of information over successive generations is studied using mutual information and it is found that “greedy” information transfer between successive generations may lead to conditions for extinction. This generalized framework can be used to study biodiversity in any number of interacting species, ecosystems with unequal rates for different species, and also competitive networks.

  15. Global Implications of late Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinctions in the Holarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Alan; Turney, Chris

    2017-04-01

    Improved resolution data from radiocarbon, climate and ancient DNA studies of megafauna and humans is providing the first ability to disentangle the roles of climate change and human impact in the Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions. In the Holarctic we find that megafaunal populations underwent repeated local or global extinctions apparently associated with abrupt, centennial to millennial duration warming events (Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials). Importantly, the extinction events took place both before and after the arrival of modern humans in the landscape. Here we look at the possible role of human activity in Holarctic and suggest it may be through the disruption of metapopulation processes which stabilize ecosystems and may have evolved to provide resilience to rapid and frequent climate shifts in the past. The observed relationship between climate and humans on megafaunal populations may provide a model for global extinction. Fortunately in this regard, the rapid movement of the first Native Americans throughout both American continents during the Last Deglaciation provides a powerful and unique model system for testing the competing roles on extinction because the opposing climate trends in each hemisphere at the time. Here we show that while megafaunal extinctions were associated with warming trends in both cases, the out-of-phase climate patterns caused the sequence and timing of events to be mirrored, providing a unique high-resolution view of the interactions of human colonization and rapid climate change on megafaunal ecosystems, with implications for future warming scenarios. References: Cooper, A., Turney, C., Hughen, K.A., Brook, B.W., McDonald, H.G., Bradshaw, C.J.A., 2015. Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover. Science 349, 602-606. Metcalf, J.L., Turney, C., Barnett, R., Martin, F., Bray, S.C., Vilstrup, J.T., Orlando, L., Salas-Gismondi, R., Loponte, D., Medina, M., De Nigris, M., Civalero, T., Fern

  16. Climate-Related Local Extinctions Are Already Widespread among Plant and Animal Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J Wiens

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Current climate change may be a major threat to global biodiversity, but the extent of species loss will depend on the details of how species respond to changing climates. For example, if most species can undergo rapid change in their climatic niches, then extinctions may be limited. Numerous studies have now documented shifts in the geographic ranges of species that were inferred to be related to climate change, especially shifts towards higher mean elevations and latitudes. Many of these studies contain valuable data on extinctions of local populations that have not yet been thoroughly explored. Specifically, overall range shifts can include range contractions at the "warm edges" of species' ranges (i.e., lower latitudes and elevations, contractions which occur through local extinctions. Here, data on climate-related range shifts were used to test the frequency of local extinctions related to recent climate change. The results show that climate-related local extinctions have already occurred in hundreds of species, including 47% of the 976 species surveyed. This frequency of local extinctions was broadly similar across climatic zones, clades, and habitats but was significantly higher in tropical species than in temperate species (55% versus 39%, in animals than in plants (50% versus 39%, and in freshwater habitats relative to terrestrial and marine habitats (74% versus 46% versus 51%. Overall, these results suggest that local extinctions related to climate change are already widespread, even though levels of climate change so far are modest relative to those predicted in the next 100 years. These extinctions will presumably become much more prevalent as global warming increases further by roughly 2-fold to 5-fold over the coming decades.

  17. Education as a tool for addressing the extinction crisis: Moving students from understanding to action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Moyer-Horner

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Human activity is leading to mass species extinctions worldwide. Conservation biology (CB courses, taught worldwide at universities, typically focus on the proximal causes of extinction without teaching students how to respond to this crisis. The Extinction of Species 360 course has been taught yearly each fall semester to several hundred students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for over two decades. In 2007 the instructor and five teaching assistants combined principles driving extinctions, based on traditional lectures and discussion sections, with action-oriented education targeting individual consumer habits, to a group of 285 students. Students learn the science underpinning conservation efforts, as evidenced by highly significant learning (<.001 gains in a 22 question survey in every measured category, and also make direct and immediate changes in their lifestyle and consumption habits. This course succeeded in each of its three primary goals: a informed students about the value of and threats to biodiversity, similar to traditional CB courses, b emphasized our personal role (as consumers in perpetuating the extinction crisis and c facilitated activities to reduce our impact and help alleviate the crisis. The results suggested students learned CB concepts and understood biodiversity’s value, increased their awareness of the connection between personal consumption and extinction, and reduced their collective ecological footprints. Furthermore, students complemented their learning and multiplied the potential for consumption reduction, by participating in action-based activities. Such academic courses can provide a rigorous treatment of the direct and indirect causes of extinction while developing a student’s sense of personal empowerment to help slow the extinction crisis. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (4: 1115-1126. Epub 2010 December 01.

  18. Dinosaur extinction: closing the '3 m gap'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bercovici, Antoine; Chester, Stephen G B; Sargis, Eric J; Pearson, Dean; Joyce, Walter G

    2011-12-23

    Modern debate regarding the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs was ignited by the publication of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) asteroid impact theory and has seen 30 years of dispute over the position of the stratigraphically youngest in situ dinosaur. A zone devoid of dinosaur fossils reported from the last 3 m of the Upper Cretaceous, coined the '3 m gap', has helped drive controversy. Here, we report the discovery of the stratigraphically youngest in situ dinosaur specimen: a ceratopsian brow horn found in a poorly rooted, silty, mudstone floodplain deposit located no more than 13 cm below the palynologically defined boundary. The K-T boundary is identified using three criteria: (i) decrease in Cretaceous palynomorphs without subsequent recovery, (ii) the existence of a 'fern spike', and (iii) correlation to a nearby stratigraphic section where primary extraterrestrial impact markers are present (e.g. iridium anomaly, spherules, shocked quartz). The in situ specimen demonstrates that a gap devoid of non-avian dinosaur fossils does not exist and is inconsistent with the hypothesis that non-avian dinosaurs were extinct prior to the K-T boundary impact event.

  19. An allometric approach to quantify the extinction vulnerability of birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilbers, J P; Schipper, A M; Hendriks, A J; Verones, F; Pereira, H M; Huijbregts, M A J

    2016-03-01

    Methods to quantify the vulnerability of species to extinction are typically limited by the availability of species-specific input data pertaining to life-history characteristics and population dynamics. This lack of data hampers global biodiversity assessments and conservation planning. Here, we developed a new framework that systematically quantifies extinction risk based on allometric relationships between various wildlife demographic parameters and body size. These allometric relationships have a solid theoretical and ecological foundation. Extinction risk indicators included are (1) the probability of extinction, (2) the mean time to extinction, and (3) the critical patch size. We applied our framework to assess the global extinction vulnerability of terrestrial carnivorous and non-carnivorous birds and mammals. Irrespective of the indicator used, large-bodied species were found to be more vulnerable to extinction than their smaller counterparts. The patterns with body size were confirmed for all species groups by a comparison with IUCN data on the proportion of extant threatened species: the models correctly predicted a multimodal distribution with body size for carnivorous birds and a monotonic distribution for mammals and non-carnivorous birds. Carnivorous mammals were found to have higher extinction risks than non-carnivores, while birds were more prone to extinction than mammals. These results are explained by the allometric relationships, predicting the vulnerable species groups to have lower intrinsic population growth rates, smaller population sizes, lower carrying capacities, or larger dispersal distances, which, in turn, increase the importance of losses due to environmental stochastic effects and dispersal activities. Our study is the first to integrate population viability analysis and allometry into a novel, process-based framework that is able to quantify extinction risk of a large number of species without requiring data-intensive, species

  20. The Relative Impact of Climate Change on the Extinction Risk of Tree Species in the Montane Tropical Andes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tejedor Garavito, Natalia; Newton, Adrian C; Golicher, Duncan; Oldfield, Sara

    2015-01-01

    There are widespread concerns that anthropogenic climate change will become a major cause of global biodiversity loss. However, the potential impact of climate change on the extinction risk of species remains poorly understood, particularly in comparison to other current threats. The objective of this research was to examine the relative impact of climate change on extinction risk of upper montane tree species in the tropical Andes, an area of high biodiversity value that is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The extinction risk of 129 tree species endemic to the region was evaluated according to the IUCN Red List criteria, both with and without the potential impacts of climate change. Evaluations were supported by development of species distribution models, using three methods (generalized additive models, recursive partitioning, and support vector machines), all of which produced similarly high AUC values when averaged across all species evaluated (0.82, 0.86, and 0.88, respectively). Inclusion of climate change increased the risk of extinction of 18-20% of the tree species evaluated, depending on the climate scenario. The relative impact of climate change was further illustrated by calculating the Red List Index, an indicator that shows changes in the overall extinction risk of sets of species over time. A 15% decline in the Red List Index was obtained when climate change was included in this evaluation. While these results suggest that climate change represents a significant threat to tree species in the tropical Andes, they contradict previous suggestions that climate change will become the most important cause of biodiversity loss in coming decades. Conservation strategies should therefore focus on addressing the multiple threatening processes currently affecting biodiversity, rather than focusing primarily on potential climate change impacts.

  1. Standardized Assessment of Biodiversity Trends in Tropical Forest Protected Areas: The End Is Not in Sight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia Beaudrot

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Extinction rates in the Anthropocene are three orders of magnitude higher than background and disproportionately occur in the tropics, home of half the world's species. Despite global efforts to combat tropical species extinctions, lack of high-quality, objective information on tropical biodiversity has hampered quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies. In particular, the scarcity of population-level monitoring in tropical forests has stymied assessment of biodiversity outcomes, such as the status and trends of animal populations in protected areas. Here, we evaluate occupancy trends for 511 populations of terrestrial mammals and birds, representing 244 species from 15 tropical forest protected areas on three continents. For the first time to our knowledge, we use annual surveys from tropical forests worldwide that employ a standardized camera trapping protocol, and we compute data analytics that correct for imperfect detection. We found that occupancy declined in 22%, increased in 17%, and exhibited no change in 22% of populations during the last 3-8 years, while 39% of populations were detected too infrequently to assess occupancy changes. Despite extensive variability in occupancy trends, these 15 tropical protected areas have not exhibited systematic declines in biodiversity (i.e., occupancy, richness, or evenness at the community level. Our results differ from reports of widespread biodiversity declines based on aggregated secondary data and expert opinion and suggest less extreme deterioration in tropical forest protected areas. We simultaneously fill an important conservation data gap and demonstrate the value of large-scale monitoring infrastructure and powerful analytics, which can be scaled to incorporate additional sites, ecosystems, and monitoring methods. In an era of catastrophic biodiversity loss, robust indicators produced from standardized monitoring infrastructure are critical to accurately assess population outcomes

  2. Standardized Assessment of Biodiversity Trends in Tropical Forest Protected Areas: The End Is Not in Sight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Ahumada, Jorge A; O'Brien, Timothy; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Boekee, Kelly; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Eichberg, David; Espinosa, Santiago; Fegraus, Eric; Fletcher, Christine; Gajapersad, Krisna; Hallam, Chris; Hurtado, Johanna; Jansen, Patrick A; Kumar, Amit; Larney, Eileen; Lima, Marcela Guimarães Moreira; Mahony, Colin; Martin, Emanuel H; McWilliam, Alex; Mugerwa, Badru; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Salvador, Julia; Santos, Fernanda; Sheil, Douglas; Spironello, Wilson R; Willig, Michael R; Winarni, Nurul L; Zvoleff, Alex; Andelman, Sandy J

    2016-01-01

    Extinction rates in the Anthropocene are three orders of magnitude higher than background and disproportionately occur in the tropics, home of half the world's species. Despite global efforts to combat tropical species extinctions, lack of high-quality, objective information on tropical biodiversity has hampered quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies. In particular, the scarcity of population-level monitoring in tropical forests has stymied assessment of biodiversity outcomes, such as the status and trends of animal populations in protected areas. Here, we evaluate occupancy trends for 511 populations of terrestrial mammals and birds, representing 244 species from 15 tropical forest protected areas on three continents. For the first time to our knowledge, we use annual surveys from tropical forests worldwide that employ a standardized camera trapping protocol, and we compute data analytics that correct for imperfect detection. We found that occupancy declined in 22%, increased in 17%, and exhibited no change in 22% of populations during the last 3-8 years, while 39% of populations were detected too infrequently to assess occupancy changes. Despite extensive variability in occupancy trends, these 15 tropical protected areas have not exhibited systematic declines in biodiversity (i.e., occupancy, richness, or evenness) at the community level. Our results differ from reports of widespread biodiversity declines based on aggregated secondary data and expert opinion and suggest less extreme deterioration in tropical forest protected areas. We simultaneously fill an important conservation data gap and demonstrate the value of large-scale monitoring infrastructure and powerful analytics, which can be scaled to incorporate additional sites, ecosystems, and monitoring methods. In an era of catastrophic biodiversity loss, robust indicators produced from standardized monitoring infrastructure are critical to accurately assess population outcomes and identify

  3. Standardized Assessment of Biodiversity Trends in Tropical Forest Protected Areas: The End Is Not in Sight

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Timothy; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Boekee, Kelly; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Eichberg, David; Espinosa, Santiago; Fegraus, Eric; Fletcher, Christine; Gajapersad, Krisna; Hallam, Chris; Hurtado, Johanna; Jansen, Patrick A.; Kumar, Amit; Larney, Eileen; Lima, Marcela Guimarães Moreira; Mahony, Colin; Martin, Emanuel H.; McWilliam, Alex; Mugerwa, Badru; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Salvador, Julia; Santos, Fernanda; Sheil, Douglas; Spironello, Wilson R.; Willig, Michael R.; Winarni, Nurul L.; Zvoleff, Alex; Andelman, Sandy J.

    2016-01-01

    Extinction rates in the Anthropocene are three orders of magnitude higher than background and disproportionately occur in the tropics, home of half the world’s species. Despite global efforts to combat tropical species extinctions, lack of high-quality, objective information on tropical biodiversity has hampered quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies. In particular, the scarcity of population-level monitoring in tropical forests has stymied assessment of biodiversity outcomes, such as the status and trends of animal populations in protected areas. Here, we evaluate occupancy trends for 511 populations of terrestrial mammals and birds, representing 244 species from 15 tropical forest protected areas on three continents. For the first time to our knowledge, we use annual surveys from tropical forests worldwide that employ a standardized camera trapping protocol, and we compute data analytics that correct for imperfect detection. We found that occupancy declined in 22%, increased in 17%, and exhibited no change in 22% of populations during the last 3–8 years, while 39% of populations were detected too infrequently to assess occupancy changes. Despite extensive variability in occupancy trends, these 15 tropical protected areas have not exhibited systematic declines in biodiversity (i.e., occupancy, richness, or evenness) at the community level. Our results differ from reports of widespread biodiversity declines based on aggregated secondary data and expert opinion and suggest less extreme deterioration in tropical forest protected areas. We simultaneously fill an important conservation data gap and demonstrate the value of large-scale monitoring infrastructure and powerful analytics, which can be scaled to incorporate additional sites, ecosystems, and monitoring methods. In an era of catastrophic biodiversity loss, robust indicators produced from standardized monitoring infrastructure are critical to accurately assess population outcomes and identify

  4. Predicting ecosystem vulnerability to biodiversity loss from community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilpern, Sebastian A; Weeks, Brian C; Naeem, Shahid

    2018-05-01

    Ecosystems vary widely in their responses to biodiversity change, with some losing function dramatically while others are highly resilient. However, generalizations about how species- and community-level properties determine these divergent ecosystem responses have been elusive because potential sources of variation (e.g., trophic structure, compensation, functional trait diversity) are rarely evaluated in conjunction. Ecosystem vulnerability, or the likely change in ecosystem function following biodiversity change, is influenced by two types of species traits: response traits that determine species' individual sensitivities to environmental change, and effect traits that determine a species' contribution to ecosystem function. Here we extend the response-effect trait framework to quantify ecosystem vulnerability and show how trophic structure, within-trait variance, and among-trait covariance affect ecosystem vulnerability by linking extinction order and functional compensation. Using in silico trait-based simulations we found that ecosystem vulnerability increased when response and effect traits positively covaried, but this increase was attenuated by decreasing trait variance. Contrary to expectations, in these communities, both functional diversity and trophic structure increased ecosystem vulnerability. In contrast, ecosystem functions were resilient when response and effect traits covaried negatively, and variance had a positive effect on resiliency. Our results suggest that although biodiversity loss is often associated with decreases in ecosystem functions, such effects are conditional on trophic structure, and the variation within and covariation among response and effect traits. Taken together, these three factors can predict when ecosystems are poised to lose or gain function with ongoing biodiversity change. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. The K-PG boundary: how geological events lead to collapse of marine primary producers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hir guillaume, Le; frederic, Fluteau; yves, Goddéris

    2017-04-01

    The cause(s) of Cretaceous/Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event is a matter of debate since three decades. A first scenario connects the K-Pg crisis with the Chicxulub impact while the second scenario evokes the emplacement of the Deccan traps in India as the cause for the K-Pg biodiversity collapse. Pierazzo et al. (1998) estimated that the extraterrestrial bolide lead to an instantaneously CO2 degassing ranging from 880 Gt to 2,960 Gt into the atmosphere, together with a massive release of SO2 ranging from 150 to 460 Gt.. Self et al. (2006, 2008) and Chenet et al. (2009) suggested that the emplacement of the Deccan traps released 15,000 Gt to 35,000 Gt of CO2 and 6,800 Gt to 17,000 Gt of SO2 over a 250 kyr-long period (Schoene et al., 2015). To decipher and quantify the long term environmental consequences of both events, we tested different scenarios: a pulse-like magmatic degassing, a bolide impact, and a combination of both. To understand the environmental changes and quantify biodiversity responses, we improve GEOCLIM, a coupled climate-carbon numerical model, by implementing a biodiversity model in which marine species are described by specific death/born rates, sensitivity to abiotic factors (temperature, pH, dissolved O2, calcite saturation state) and feeding relationships, each of these characteristics is assigned randomly. Preliminary simulations accounting for the eruption of the Deccan traps show that successive cooling events (S-aerosols effect) combined with a progressive acidification of surface water (caused by CO2 and SO2 injections) cause a major collapse of the marine biomass. Additional simulations in which Chicxulub impact, different community structures of primary producers will be discussed.

  6. Scaling range sizes to threats for robust predictions of risks to biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith, David A; Akçakaya, H Resit; Murray, Nicholas J

    2018-04-01

    Assessments of risk to biodiversity often rely on spatial distributions of species and ecosystems. Range-size metrics used extensively in these assessments, such as area of occupancy (AOO), are sensitive to measurement scale, prompting proposals to measure them at finer scales or at different scales based on the shape of the distribution or ecological characteristics of the biota. Despite its dominant role in red-list assessments for decades, appropriate spatial scales of AOO for predicting risks of species' extinction or ecosystem collapse remain untested and contentious. There are no quantitative evaluations of the scale-sensitivity of AOO as a predictor of risks, the relationship between optimal AOO scale and threat scale, or the effect of grid uncertainty. We used stochastic simulation models to explore risks to ecosystems and species with clustered, dispersed, and linear distribution patterns subject to regimes of threat events with different frequency and spatial extent. Area of occupancy was an accurate predictor of risk (0.81<|r|<0.98) and performed optimally when measured with grid cells 0.1-1.0 times the largest plausible area threatened by an event. Contrary to previous assertions, estimates of AOO at these relatively coarse scales were better predictors of risk than finer-scale estimates of AOO (e.g., when measurement cells are <1% of the area of the largest threat). The optimal scale depended on the spatial scales of threats more than the shape or size of biotic distributions. Although we found appreciable potential for grid-measurement errors, current IUCN guidelines for estimating AOO neutralize geometric uncertainty and incorporate effective scaling procedures for assessing risks posed by landscape-scale threats to species and ecosystems. © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Evolution, plant breeding and biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with changes in biodiversity during the course of evolution, plant domestication and plant breeding. It shows than man has had a strong influence on the progressive decrease of biodiversity, unconscious at first and deliberate in modern times. The decrease in biodiversity in the agricultures of the North causes a severe threat to food security and is in contrasts with the conservation of biodiversity which is part of the culture of several populations in the South. The concluding section of the paper shows that man could have guided evolution in a different way and shows an example of participatory plant breeding, a type of breeding which is done in collaboration with farmers and is based on selection for specific adaptation. Even though participatory plant breeding has been practiced for only about 20 years and by relatively few groups, the effects on both biodiversity and crop production are impressive. Eventually the paper shows how participatory plant breeding can be developed into ‘evolutionary plant breeding’ to cope in a dynamic way with climate changes.

  8. Recovery from the most profound mass extinction of all time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahney, Sarda; Benton, Michael J

    2008-04-07

    The end-Permian mass extinction, 251 million years (Myr) ago, was the most devastating ecological event of all time, and it was exacerbated by two earlier events at the beginning and end of the Guadalupian, 270 and 260 Myr ago. Ecosystems were destroyed worldwide, communities were restructured and organisms were left struggling to recover. Disaster taxa, such as Lystrosaurus, insinuated themselves into almost every corner of the sparsely populated landscape in the earliest Triassic, and a quick taxonomic recovery apparently occurred on a global scale. However, close study of ecosystem evolution shows that true ecological recovery was slower. After the end-Guadalupian event, faunas began rebuilding complex trophic structures and refilling guilds, but were hit again by the end-Permian event. Taxonomic diversity at the alpha (community) level did not recover to pre-extinction levels; it reached only a low plateau after each pulse and continued low into the Late Triassic. Our data showed that though there was an initial rise in cosmopolitanism after the extinction pulses, large drops subsequently occurred and, counter-intuitively, a surprisingly low level of cosmopolitanism was sustained through the Early and Middle Triassic.

  9. Modeling Population Growth and Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Sheldon P.

    2009-01-01

    The exponential growth model and the logistic model typically introduced in the mathematics curriculum presume that a population grows exclusively. In reality, species can also die out and more sophisticated models that take the possibility of extinction into account are needed. In this article, two extensions of the logistic model are considered,…

  10. New theories about ancient extinctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spall, H.

    1986-01-01

    The abrupt disappearance of all the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago, along with perhaps half the plant species and other animals, has been one of the great geological mysteries. Clues to the cause of these extinctions have been scarce and open to many interpretations.

  11. The currency and tempo of extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regan, H M; Lupia, R; Drinnan, A N; Burgman, M A

    2001-01-01

    This study examines estimates of extinction rates for the current purported biotic crisis and from the fossil record. Studies that compare current and geological extinctions sometimes use metrics that confound different sources of error and reflect different features of extinction processes. The per taxon extinction rate is a standard measure in paleontology that avoids some of the pitfalls of alternative approaches. Extinction rates reported in the conservation literature are rarely accompanied by measures of uncertainty, despite many elements of the calculations being subject to considerable error. We quantify some of the most important sources of uncertainty and carry them through the arithmetic of extinction rate calculations using fuzzy numbers. The results emphasize that estimates of current and future rates rely heavily on assumptions about the tempo of extinction and on extrapolations among taxa. Available data are unlikely to be useful in measuring magnitudes or trends in current extinction rates.

  12. EARTH SCIENCE: Did Volcanoes Drive Ancient Extinctions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, R A

    2000-08-18

    With the publication in recent weeks of two papers on a mass extinction 183 million years ago, researchers can add five suggestive cases to the list of extinctions with known causes. These extinctions coincide with massive outpourings of lava, accompanied by signs that global warming threw the ocean-atmosphere system out of whack. Although no one can yet pin any of these mass extinctions with certainty on the volcanic eruptions, scientists say it's unlikely that they're all coincidences.

  13. An investigation of the interstellar extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roche, P.F.; Aitken, D.K.; Melbourne Univ., Point Cook

    1984-01-01

    The 10 μm extinction towards six WC8 or WC9 Wolf-Rayet stars is investigated. All objects show smooth dust emission suffering silicate absorption with depths well correlated with the extinction in the visible. The de-reddened spectra are well represented by emission from featureless grain components, possibly from iron or carbon grains. The extinction to the stars is found to be dominantly interstellar in origin with little extinction from the circumstellar shell. (author)

  14. Monitoring Biodiversity using Environmental DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Philip Francis

    DNA). Especially the advance in DNA sequencing technology has revolutionized this field and opened new frontiers in ecology, evolution and environmental sciences. Also, it is becoming a powerful tool for field biologist, with new and efficient methods for monitoring biodiversity. This thesis focuses on the use...... of eDNA in monitoring of biodiversity in different settings. First, it is shown that a diversity of rare freshwater animals – representing amphibians, fish, mammals, insects and crustaceans – can be detected based on eDNA obtained directly from 15 ml water samples of lakes, ponds and streams...... setting, showing that eDNA obtained directly from ½ l seawater samples can account for marine fish biodiversity using NGS. Promisingly, eDNA covered the fish diversity better than any of 9 methods, conventionally used in marine fish surveys. Additionally, it is shown that even short 100-bp. fish e...

  15. Further Evidence of Auditory Extinction in Aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Rebecca Shisler; Basilakos, Alexandra; Love-Myers, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Preliminary research ( Shisler, 2005) suggests that auditory extinction in individuals with aphasia (IWA) may be connected to binding and attention. In this study, the authors expanded on previous findings on auditory extinction to determine the source of extinction deficits in IWA. Method: Seventeen IWA (M[subscript age] = 53.19 years)…

  16. Memory extinction entails the inhibition of the transcription factor NF-kappaB.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano Merlo

    Full Text Available In contextual memories, an association between a positive or negative reinforcement and the contextual cues where the reinforcement occurs is formed. The re-exposure to the context without reinforcement can lead to memory extinction or reconsolidation, depending on the number of events or duration of a single event of context re-exposure. Extinction involves the temporary waning of the previously acquired conditioned response. The molecular processes underlying extinction and the mechanisms which determine if memory will reconsolidate or extinguish after retrieval are not well characterized, particularly the role of transcription factors and gene expression. Here we studied the participation of a transcription factor, NF-kappaB, in memory extinction. In the crab context-signal memory, the activation of NF-kappaB plays a critical role in consolidation and reconsolidation, memory processes that are well characterized in this model. The administration of a NF-kappaB inhibitor, sulfasalazine prior to extinction session impeded spontaneous recovery. Moreover, reinstatement experiments showed that the original memory was not affected and that NF-kappaB inhibition by sulfasalazine impaired spontaneous recovery strengthening the ongoing memory extinction process. Interestingly, in animals with fully consolidated memory, a brief re-exposure to the training context induced neuronal NF-kappaB activation and reconsolidation, while prolonged re-exposure induced NF-kappaB inhibition and memory extinction. These data constitutes a novel insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the switch between memory reconsolidation and extinction. Moreover, we propose the inhibition of NF-kappaB as the engaged mechanism underlying extinction, supporting a novel approach for the pharmacological enhancement of this memory process. The accurate description of the molecular mechanisms that support memory extinction is potentially useful for developing new strategies

  17. Adaptive radiation of multituberculate mammals before the extinction of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Gregory P; Evans, Alistair R; Corfe, Ian J; Smits, Peter D; Fortelius, Mikael; Jernvall, Jukka

    2012-03-14

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction approximately 66 million years ago is conventionally thought to have been a turning point in mammalian evolution. Prior to that event and for the first two-thirds of their evolutionary history, mammals were mostly confined to roles as generalized, small-bodied, nocturnal insectivores, presumably under selection pressures from dinosaurs. Release from these pressures, by extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, triggered ecological diversification of mammals. Although recent individual fossil discoveries have shown that some mammalian lineages diversified ecologically during the Mesozoic era, comprehensive ecological analyses of mammalian groups crossing the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary are lacking. Such analyses are needed because diversification analyses of living taxa allow only indirect inferences of past ecosystems. Here we show that in arguably the most evolutionarily successful clade of Mesozoic mammals, the Multituberculata, an adaptive radiation began at least 20 million years before the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs and continued across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Disparity in dental complexity, which relates to the range of diets, rose sharply in step with generic richness and disparity in body size. Moreover, maximum dental complexity and body size demonstrate an adaptive shift towards increased herbivory. This dietary expansion tracked the ecological rise of angiosperms and suggests that the resources that were available to multituberculates were relatively unaffected by the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Taken together, our results indicate that mammals were able to take advantage of new ecological opportunities in the Mesozoic and that at least some of these opportunities persisted through the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Similar broad-scale ecomorphological inventories of other radiations may help to constrain the possible causes of mass extinctions.

  18. Data intensive computing for biodiversity

    CERN Document Server

    Dhillon, Sarinder K

    2013-01-01

    This book is focused on the development of a data integration framework for retrieval of biodiversity information from heterogeneous and distributed data sources. The data integration system proposed in this book links remote databases in a networked environment, supports heterogeneous databases and data formats, links databases hosted on multiple platforms, and provides data security for database owners by allowing them to keep and maintain their own data and to choose information to be shared and linked. The book is a useful guide for researchers, practitioners, and graduate-level students interested in learning state-of-the-art development for data integration in biodiversity.

  19. Earthquakes trigger the loss of groundwater biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galassi, Diana M. P.; Lombardo, Paola; Fiasca, Barbara; di Cioccio, Alessia; di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Petitta, Marco; di Carlo, Piero

    2014-09-01

    Earthquakes are among the most destructive natural events. The 6 April 2009, 6.3-Mw earthquake in L'Aquila (Italy) markedly altered the karstic Gran Sasso Aquifer (GSA) hydrogeology and geochemistry. The GSA groundwater invertebrate community is mainly comprised of small-bodied, colourless, blind microcrustaceans. We compared abiotic and biotic data from two pre-earthquake and one post-earthquake complete but non-contiguous hydrological years to investigate the effects of the 2009 earthquake on the dominant copepod component of the obligate groundwater fauna. Our results suggest that the massive earthquake-induced aquifer strain biotriggered a flushing of groundwater fauna, with a dramatic decrease in subterranean species abundance. Population turnover rates appeared to have crashed, no longer replenishing the long-standing communities from aquifer fractures, and the aquifer became almost totally deprived of animal life. Groundwater communities are notorious for their low resilience. Therefore, any major disturbance that negatively impacts survival or reproduction may lead to local extinction of species, most of them being the only survivors of phylogenetic lineages extinct at the Earth surface. Given the ecological key role played by the subterranean fauna as decomposers of organic matter and ``ecosystem engineers'', we urge more detailed, long-term studies on the effect of major disturbances to groundwater ecosystems.

  20. Biodiverse planting for carbon and biodiversity on indigenous land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renwick, Anna R; Robinson, Catherine J; Martin, Tara G; May, Tracey; Polglase, Phil; Possingham, Hugh P; Carwardine, Josie

    2014-01-01

    Carbon offset mechanisms have been established to mitigate climate change through changes in land management. Regulatory frameworks enable landowners and managers to generate saleable carbon credits on domestic and international markets. Identifying and managing the associated co-benefits and dis-benefits involved in the adoption of carbon offset projects is important for the projects to contribute to the broader goal of sustainable development and the provision of benefits to the local communities. So far it has been unclear how Indigenous communities can benefit from such initiatives. We provide a spatial analysis of the carbon and biodiversity potential of one offset method, planting biodiverse native vegetation, on Indigenous land across Australia. We discover significant potential for opportunities for Indigenous communities to achieve carbon sequestration and biodiversity goals through biodiverse plantings, largely in southern and eastern Australia, but the economic feasibility of these projects depend on carbon market assumptions. Our national scale cost-effectiveness analysis is critical to enable Indigenous communities to maximise the benefits available to them through participation in carbon offset schemes.

  1. Children prioritize virtual exotic biodiversity over local biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Marie Ballouard

    Full Text Available Environmental education is essential to stem current dramatic biodiversity loss, and childhood is considered as the key period for developing awareness and positive attitudes toward nature. Children are strongly influenced by the media, notably the internet, about biodiversity and conservation issues. However, most media focus on a few iconic, appealing, and usually exotic species. In addition, virtual activities are replacing field experiences. This situation may curb children knowledge and concerns about local biodiversity. Focusing our analyses on local versus exotic species, we examined the level of knowledge and the level of diversity of the animals that French schoolchildren are willing to protect, and whether these perceptions are mainly guided by information available in the internet. For that, we collected and compared two complementary data sets: 1 a questionnaire was administered to schoolchildren to assess their knowledge and consideration to protect animals, 2 an internet content analysis (i.e. Google searching sessions using keywords was performed to assess which animals are the most often represented. Our results suggest that the knowledge of children and their consideration to protect animal are mainly limited to internet contents, represented by a few exotic and charismatic species. The identification rate of local animals by schoolchildren was meager, suggesting a worrying disconnection from their local environment. Schoolchildren were more prone to protect "virtual" (unseen, exotic rather than local animal species. Our results reinforce the message that environmental education must also focus on outdoor activities to develop conservation consciousness and concerns about local biodiversity.

  2. Extinction risks and the conservation of Madagascar's reptiles.

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    Richard K B Jenkins

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in

  3. Trends in extinction risk for imperiled species in Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett Favaro

    Full Text Available Protecting and promoting recovery of species at risk of extinction is a critical component of biodiversity conservation. In Canada, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC determines whether species are at risk of extinction or extirpation, and has conducted these assessments since 1977. We examined trends in COSEWIC assessments to identify whether at-risk species that have been assessed more than once tended to improve, remain constant, or deteriorate in status, as a way of assessing the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation in Canada. Of 369 species that met our criteria for examination, 115 deteriorated, 202 remained unchanged, and 52 improved in status. Only 20 species (5.4% improved to the point where they were 'not at risk', and five of those were due to increased sampling efforts rather than an increase in population size. Species outcomes were also dependent on the severity of their initial assessment; for example, 47% of species that were initially listed as special concern deteriorated between assessments. After receiving an at-risk assessment by COSEWIC, a species is considered for listing under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA, which is the primary national tool that mandates protection for at-risk species. We examined whether SARA-listing was associated with improved COSEWIC assessment outcomes relative to unlisted species. Of 305 species that had multiple assessments and were SARA-listed, 221 were listed at a level that required identification and protection of critical habitat; however, critical habitat was fully identified for only 56 of these species. We suggest that the Canadian government should formally identify and protect critical habitat, as is required by existing legislation. In addition, our finding that at-risk species in Canada rarely recover leads us to recommend that every effort be made to actively prevent species from becoming at-risk in the first place.

  4. Extinction Risks and the Conservation of Madagascar's Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Richard K. B.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L.; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R.; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D.; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F.; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H.; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A.; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J. Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H.; Randrianirina, Jasmin E.; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P.; Yoder, Anne D.; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Methodology/Principal Findings Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. Conclusions/Significance With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and

  5. Extinction risks and the conservation of Madagascar's reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Richard K B; Tognelli, Marcelo F; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H; Randrianirina, Jasmin E; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M; Raxworthy, Christopher J; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P; Yoder, Anne D; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and western regions of Madagascar and this study highlights the importance of

  6. Arthropods and the Current Great Mass Extinction: Effective Themes to Decrease Arthropod Fear and Disgust and Increase Positive Environmental Beliefs in Children?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagler, Amy; Wagler, Ron

    2014-01-01

    Earth is experiencing a great mass extinction (GME) that has been caused by the environmentally destructive activities of humans. This GME is having and will have profound effects on Earth's biodiversity if environmental sustainability is not reached. Activities and curriculum tools have been developed to assist teachers in integrating the current…

  7. Evidence for the role of infectious disease in species extinction and endangerment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katherine F.; Sax, Dov F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2006-01-01

    Infectious disease is listed among the top five causes of global species extinctions. However, the majority of available data supporting this contention is largely anecdotal. We used the IUCN Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species and literature indexed in the ISI Web of Science to assess the role of infectious disease in global species loss. Infectious disease was listed as a contributing factor in extinctions known to have occurred since 1500 (833 plants and animals) and as contributing to a species' status as critically endangered in animals). Although infectious diseases appear to play a minor role in global species loss, our findings underscore two important limitations in the available evidence: uncertainty surrounding the threats to species survival and a temporal bias in the data. Several initiatives could help overcome these obstacles, including rigorous scientific tests to determine which infectious diseases present a significant threat at the species level, recognition of the limitations associated with the lack of baseline data for the role of infectious disease in species extinctions, combining data with theory to discern the circumstances under which infectious disease is most likely to serve as an agent of extinction, and improving surveillance programs for the detection of infectious disease. An evidence-based understanding of the role of infectious disease in species extinction and endangerment will help prioritize conservation initiatives and protect global biodiversity.

  8. Sleep supports cued fear extinction memory consolidation independent of circadian phase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melo, Irene; Ehrlich, Ingrid

    2016-07-01

    Sleep promotes memory, particularly for declarative learning. However, its role in non-declarative, emotional memories is less well understood. Some studies suggest that sleep may influence fear-related memories, and thus may be an important factor determining the outcome of treatments for emotional disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Here, we investigated the effect of sleep deprivation and time of day on fear extinction memory consolidation. Mice were subjected to a cued Pavlovian fear and extinction paradigm at the beginning of their resting or active phase. Immediate post-extinction learning sleep deprivation for 5h compromised extinction memory when tested 24h after learning. Context-dependent extinction memory recall was completely prevented by sleep-manipulation during the resting phase, while impairment was milder during the active phase and extinction memory retained its context-specificity. Importantly, control experiments excluded confounding factors such as differences in baseline locomotion, fear generalization and stress hormone levels. Together, our findings indicate that post-learning sleep supports cued fear extinction memory consolidation in both circadian phases. The lack of correlation between memory efficacy and sleep time suggests that extinction memory may be influenced by specific sleep events in the early consolidation period. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Predicting extinction rates in stochastic epidemic models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwartz, Ira B; Billings, Lora; Dykman, Mark; Landsman, Alexandra

    2009-01-01

    We investigate the stochastic extinction processes in a class of epidemic models. Motivated by the process of natural disease extinction in epidemics, we examine the rate of extinction as a function of disease spread. We show that the effective entropic barrier for extinction in a susceptible–infected–susceptible epidemic model displays scaling with the distance to the bifurcation point, with an unusual critical exponent. We make a direct comparison between predictions and numerical simulations. We also consider the effect of non-Gaussian vaccine schedules, and show numerically how the extinction process may be enhanced when the vaccine schedules are Poisson distributed

  10. Both population size and patch quality affect local extinctions and colonizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franzén, Markus; Nilsson, Sven G

    2010-01-07

    Currently, the habitat of many species is fragmented, resulting in small local populations with individuals occasionally dispersing between the remaining habitat patches. In a solitary bee metapopulation, extinction probability was related to both local bee population sizes and pollen resources measured as host plant population size. Patch size, on the other hand, had no additional predictive power. The turnover rate of local bee populations in 63 habitat patches over 4 years was high, with 72 extinction events and 31 colonization events, but the pollen plant population was stable with no extinctions or colonizations. Both pollen resources and bee populations had strong and independent effects on extinction probability, but connectivity was not of importance. Colonizations occurred more frequently within larger host plant populations. For metapopulation survival of the bee, large pollen plant populations are essential, independent of current bee population size.

  11. Body Size Preference of Marine Animals in Relation to Extinction Selectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriram, A.; Idgunji, S.; Heim, N. A.; Payne, J.

    2014-12-01

    Our project encompasses an extremely specific aspect in relation to the five mass extinctions in geologic history. We asked ourselves whether larger or smaller body sizes would be better suited for surviving a mass extinction. To conduct research for our project, we used the body sizes of 17,172 marine animal genera as our primary data. These animals include echinoderms, arthropods, chordates, mollusks, and brachiopods. These creatures are perfect model organisms in terms of finding data on them because they have an excellent fossil record, and are well documented. We focused on the mean body size of these animals before and after each of the five mass extinctions (end-Ordovician, Late Devonian, end-Permian, end-Triassic, and end-Cretaceous). Our hypothesis was that the average biovolume of animals increased after each of the extinctions, with the mean size being greater after than it was before. Our size data is from the Ellis & Messina Catalogue of Ostracoda and the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. We obtained stratigraphic range data The Treatise and Sepkoski (2002). In our analyses, we compared the mean size of the different animal genera before and after each extinction event. We further partitioned size change across mass extinction boundaries into three categories: the surviving genera, the extinct genera, and the newly originating genera that came about after the extinction. According to our analyses, the mean sizes did not change significantly from the genera living during the stages before the extinctions and after the extinctions. From our results, we can assume that there were not enough major increases in the overall volume of the organisms to warrant a definite conclusion that extinctions lead to larger body sizes. Further support for our findings came from the T-tests in our R code. Only the Cretaceous period showed true evidence for size changing because of the extinction; in this case, the mean size decreased. T-tests for the Cretaceous

  12. Synergistic effects of climate change and harvest on extinction risk of American ginseng.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souther, Sara; McGraw, James B

    Over the next century, the conservation of biodiversity will depend not only on our ability to understand the effect of climate change, but also on our capacity to predict how other factors interact with climate change to influence species viability. We used American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.), the United States' premier wild-harvested medicinal, as a model system to ask whether the effect of harvest on extinction risk depends on changing climatic conditions. We performed stochastic projections of viability response to an increase in maximum growing-season temperature of 1°C over the next 70 years by sampling matrices from long-term demographic studies of 12 populations (representing 75 population-years of data). In simulations that included harvest and climate change, extinction risk at the median population size (N = 140) was 65%, far exceeding the additive effects of the two factors (extinction risk = 8% and 6% for harvest and climate change, respectively; quasi-extinction threshold = 20). We performed a life table response experiment (LTRE) to determine underlying causes of the effect of warming and harvest on deterministic λ (λd). Together, these factors decreased λd values primarily by reducing growth of juvenile and small adult plants to the large-adult stage, as well as decreasing stasis of the juveniles and large adults. The interaction observed in stochastic model results followed from a nonlinear increase in extinction risk as the combined impact of harvest and warming consistently reduced λ values below the demographic tipping point of λ = 1. While further research is needed to create specific recommendations, these findings indicate that ginseng harvest regulations should be revised to account for changing climate. Given the possibility of nonlinear response like that reported here, pre-emptive adaptation of management strategies may increase efficacy of biodiversity conservation by allowing behavior modification prior to precipitous

  13. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

    OpenAIRE

    Piacenza, Susan E.; Thurman, Lindsey L.; Barner, Allison K.; Benkwitt, Cassandra E.; Boersma, Kate S.; Cerny-Chipman, Elizabeth B.; Ingeman, Kurt E.; Kindinger, Tye L.; Lindsley, Amy J.; Nelson, Jake; Reimer, Jessica N.; Rowe, Jennifer C.; Shen, Chenchen; Thompson, Kevin A.; Heppell, Selina S.

    2015-01-01

    With the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss and limited resources for conservation, the concept of biodiversity hotspots has been useful in determining conservation priority areas. However, there has been limited research into how temporal variability in biodiversity may influence conservation area prioritization. To address this information gap, we present an approach to evaluate the temporal consistency of biodiversity hotspots in large marine ecosystems. Using a large scale, public monito...

  14. Relationship between biodiversity and agricultural production

    OpenAIRE

    Brunetti, Ilaria; Tidball, Mabel; Couvet, Denis

    2018-01-01

    Agriculture is one of the main causes of biodiversity loss. In this work we model the interdependent relationship between biodiversity and agriculture on a farmed land, supposing that, while agriculture has a negative impact on biodiversity, the latter can increase agricultural production. Farmers act as myopic agents, who maximize their instantaneous profit without considering the negative effects of their practice on the evolution of biodiversity. We find that a tax on inputs can have a pos...

  15. Africa's hotspots of biodiversity redefined

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Küper, W.; Sommer, J.H.; Lovett, J.C.; Beentje, H.J.; Rompaey, van R.S.A.R.; Chatelain, C.; Sosef, M.S.M.; Barthlott, W.

    2004-01-01

    A key problem for conservation is the coincidence of regions of high biodiversity with regions of high human impact. Twenty-five of the most threatened centers of plant diversity were identified by Myers et al., and these "hotspots" play a crucial role in international conservation strategies. The

  16. Biodiversity in Word and Meaning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slingsby, David

    2010-01-01

    This article argues that we need to abandon the word "biodiversity", to rediscover the biology that it obscures and to rethink how to introduce this biology to young people. We cannot go back to the systematics that once made up a large part of a biology A-level course (ages 16-18), so we need to find alternative ways of introducing the…

  17. Trading biodiversity for pest problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent shifts in agricultural practices have resulted in increased pesticide use, land use intensification, and landscape simplification, all of which threaten biodiversity in and near farms. Pests are major challenges to food security, and responses to pests can represent unintended socioeconomic a...

  18. Wilderness, biodiversity, and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel L. Dustin; Keri A. Schwab; Kelly S. Bricker

    2015-01-01

    This paper illustrates how wilderness, biodiversity, and human health are intertwined. Proceeding from the assumption that humankind is part of, rather than apart from, nature, health is re-imagined as a dynamic relationship that can best be conceived in broad ecological terms. Health, from an ecological perspective, is a measure of the wellness of the individual and...

  19. Biodiversity: past, present and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubidge, Emily M.; Burton, A. Cole; Vamosi, Steven M.

    2012-01-01

    On 12–15 May 2011, a diverse group of students, researchers and practitioners from across Canada and around the world met in Banff, Alberta, to discuss the many facets of biodiversity science at the 6th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution. PMID:21733869

  20. The Early Years: Exploring Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashbrook, Peggy

    2017-01-01

    The importance of biodiversity to human life and the benefits of a diverse ecosystem are not often obvious to young children. This column discusses resources and science topics related to students in grades preK to 2. The objective in this month's issue is to introduce children to the diversity of plant life in a given area through a plant…

  1. Nitrogen deposition and terrestrial biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher M. Clark; Yongfei Bai; William D. Bowman; Jane M. Cowles; Mark E. Fenn; Frank S. Gilliam; Gareth K. Phoenix; Ilyas Siddique; Carly J. Stevens; Harald U. Sverdrup; Heather L. Throop

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen deposition, along with habitat losses and climate change, has been identified as a primary threat to biodiversity worldwide (Butchart et al., 2010; MEA, 2005; Sala et al., 2000). The source of this stressor to natural systems is generally twofold: burning of fossil fuels and the use of fertilizers in modern intensive agriculture. Each of these human...

  2. Ecological restoration: Biodiversity and conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vargas Rios, Orlando

    2011-01-01

    In this essay the principal concepts and methods applied on projects aimed at ecological restoration are reviewed, with emphasis on the relationship between conservation, biodiversity and restoration. The most common definitions are provided and the steps to take into account to develop projects on ecological restoration, which will be determined by the level of degradation of the ecosystem to be intervened.

  3. Business Meets Biodiversity Conference 2012

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vollaard, B.; Man, M. de; Verweij, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    How can companies successfully integrate the sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity into their business models? This was the central question at the international conference ‘Business Meets Biodiversity’ held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on June 27th 2012. The organizing committee,

  4. A forgotten component of biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2011-07-08

    Jul 8, 2011 ... Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 36; Issue 4. Clipboard: Helminth richness in Arunachal Pradesh fishes: A forgotten component of biodiversity. Amit Tripathi. Volume 36 Issue 4 September 2011 pp 559-561. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  5. Mass extinction and the structure of the milky way

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filipović M.D.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We use the most up-to-date Milky Way model and solar orbit data in order to test the hypothesis that the Sun's galactic spiral arm crossings cause mass extinction events on Earth. To do this, we created a new model of the Milky Way's spiral arms by combining a large quantity of data from several surveys. We then combined this model with a recently derived solution for the solar orbit to determine the timing of the Sun's historical passages through the Galaxy's spiral arms. Our new model was designed with a symmetrical appearance, with the major alteration being the addition of a spur at the far side of the Galaxy. A correlation was found between the times at which the Sun crosses the spiral arms and six known mass extinction events. Furthermore, we identify five additional historical mass extinction events that might be explained by the motion of the Sun around our Galaxy. These five additional significant drops in marine genera that we find include significant reductions in diversity at 415, 322, 300, 145 and 33 Myr ago. Our simulations indicate that the Sun has spent ~60% of its time passing through our Galaxy's various spiral arms. Also, we briefly discuss and combine previous work on the Galactic Habitable Zone with the new Milky Way model.

  6. Protection of biodiversity in Yugoslavia after NATO aggression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kostic, G.; Tatic, B.

    2002-01-01

    In comparison with other countries Yugoslavia is very rich by great genetic, species and ecosystem diversity. The territory of Yugoslavia is 102173 km 2 , it is only 0,07% of world's land and 2,1% of the European continent. We have 6 biomes, 5 of the 12 terrestrial biomes of the world and biome of the sea as sixth biome. According to the international criteria the territory of Yugoslavia is one of the six European and one of the 153 world's centers of biological diversity. In period from March 24. until June 10. 1999. NATO carried out more than 35000 assaults against the Yugoslavia. All these have lasting consequences on the health of the entire population and the environment with prominent transboundary effects. Many species have become extinct due to the NATO bombings, and wildlife has started migrating and abandoning its natural habitat. The necessity of future scientifically based monitoring is evident and also very strong protection of biodiversity. (author)

  7. [Is there a connection between biodiversity and the greenhouse effect].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozanov, S I

    1998-01-01

    It was discussed the role of biodiversity in ecosystems capacity to control CO2 in atmosphere as the main reason not only of "greenhouse effect" but "greenhouse catastrophe". The necessity to perfect the preventive measures has been defined by time factor. This time may be so little for completing the evolution theory and models of biosphere management. The temps of contemporaneous species extinction exceed two orders as minimum ones how it has been known from planet history. It doesn't permit to discharge that evolutional process will be successful to create organisms which have been capable to stabilize biosphere in conditions of its changing status. It's possible that such change may be provocated with the crisis in civilization-biosphere interrelations.

  8. Achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 to improve the performance of protected areas and conserve freshwater biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diego Juffe-Bignoli; Ian Harrison; Stuart HM Butchart; Rebecca Flitcroft; Virgilio Hermoso; Harry Jonas; Anna Lukasiewicz; Michele Thieme; Eren Turak; Heather Bingham; James Dalton; William Darwall; Marine Deguignet; Nigel Dudley; Royal Gardner; Jonathan Higgins; Ritesh Kumar; Simon Linke; G Randy Milton; Jamie Pittock; Kevin G Smith; Arnout van Soesbergen

    2016-01-01

    1. The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011–2020), adopted at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, sets 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets to be met by 2020 to address biodiversity loss and ensure its sustainable and equitable use. Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 describes what an improved conservation network would look...

  9. Rescaling of temporal expectations during extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, Michael R.; Walsh, Carolyn; Balsam, Peter D

    2016-01-01

    Previous research suggests that extinction learning is temporally specific. Changing the CS duration between training and extinction can facilitate the loss of the CR within the extinction session but impairs long-term retention of extinction. In two experiments using conditioned magazine approach with rats, we examined the relation between temporal specificity of extinction and CR timing. In Experiment 1 rats were trained on a 12-s, fixed CS-US interval and then extinguished with CS presentations that were 6, 12, or 24 s in duration. The design of Experiment 2 was the same except rats were trained using partial rather than continuous reinforcement. In both experiments, extending the CS duration in extinction facilitated the diminution of CRs during the extinction session, but shortening the CS duration failed to slow extinction. In addition, extending (but not shortening) the CS duration caused temporal rescaling of the CR, in that the peak CR rate migrated later into the trial over the course of extinction training. This migration partially accounted for the faster loss of the CR when the CS duration was extended. Results are incompatible with the hypothesis that extinction is driven by cumulative CS exposure and suggest that temporally extended nonreinforced CS exposure reduces conditioned responding via temporal displacement rather than through extinction per se. PMID:28045291

  10. Can Cape Town's unique biodiversity be saved? Balancing conservation imperatives and development needs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia M. Holmes

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cape Town is an urban hotspot within the Cape Floristic Region global biodiversity hotspot. This city of 2,460 km² encompasses four local centers of fynbos plant endemism, 19 national terrestrial vegetation types (six endemic to the city, wetland and coastal ecosystems, and 190 endemic plant species. Biodiversity in the lowlands is under threat of extinction as a result of habitat loss to agriculture, urban development, mining, and degradation by invasive alien plants. Cape Town's population is 3.7 million, increasing by an estimated 55,000 people/yr, which puts pressure on biodiversity remnants for development. South Africa is a signatory to international instruments to reduce biodiversity loss and has a good legislative and policy framework to conserve biodiversity, yet implementation actions are slow, with limited national and provincial support to conserve Cape Town's unique and irreplaceable biodiversity. The lack-of-action problem is two-fold: national government is slow to implement the policies developed to realize the international instruments it has signed, with conservation initiatives inadequately funded; and local governments are not yet recognized as important implementation partners. A further problem is created by conflicting policies such as the national housing policy that contributes to urban sprawl and loss of critical biodiversity areas. The City's Biodiversity Management Branch, with partners, is making some headway at implementation, but stronger political commitment is needed at all levels of government. Our objective is to improve the status and management of biodiversity in existing conservation areas through the statutory proclamation process and management effectiveness monitoring, respectively, and to secure priority areas of the BioNet, Cape Town's systematic biodiversity plan. The most important tools for the latter are incorporating the BioNet plan into City spatial plans; communication, education, and public

  11. Evolution of body size, vision, and biodiversity of coral-associated organisms: evidence from fossil crustaceans in cold-water coral and tropical coral ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Jakobsen, Sten L; Lauridsen, Bodil W

    2016-06-16

    Modern cold-water coral and tropical coral environments harbor a highly diverse and ecologically important macrofauna of crustaceans that face elevated extinction risks due to reef decline. The effect of environmental conditions acting on decapod crustaceans comparing these two habitats is poorly understood today and in deep time. Here, we compare the biodiversity, eye socket height as a proxy for eye size, and body size of decapods in fossil cold-water and tropical reefs that formed prior to human disturbance. We show that decapod biodiversity is higher in fossil tropical reefs from The Netherlands, Italy, and Spain compared to that of the exceptionally well-preserved Paleocene (Danian) cold-water reef/mound ecosystem from Faxe (Denmark), where decapod diversity is highest in a more heterogeneous, mixed bryozoan-coral habitat instead of in coral and bryozoan-dominated facies. The relatively low diversity at Faxe was not influenced substantially by the preceding Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event that is not apparent in the standing diversity of decapods in our analyses, or by sampling, preservation, and/or a latitudinal diversity gradient. Instead, the lower availability of food and fewer hiding places for decapods may explain this low diversity. Furthermore, decapods from Faxe are larger than those from tropical waters for half of the comparisons, which may be caused by a lower number of predators, the delayed maturity, and the increased life span of crustaceans in deeper, colder waters. Finally, deep-water specimens of the benthic crab Caloxanthus from Faxe exhibit a larger eye socket size compared to congeneric specimens from tropical reefs, suggesting that dim light conditions favored the evolution of relatively large eyes. The results suggest a strong habitat control on the biodiversity of crustaceans in coral-associated environments and that the diversity difference between deep, cold-water reefs and tropical reefs evolved at least ~63 million years ago

  12. Invasions and extinctions reshape coastal marine food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarrett E Byrnes

    Full Text Available The biodiversity of ecosystems worldwide is changing because of species loss due to human-caused extinctions and species gain through intentional and accidental introductions. Here we show that the combined effect of these two processes is altering the trophic structure of food webs in coastal marine systems. This is because most extinctions ( approximately 70% occur at high trophic levels (top predators and other carnivores, while most invasions are by species from lower trophic levels (70% macroplanktivores, deposit feeders, and detritivores. These opposing changes thus alter the shape of marine food webs from a trophic pyramid capped by a diverse array of predators and consumers to a shorter, squatter configuration dominated by filter feeders and scavengers. The consequences of the simultaneous loss of diversity at top trophic levels and gain at lower trophic levels is largely unknown. However, current research suggests that a better understanding of how such simultaneous changes in diversity can impact ecosystem function will be required to manage coastal ecosystems and forecast future changes.

  13. Extinction Coefficient of Gold Nanostars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Puig, Helena; Tam, Justina O; Yen, Chun-Wan; Gehrke, Lee; Hamad-Schifferli, Kimberly

    2015-07-30

    Gold nanostars (NStars) are highly attractive for biological applications due to their surface chemistry, facile synthesis and optical properties. Here, we synthesize NStars in HEPES buffer at different HEPES/Au ratios, producing NStars of different sizes and shapes, and therefore varying optical properties. We measure the extinction coefficient of the synthesized NStars at their maximum surface plasmon resonances (SPR), which range from 5.7 × 10 8 to 26.8 × 10 8 M -1 cm -1 . Measured values correlate with those obtained from theoretical models of the NStars using the discrete dipole approximation (DDA), which we use to simulate the extinction spectra of the nanostars. Finally, because NStars are typically used in biological applications, we conjugate DNA and antibodies to the NStars and calculate the footprint of the bound biomolecules.

  14. Dinasour extinction and volcanic activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gledhill, J. A.

    There is at present some controversy about the reason for the mass extinction of dinosaurs and other forms of life at the end of the Cretaceous. A suggestion by Alvarez et al. [1980] that this was due to the collision of the earth with a meteorite 10 km or so in diameter has excited considerable interest [Silver and Schultz, 1982] and also some criticism [Stanley, 1984]. A recent publication [Wood, 1984] describing the catastrophic effects of a relatively minor lava flow in Iceland suggests that intense volcanic activity could have played a large part in the extinctions. In this letter it is pointed out that the Deccan lava flows in India took place in the appropriate time and may well have been of sufficient magnitude to be a major factor in the Cretaceous-Tertiary (C-T) boundary catastrophe.

  15. The equivalence of two phylogenetic biodiversity measures: the Shapley value and Fair Proportion index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Klaas

    2013-11-01

    Most biodiversity conservation programs are forced to prioritise species in order to allocate their funding. This paper contains a mathematical proof that provides biological support for one common approach based on phylogenetic indices. Phylogenetic trees describe the evolutionary relationships between a group of taxa. Two indices for computing the distinctiveness of each taxon in a phylogenetic tree are considered here-the Shapley value and the Fair Proportion index. These indices provide a measure of the importance of each taxon for overall biodiversity and have been used to prioritise taxa for conservation. The Shapley value is the biodiversity contribution a taxon is expected to make if all taxa are equally likely to become extinct. This interpretation makes it appealing to use the Shapley value in biodiversity conservation applications. The Fair Proportion index lacks a convenient interpretation, however it is significantly easier to calculate and understand. It has been empirically observed that there is a high correlation between the two indices. This paper shows the mathematical basis for this correlation and proves that as the number of taxa increases, the indices become equivalent. Consequently in biodiversity prioritisation the simpler Fair Proportion index can be used whilst retaining the appealing interpretation of the Shapley value.

  16. Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children's Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soga, Masashi; Gaston, Kevin J; Yamaura, Yuichi; Kurisu, Kiyo; Hanaki, Keisuke

    2016-05-25

    Children are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature. This ongoing loss of human interactions with nature, the extinction of experience, is viewed as one of the most fundamental obstacles to addressing global environmental challenges. However, the consequences for biodiversity conservation have been examined very little. Here, we conducted a questionnaire survey of elementary schoolchildren and investigated effects of the frequency of direct (participating in nature-based activities) and vicarious experiences of nature (reading books or watching TV programs about nature and talking about nature with parents or friends) on their affective attitudes (individuals' emotional feelings) toward and willingness to conserve biodiversity. A total of 397 children participated in the surveys in Tokyo. Children's affective attitudes and willingness to conserve biodiversity were positively associated with the frequency of both direct and vicarious experiences of nature. Path analysis showed that effects of direct and vicarious experiences on children's willingness to conserve biodiversity were mediated by their affective attitudes. This study demonstrates that children who frequently experience nature are likely to develop greater emotional affinity to and support for protecting biodiversity. We suggest that children should be encouraged to experience nature and be provided with various types of these experiences.

  17. Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children’s Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masashi Soga

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Children are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature. This ongoing loss of human interactions with nature, the extinction of experience, is viewed as one of the most fundamental obstacles to addressing global environmental challenges. However, the consequences for biodiversity conservation have been examined very little. Here, we conducted a questionnaire survey of elementary schoolchildren and investigated effects of the frequency of direct (participating in nature-based activities and vicarious experiences of nature (reading books or watching TV programs about nature and talking about nature with parents or friends on their affective attitudes (individuals’ emotional feelings toward and willingness to conserve biodiversity. A total of 397 children participated in the surveys in Tokyo. Children’s affective attitudes and willingness to conserve biodiversity were positively associated with the frequency of both direct and vicarious experiences of nature. Path analysis showed that effects of direct and vicarious experiences on children’s willingness to conserve biodiversity were mediated by their affective attitudes. This study demonstrates that children who frequently experience nature are likely to develop greater emotional affinity to and support for protecting biodiversity. We suggest that children should be encouraged to experience nature and be provided with various types of these experiences.

  18. Teaching Biodiversity & Evolution through Travel Course Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zervanos, Stam. M.; McLaughlin, Jacqueline S.

    2003-01-01

    Biodiversity is the extraordinary variety of life in this planet. In order to be fully appreciated, biodiversity needs to be experienced firsthand, or "experientially." Thus, the standard classroom lecture format is not the ideal situation for teaching biodiversity and evolutionary concepts, in that student interest and understanding are…

  19. Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    site. IABIN Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) OAS » SEDI » DSD » IABIN IABIN GEF Logo inbio natserve usgs polpar wcm The Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN , and use of biodiversity information relevant to policy and decision-making on natural resources

  20. Biology Student Teachers' Conceptual Frameworks regarding Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikmenli, Musa

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, biodiversity has received a great deal of attention worldwide, especially in environmental education. The reasons for this attention are the increase of human activities on biodiversity and environmental problems. The purpose of this study is to investigate biology student teachers' conceptual frameworks regarding biodiversity.…

  1. European Biodiversity Observation Network – EBONE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Halada, L.; Jongman, R.H.G.; Gerard, F.; Whittaker, L.; Bunce, R.G.H.; Bauch, B.; Schmeller, D.S.

    2009-01-01

    EBONE (European Biodiversity Observation Network) is a project developing a system of biodiversity observation at regional, national and European levels as a contribution to European reporting on biodiversity. The project focuses on GEO (Group of Earth Observations) task BI 07-01 to unify many of

  2. Palaeotethys seawater temperature rise and an intensified hydrological cycle following the end-Permian mass extinction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schobben, Martin; Joachimski, Michael M.; Korn, Dieter

    2014-01-01

    are presented together with new data from Wuchiapingian to Griesbachian sections in Iran. δ18O data from P-Tr sections in Iran document tropical sea surface temperatures (SST) of 27-33°C during the Changhsingian with a negative shift in δ18O starting at the extinction horizon, translating into a warming of SSTs...... and associated processes, vertical water column stratification, eutrophication and subsequent local anoxia may all have facilitated an extinction event....

  3. [Extinction and Reconsolidation of Memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuzina, A B; Balaban, P M

    2015-01-01

    Retrieval of memory followed by reconsolidation can strengthen a memory, while retrieval followed by extinction results in a decrease of memory performance due to weakening of existing memory or formation of a competing memory. In our study we analyzed the behavior and responses of identified neurons involved in the network underlying aversive learning in terrestrial snail Helix, and made an attempt to describe the conditions in which the retrieval of memory leads either to extinction or reconsolidation. In the network underlying the withdrawal behavior, sensory neurons, premotor interneurons, motor neurons, and modulatory for this network serotonergic neurons are identified and recordings from representatives of these groups were made before and after aversive learning. In the network underlying feeding behavior, the premotor modulatory serotonergic interneurons and motor neurons involved in motor program of feeding are identified. Analysis of changes in neural activity after aversive learning showed that modulatory neurons of feeding behavior do not demonstrate any changes (sometimes a decrease of responses to food was observed), while responses to food in withdrawal behavior premotor interneurons changed qualitatively, from under threshold EPSPs to spike discharges. Using a specific for serotonergic neurons neurotoxin 5,7-DiHT it was shown previously that the serotonergic system is necessary for the aversive learning, but is not necessary for maintenance and retrieval of this memory. These results suggest that the serotonergic neurons that are necessary as part of a reinforcement for developing the associative changes in the network may be not necessary for the retrieval of memory. The hypothesis presented in this review concerns the activity of the "reinforcement" serotonergic neurons that is suggested to be the gate condition for the choice between extinction/reconsolidation triggered by memory retrieval: if these serotonergic neurons do not respond during the

  4. Optimising Extinction of Conditioned Disgust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosman, Renske C; Borg, Charmaine; de Jong, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    Maladaptive disgust responses are tenacious and resistant to exposure-based interventions. In a similar vein, laboratory studies have shown that conditioned disgust is relatively insensitive to Conditioned Stimulus (CS)-only extinction procedures. The relatively strong resistance to extinction might be explained by disgust's adaptive function to motivate avoidance from contamination threats (pathogens) that cannot be readily detected and are invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, the mere visual presentation of unreinforced disgust eliciting stimuli might not be sufficient to correct a previously acquired threat value of the CS+. Following this, the current study tested whether the efficacy of CS-only exposure can be improved by providing additional safety information about the CS+. For the CSs we included two neutral items a pea soup and a sausage roll, whereas for the Unconditioned Stimulus (US) we used one video clip of a woman vomiting and a neutral one about glass blowing. The additional safety information was conveyed by allowing actual contact with the CS+ or by observing an actress eating the food items representing the CS+. When additional safety information was provided via allowing direct contact with the CS+, there was a relatively strong post-extinction increase in participants' willingness-to-eat the CS+. This beneficial effect was still evident at one-week follow up. Also self-reported disgust was lower at one-week follow up when additional safety information was provided. The current findings help explain why disgust is relatively insensitive to CS-only extinction procedures, and provide helpful starting points to improve interventions that are aimed to reduce distress in disgust-related psychopathology.

  5. Optimising Extinction of Conditioned Disgust.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renske C Bosman

    Full Text Available Maladaptive disgust responses are tenacious and resistant to exposure-based interventions. In a similar vein, laboratory studies have shown that conditioned disgust is relatively insensitive to Conditioned Stimulus (CS-only extinction procedures. The relatively strong resistance to extinction might be explained by disgust's adaptive function to motivate avoidance from contamination threats (pathogens that cannot be readily detected and are invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, the mere visual presentation of unreinforced disgust eliciting stimuli might not be sufficient to correct a previously acquired threat value of the CS+. Following this, the current study tested whether the efficacy of CS-only exposure can be improved by providing additional safety information about the CS+. For the CSs we included two neutral items a pea soup and a sausage roll, whereas for the Unconditioned Stimulus (US we used one video clip of a woman vomiting and a neutral one about glass blowing. The additional safety information was conveyed by allowing actual contact with the CS+ or by observing an actress eating the food items representing the CS+. When additional safety information was provided via allowing direct contact with the CS+, there was a relatively strong post-extinction increase in participants' willingness-to-eat the CS+. This beneficial effect was still evident at one-week follow up. Also self-reported disgust was lower at one-week follow up when additional safety information was provided. The current findings help explain why disgust is relatively insensitive to CS-only extinction procedures, and provide helpful starting points to improve interventions that are aimed to reduce distress in disgust-related psychopathology.

  6. Extinction Coefficient of Gold Nanostars

    OpenAIRE

    de Puig, Helena; Tam, Justina O.; Yen, Chun-Wan; Gehrke, Lee; Hamad-Schifferli, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    Gold nanostars (NStars) are highly attractive for biological applications due to their surface chemistry, facile synthesis and optical properties. Here, we synthesize NStars in HEPES buffer at different HEPES/Au ratios, producing NStars of different sizes and shapes, and therefore varying optical properties. We measure the extinction coefficient of the synthesized NStars at their maximum surface plasmon resonances (SPR), which range from 5.7 × 108 to 26.8 × 108 M−1cm−1. Measured values correl...

  7. Rapid prehistoric extinction of iguanas and birds in Polynesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steadman, David W; Pregill, Gregory K; Burley, David V

    2002-03-19

    The Tongoleleka archaeological site on Lifuka Island, Kingdom of Tonga, is a rich accumulation of pottery, marine mollusks, and nonhuman bones that represents first human contact on a small island in Remote Oceania approximately 2,850 years ago. The lower strata contain decorated Lapita-style pottery and bones of an extinct iguana (Brachylophus undescribed sp.) and numerous species of extinct birds. The upper strata instead feature Polynesian Plainware pottery and bones of extant species of vertebrates. A stratigraphic series of 20 accelerator-mass spectrometer radiocarbon dates on individual bones of the iguana, an extinct megapode (Megapodius alimentum), and the non-native chicken (Gallus gallus) suggests that anthropogenic loss of the first two species and introduction of the latter occurred on Lifuka within a time interval too short (a century or less) to be resolved by radiometric dating. The geologically instantaneous prehistoric collapse of Lifuka's vertebrate community contrasts with the much longer periods of faunal depletion on some other islands, thus showing that the elapse time between human arrival and major extinction events was highly variable on oceanic islands as well as on continents.

  8. Social-Ecological Predictors of Global Invasions and Extinctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Lotz

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Most assessments of resilience have been focused on local conditions. Studies focused on the relationship between humanity and environmental degradation are rare, and are rarely comprehensive. We investigated multiple social-ecological factors for 100 countries around the globe in relation to the percentage of invasions and extinctions within each country. These 100 countries contain approximately 87% of the world's population, produce 43% of the world's per capita gross domestic product (GDP, and take up 74% of the earth's total land area. We used an information theoretic approach to determine which models were most supported by our data, utilizing an a priori set of plausible models that included a combination of 15 social-ecological variables, each social-ecological factor by itself, and selected social-ecological factors grouped into three broad classes. These variables were per capita GDP, export-import ratio, tourism, undernourishment, energy efficiency, agricultural intensity, rainfall, water stress, wilderness protection, total biodiversity, life expectancy, adult literacy, pesticide regulation, political stability, and female participation in government. Our results indicate that as total biodiversity and total land area increase, the percentage of endangered birds also increases. As the independent variables (agricultural intensity, rainfall, water stress, and total biodiversity in the ecological class model increase, the percentage of endangered mammals in a country increases. The percentage of invasive birds and mammals in a country increases as per capita GDP increases. As life expectancy increases, the percentage of invasive and endangered birds and mammals increases. Although our analysis does not determine mechanisms, the patterns observed in this study provide insight into the dynamics of a complex, global, social-ecological system.

  9. Social-ecological predictors of global invasions and extinctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotz, Aaron; Allen, Craig R.

    2013-01-01

    Most assessments of resilience have been focused on local conditions. Studies focused on the relationship between humanity and environmental degradation are rare, and are rarely comprehensive. We investigated multiple social-ecological factors for 100 countries around the globe in relation to the percentage of invasions and extinctions within each country. These 100 countries contain approximately 87% of the world’s population, produce 43% of the world’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP), and take up 74% of the earth’s total land area. We used an information theoretic approach to determine which models were most supported by our data, utilizing an a priori set of plausible models that included a combination of 15 social-ecological variables, each social-ecological factor by itself, and selected social-ecological factors grouped into three broad classes. These variables were per capita GDP, export-import ratio, tourism, undernourishment, energy efficiency, agricultural intensity, rainfall, water stress, wilderness protection, total biodiversity, life expectancy, adult literacy, pesticide regulation, political stability, and female participation in government. Our results indicate that as total biodiversity and total land area increase, the percentage of endangered birds also increases. As the independent variables (agricultural intensity, rainfall, water stress, and total biodiversity) in the ecological class model increase, the percentage of endangered mammals in a country increases. The percentage of invasive birds and mammals in a country increases as per capita GDP increases. As life expectancy increases, the percentage of invasive and endangered birds and mammals increases. Although our analysis does not determine mechanisms, the patterns observed in this study provide insight into the dynamics of a complex, global, social-ecological system.

  10. Improving extinction projections across scales and habitats using the countryside species-area relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Inês Santos; Pereira, Henrique Miguel

    2017-10-10

    The species-area relationship (SAR) has been often used to project species extinctions as a consequence of habitat loss. However, recent studies have suggested that the SAR may overestimate species extinctions, at least in the short-term. We argue that the main reason for this overestimation is that the classic SAR ignores the persistence of species in human-modified habitats. We use data collected worldwide to analyse what is the fraction of bird and plant species that remain in different human-modified habitats at the local scale after full habitat conversion. We observe that both taxa have consistent responses to the different land-use types, with strongest reductions in species richness in cropland across the globe, and in pasture in the tropics. We show that the results from these studies cannot be linearly scaled from plots to large regions, as this again overestimates the impacts of land-use change on biodiversity. The countryside SAR provides a unifying framework to incorporate both the effect of species persistence in the landscape matrix and the non-linear response of the proportion of species extinctions to sampling area, generating more realistic projections of biodiversity loss.

  11. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally J Holbrook

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia. Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  12. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Messmer, Vanessa; Brooks, Andrew J; Srinivasan, Maya; Munday, Philip L; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2015-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia). Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity) in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  13. Extinction correction and synchrotron radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suortti, P.

    1983-01-01

    The primary extinction factor ysub(p) is defined as the ratio of the integrated reflection from a coherently diffracting domain to the integrated kinematical reflection from the same domain. When ysub(p) is larger than 0.5 it may be approximated by ysub(p)= exp[-(αdelta) 2 ], where α is about 0.5 and delta the average size of the coherent domain when measured in units of the extinction length Λ, delta = D/Λ. Transfer equations are applied to symmetrical Laue diffraction, and the reflectivity per unit length, sigma(epsilon) is solved from the measured reflecting ratio as a function of the rocking angle epsilon = theta -thetasub(B). Measurements with conventional x-ray sources are made on single crystal slabs of Be and Si using AgKβ, MoKα 1 and CuKα radiation. The primary extinction factor ysub(p)(epsilon) is solved from a point-by-point comparison of two measurements where the extinction length Λ is changed by varying the polarization and/or wavelength of the x-ray beam. The results show that primary and secondary extinction are strongly correlated, and that the customary assumption of independent size and orientation distributions of crystal mosaics is unjustified. The structure factors for Be and Si show close agreement with other recent measurements and calculations. The limitations of the method are discussed in length, particularly the effects of beam divergences and incoherence of the rays in the crystal. It is concluded that under typical experimental conditions the requirements of the theory are met. Practical limitations arising from the use of characteristic wavelengths and unpolarized radiation prohibit the use of the full potential of the method. The properties of a synchrotron radiation source are compared with a conventional x-ray source, and it is demonstrated that the experimental limitations can be removed by the use of synchrotron radiation. A diffraction experiment with synchrotron radiation is outlined, as well as generalization of the

  14. Options for promoting high-biodiversity REDD+

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swan, Steve; Mcnally, Richard; Grieg-Gran, Maryanne; Roe, Dilys; Mohammed, Essam Yassin

    2011-11-15

    International climate and biodiversity conventions agree that to be effective in the long term, strategies to reduce emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, and sustainable forest management (REDD+), must not undermine biodiversity. But how do countries achieve 'high-biodiversity REDD+' in practice? At a global level, options include immediate policy strengthening in international negotiations; promotion of co-benefit standards; and financial incentives and preferences for buying countries. At a national level, developing countries can also promote high-biodiversity REDD+ through more coherent policies; integrated planning; regulatory and economic instruments; and improved monitoring of biodiversity impacts.

  15. Sustaining America's Aquatic Biodiversity. Aquatic Insect Biodiversity and Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Voshell, J. Reese

    2005-01-01

    Provides a description of the structure and appearance of aquatic insects, how they live and reproduce, the habitats they live in, how to collect them, why they are of importance, and threats to their survival; document also includes a brief illustrated summary of the eight major groups of aquatic insects and web links to more information. Part of a 12 part series on sustaining aquatic biodiversity in America.

  16. Differential effects of controllable stress exposure on subsequent extinction learning in adult rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osnat eHadad-Ophir

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Deficits in fear extinction are thought to be related to various anxiety disorders. While failure to extinguish conditioned fear may result in pathological anxiety levels, the ability to quickly and efficiently attenuate learned fear through extinction processes can be extremely beneficial for the individual. One of the factors that may affect the efficiency of the extinction process is prior experience of stressful situations. In the current study, we examined whether exposure to controllable stress, which is suggested to induce stress resilience, can affect subsequent fear extinction. Here, following prolonged two-way shuttle (TWS avoidance training and a validation of acquired stress controllability, adult rats underwent either cued or contextual fear-conditioning (FC, followed by an extinction session. We further evaluated long lasting alterations of GABAergic targets in the medial pre-frontal cortex (mPFC, as these were implicated in FC and extinction and stress controllability. In cued, but not in contextual fear extinction, within-session extinction was enhanced following controllable stress compared to a control group. Interestingly, impaired extinction recall was detected in both extinction types following the stress procedure. Additionally, stress controllability-dependent alterations in GABAergic markers expression in infralimbic (IL, but not prelimbic (PL cortex, were detected. These alterations are proposed to be related to the within-session effect, but not the recall impairment. The results emphasize the contribution of prior experience on coping with subsequent stressful experiences. Moreover, the results emphasize that exposure to controllable stress does not generally facilitate future stress coping as previously claimed, but its effects are dependent on specific features of the events taking place.

  17. Biological correlates of extinction risk in bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E; Purvis, Andy; Gittleman, John L

    2003-04-01

    We investigated patterns and processes of extinction and threat in bats using a multivariate phylogenetic comparative approach. Of nearly 1,000 species worldwide, 239 are considered threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and 12 are extinct. Small geographic ranges and low wing aspect ratios are independently found to predict extinction risk in bats, which explains 48% of the total variance in IUCN assessments of threat. The pattern and correlates of extinction risk in the two bat suborders are significantly different. A higher proportion (4%) of megachiropteran species have gone extinct in the last 500 years than microchiropteran bats (0.3%), and a higher proportion is currently at risk of extinction (Megachiroptera: 34%; Microchiroptera: 22%). While correlates of microchiropteran extinction risk are the same as in the order as a whole, megachiropteran extinction is correlated more with reproductive rate and less with wing morphology. Bat extinction risk is not randomly distributed phylogenetically: closely related species have more similar levels of threat than would be expected if extinction risk were random. Given the unbalanced nature of the evolutionary diversification of bats, it is probable that the amount of phylogenetic diversity lost if currently threatened taxa disappear may be greater than in other clades with numerically more threatened species.

  18. The ethics of reviving long extinct species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandler, Ronald

    2014-04-01

    There now appears to be a plausible pathway for reviving species that have been extinct for several decades, centuries, or even millennia. I conducted an ethical analysis of de-extinction of long extinct species. I assessed several possible ethical considerations in favor of pursuing de-extinction: that it is a matter of justice; that it would reestablish lost value; that it would create new value; and that society needs it as a conservation last resort. I also assessed several possible ethical arguments against pursuing de-extinction: that it is unnatural; that it could cause animal suffering; that it could be ecologically problematic or detrimental to human health; and that it is hubristic. There are reasons in favor of reviving long extinct species, and it can be ethically acceptable to do so. However, the reasons in favor of pursuing de-extinction do not have to do with its usefulness in species conservation; rather, they concern the status of revived species as scientific and technological achievements, and it would be ethically problematic to promote de-extinction as a significant conservation strategy, because it does not prevent species extinctions, does not address the causes of extinction, and could be detrimental to some species conservation efforts. Moreover, humanity does not have a responsibility or obligation to pursue de-extinction of long extinct species, and reviving them does not address any urgent problem. Therefore, legitimate ecological, political, animal welfare, legal, or human health concerns associated with a de-extinction (and reintroduction) must be thoroughly addressed for it to be ethically acceptable. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  19. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: prospects and policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mace, Georgina M.; Mouillot, David; Vause, James; Walpole, Matt

    2016-01-01

    Meeting the ever-increasing needs of the Earth’s human population without excessively reducing biological diversity is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, suggesting that new approaches to biodiversity conservation are required. One idea rapidly gaining momentum—as well as opposition—is to incorporate the values of biodiversity into decision-making using economic methods. Here, we develop several lines of argument for how biodiversity might be valued, building on recent developments in natural science, economics and science-policy processes. Then we provide a synoptic guide to the papers in this special feature, summarizing recent research advances relevant to biodiversity valuation and management. Current evidence suggests that more biodiverse systems have greater stability and resilience, and that by maximizing key components of biodiversity we maximize an ecosystem’s long-term value. Moreover, many services and values arising from biodiversity are interdependent, and often poorly captured by standard economic models. We conclude that economic valuation approaches to biodiversity conservation should (i) account for interdependency and (ii) complement rather than replace traditional approaches. To identify possible solutions, we present a framework for understanding the foundational role of hard-to-quantify ‘biodiversity services’ in sustaining the value of ecosystems to humanity, and then use this framework to highlight new directions for pure and applied research. In most cases, clarifying the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and developing effective policy and practice for managing biodiversity, will require a genuinely interdisciplinary approach. PMID:27928040

  20. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: prospects and policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddon, Nathalie; Mace, Georgina M; Naeem, Shahid; Tobias, Joseph A; Pigot, Alex L; Cavanagh, Rachel; Mouillot, David; Vause, James; Walpole, Matt

    2016-12-14

    Meeting the ever-increasing needs of the Earth's human population without excessively reducing biological diversity is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, suggesting that new approaches to biodiversity conservation are required. One idea rapidly gaining momentum-as well as opposition-is to incorporate the values of biodiversity into decision-making using economic methods. Here, we develop several lines of argument for how biodiversity might be valued, building on recent developments in natural science, economics and science-policy processes. Then we provide a synoptic guide to the papers in this special feature, summarizing recent research advances relevant to biodiversity valuation and management. Current evidence suggests that more biodiverse systems have greater stability and resilience, and that by maximizing key components of biodiversity we maximize an ecosystem's long-term value. Moreover, many services and values arising from biodiversity are interdependent, and often poorly captured by standard economic models. We conclude that economic valuation approaches to biodiversity conservation should (i) account for interdependency and (ii) complement rather than replace traditional approaches. To identify possible solutions, we present a framework for understanding the foundational role of hard-to-quantify 'biodiversity services' in sustaining the value of ecosystems to humanity, and then use this framework to highlight new directions for pure and applied research. In most cases, clarifying the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and developing effective policy and practice for managing biodiversity, will require a genuinely interdisciplinary approach. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. Mammal extinctions in the Vallesian (Upper Miocene)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agusti, J.; Moya-Sola, S.

    The term Vallesian was created by Crusafont (1950) to designate the first European Mammalian palaeofaunas containing the equid Hipparion, the remainder of the faunas being composed of typical elements coming from the Middle Miocene such as Micromeryx, Euprox, Sansanosmilus, Pseudaelurus, and Listriodon. Thus, the Aragonian-Vallesian boundary does not show a strong change among European Miocene mammalian faunas (Agusti et al., 1984). On the other hand, the Lower Vallesian/Upper Vallesian transition corresponds to a major biotic crisis. This boudnary is characterized by the disappearence of most of the Aragonian artiodactyl forms such as Protragocerus, Miotragocerus, Listriodon, Hyotherium, Parachleusastochoerus, etc. Among the rodents, this crisis affects the family Eomyidae and most of the cricetid and glirid species. On the other hand, a number of eastern elements appear in the area at the same time. This is the case of the suid Schizochoerus and the murid Progonomys. Other eastern forms are Tragoportax, Graecoryx, Adcrocuta, Paramachairodus, Microstonyx, etc. Most of these are typical elements of the next Mammal stage, the Turolian. Thus, whereas the Lower Vallesian fauna has a typical Aragonian composition except for Hipparion. After the Middle Vallesian event, the Upper Vallesian faunas are already largely Turolian in character. The possible factors involved in this extinction event are discussed.

  2. Patterns of Sponge Biodiversity in the Pilbara, Northwestern Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Fromont

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This study assessed the biodiversity of sponges within the Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation for Australia (IMCRA bioregions of the Pilbara using datasets amalgamated from the Western Australian Museum and the Atlas of Living Australia. The Pilbara accounts for a total of 1164 Linnean and morphospecies. A high level of “apparent endemism” was recorded with 78% of species found in only one of six bioregions, with less than 10% confirmed as widely distributed. The Ningaloo, Pilbara Nearshore and Pilbara Offshore bioregions are biodiversity hotspots (>250 species and are recognised as having the highest conservation value, followed by North West Shelf containing 232 species. Species compositions differed between bioregions, with those that are less spatially separated sharing more species. Notably, the North West Province bioregion (110 species exhibited the most distinct species composition, highlighting it as a unique habitat within the Pilbara. While sponge biodiversity is apparently high, incomplete sampling effort for the region was identified, with only two sampling events recorded for the Central West Transition bioregion. Furthermore, only 15% of records in the dataset are presently described (Linnean species, highlighting the continuing need for taxonomic expertise for the conservation and management of marine biodiversity resources.

  3. Accounting for biodiversity in the dairy industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sizemore, Grant C

    2015-05-15

    Biodiversity is an essential part of properly functioning ecosystems, yet the loss of biodiversity currently occurs at rates unparalleled in the modern era. One of the major causes of this phenomenon is habitat loss and modification as a result of intensified agricultural practices. This paper provides a starting point for considering biodiversity within dairy production, and, although focusing primarily on the United States, findings are applicable broadly. Biodiversity definitions and assessments (e.g., indicators, tools) are proposed and reviewed. Although no single indicator or tool currently meets all the needs of comprehensive assessment, many sustainable practices are readily adoptable as ways to conserve and promote biodiversity. These practices, as well as potential funding opportunities are identified. Given the state of uncertainty in addressing the complex nature of biodiversity assessments, the adoption of generally sustainable environmental practices may be the best currently available option for protecting biodiversity on dairy lands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Biodiversity redistribution under climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pecl, Gretta T.; Bastos, Miguel; Bell, Johann D.

    2017-01-01

    Distributions of Earth’s species are changing at accelerating rates, increasingly driven by humanmediated climate change. Such changes are already altering the composition of ecological communities, but beyond conservation of natural systems, how and why does this matter? We review evidence that ...... by changes in species distribution. Consideration of these effects of biodiversity redistribution is critical yet lacking in most mitigation and adaptation strategies, including the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals....

  5. Island biodiversity conservation needs palaeoecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nogué, Sandra; de Nascimento, Lea; Froyd, Cynthia A.

    2017-01-01

    to human activities. Consequently, even the most degraded islands are a focus for restoration, eradication, and monitoring programmes to protect the remaining endemic and/or relict populations. Here, we build a framework that incorporates an assessment of the degree of change from multiple baseline...... and the introduction of non-native species. We provide exemplification of how such approaches can provide valuable information for biodiversity conservation managers of island ecosystems....

  6. Temporal specificity of extinction in autoshaping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, Michael R; Yang, Cynthia; Ohyama, Tatsuya; Balsam, Peter D

    2004-07-01

    Three experiments investigated the effects of varying the conditioned stimulus (CS) duration between training and extinction. Ring doves (Streptopelia risoria) were autoshaped on a fixed CS-unconditioned stimulus (US) interval and extinguished with CS presentations that were longer, shorter, or the same as the training duration. During a subsequent test session, the training CS duration was reintroduced. Results suggest that the cessation of responding during an extinction session is controlled by generalization of excitation between the training and extinction CSs and by the number of nonreinforced CS presentations. Transfer of extinction to the training CS is controlled by the similarity between the extinction and training CSs. Extinction learning is temporally specific. (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved

  7. Open-field exposure facilitates consummatory extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justel, Nadia; Psyrdellis, Mariana; Pautassi, Ricardo M

    2016-12-07

    During extinction, the organism learns that a conditioned stimulus or a conditioned response is no longer associated with an unconditioned stimulus, and as a consequence, a decrement in the response is presented. The exposure to novel situations (e.g. exploration of a novel open field) has been used widely to modulate (i.e. either enhance or deteriorate) learning and memory. The aim of the present study was to test whether open-field exposure could modulate consummatory extinction. The results indicated that open-field exposure accelerated the extinction response (i.e. experimental animals provided novelty exposure had lower consummatory behavior than control animals) when applied before - but not after - the first extinction trial, or when applied before the second extinction trial. The results suggest that environmental treatments such as novelty exposure provide a valuable, nonpharmacological alternative to potentially modulate extinction processes.

  8. European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh (contributor), Paul Henning

    Soil is one of the fundamental components for supporting life on Earth. Most ecosystem processes and global functions that occur within soil are driven by living organisms that, in turn, sustain life above ground. However, despite the fact that soils are home to a quarter of all living species on...... Biodiversity is an essential reference to the many and varied aspects of soil. The overall goal of this work is to convey the fundamental necessity to safeguard soil biodiversity in order to guarantee life on this planet.......Soil is one of the fundamental components for supporting life on Earth. Most ecosystem processes and global functions that occur within soil are driven by living organisms that, in turn, sustain life above ground. However, despite the fact that soils are home to a quarter of all living species...... on Earth, life within the soil is often hidden away and suffers by being 'out of sight and out of mind'. What kind of life is there in soil? What do we mean by soil biodiversity? What is special about soil biology? How do our activities affect soil ecosystems? What are the links between soil biota...

  9. Light extinction in the atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laulainen, N.

    1992-06-01

    Atmospheric aerosol particles originating from natural sources, such as volcanos and sulfur-bearing gas emissions from the oceans, and from human sources, such as sulfur emissions from fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning, strongly affect visual air quality and are suspected to significantly affect radiative climate forcing of the planet. During the daytime, aerosols obscure scenic vistas, while at night they diminish our ability to observe stellar objects. Scattering of light is the main means by which aerosols attenuate and redistribute light in the atmosphere and by which aerosols can alter and reduce visibility and potentially modify the energy balance of the planet. Trends and seasonal variability of atmospheric aerosol loading, such as column-integrated light extinction or optical depth, and how they may affect potential climate change have been difficult to quantify because there have been few observations made of important aerosol optical parameters, such as optical depth, over the globe and over time and often these are of uneven quality. To address questions related to possible climate change, there is a pressing need to acquire more high-quality aerosol optical depth data. Extensive deployment of improved solar radiometers over the next few years will provide higher-quality extinction data over a wider variety of locations worldwide. An often overlooked source of turbidity data, however, is available from astronomical observations, particularly stellar photoelectric photometry observations. With the exception of the Project ASTRA articles published almost 20 years ago, few of these data ever appear in the published literature. This paper will review the current status of atmospheric extinction observations, as highlighted by the ASTRA work and augmented by more recent solar radiometry measurements

  10. Sexual selection protects against extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumley, Alyson J; Michalczyk, Łukasz; Kitson, James J N; Spurgin, Lewis G; Morrison, Catriona A; Godwin, Joanne L; Dickinson, Matthew E; Martin, Oliver Y; Emerson, Brent C; Chapman, Tracey; Gage, Matthew J G

    2015-06-25

    Reproduction through sex carries substantial costs, mainly because only half of sexual adults produce offspring. It has been theorized that these costs could be countered if sex allows sexual selection to clear the universal fitness constraint of mutation load. Under sexual selection, competition between (usually) males and mate choice by (usually) females create important intraspecific filters for reproductive success, so that only a subset of males gains paternity. If reproductive success under sexual selection is dependent on individual condition, which is contingent to mutation load, then sexually selected filtering through 'genic capture' could offset the costs of sex because it provides genetic benefits to populations. Here we test this theory experimentally by comparing whether populations with histories of strong versus weak sexual selection purge mutation load and resist extinction differently. After evolving replicate populations of the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum for 6 to 7 years under conditions that differed solely in the strengths of sexual selection, we revealed mutation load using inbreeding. Lineages from populations that had previously experienced strong sexual selection were resilient to extinction and maintained fitness under inbreeding, with some families continuing to survive after 20 generations of sib × sib mating. By contrast, lineages derived from populations that experienced weak or non-existent sexual selection showed rapid fitness declines under inbreeding, and all were extinct after generation 10. Multiple mutations across the genome with individually small effects can be difficult to clear, yet sum to a significant fitness load; our findings reveal that sexual selection reduces this load, improving population viability in the face of genetic stress.

  11. Comment on the extinct paradox

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levine, D.M.

    1983-11-01

    The extinction paradox is a contradiction between geometrical optics results which predict that at high frequencies the scattering cross section of an object should equal its geometrical cross section and rigorous scattering theory which shows that at high frequencies the scattering cross section approaches twice the geometrical cross section of the object. Confusion about the reason for this paradox persists today even though the nature of the paradox was correctly identified many years ago by Brillouin. The resolution of the paradox is restated and illustrated with an example, and then the implications to the interpretation of scattering cross sections are identified

  12. Presidential address: distinction or extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pressman, Barry D

    2008-10-01

    Despite its continuing scientific successes in imaging, radiology as a specialty is faced with a very difficult and competitive environment. Nonradiologists are more and more interested in vertically integrating imaging into their practices, while teleradiology and picture archiving and communication systems are resulting in the greater isolation of radiologists. Commoditization is a realistic and devastating threat to the survival and professionalism of the specialty. To remain viable as a specialty, radiologists must elevate their practice by subspecializing, becoming more involved with clinical care, and actively interacting with patients and referring clinicians. Distinction will prevent extinction.

  13. Methylphenidate enhances extinction of contextual fear

    OpenAIRE

    Abraham, Antony D.; Cunningham, Christopher L.; Lattal, K. Matthew

    2012-01-01

    Methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin) is a norepinephrine and dopamine transporter blocker that is widely used in humans for treatment of attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. Although there is some evidence that targeted microinjections of MPH may enhance fear acquisition, little is known about the effect of MPH on fear extinction. Here, we show that MPH, administered before or immediately following extinction of contextual fear, will enhance extinction retention in C57BL/6 mice. Animals that ...

  14. Are Humans too Numerous to Become Extinct?

    OpenAIRE

    Cairns, John

    2009-01-01

    Some claim that humans are too numerous to become extinct. However, passenger pigeon, once the most numerous birds on the planet, are now extinct. For years, humankind has been damaging its habitat, discharging toxic chemicals into the environment, and having harmful effects on agricultural productivity due to climate change. Humankind s extinction depends on the continuation of various human activities including economic growth, addiction to fossil fuel, over consumption, overpopulation, oc...

  15. When did Carcharocles megalodon become extinct? A new analysis of the fossil record.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catalina Pimiento

    Full Text Available Carcharocles megalodon ("Megalodon" is the largest shark that ever lived. Based on its distribution, dental morphology, and associated fauna, it has been suggested that this species was a cosmopolitan apex predator that fed on marine mammals from the middle Miocene to the Pliocene (15.9-2.6 Ma. Prevailing theory suggests that the extinction of apex predators affects ecosystem dynamics. Accordingly, knowing the time of extinction of C. megalodon is a fundamental step towards understanding the effects of such an event in ancient communities. However, the time of extinction of this important species has never been quantitatively assessed. Here, we synthesize the most recent records of C. megalodon from the literature and scientific collections and infer the date of its extinction by making a novel use of the Optimal Linear Estimation (OLE model. Our results suggest that C. megalodon went extinct around 2.6 Ma. Furthermore, when contrasting our results with known ecological and macroevolutionary trends in marine mammals, it became evident that the modern composition and function of modern gigantic filter-feeding whales was established after the extinction of C. megalodon. Consequently, the study of the time of extinction of C. megalodon provides the basis to improve our understanding of the responses of marine species to the removal of apex predators, presenting a deep-time perspective for the conservation of modern ecosystems.

  16. Segregated populations of hippocampal principal CA1 neurons mediating conditioning and extinction of contextual fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tronson, Natalie C; Schrick, Christina; Guzman, Yomayra F; Huh, Kyu Hwan; Srivastava, Deepak P; Penzes, Peter; Guedea, Anita L; Gao, Can; Radulovic, Jelena

    2009-03-18

    Learning processes mediating conditioning and extinction of contextual fear require activation of several key signaling pathways in the hippocampus. Principal hippocampal CA1 neurons respond to fear conditioning by a coordinated activation of multiple protein kinases and immediate early genes, such as cFos, enabling rapid and lasting consolidation of contextual fear memory. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) additionally acts as a central mediator of fear extinction. It is not known however, whether these molecular events take place in overlapping or nonoverlapping neuronal populations. By using mouse models of conditioning and extinction of fear, we set out to determine the time course of cFos and Erk activity, their cellular overlap, and regulation by afferent cholinergic input from the medial septum. Analyses of cFos(+) and pErk(+) cells by immunofluorescence revealed predominant nuclear activation of either protein during conditioning and extinction of fear, respectively. Transgenic cFos-LacZ mice were further used to label in vivo Fos(+) hippocampal cells during conditioning followed by pErk immunostaining after extinction. The results showed that these signaling molecules were activated in segregated populations of hippocampal principal neurons. Furthermore, immunotoxin-induced lesions of medial septal neurons, providing cholinergic input into the hippocampus, selectively abolished Erk activation and extinction of fear without affecting cFos responses and conditioning. These results demonstrate that extinction mechanisms based on Erk signaling involve a specific population of CA1 principal neurons distinctively regulated by afferent cholinergic input from the medial septum.

  17. Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2017-07-25

    The population extinction pulse we describe here shows, from a quantitative viewpoint, that Earth's sixth mass extinction is more severe than perceived when looking exclusively at species extinctions. Therefore, humanity needs to address anthropogenic population extirpation and decimation immediately. That conclusion is based on analyses of the numbers and degrees of range contraction (indicative of population shrinkage and/or population extinctions according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature) using a sample of 27,600 vertebrate species, and on a more detailed analysis documenting the population extinctions between 1900 and 2015 in 177 mammal species. We find that the rate of population loss in terrestrial vertebrates is extremely high-even in "species of low concern." In our sample, comprising nearly half of known vertebrate species, 32% (8,851/27,600) are decreasing; that is, they have decreased in population size and range. In the 177 mammals for which we have detailed data, all have lost 30% or more of their geographic ranges and more than 40% of the species have experienced severe population declines (>80% range shrinkage). Our data indicate that beyond global species extinctions Earth is experiencing a huge episode of population declines and extirpations, which will have negative cascading consequences on ecosystem functioning and services vital to sustaining civilization. We describe this as a "biological annihilation" to highlight the current magnitude of Earth's ongoing sixth major extinction event.

  18. Stable isotope stratigraphy and larger benthic foraminiferal extinctions in the Melinau Limestone, Sarawak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Laura J.; Pearson, Paul N.; Renema, Willem

    2014-01-01

    Important long-ranging groups of larger benthic foraminifera (LBF) are known to have become extinct during a period of global cooling and climate disruption at the Eocene-Oligocene transition (EOT) but the precise timing and mechanisms are uncertain. Recent study showed unexpectedly that the LBF extinction in Tanzania occurs very close to the Eocene/Oligocene boundary, as recognised by the extinction of the planktonic foraminiferal Family Hantkeninidae, rather than at the later period of maximum global ice growth and sea-level fall, as previously thought. Here we investigate the same phase of extinction in the Melinau Limestone of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, Malaysia one of the most complete carbonate successions spanning the Eocene to Lower Miocene. Assemblages of LBF from the Melinau Limestone were studied extensively by Geoffrey Adams during the 1960s-80s, confirming a major extinction during the EOT, but the section lacked independent means of correlation. By analysing rock samples originally studied by Adams and now in the Natural History Museum, London, we provide new bulk stable isotope (δ13C and δ18O) records. This enables us to identify, albeit tentatively, the level of maximum stable isotope excursion and show that the LBF extinction event in the Melinau Limestone occurs below this isotope excursion, supporting the results from Tanzania and indicating that the extinction of LBF close to the Eocene/Oligocene boundary may be a global phenomenon.

  19. Long-term maintenance of immediate or delayed extinction is determined by the extinction-test interval

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Justin S.; Escobar, Martha; Kimble, Whitney L.

    2010-01-01

    Short acquisition-extinction intervals (immediate extinction) can lead to either more or less spontaneous recovery than long acquisition-extinction intervals (delayed extinction). Using rat subjects, we observed less spontaneous recovery following immediate than delayed extinction (Experiment 1). However, this was the case only if a relatively long extinction-test interval was used; a relatively short extinction-test interval yielded the opposite result (Experiment 2). Previous data appear co...

  20. Intergalactic extinction and the deceleration parameter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meinel, R.

    1981-01-01

    The deceleration parameter q 0 is calculated from the relation between apparent magnitudes m of the brightest galaxies in clusters and their redshifts z considering an intergalactic extinction. The calculation is valid for a Friedman universe, homogeneously filled with dust grains, assuming the extinction to be 0.5 mag at z = 1 and aΛ -1 -law of extinction (according to Oleak and Schmidt 1976). Using the m,z-values of Kristian, Sandage, and Westphal (1978) a formal value of q 0 approximately 2.1 is obtained instead of q 0 approximately 1.6 without consideration of intergalactic extinction. (author)

  1. Interstellar extinction in the Large Magellanic Cloud

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nandy, K.; Morgan, D.H.; Willis, A.J.; Wilson, R.; Gondhalekar, P.M.; Houziaux, L.

    1980-01-01

    Recent UV observations together with complementary visible data of several reddened and comparison stars of similar spectral types in the Large Magellanic Cloud have been used to study the interstellar extinction in that galaxy. Most of the reddened stars studied here are located within 2 0 of 30 Doradus and show remarkably high extinction in the far UV, suggesting a large abundance of small particles. From the optical wavelength to 2,600 A the normalised extinction curves of the LMC stars are similar to the mean galactic extinction law. (author)

  2. Mass extinctions vs. uniformitarianism in biological evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bak, P.; Paczuski, M.

    1995-12-31

    It is usually believed that Darwin`s theory leads to a smooth gradual evolution, so that mass extinctions must be caused by external shocks. However, it has recently been argued that mass extinctions arise from the intrinsic dynamics of Darwinian evolution. Species become extinct when swept by intermittent avalanches propagating through the global ecology. These ideas are made concrete through studies of simple mathematical models of co-evolving species. The models exhibit self-organized criticality and describe some general features of the extinction pattern in the fossil record.

  3. Age, origins and extinctions of the avifauna of Macaronesia: a synthesis of phylogenetic and fossil information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illera, Juan Carlos; Rando, Juan Carlos; Richardson, David S.; Emerson, Brent C.

    2012-09-01

    Understanding the age, origins and extinction of oceanic island biota has captivated the interest of evolutionary biologists since Darwin and Wallace. Because oceanic islands are discrete entities of small geographical size but with considerable habitat diversity, they provide ideal templates within which to study evolutionary processes. The peripheral North Atlantic islands, collectively referred to as Macaronesia, are considered a hot spot of biodiversity due to the fact that they contain a large proportion of endemic taxa (ca 25%). Recent molecular studies are providing insight into the patterns of colonization and radiation within the extant avifauna, while paleontological studies have described many extinct avian species, sometimes identifying the causes and chronology of extinction. The aim of this review is to develop an understanding of the evolutionary and biogeographic history of the macaronesian avifauna, combining information from phylogenetic and paleontological studies. We then compare patterns for Macaronesia with those of other oceanic archipelagos to evaluate to what extent patterns may be generalised across regions. Phylogenetic analyses have confirmed the close relationships between endemic macaronesian avifauna and the closest mainland areas (Europe and Africa), however, in contrast to other archipelagos of a similar age, we show that most extant birds appear to have colonized macaronesian archipelagos relatively recently, within the last four million years, despite some islands being approximately 30 million years old. Fossil records support the idea that higher species richness previously existed, with recent dating on bone collagen of selected extinct species suggesting that their extinction coincided with the arrival of aboriginal people ca 2500 years ago in the Canary Islands, or the arrival of Europeans across all the macaronesian islands in the 14th century. It is plausible that these human mediated extinctions may have selectively acted

  4. Seasonal differences in extinction and colonization drive occupancy dynamics of an imperilled amphibian.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lea A Randall

    Full Text Available A detailed understanding of the population dynamics of many amphibian species is lacking despite concerns about declining amphibian biodiversity and abundance. This paper explores temporal patterns of occupancy and underlying extinction and colonization dynamics in a regionally imperiled amphibian species, the Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens in Alberta. Our study contributes to elucidating regional occupancy dynamics at northern latitudes, where climate extremes likely have a profound effect on seasonal occupancy. The primary advantage of our study is its wide geographic scale (60,000 km2 and the use of repeat visual surveys each spring and summer from 2009-2013. We find that occupancy varied more dramatically between seasons than years, with low spring and higher summer occupancy. Between spring and summer, colonization was high and extinction low; inversely, colonization was low and extinction high over the winter. The dynamics of extinction and colonization are complex, making conservation management challenging. Our results reveal that Northern leopard frog occupancy was constant over the last five years and thus there is no evidence of decline or recovery within our study area. Changes to equilibrium occupancy are most sensitive to increasing colonization in the spring or declining extinction in the summer. Therefore, conservation and management efforts should target actions that are likely to increase spring colonization; this could be achieved through translocations or improving the quality or access to breeding habitat. Because summer occupancy is already high, it may be difficult to improve further. Nevertheless, summer extinction could be reduced by predator control, increasing water quality or hydroperiod of wetlands, or increasing the quality or quantity of summer habitat.

  5. Seasonal differences in extinction and colonization drive occupancy dynamics of an imperilled amphibian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, Lea A; Smith, Des H V; Jones, Breana L; Prescott, David R C; Moehrenschlager, Axel

    2015-01-01

    A detailed understanding of the population dynamics of many amphibian species is lacking despite concerns about declining amphibian biodiversity and abundance. This paper explores temporal patterns of occupancy and underlying extinction and colonization dynamics in a regionally imperiled amphibian species, the Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) in Alberta. Our study contributes to elucidating regional occupancy dynamics at northern latitudes, where climate extremes likely have a profound effect on seasonal occupancy. The primary advantage of our study is its wide geographic scale (60,000 km2) and the use of repeat visual surveys each spring and summer from 2009-2013. We find that occupancy varied more dramatically between seasons than years, with low spring and higher summer occupancy. Between spring and summer, colonization was high and extinction low; inversely, colonization was low and extinction high over the winter. The dynamics of extinction and colonization are complex, making conservation management challenging. Our results reveal that Northern leopard frog occupancy was constant over the last five years and thus there is no evidence of decline or recovery within our study area. Changes to equilibrium occupancy are most sensitive to increasing colonization in the spring or declining extinction in the summer. Therefore, conservation and management efforts should target actions that are likely to increase spring colonization; this could be achieved through translocations or improving the quality or access to breeding habitat. Because summer occupancy is already high, it may be difficult to improve further. Nevertheless, summer extinction could be reduced by predator control, increasing water quality or hydroperiod of wetlands, or increasing the quality or quantity of summer habitat.

  6. Microbes and mass extinctions: paleoenvironmental distribution of microbialites during times of biotic crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mata, S A; Bottjer, D J

    2012-01-01

    Widespread development of microbialites characterizes the substrate and ecological response during the aftermath of two of the 'big five' mass extinctions of the Phanerozoic. This study reviews the microbial response recorded by macroscopic microbial structures to these events to examine how extinction mechanism may be linked to the style of microbialite development. Two main styles of response are recognized: (i) the expansion of microbialites into environments not previously occupied during the pre-extinction interval and (ii) increases in microbialite abundance and attainment of ecological dominance within environments occupied prior to the extinction. The Late Devonian biotic crisis contributed toward the decimation of platform margin reef taxa and was followed by increases in microbialite abundance in Famennian and earliest Carboniferous platform interior, margin, and slope settings. The end-Permian event records the suppression of infaunal activity and an elimination of metazoan-dominated reefs. The aftermath of this mass extinction is characterized by the expansion of microbialites into new environments including offshore and nearshore ramp, platform interior, and slope settings. The mass extinctions at the end of the Triassic and Cretaceous have not yet been associated with a macroscopic microbial response, although one has been suggested for the end-Ordovician event. The case for microbialites behaving as 'disaster forms' in the aftermath of mass extinctions accurately describes the response following the Late Devonian and end-Permian events, and this may be because each is marked by the reduction of reef communities in addition to a suppression of bioturbation related to the development of shallow-water anoxia. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. Anatomical physiology of spatial extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciçek, Metehan; Gitelman, Darren; Hurley, Robert S E; Nobre, Anna; Mesulam, Marsel

    2007-12-01

    Neurologically intact volunteers participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment that simulated the unilateral (focal) and bilateral (global) stimulations used to elicit extinction in patients with hemispatial neglect. In peristriate areas, attentional modulations were selectively sensitive to contralaterally directed attention. A higher level of mapping was observed in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS), inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). In these areas, there was no distinction between contralateral and ipsilateral focal attention, and the need to distribute attention globally led to greater activity than either focal condition. These physiological characteristics were symmetrically distributed in the IPS and IFG, suggesting that the effects of unilateral lesions in these 2 areas can be compensated by the contralateral hemisphere. In the IPL, the greater activation by the bilateral attentional mode was seen only in the right hemisphere. Its contralateral counterpart displayed equivalent activations when attention was distributed to the right, to the left, or bilaterally. Within the context of this experiment, the IPL of the right hemisphere emerged as the one area where unilateral lesions can cause the most uncompensated and selective impairment of global attention (without interfering with unilateral attention to either side), giving rise to the phenomenon of extinction.

  8. Press/Pulse: Explaining selective terrestrial extinctions at the Cretaceous/Palaeogene boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arens, Nan Crystal

    2010-05-01

    Single-cause mass extinction scenarios require extreme conditions to generate sufficiently strong kill mechanisms. Such dire effects are commonly at odds with the taxonomic selectivity that characterizes most extinction events. In response, some researchers have proposed that the interaction of a variety of factors typify episodes of elevated extinction. Previous work (Arens & West 2008 Paleobiology 34:456-471) has shown that a combination of press and pulse disturbances increases the probability of elevated extinction. The press/pulse contrast is borrowed from community ecology, where researchers have long recognized that the ecological response to long-term stress differs from that of an instantaneous catastrophe. Scaled to the macroevolutionary level, press disturbances alter community composition by placing multigenerational stress on populations. Press disturbances do not necessarily cause mortality, but reduce population size by a variety of mechanisms such as curtailed reproduction. Pulse disturbances are sudden catastrophic events that cause extensive mortality. Either press or pulse disturbances of sufficient magnitude can cause extinction, however elevated extinction occurs more commonly during the coincidence of lower-magnitude press and pulse events. The Cretaceous/Palaeogene (K/P) extinction is one of the best examples of a press/pulse extinction. Deccan Trap volcanism, which straddled the K/P boundary, altered atmospheric composition and climate. This episodic volcanism likely contributed to the climate instability observed in terrestrial ecosystems and exerted press stress. Pulse disturbance was produced by bolide impact, which punctuated the end of the Cretaceous. The press/pulse mechanism also more effectively explains selectivity in terrestrial vertebrate and plant extinctions at the K/P boundary than do single-mechanisms scenarios. For example, why do environmentally sensitive vertebrates such as amphibians experience no extinction? And why do

  9. Determining species expansion and extinction possibilities using probabilistic and graphical models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chaturvedi Rajesh

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Survival of plant species is governed by a number of functions. The participation of each function in species survival and the impact of the contrary behaviour of the species vary from function to function. The probability of extinction of species varies in all such scenarios and has to be calculated separately. Secondly, species follow different patterns of dispersal and localisation at different stages of occupancy state of the site, therefore, the scenarios of competition for resources with climatic shifts leading to deterioration and loss of biodiversity resulting in extinction needs to be studied. Furthermore, most possible deviations of species from climax community states needs to be calculated before species become extinct due to sudden environmental disruption. Globally, various types of anthropogenic disturbances threaten the diversity of biological systems. The impact of these anthropogenic activities needs to be analysed to identify extinction patterns with respect to these activities. All the analyses mentioned above have been tried to be achieved through probabilistic or graphical models in this study.

  10. Constraints on Enhanced Extinction Resulting from Extinction Treatment in the Presence of an Added Excitor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urcelay, Gonzalo P.; Lipatova, Olga; Miller, Ralph R.

    2009-01-01

    Three Pavlovian fear conditioning experiments with rats as subjects explored the effect of extinction in the presence of a concurrent excitor. Our aim was to explore this particular treatment, documented in previous studies to deepen extinction, with novel control groups to shed light on the processes involved in extinction. Relative to subjects…

  11. Conservation genetics of a critically endangered limpet genus and rediscovery of an extinct species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diarmaid Ó Foighil

    Full Text Available A third of all known freshwater mollusk extinctions worldwide have occurred within a single medium-sized American drainage. The Mobile River Basin (MRB of Alabama, a global hotspot of temperate freshwater biodiversity, was intensively industrialized during the 20(th century, driving 47 of its 139 endemic mollusk species to extinction. These include the ancylinid limpet Rhodacmea filosa, currently classified as extinct (IUCN Red List, a member of a critically endangered southeastern North American genus reduced to a single known extant population (of R. elatior in the MRB.We document here the tripling of known extant populations of this North American limpet genus with the rediscovery of enduring Rhodacmea filosa in a MRB tributary and of R. elatior in its type locality: the Green River, Kentucky, an Ohio River Basin (ORB tributary. Rhodacmea species are diagnosed using untested conchological traits and we reassessed their systematic and conservation status across both basins using morphometric and genetic characters. Our data corroborated the taxonomic validity of Rhodacmea filosa and we inferred a within-MRB cladogenic origin from a common ancestor bearing the R. elatior shell phenotype. The geographically-isolated MRB and ORB R. elatior populations formed a cryptic species complex: although overlapping morphometrically, they exhibited a pronounced phylogenetic disjunction that greatly exceeded that of within-MRB R. elatior and R. filosa sister species.Rhodacmea filosa, the type species of the genus, is not extinct. It persists in a Coosa River tributary and morphometric and phylogenetic analyses confirm its taxonomic validity. All three surviving populations of the genus Rhodacmea merit specific status. They collectively contain all known survivors of a phylogenetically highly distinctive North American endemic genus and therefore represent a concentrated fraction of continental freshwater gastropod biodiversity. We recommend the establishment

  12. A general theory of impacts and mass extinctions, and the consequences of large-body impact on the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampino, M. R.

    1994-01-01

    The theory that large-body impacts are the primary cause of mass extinctions of life on the Earth now has a sound theoretical and observational foundation. A convergence of evidence suggests that the biosphere may be a sensitive detector of large impact events, which result in the recorded global mass extinction pulses. The astronomically observed flux of asteroids and comets in the neighborhood of the Earth, and the threshold impact size calculated to produce a global environment catastrophe, can be used to predict a time history of large impact events and related mass extinctions of life that agrees well with the record of approx. 24 extinction events in the last 540 m.y.

  13. Late Eocene impact events recorded in deep-sea sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, B. P.

    1988-01-01

    Raup and Sepkoski proposed that mass extinctions have occurred every 26 Myr during the last 250 Myr. In order to explain this 26 Myr periodicity, it was proposed that the mass extinctions were caused by periodic increases in cometary impacts. One method to test this hypothesis is to determine if there were periodic increases in impact events (based on crater ages) that correlate with mass extinctions. A way to test the hypothesis that mass extinctions were caused by periodic increases in impact cratering is to look for evidence of impact events in deep-sea deposits. This method allows direct observation of the temporal relationship between impact events and extinctions as recorded in the sedimentary record. There is evidence in the deep-sea record for two (possibly three) impact events in the late Eocene. The younger event, represented by the North American microtektite layer, is not associated with an Ir anomaly. The older event, defined by the cpx spherule layer, is associated with an Ir anomaly. However, neither of the two impact events recorded in late Eocene deposits appears to be associated with an unusual number of extinctions. Thus there is little evidence in the deep-sea record for an impact-related mass extinction in the late Eocene.

  14. Replaying Evolution to Test the Cause of Extinction of One Ecotype in an Experimentally Evolved Population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline B Turner

    Full Text Available In a long-term evolution experiment with Escherichia coli, bacteria in one of twelve populations evolved the ability to consume citrate, a previously unexploited resource in a glucose-limited medium. This innovation led to the frequency-dependent coexistence of citrate-consuming (Cit+ and non-consuming (Cit- ecotypes, with Cit-bacteria persisting on the exogenously supplied glucose as well as other carbon molecules released by the Cit+ bacteria. After more than 10,000 generations of coexistence, however, the Cit-lineage went extinct; cells with the Cit-phenotype dropped to levels below detection, and the Cit-clade could not be detected by molecular assays based on its unique genotype. We hypothesized that this extinction was a deterministic outcome of evolutionary change within the population, specifically the appearance of a more-fit Cit+ ecotype that competitively excluded the Cit-ecotype. We tested this hypothesis by re-evolving the population from a frozen population sample taken within 500 generations of the extinction and from another sample taken several thousand generations earlier, in each case for 500 generations and with 20-fold replication. To our surprise, the Cit-type did not go extinct in any of these replays, and Cit-cells also persisted in a single replicate that was propagated for 2,500 generations. Even more unexpectedly, we showed that the Cit-ecotype could reinvade the Cit+ population after its extinction. Taken together, these results indicate that the extinction of the Cit-ecotype was not a deterministic outcome driven by competitive exclusion by the Cit+ ecotype. The extinction also cannot be explained by demographic stochasticity alone, as the population size of the Cit-ecotype should have been many thousands of cells even during the daily transfer events. Instead, we infer that the extinction must have been caused by a rare chance event in which some aspect of the experimental conditions was inadvertently perturbed.

  15. Climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems in Sri Lanka: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeevan Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The climate change impacts are felt by all facets and sectors of ecosystems, covering flora, fauna and environment. Sri Lanka is considered as a vulnerable, small island country that is under serious threat from climate change impacts. The most profound impacts of climate change in Sri Lanka will be on agriculture and food security, water and coastal resources, biodiversity changes, and human health. Sri Lanka's biodiversity is significantly important both on a regional and global scale as it has the highest species density for flowering plants, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Sri Lanka's varied ecosystems provide many services that are of significant economic value and play a crucial role in providing goods and ecosystem services. The subsequent sections featuring specific aspects of biodiversity in forests, freshwater wetlands, coastal and marine systems and agricultural systems, provide greater detail on the ecosystem services and bio-resources. Habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive alien species, deforestation and forest degradation, development projects, environmental pollutions and climate change (global warming are the major threats to the biodiversity of the country. Climate change impacts on environment lead to a reduction in the distribution and abundance of species, especially endemics, which may even result in their global extinction. The introduction of various policies and guidelines in relation to environment is a good sign for conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. The government of Sri Lanka has been implementing various environmental projects aiming at reducing deforestation and degradation of ecosystems. Policies and measures already developed under such initiatives will no doubt preserve natural habitats for plant and animal species. However, being a developing country with many economic challenges, the funds and expertise available for monitoring climate change impacts and biodiversity conservation are not

  16. Biodiversity technologies: tools as change agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snaddon, Jake; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Jepson, Paul; Willis, Katherine J.

    2013-01-01

    A meeting on Biodiversity Technologies was held by the Biodiversity Institute, Oxford on the 27–28 of September 2012 at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. The symposium brought together 36 speakers from North America, Australia and across Europe, presenting the latest research on emerging technologies in biodiversity science and conservation. Here we present a perspective on the general trends emerging from the symposium. PMID:23221877

  17. Economic growth, biodiversity loss and conservation effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Simon; Adger, W Neil

    2003-05-01

    This paper investigates the relationship between economic growth, biodiversity loss and efforts to conserve biodiversity using a combination of panel and cross section data. If economic growth is a cause of biodiversity loss through habitat transformation and other means, then we would expect an inverse relationship. But if higher levels of income are associated with increasing real demand for biodiversity conservation, then investment to protect remaining diversity should grow and the rate of biodiversity loss should slow with growth. Initially, economic growth and biodiversity loss are examined within the framework of the environmental Kuznets hypothesis. Biodiversity is represented by predicted species richness, generated for tropical terrestrial biodiversity using a species-area relationship. The environmental Kuznets hypothesis is investigated with reference to comparison of fixed and random effects models to allow the relationship to vary for each country. It is concluded that an environmental Kuznets curve between income and rates of loss of habitat and species does not exist in this case. The role of conservation effort in addressing environmental problems is examined through state protection of land and the regulation of trade in endangered species, two important means of biodiversity conservation. This analysis shows that the extent of government environmental policy increases with economic development. We argue that, although the data are problematic, the implications of these models is that conservation effort can only ever result in a partial deceleration of biodiversity decline partly because protected areas serve multiple functions and are not necessarily designated to protect biodiversity. Nevertheless institutional and policy response components of the income biodiversity relationship are important but are not well captured through cross-country regression analysis.

  18. Long-Term Maintenance of Immediate or Delayed Extinction Is Determined by the Extinction-Test Interval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Justin S.; Escobar, Martha; Kimble, Whitney L.

    2010-01-01

    Short acquisition-extinction intervals (immediate extinction) can lead to either more or less spontaneous recovery than long acquisition-extinction intervals (delayed extinction). Using rat subjects, we observed less spontaneous recovery following immediate than delayed extinction (Experiment 1). However, this was the case only if a relatively…

  19. Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme coastal biodiversity monitoring background paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, Donald; Anderson, Rebecca D.; Wegeberg, S.; Pettersvik Arvnes, Maria; Sergienko, Liudmila; Behe, Carolina; Moss-Davies, Pitseolak; Fritz, S.; Markon, Carl J.; Christensen, T.; Barry, T.; Price, C.

    2016-01-01

    In 2014, the United States (U.S.) and Canada agreed to act as co-lead countries for the initial development of the Coastal Expert Monitoring Group (CEMG) as part of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP, www. cbmp.is) under the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF, www.caff.is) working group. The CAFF Management Board approved Terms of Reference for the CEMG in the spring of 2014. The primary goal of the CEMG is to develop a long term, integrated, multi-disciplinary, circumpolar Arctic Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (the Coastal Plan) that relies on science and Traditional Knowledge, and has direct and relevant application for communities, industry, government decision makers, and other users. In addition to the monitoring plan, the CAFF working group has asked the CBMP, and thus the CEMG, to develop an implementation plan that identifies timeline, costs, organizational structure and partners. This background paper provides a platform for the guidance for the development of the Coastal Plan and is produced by the CEMG with assistance from a number of experts in multiple countries.

  20. Marine biodiversity in Japanese waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsunori Fujikura

    Full Text Available To understand marine biodiversity in Japanese waters, we have compiled information on the marine biota in Japanese waters, including the number of described species (species richness, the history of marine biology research in Japan, the state of knowledge, the number of endemic species, the number of identified but undescribed species, the number of known introduced species, and the number of taxonomic experts and identification guides, with consideration of the general ocean environmental background, such as the physical and geological settings. A total of 33,629 species have been reported to occur in Japanese waters. The state of knowledge was extremely variable, with taxa containing many inconspicuous, smaller species tending to be less well known. The total number of identified but undescribed species was at least 121,913. The total number of described species combined with the number of identified but undescribed species reached 155,542. This is the best estimate of the total number of species in Japanese waters and indicates that more than 70% of Japan's marine biodiversity remains un-described. The number of species reported as introduced into Japanese waters was 39. This is the first attempt to estimate species richness for all marine species in Japanese waters. Although its marine biota can be considered relatively well known, at least within the Asian-Pacific region, considering the vast number of different marine environments such as coral reefs, ocean trenches, ice-bound waters, methane seeps, and hydrothermal vents, much work remains to be done. We expect global change to have a tremendous impact on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Japan is in a particularly suitable geographic situation and has a lot of facilities for conducting marine science research. Japan has an important responsibility to contribute to our understanding of life in the oceans.

  1. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven L Chown

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020-an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet's surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists.

  2. Can Parallelingualism Save Norwegian from Extinction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linn, Andrew R.

    2010-01-01

    Language extinction is one of the most pressing issues in linguistics today, and the literature is full of discussion about how to combat it. Statements that Norwegian is amongst the languages that are already extinct are merely examples of a widespread tendency in the literature towards erroneous information about Norwegian. Nonetheless, there is…

  3. Evaluating herbivore extinction probabilities in Addo Elephant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. Population extinction evaluations, based on the model developed by Dennis et al. (1991) that did not take density dependence into account and that were based on census data, suggest that many of the herbivore species in Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) are vulnerable to local extinction. As a result of low ...

  4. Extinction-Induced Variability in Human Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinloch, Jennifer M.; Foster, T. Mary; McEwan, James S. A.

    2009-01-01

    Participants earned points by pressing a computer space bar (Experiment 1) or forming rectangles on the screen with the mouse (Experiment 2) under differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate schedules, followed by extinction. Variability in interresponse time (the contingent dimension) increased during extinction, as for Morgan and Lee (1996);…

  5. Context and Behavioral Processes in Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouton, Mark E.

    2004-01-01

    This article provides a selective review and integration of the behavioral literature on Pavlovian extinction. The first part reviews evidence that extinction does not destroy the original learning, but instead generates new learning that is especially context-dependent. The second part examines insights provided by research on several related…

  6. Lidar extinction measurement in the mid infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitev, Valentin; Babichenko, S.; Borelli, R.; Fiorani, L.; Grigorov, I.; Nuvoli, M.; Palucci, A.; Pistilli, M.; Puiu, Ad.; Rebane, Ott; Santoro, S.

    2014-11-01

    We present a lidar measurement of atmospheric extinction coefficient. The measurement is performed by inversion of the backscatter lidar signal at wavelengths 3'000nm and 3'500nm. The inversion of the backscatter lidar signal was performed with constant extinction-to-backscatter ration values of 104 and exponential factor 0.1.

  7. Interstellar extinction in the Large Magellanic Cloud

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nandy, K.; Morgan, D.H.; Willis, A.J.; Wilson, R.; Gondhalekar, P.M.

    1981-01-01

    A systematic investigation of interstellar extinction in the ultraviolet as a function of position in the Large Magellanic Cloud has been made from an enlarged sample of reddened and comparison stars distributed throughout the cloud. Except for one star SK-69-108, the most reddened star of our sample, the shape of the extinction curves for the LMC stars do not show significant variations. All curves show an increase in extinction towards 2200 A, but some have maxima near 2200 A, some near 1900 A. It has been shown that the feature of the extinction curve near 1900 A is caused by the mismatch of the stellar F III 1920 A feature. The strength of this 1920 A feature as a function of luminosity and spectral type has been determined. The extinction curves have been corrected for the mismatch of the 1920 feature and a single mean extinction curve for the LMC normalized to Asub(V) = 0 and Esub(B-V) = 1 is presented. For the same value of Esub(B-V) the LMC stars show the 2200 A feature weaker by a factor 2 as compared with the galactic stars. Higher extinction shortward of 2000 A in the LMC extinction curves than that in our Galaxy, as reported in earlier papers, is confirmed. (author)

  8. Defining the period of moa extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, A.

    2000-01-01

    Few aspects of New Zealand's prehistory have engaged scientific and public attention so consistently as two interlinked questions of moa extinction; when did moas become extinct and why? Answers offered over the last 160 years have run the gamut from chronological antiquity by evolutionary senescence, to within the 19th century Maori and European disturbance. (author)

  9. Immediate extinction promotes the return of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Wolf, Oliver T

    2016-05-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that immediate extinction is less effective than delayed extinction in attenuating the return of fear. This line of fear conditioning research impacts the proposed onset of psychological interventions after threatening situations. In the present study, forty healthy men were investigated in a differential fear conditioning paradigm with fear acquisition in context A, extinction in context B, followed by retrieval testing in both contexts 24h later to test fear renewal. Differently coloured lights served as conditioned stimuli (CS): two CS (CS+) were paired with an electrical stimulation that served as unconditioned stimulus, the third CS was never paired (CS-). Extinction took place immediately after fear acquisition or 24h later. One CS+ was extinguished whereas the second CS+ remained unextinguished to control for different time intervals between fear acquisition and retrieval testing. Immediate extinction led to larger skin conductance responses during fear retrieval to both the extinguished and unextinguished CS relative to the CS-, indicating a stronger return of fear compared to delayed extinction. Taken together, immediate extinction is less potent than delayed extinction and is associated with a stronger renewal effect. Thus, the time-point of psychological interventions relative to the offset of threatening situations needs to be carefully considered to prevent relapses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. A Synopsis of Global Mapping of Freshwater Habitats and Biodiversity: Implications for Conservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McManamay, Ryan A. [ORNL; Griffiths, Natalie A. [ORNL; DeRolph, Christopher R. [ORNL; Pracheil, Brenda M. [ORNL

    2018-01-01

    Accurately mapping freshwater habitats and biodiversity at high-resolutions across the globe is essential for assessing the vulnerability and threats to freshwater organisms and prioritizing conservation efforts. Since the 2000s, extensive efforts have been devoted to mapping global freshwater habitats (rivers, lakes, and wetlands), the spatial representation of which has changed dramatically over time with new geospatial data products and improved remote sensing technologies. Some of these mapping efforts, however, are still coarse representations of actual conditions. Likewise, the resolution and scope of global freshwater biodiversity compilation efforts have also increased, but are yet to mirror the spatial resolution and fidelity of mapped freshwater environments. In our synopsis, we find that efforts to map freshwater habitats have been conducted independently of those for freshwater biodiversity; subsequently, there is little congruence in the spatial representation and resolution of the two efforts. We suggest that global species distribution models are needed to fill this information gap; however, limiting data on habitat characteristics at scales that complement freshwater habitats has prohibited global high-resolution biogeography efforts. Emerging research trends, such as mapping habitat alteration in freshwater ecosystems and trait biogeography, show great promise in mechanistically linking global anthropogenic stressors to freshwater biodiversity decline and extinction risk.

  11. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Thomas M; Akçakaya, H Resit; Burgess, Neil D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; MacSharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E

    2016-02-16

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird &Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments.

  12. Biodiversity of Three Backwaters in the South West Coast of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beslin Leena Grace

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available For the conservation of biodiversity, it is not sufficient to preserve the living organisms or their gametes alone, because keeping fishes in aquaria or their gametes in freezers cannot conserve the full range of biodiversity which is due to the loss of the ecological complexity in their original habitats. For promoting richer biodiversity in the future, more complexity in biological communities is essential in their natural environments. In order to prevent depletion of biodiversity due to environmental alterations or other ways, it is necessary to understand how the diversity of life particularly at the species level is maintained and it is equally necessary to know how the terminal extinction of species takes place under natural conditions. Moreover, a database on fishery resources of the concerned environment is essential to make decision about specific programmes on conservation of fish germplasm resources. Hence, the present study aims to quantify the fish and shellfish resources of the selected backwaters such as Kadinamkulam, Veli, and Poonthura to know the real stocks present in such environments.

  13. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Thomas M.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Burgess, Neil D.; Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; MacSharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C.; Rodrigues, Ana S.L.; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E.

    2016-01-01

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments. PMID:26881749

  14. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Thomas M.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Burgess, Neil D.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; Macsharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C.; Rodrigues, Ana S. L.; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E.

    2016-02-01

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments.

  15. Periodicity in extinction and the problem of catastrophism in the history of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1989-01-01

    The hypothesis that extinction events have recurred periodically over the last quarter billion years is greatly strengthened by new data on the stratigraphic ranges of marine animal genera. In the interval from the Permian to Recent, these data encompass some 13,000 generic extinctions, providing a more sensitive indicator of species-level extinctions than previously used familial data. Extinction time series computed from the generic data display nine strong peaks that are nearly uniformly spaced at 26 Ma intervals over the last 270 Ma. Most of these peaks correspond to extinction events recognized in more detailed, if limited, biostratigraphic studies. These new data weaken or negate most arguments against periodicity, which have involved criticisms of the taxonomic data base, sampling intervals, chronometric time scales, and statistical methods used in previous analyses. The criticisms are reviewed in some detail and various new calculations and simulations, including one assessing the effects of paraphyletic taxa, are presented. Although the new data strengthen the case for periodicity, they offer little new insight into the deriving mechanism behind the pattern. However, they do suggest that many of the periodic events may not have been catastrophic, occurring instead over several stratigraphic stages or substages.

  16. Climate predictors of late quaternary extinctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nogués-Bravo, David; Ohlemüller, Ralf; Batra, Persaram

    2010-01-01

    Between 50,000 and 3,000 years before present (BP) 65% of mammal genera weighing over 44 kg went extinct, together with a lower proportion of small mammals. Why species went extinct in such large numbers is hotly debated. One of the arguments proposes that climate changes underlie Late Quaternary...... extinctions, but global quantitative evidence for this hypothesis is still lacking. We test the potential role of global climate change on the extinction of mammals during the Late Quaternary. Our results suggest that continents with the highest climate footprint values, in other words, with climate changes...... of greater magnitudes during the Late Quaternary, witnessed more extinctions than continents with lower climate footprint values, with the exception of South America. Our results are consistent across species with different body masses, reinforcing the view that past climate changes contributed to global...

  17. Towards global interoperability for supporting biodiversity research on Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kissling, W.D.; Hardisty, A.; García, E.A.; Santamaria, M.; De Leo, F.; Pesole, G.; Freyhof, J.; Manset, D.; Wissel, S.; Konijn, J.; Los, W.

    2015-01-01

    Essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) have been proposed by the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) to identify a minimum set of essential measurements that are required for studying, monitoring and reporting biodiversity and ecosystem change. Despite the initial

  18. Marine biodiversity and fishery sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Kwang-Tsao

    2009-01-01

    Marine fish is one of the most important sources of animal protein for human use, especially in developing countries with coastlines. Marine fishery is also an important industry in many countries. Fifty years ago, many people believed that the ocean was so vast and so resilient that there was no way the marine environment could be changed, nor could marine fishery resources be depleted. Half a century later, we all agree that the depletion of fishery resources is happening mainly due to anthropogenic factors such as overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species introduction, and climate change. Since overfishing can cause chain reactions that decrease marine biodiversity drastically, there will be no seafood left after 40 years if we take no action. The most effective ways to reverse this downward trend and restore fishery resources are to promote fishery conservation, establish marine-protected areas, adopt ecosystem-based management, and implement a "precautionary principle." Additionally, enhancing public awareness of marine conservation, which includes eco-labeling, fishery ban or enclosure, slow fishing, and MPA (marine protected areas) enforcement is important and effective. In this paper, we use Taiwan as an example to discuss the problems facing marine biodiversity and sustainable fisheries.

  19. Anthropic Risk Assessment on Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piragnolo, M.; Pirotti, F.; Vettore, A.; Salogni, G.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a methodology for risk assessment of anthropic activities on habitats and species. The method has been developed for Veneto Region, in order to simplify and improve the quality of EIA procedure (VINCA). Habitats and species, animals and plants, are protected by European Directive 92/43/EEC and 2009/147/EC but they are subject at hazard due to pollution produced by human activities. Biodiversity risks may conduct to deterioration and disturbance in ecological niches, with consequence of loss of biodiversity. Ecological risk assessment applied on Natura 2000 network, is needed to best practice of management and monitoring of environment and natural resources. Threats, pressure and activities, stress and indicators may be managed by geodatabase and analysed using GIS technology. The method used is the classic risk assessment in ecological context, and it defines the natural hazard as influence, element of risk as interference and vulnerability. Also it defines a new parameter called pressure. It uses risk matrix for the risk analysis on spatial and temporal scale. The methodology is qualitative and applies the precautionary principle in environmental assessment. The final product is a matrix which excludes the risk and could find application in the development of a territorial information system.

  20. Temporal properties of fear extinction--does time matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golkar, Armita; Bellander, Martin; Öhman, Arne

    2013-02-01

    Fear extinction can be defined as the weakening of the expression of a conditioned response (CR) by extended experience of nonreinforcement. Conceptually, two distinct models have been invoked to account for extinction. R. A. Rescorla and A. R. Wagner (1972, A theory of Pavlovian conditioning: Variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and nonreinforcement, in A. H. B. W. F. Prokasy (Ed.), Classical conditioning: II. Current research and theory, pp. 64-99, New York, NY, Appleton-Century-Crofts) postulated that the number of exposure trials is the primary determinant of CR decrement, whereas C. R. Gallistel and J. Gibbon (2000, Time, rate, and conditioning, Psychological Review, Vol. 107, pp. 289-344) proposed that the decisive event is the cumulated exposure time to the nonreinforced conditioned stimulus (CS) elapsed after the last CS reinforcement. We evaluated these two accounts in a human differential fear conditioning study in which CR was measured with the fear-potentiated startle response. Cumulated duration of nonreinforcement fails to explain our findings, whereas the number of trials appeared critical. In fact, many CS trials with a duration shorter than the acquisition CS duration facilitated within-session extinction, but this effect did not predict the recovery of fear. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Global ocean conveyor lowers extinction risk in the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lea-Anne; Frank, Norbert; Hebbeln, Dierk; Wienberg, Claudia; Robinson, Laura; van de Flierdt, Tina; Dahl, Mikael; Douarin, Mélanie; Morrison, Cheryl L.; López Correa, Matthias; Rogers, Alex D.; Ruckelshausen, Mario; Roberts, J. Murray

    2014-06-01

    General paradigms of species extinction risk are urgently needed as global habitat loss and rapid climate change threaten Earth with what could be its sixth mass extinction. Using the stony coral Lophelia pertusa as a model organism with the potential for wide larval dispersal, we investigated how the global ocean conveyor drove an unprecedented post-glacial range expansion in Earth's largest biome, the deep sea. We compiled a unique ocean-scale dataset of published radiocarbon and uranium-series dates of fossil corals, the sedimentary protactinium-thorium record of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) strength, authigenic neodymium and lead isotopic ratios of circulation pathways, and coral biogeography, and integrated new Bayesian estimates of historic gene flow. Our compilation shows how the export of Southern Ocean and Mediterranean waters after the Younger Dryas 11.6 kyr ago simultaneously triggered two dispersal events in the western and eastern Atlantic respectively. Each pathway injected larvae from refugia into ocean currents powered by a re-invigorated AMOC that led to the fastest postglacial range expansion ever recorded, covering 7500 km in under 400 years. In addition to its role in modulating global climate, our study illuminates how the ocean conveyor creates broad geographic ranges that lower extinction risk in the deep sea.

  2. Adaptation prevents the extinction of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under toxic beryllium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Baselga-Cervera

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The current biodiversity crisis represents a historic challenge for natural communities: the environmental rate of change exceeds the population’s adaptation capability. Integrating both ecological and evolutionary responses is necessary to make reliable predictions regarding the loss of biodiversity. The race against extinction from an eco-evolutionary perspective is gaining importance in ecological risk assessment. Here, we performed a classical study of population dynamics—a fluctuation analysis—and evaluated the results from an adaption perspective. Fluctuation analysis, widely used with microorganisms, is an effective empirical procedure to study adaptation under strong selective pressure because it incorporates the factors that influence demographic, genetic and environmental changes. The adaptation of phytoplankton to beryllium (Be is of interest because human activities are increasing the concentration of Be in freshwater reserves; therefore, predicting the effects of human-induced pollutants is necessary for proper risk assessment. The fluctuation analysis was performed with phytoplankton, specifically, the freshwater microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, under acute Be exposure. High doses of Be led to massive microalgae death; however, by conducting a fluctuation analysis experiment, we found that C. reinhardtii was able to adapt to 33 mg/l of Be due to pre-existing genetic variability. The rescuing adapting genotype presented a mutation rate of 9.61 × 10−6 and a frequency of 10.42 resistant cells per million wild-type cells. The genetic adaptation pathway that was experimentally obtained agreed with the theoretical models of evolutionary rescue (ER. Furthermore, the rescuing genotype presented phenotypic and physiologic differences from the wild-type genotype, was 25% smaller than the Be-resistant genotype and presented a lower fitness and quantum yield performance. The abrupt distinctions between the wild-type and the Be

  3. MEST- avoid next extinction by a space-time effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Dayong

    2013-03-01

    Sun's companion-dark hole seasonal took its dark comets belt and much dark matter to impact near our earth. And some of them probability hit on our earth. So this model kept and triggered periodic mass extinctions on our earth every 25 to 27 million years. After every impaction, many dark comets with very special tilted orbits were arrested and lurked in solar system. When the dark hole-Tyche goes near the solar system again, they will impact near planets. The Tyche, dark comet and Oort Cloud have their space-time center. Because the space-time are frequency and amplitude square of wave. Because the wave (space-time) can make a field, and gas has more wave and fluctuate. So they like dense gas ball and a dark dense field. They can absorb the space-time and wave. So they are ``dark'' like the dark matter which can break genetic codes of our lives by a dark space-time effect. So the upcoming next impaction will cause current ``biodiversity loss.'' The dark matter can change dead plants and animals to coal, oil and natural gas which are used as energy, but break our living environment. According to our experiments, which consciousness can use thought waves remotely to change their systemic model between Electron Clouds and electron holes of P-N Junction and can change output voltages of solar cells by a life information technology and a space-time effect, we hope to find a new method to the orbit of the Tyche to avoid next extinction. (see Dayong Cao, BAPS.2011.APR.K1.17 and BAPS.2012.MAR.P33.14) Support by AEEA

  4. Red coral extinction risk enhanced by ocean acidification

    OpenAIRE

    Cerrano, Carlo; Cardini, Ulisse; Bianchelli, Silvia; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Pusceddu, Antonio; Danovaro, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    The red coral Corallium rubrum is a habitat-forming species with a prominent and structural role in mesophotic habitats, which sustains biodiversity hotspots. This precious coral is threatened by both over-exploitation and temperature driven mass mortality events. We report here that biocalcification, growth rates and polyps' (feeding) activity of Corallium rubrum are significantly reduced at pCO2 scenarios predicted for the end of this century (0.2 pH decrease). Since C. rubrum is a long-liv...

  5. Could a nearby supernova explosion have caused a mass extinction?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ellis, J.; Schramm, D.N.

    1995-01-01

    We examine the possibility that a nearby supernova explosion could have caused one or more of the mass extinctions identified by paleontologists. We discuss the possible rate of such events in the light of the recent suggested identification of Geminga as a supernova remnant less than 100 parsec (pc) away and the discovery of a millisecond pulsar about 150 pc away and observations of SN 1987A. The fluxes of γ-radiation and charged cosmic rays on the Earth are estimated, and their effects on the Earth's ozone layer are discussed. A supernova explosion of the order of 10 pc away could be expected as often as every few hundred million years and could destroy the ozone layer for hundreds of years, letting in potentially lethal solar ultraviolet radiation. In addition to effects on land ecology, this could entail mass destruction of plankton and reef communities, with disastrous consequences for marine life as well. A supernova extinction should be distinguishable from a meteorite impact such as the one that presumably killed the dinosaurs at the open-quotes KT boundary.close quotes The recent argument that the KT event was exceedingly large and thus quite rare supports the need for other catastrophic events. 24 refs

  6. Could a nearby supernova explosion have caused a mass extinction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, J; Schramm, D N

    1995-01-03

    We examine the possibility that a nearby supernova explosion could have caused one or more of the mass extinctions identified by paleontologists. We discuss the possible rate of such events in the light of the recent suggested identification of Geminga as a supernova remnant less than 100 parsec (pc) away and the discovery of a millisecond pulsar about 150 pc away and observations of SN 1987A. The fluxes of gamma-radiation and charged cosmic rays on the Earth are estimated, and their effects on the Earth's ozone layer are discussed. A supernova explosion of the order of 10 pc away could be expected as often as every few hundred million years and could destroy the ozone layer for hundreds of years, letting in potentially lethal solar ultraviolet radiation. In addition to effects on land ecology, this could entail mass destruction of plankton and reef communities, with disastrous consequences for marine life as well. A supernova extinction should be distinguishable from a meteorite impact such as the one that presumably killed the dinosaurs at the "KT boundary." The recent argument that the KT event was exceedingly large and thus quite rare supports the need for other catastrophic events.

  7. Mass extinctions of Earth; Extinciones masivas de la Tierra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandez, B.; Fernandez, P.; Pereira, B.

    2015-07-01

    Throughout the history of our planet, there have been global phenomena which have led to the disappearance of a large number of species: It is what is known as mass or massive extinctions. This article will make a tour of these large events, from the most remote antiquity to the present day. Today we find ourselves immersed in a process unprecedented since we are eyewitnesses and, more important still, an active part in the decision-making process to try to mitigate their effects. (Author)

  8. EXTINCTION IN THE COMA OF COMET 17P/HOLMES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lacerda, Pedro; Jewitt, David

    2012-01-01

    On 2007 October 29, the outbursting comet 17P/Holmes passed within 0.''79 of a background star. We recorded the event using optical, narrowband photometry and detect a 3%-4% dip in stellar brightness bracketing the time of closest approach to the comet nucleus. The detected dimming implies an optical depth τ ≈ 0.04 at 1.''5 from the nucleus and an optical depth toward the nucleus center τ n d = 0.006 ± 0.002 at α = 16° phase angle. Our measurements place the most stringent constraints on the extinction optical depth of any cometary coma.

  9. Immediate extinction causes a less durable loss of performance than delayed extinction following either fear or appetitive conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Woods, Amanda M.; Bouton, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

    Five experiments with rat subjects compared the effects of immediate and delayed extinction on the durability of extinction learning. Three experiments examined extinction of fear conditioning (using the conditioned emotional response method), and two experiments examined extinction of appetitive conditioning (using the food-cup entry method). In all experiments, conditioning and extinction were accomplished in single sessions, and retention testing took place 24 h after extinction. In both f...

  10. Effective climate action: why biodiversity matters | IDRC ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2018-05-22

    May 22, 2018 ... Home · Resources · Perspectives ... This resource-dependency describes the relationship between ... involves holistic and integrated resource management strategies that ... This has been recognized in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity ... as setting the global framework for priority actions on biodiversity.

  11. The biodiversity conservation game with heterogeneous countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winands, S.; Holm-Müller, K.; Weikard, H.P.

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity is an essential resource, which we classify as conditionally-renewable. In order to achieve conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity virtually all nation states signed the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. In this paper we investigate how the heterogeneity of

  12. Biodiversity and Tourism : Impacts and Interventions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duim, van der V.R.; Caalders, J.D.A.D.

    2002-01-01

    This paper sets a framework for intervention in the relationship between biodiversity and tourism against the background of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is argued that intervention cannot and should not only be based on considerations of measurable impacts of tourism on biodiversity

  13. Intentional systems management: managing forests for biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    A.B. Carey; B.R. Lippke; J. Sessions

    1999-01-01

    Conservation of biodiversity provides for economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Intentional management is designed to manage conflicts among groups with conflicting interests. Our goal was to ascertain if intentional management and principles of conservation of biodiversity could be combined into upland and riparian forest management strategies that would...

  14. Conserving biodiversity on native rangelands: Symposium proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. Uresk; Greg L. Schenbeck; James T. O' Rourke

    1997-01-01

    These proceedings are the result of a symposium, "Conserving biodiversity on native rangelands" held on August 17, 1995 in Fort Robinson State Park, NE. The purpose of this symposium was to provide a forum to discuss how elements of rangeland biodiversity are being conserved today. We asked, "How resilient and sustainable are rangeland systems to the...

  15. Digital Geogames to Foster Local Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaal, Sonja; Schaal, Steffen; Lude, Armin

    2015-01-01

    The valuing of biodiversity is considered to be a first step towards its conservation. Therefore, the aim of the BioDiv2Go project is to combine sensuous experiences discovering biodiversity with mobile technology and a game-based learning approach. Following the competence model for environmental education (Roczen et al, 2014), Geogames (location…

  16. Forest Resilience, Biodiversity, and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    I. Thompson; B. Mackey; S. McNulty; A. Mosseler

    2009-01-01

    This paper reviews the concepts of ecosystem resilience, resistance, and stability in forests and their relationship to biodiversity, with particular reference to climate change. The report is a direct response to a request by the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, in decision IX/51, to explore the links between biodiversity, forest ecosystem...

  17. Plantation forests and biodiversity: oxymoron or opportunity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckehard G. Brockerhoff; Hervé Jactel; John A. Parrotta; Christopher Quine; Jeffrey Sayer

    2008-01-01

    Losses of natural and semi-natural forests, mostly to agriculture, are a significant concern for biodiversity. Against this trend, the area of intensively managed plantation forests increases, and there is much debate about the implications for biodiversity. We provide a comprehensive review of the function of plantation forests as habitat compared with other land...

  18. African Traditional Knowledge Systems and Biodiversity Management

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is a link between African Traditional Knowledge Systems and the management of Biodiversity. These have been passed over from one generation to the next through oral tradition. The lack of documentation of these systems of managing biodiversity has led to the existence of a gap between the scientifi cally based ...

  19. The role of climate and vegetation on woolly mammoth extinction on St. Paul Island, Alaska and megafauna extinction in North America in the late Quaternary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y.; Porter, W.; Miller, P. A.; Graham, R. W.; Williams, J. W.

    2016-12-01

    Estimate of megafauna behaviors dynamically under associated environmental factors is important to understand the mechanisms and causes of the late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions. On St. Paul Island, an isolated remnant of the Bering Land Bridge, a late-surviving population of woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) persisted until 5,600 cal BP, while 37 out of 54 megafauna species in the continent of North America, all herbivores, went extinct at the end of Pleistocene between 13,800 and 11,500 cal BP. Proposed natural drivers of the extinction events include abrupt temperature changes, food resource loss and freshwater shortage. Here we tested these three hypothesized mechanisms, using a physiological model (Niche Mapper) to estimate individual megafauna behaviors from the perspectives of metabolic rate, individual vegetation and freshwater requirement under simulated climates from Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3), vegetation reconstructions based on dynamic LPJ-GUESS model and woolly mammoth and megafauna species trait data reconstructed based on mammal fossils. Preliminary simulations of woolly mammoth on St. Paul Island point to the importance of net vegetation primary productivity and freshwater availability as limits on the carrying capacity of St. Paul for mammoth populations, with a low carrying capacity in the middle Holocene making this population highly vulnerable to extinction. Results also indicate that the abrupt warming based around 14,000 cal BP in Bering land bridge on CCSM3 simulations causes woolly mammoth extinction, by driving metabolic rate high up beyond the active basic metabolic rate. Analysis suggests a positive relationship between temperature and metabolic rate, and woolly mammoth would go extinct when summer temperature is up to 12 °C or higher. However the temperature reconstructed based on regional proxies is relatively stable compared to CCSM3 simulations, and leads to stable metabolic rate of woolly mammoth and

  20. Colloquium paper: are we in the midst of the sixth mass extinction? A view from the world of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, David B; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2008-08-12

    Many scientists argue that we are either entering or in the midst of the sixth great mass extinction. Intense human pressure, both direct and indirect, is having profound effects on natural environments. The amphibians--frogs, salamanders, and caecilians--may be the only major group currently at risk globally. A detailed worldwide assessment and subsequent updates show that one-third or more of the 6,300 species are threatened with extinction. This trend is likely to accelerate because most amphibians occur in the tropics and have small geographic ranges that make them susceptible to extinction. The increasing pressure from habitat destruction and climate change is likely to have major impacts on narrowly adapted and distributed species. We show that salamanders on tropical mountains are particularly at risk. A new and significant threat to amphibians is a virulent, emerging infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, which appears to be globally distributed, and its effects may be exacerbated by global warming. This disease, which is caused by a fungal pathogen and implicated in serious declines and extinctions of >200 species of amphibians, poses the greatest threat to biodiversity of any known disease. Our data for frogs in the Sierra Nevada of California show that the fungus is having a devastating impact on native species, already weakened by the effects of pollution and introduced predators. A general message from amphibians is that we may have little time to stave off a potential mass extinction.

  1. Are we in the midst of the sixth mass extinction? A view from the world of amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, David B.; Vredenburg, Vance T.

    2008-01-01

    Many scientists argue that we are either entering or in the midst of the sixth great mass extinction. Intense human pressure, both direct and indirect, is having profound effects on natural environments. The amphibians—frogs, salamanders, and caecilians—may be the only major group currently at risk globally. A detailed worldwide assessment and subsequent updates show that one-third or more of the 6,300 species are threatened with extinction. This trend is likely to accelerate because most amphibians occur in the tropics and have small geographic ranges that make them susceptible to extinction. The increasing pressure from habitat destruction and climate change is likely to have major impacts on narrowly adapted and distributed species. We show that salamanders on tropical mountains are particularly at risk. A new and significant threat to amphibians is a virulent, emerging infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, which appears to be globally distributed, and its effects may be exacerbated by global warming. This disease, which is caused by a fungal pathogen and implicated in serious declines and extinctions of >200 species of amphibians, poses the greatest threat to biodiversity of any known disease. Our data for frogs in the Sierra Nevada of California show that the fungus is having a devastating impact on native species, already weakened by the effects of pollution and introduced predators. A general message from amphibians is that we may have little time to stave off a potential mass extinction. PMID:18695221

  2. River Rehabilitation for Conservation of Fish Biodiversity in Monsoonal Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Dudgeon

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Freshwater biodiversity is under threat worldwide, but the intensity of threat in the Oriental biogeographic region of tropical Asia is exceptional. Asia is the most densely populated region on Earth. Many rivers in that region are grossly polluted, and significant portions of their drainage basins and floodplains have been deforested or otherwise degraded. Flow regulation has been practiced for centuries, and thousands of dams have been constructed, with the result that most of the rivers are now dammed, often at several points along their course. Irrigation, hydropower, and flood security are among the perceived benefits. Recent water engineering projects in Asia have been exceptionally aggressive; they include the world's largest and tallest dams in China and a water transfer scheme intended to link India's major rivers. Some of these projects, i.e., those on the Mekong, have international ramifications that have yet to be fully played out. Overexploitation has exacerbated the effects of habitat alterations on riverine biodiversity, particularly that of fishes. Some fishery stocks have collapsed, and many fish and other vertebrate species are threatened with extinction. The pressure from growing impoverished human populations, increasingly concentrated in cities, has forced governments to focus on economic development rather than environmental protection and conservation. Although legislation has been introduced to control water pollution, which is a danger to human health. it is not explicitly intended to protect biodiversity. Where legislation has been enforced, it can be effective against point-source polluters, but it has not significantly reduced the huge quantities of organic pollution from agricultural and domestic sources that contaminate rivers such as the Ganges and Yangtze. River scientists in Asia appear to have had little influence on policy makers or the implementation of water development projects. Human demands from

  3. Extinction produces context inhibition and multiple-context extinction reduces response recovery in human predictive learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glautier, Steven; Elgueta, Tito; Nelson, James Byron

    2013-12-01

    Two experiments with human participants were used to investigate recovery of an extinguished learned response after a context change using ABC designs. In an ABC design, the context changes over the three successive stages of acquisition (context A), extinction (context B), and test (context C). In both experiments, we found reduced recovery in groups that had extinction in multiple contexts, and that the extinction contexts acquired inhibitory strength. These results confirm those of previous investigations, that multiple-context extinction can produce less response recovery than single-context extinction, and they also provide new evidence for the involvement of contextual inhibitory processes in extinction in humans. The foregoing results are broadly in line with a protection-from-extinction account of response recovery. Yet, despite the fact that we detected contextual inhibition, predictions based on protection-from-extinction were not fully reliable for the single- and multiple-context group differences that we observed in (1) rates of extinction and (2) the strength of context inhibition. Thus, although evidence was obtained for a protection-from-extinction account of response recovery, this account can not explain all of the data.

  4. Relict or colonizer? Extinction and range expansion of penguins in southern New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boessenkool, Sanne; Austin, Jeremy J.; Worthy, Trevor H.; Scofield, Paul; Cooper, Alan; Seddon, Philip J.; Waters, Jonathan M.

    2008-01-01

    Recent human expansion into the Pacific initiated a dramatic avian extinction crisis, and surviving taxa are typically interpreted as declining remnants of previously abundant populations. As a case in point, New Zealand's endangered yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) is widely considered to have been more abundant and widespread in the past. By contrast, our genetic and morphological analyses of prehistoric, historic and modern penguin samples reveal that this species expanded its range to the New Zealand mainland only in the last few hundred years. This range expansion was apparently facilitated by the extinction of M. antipodes' previously unrecognized sister species following Polynesian settlement in New Zealand. Based on combined genetic and morphological data, we describe this new penguin species, the first known to have suffered human-mediated extinction. The range expansion of M. antipodes so soon after the extinction of its sister species supports a historic paradigmatic shift in New Zealand Polynesian culture. Additionally, such a dynamic biological response to human predation reveals a surprising and less recognized potential for species to have benefited from the extinction of their ecologically similar sister taxa and highlights the complexity of large-scale extinction events. PMID:19019791

  5. Information Retrieval from SAGE II and MFRSR Multi-Spectral Extinction Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacis, Andrew A.; Hansen, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Direct beam spectral extinction measurements of solar radiation contain important information on atmospheric composition in a form that is essentially free from multiple scattering contributions that otherwise tend to complicate the data analysis and information retrieval. Such direct beam extinction measurements are available from the solar occultation satellite-based measurements made by the Stratospheric and Aerosol Gas Experiment (SAGE II) instrument and by ground-based Multi-Filter Shadowband Radiometers (MFRSRs). The SAGE II data provide cross-sectional slices of the atmosphere twice per orbit at seven wavelengths between 385 and 1020 nm with approximately 1 km vertical resolution, while the MFRSR data provide atmospheric column measurements at six wavelengths between 415 and 940 nm but at one minute time intervals. We apply the same retrieval technique of simultaneous least-squares fit to the observed spectral extinctions to retrieve aerosol optical depth, effective radius and variance, and ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and water vapor amounts from the SAGE II and MFRSR measurements. The retrieval technique utilizes a physical model approach based on laboratory measurements of ozone and nitrogen dioxide extinction, line-by-line and numerical k-distribution calculations for water vapor absorption, and Mie scattering constraints on aerosol spectral extinction properties. The SAGE II measurements have the advantage of being self-calibrating in that deep space provides an effective zero point for the relative spectral extinctions. The MFRSR measurements require periodic clear-day Langley regression calibration events to maintain accurate knowledge of instrument calibration.

  6. Limitations on K-T mass extinction theories based upon the vertebrate record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archibald, J. David; Bryant, Laurie J.

    1988-01-01

    Theories of extinction are only as good as the patterns of extinction that they purport to explain. Often such patterns are ignored. For the terminal Cretaceous events, different groups of organisms in different environments show different patterns of extinction that to date cannot be explained by a single causal mechanism. Several patterns of extinction (and/or preservational bias) can be observed for the various groups of vertebrates from the uppermost Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation and lower Paleocene Tullock Formation in eastern Montana. The taxonomic level at which the percentage of survivals (or extinctions) is calculated will have an effect upon the perception of faunal turnover. In addition to the better known mammals and better publicized dinosaurs, there are almost 60 additional species of reptiles, birds, amphibians, and fish in the HELL Creek Formation. Simple arithmetic suggests only 33 percent survival of these vertebrates from the Hell Creek Fm. into the Tullock Fm. A more critical examination of the data shows that almost all Hell Creek species not found in the Tullock are represented in one of the following categories; extremely rare forms, elasmobranch fish that underwent rapid speciation taxa that although not known or rare in the Tullock, are found elsewhere. Each of the categories is largely the result of the following biases: taphonomy, ecological differences, taxonomic artifact paleogeography. The two most important factors appear to be the possible taphonomic biases and the taxonomic artifacts. The extinction patterns among the vertebrates do not appear to be attributable to any single cause, catastrophic or otherwise.

  7. Ecomorphological selectivity among marine teleost fishes during the end-Cretaceous extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Matt

    2009-03-31

    Despite the attention focused on mass extinction events in the fossil record, patterns of extinction in the dominant group of marine vertebrates-fishes-remain largely unexplored. Here, I demonstrate ecomorphological selectivity among marine teleost fishes during the end-Cretaceous extinction, based on a genus-level dataset that accounts for lineages predicted on the basis of phylogeny but not yet sampled in the fossil record. Two ecologically relevant anatomical features are considered: body size and jaw-closing lever ratio. Extinction intensity is higher for taxa with large body sizes and jaws consistent with speed (rather than force) transmission; resampling tests indicate that victims represent a nonrandom subset of taxa present in the final stage of the Cretaceous. Logistic regressions of the raw data reveal that this nonrandom distribution stems primarily from the larger body sizes of victims relative to survivors. Jaw mechanics are also a significant factor for most dataset partitions but are always less important than body size. When data are corrected for phylogenetic nonindependence, jaw mechanics show a significant correlation with extinction risk, but body size does not. Many modern large-bodied, predatory taxa currently suffering from overexploitation, such billfishes and tunas, first occur in the Paleocene, when they appear to have filled the functional space vacated by some extinction victims.

  8. Climate change not to blame for late Quaternary megafauna extinctions in Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltré, Frédérik; Rodríguez-Rey, Marta; Brook, Barry W.; Johnson, Christopher N; Turney, Chris S. M.; Alroy, John; Cooper, Alan; Beeton, Nicholas; Bird, Michael I.; Fordham, Damien A.; Gillespie, Richard; Herrando-Pérez, Salvador; Jacobs, Zenobia; Miller, Gifford H.; Nogués-Bravo, David; Prideaux, Gavin J.; Roberts, Richard G.; Bradshaw, Corey J. A.

    2016-01-01

    Late Quaternary megafauna extinctions impoverished mammalian diversity worldwide. The causes of these extinctions in Australia are most controversial but essential to resolve, because this continent-wide event presaged similar losses that occurred thousands of years later on other continents. Here we apply a rigorous metadata analysis and new ensemble-hindcasting approach to 659 Australian megafauna fossil ages. When coupled with analysis of several high-resolution climate records, we show that megafaunal extinctions were broadly synchronous among genera and independent of climate aridity and variability in Australia over the last 120,000 years. Our results reject climate change as the primary driver of megafauna extinctions in the world's most controversial context, and instead estimate that the megafauna disappeared Australia-wide ∼13,500 years after human arrival, with shorter periods of coexistence in some regions. This is the first comprehensive approach to incorporate uncertainty in fossil ages, extinction timing and climatology, to quantify mechanisms of prehistorical extinctions. PMID:26821754

  9. Estimating extinction using unsupervised machine learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meingast, Stefan; Lombardi, Marco; Alves, João

    2017-05-01

    Dust extinction is the most robust tracer of the gas distribution in the interstellar medium, but measuring extinction is limited by the systematic uncertainties involved in estimating the intrinsic colors to background stars. In this paper we present a new technique, Pnicer, that estimates intrinsic colors and extinction for individual stars using unsupervised machine learning algorithms. This new method aims to be free from any priors with respect to the column density and intrinsic color distribution. It is applicable to any combination of parameters and works in arbitrary numbers of dimensions. Furthermore, it is not restricted to color space. Extinction toward single sources is determined by fitting Gaussian mixture models along the extinction vector to (extinction-free) control field observations. In this way it becomes possible to describe the extinction for observed sources with probability densities, rather than a single value. Pnicer effectively eliminates known biases found in similar methods and outperforms them in cases of deep observational data where the number of background galaxies is significant, or when a large number of parameters is used to break degeneracies in the intrinsic color distributions. This new method remains computationally competitive, making it possible to correctly de-redden millions of sources within a matter of seconds. With the ever-increasing number of large-scale high-sensitivity imaging surveys, Pnicer offers a fast and reliable way to efficiently calculate extinction for arbitrary parameter combinations without prior information on source characteristics. The Pnicer software package also offers access to the well-established Nicer technique in a simple unified interface and is capable of building extinction maps including the Nicest correction for cloud substructure. Pnicer is offered to the community as an open-source software solution and is entirely written in Python.

  10. The origins of tropical marine biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Brian W; Rocha, Luiz A; Toonen, Robert J; Karl, Stephen A

    2013-06-01

    Recent phylogeographic studies have overturned three paradigms for the origins of marine biodiversity. (i) Physical (allopatric) isolation is not the sole avenue for marine speciation: many species diverge along ecological boundaries. (ii) Peripheral habitats such as oceanic archipelagos are not evolutionary graveyards: these regions can export biodiversity. (iii) Speciation in marine and terrestrial ecosystems follow similar processes but are not the same: opportunities for allopatric isolation are fewer in the oceans, leaving greater opportunity for speciation along ecological boundaries. Biodiversity hotspots such as the Caribbean Sea and the Indo-Pacific Coral Triangle produce and export species, but can also accumulate biodiversity produced in peripheral habitats. Both hotspots and peripheral ecosystems benefit from this exchange in a process dubbed biodiversity feedback. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benchimol, Maíra; Peres, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments.

  12. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maíra Benchimol

    Full Text Available Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments.

  13. Biodiversity and models of evolution

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    S. L. Podvalny

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Summary. The paper discusses the evolutionary impact of biodiversity, the backbone of noosphere, which status has been fixed by a UN convention. The examples and role of such diversity are considered the various levels of life arrangement. On the level of standalone organisms, the diversity in question manifests itself in the differentiation and separation of the key physiologic functions which significantly broaden the eco-niche for the species with the consummate type of such separation. However, the organismic level of biodiversity does not work for building any developmental models since the starting point of genetic inheritance and variability processes emerges on the minimum structural unit of the living world only, i.e. the population. It is noted that the sufficient gene pool for species development may accumulate in fairly large populations only, where the general rate of mutation does not yield to the rate of ambient variations. The paper shows that the known formal models of species development based on the Fisher theorem about the impact of genodispersion on species adjustment are not in keeping with the actual existence of the species due to the conventionally finite and steady number of genotypes within a population. On the ecosystem level of life arrangement, the key role pertains to the taxonomic diversity supporting the continuous food chain in the system against any adverse developmental conditions of certain taxons. Also, the progressive evolution of an ecosystem is largely stabilized by its multilayer hierarchic structure and the closed circle of matter and energy. The developmental system models based on the Lotka-Volterra equations describing the interaction of the open-loop ecosystem elements only insufficiently represent the position of biodiversity in the evolutionary processes. The paper lays down the requirements to such models which take into account the mass balance within a system; its trophic structure; the

  14. Amount of fear extinction changes its underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Bobae; Kim, Jihye; Park, Kyungjoon; Lee, Sukwon; Song, Sukwoon; Choi, Sukwoo

    2017-07-03

    There has been a longstanding debate on whether original fear memory is inhibited or erased after extinction. One possibility that reconciles this uncertainty is that the inhibition and erasure mechanisms are engaged in different phases (early or late) of extinction. In this study, using single-session extinction training and its repetition (multiple-session extinction training), we investigated the inhibition and erasure mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of rats, where neural circuits underlying extinction reside. The inhibition mechanism was prevalent with single-session extinction training but faded when single-session extinction training was repeated. In contrast, the erasure mechanism became prevalent when single-session extinction training was repeated. Moreover, ablating the intercalated neurons of amygdala, which are responsible for maintaining extinction-induced inhibition, was no longer effective in multiple-session extinction training. We propose that the inhibition mechanism operates primarily in the early phase of extinction training, and the erasure mechanism takes over after that.

  15. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piacenza, Susan E; Thurman, Lindsey L; Barner, Allison K; Benkwitt, Cassandra E; Boersma, Kate S; Cerny-Chipman, Elizabeth B; Ingeman, Kurt E; Kindinger, Tye L; Lindsley, Amy J; Nelson, Jake; Reimer, Jessica N; Rowe, Jennifer C; Shen, Chenchen; Thompson, Kevin A; Heppell, Selina S

    2015-01-01

    With the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss and limited resources for conservation, the concept of biodiversity hotspots has been useful in determining conservation priority areas. However, there has been limited research into how temporal variability in biodiversity may influence conservation area prioritization. To address this information gap, we present an approach to evaluate the temporal consistency of biodiversity hotspots in large marine ecosystems. Using a large scale, public monitoring dataset collected over an eight year period off the US Pacific Coast, we developed a methodological approach for avoiding biases associated with hotspot delineation. We aggregated benthic fish species data from research trawls and calculated mean hotspot thresholds for fish species richness and Shannon's diversity indices over the eight year dataset. We used a spatial frequency distribution method to assign hotspot designations to the grid cells annually. We found no areas containing consistently high biodiversity through the entire study period based on the mean thresholds, and no grid cell was designated as a hotspot for greater than 50% of the time-series. To test if our approach was sensitive to sampling effort and the geographic extent of the survey, we followed a similar routine for the northern region of the survey area. Our finding of low consistency in benthic fish biodiversity hotspots over time was upheld, regardless of biodiversity metric used, whether thresholds were calculated per year or across all years, or the spatial extent for which we calculated thresholds and identified hotspots. Our results suggest that static measures of benthic fish biodiversity off the US West Coast are insufficient for identification of hotspots and that long-term data are required to appropriately identify patterns of high temporal variability in biodiversity for these highly mobile taxa. Given that ecological communities are responding to a changing climate and other

  16. Extinction of drug- and withdrawal-paired cues in animal models: relevance to the treatment of addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Karyn M; Carlezon, William A

    2010-11-01

    Conditioned drug craving and withdrawal elicited by cues paired with drug use or acute withdrawal are among the many factors contributing to compulsive drug taking. Understanding how to stop these cues from having these effects is a major goal of addiction research. Extinction is a form of learning in which associations between cues and the events they predict are weakened by exposure to the cues in the absence of those events. Evidence from animal models suggests that conditioned responses to drug cues can be extinguished, although the degree to which this occurs in humans is controversial. Investigations into the neurobiological substrates of extinction of conditioned drug craving and withdrawal may facilitate the successful use of drug cue extinction within clinical contexts. While this work is still in the early stages, there are indications that extinction of drug- and withdrawal-paired cues shares neural mechanisms with extinction of conditioned fear. Using the fear extinction literature as a template, it is possible to organize the observations on drug cue extinction into a cohesive framework. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The late Quaternary extinction and future resurrection of birds on Pacific islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steadman, David W.; Martin, Paul S.

    2003-04-01

    People have lived on tropical Pacific islands over the past 30,000 years (Bismarcks, Solomons) or 3000 to 1000 years (the rest of Oceania). Their activities have led to the loss of many thousands of populations and as many as 2000 species of birds that probably otherwise would exist today. This extinction event is documented by avian fossils from archaeological (cultural) and paleontological (noncultural) sites from nearly 70 islands in 19 island groups. Extinction of birds in Oceania rivals the late Pleistocene loss of large mammals in North America as the best substantiated rapid extinction episode in the vertebrate fossil record. Some avian extinctions in Oceania occurred within a century or less after human arrival, while others required millennia or even tens of millennia. Any of these time frames is rapid in an evolutionary or geochronological sense. Inter-island differences in the speed and extent of extinction can be explained by variation in abiotic (A), biotic (B), and cultural (C) factors. Levels of extinction on large, near islands can be comparable to those on small, remote islands when C factors (such as high human population density and introduction of invasive plants and animals) override A factors (such as large land area or little isolation) or B factors (such as rich indigenous floras and faunas). An innovative, proactive conservation strategy is needed not only to prevent further extinctions of birds in Oceania, but also to restart evolution of some of the lineages that have suffered the most loss, such as flightless rails. This strategy should focus on islands with ABC traits that retard rather than enhance extinction.

  18. Fear Extinction Memory Consolidation Requires Potentiation of Pontine-Wave Activity during REM Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Subimal; O'Malley, Matthew W .

    2013-01-01

    Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation within multiple memory systems including contextual fear extinction memory, but little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this process. Here, we show that fear extinction training in rats, which extinguished conditioned fear, increased both slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Surprisingly, 24 h later, during memory testing, only 57% of the fear-extinguished animals retained fear extinction memory. We found that these animals exhibited an increase in phasic pontine-wave (P-wave) activity during post-training REM sleep, which was absent in the 43% of animals that failed to retain fear extinction memory. The results of this study provide evidence that brainstem activation, specifically potentiation of phasic P-wave activity, during post-training REM sleep is critical for consolidation of fear extinction memory. The results of this study also suggest that, contrary to the popular hypothesis of sleep and memory, increased sleep after training alone does not guarantee consolidation and/or retention of fear extinction memory. Rather, the potentiation of specific sleep-dependent physiological events may be a more accurate predictor for successful consolidation of fear extinction memory. Identification of this unique mechanism will significantly improve our present understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the sleep-dependent regulation of emotional memory. Additionally, this discovery may also initiate development of a new, more targeted treatment method for clinical disorders of fear and anxiety in humans that is more efficacious than existing methods such as exposure therapy that incorporate only fear extinction. PMID:23467372

  19. No evidence of the effect of extreme weather events on annual occurrence of four groups of ectothermic species.

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    Agnieszka H Malinowska

    Full Text Available Weather extremes may have strong effects on biodiversity, as known from theoretical and modelling studies. Predicted negative effects of increased weather variation are found only for a few species, mostly plants and birds in empirical studies. Therefore, we investigated correlations between weather variability and patterns in occupancy, local colonisations and local extinctions (metapopulation metrics across four groups of ectotherms: Odonata, Orthoptera, Lepidoptera, and Reptilia. We analysed data of 134 species on a 1×1 km-grid base, collected in the last 20 years from the Netherlands, combining standardised data and opportunistic data. We applied dynamic site-occupancy models and used the results as input for analyses of (i trends in distribution patterns, (ii the effect of temperature on colonisation and persistence probability, and (iii the effect of years with extreme weather on all the three metapopulation metrics. All groups, except butterflies, showed more positive than negative trends in metapopulation metrics. We did not find evidence that the probability of colonisation or persistence increases with temperature nor that extreme weather events are reflected in higher extinction risks. We could not prove that weather extremes have visible and consistent negative effects on ectothermic species in temperate northern hemisphere. These findings do not confirm the general prediction that increased weather variability imperils biodiversity. We conclude that weather extremes might not be ecologically relevant for the majority of species. Populations might be buffered against weather variation (e.g. by habitat heterogeneity, or other factors might be masking the effects (e.g. availability and quality of habitat. Consequently, we postulate that weather extremes have less, or different, impact in real world metapopulations than theory and models suggest.

  20. Cycad diversification and tropical biodiversity

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    Rull, V.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The recent unexpected discovery that living Cycadales are not Jurassic-Cretaceous (200– 65 Mya relicts, as all their extant genera began to diversify during the Late Miocene (12 Mya, has challenged a classical evolutionary myth. This brief note shows how this finding may also provide new clues on the shaping of the high tropical biodiversity

    El reciente e inesperado descubrimiento de que las Cycadales actuales no son relictos Jurásico-Cretácicos (200-65 Mya, ya que todos sus géneros iniciaron su diversificación durante el Mioceno Tardío (12 Mya, ha puesto en entredicho un mito evolutivo clásico. En esta nota se expone como este hallazgo puede, además, proporcionar nuevas pistas sobre el origen de la elevada biodiversidad tropical.