WorldWideScience

Sample records for biodiversity extinction event

  1. 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...

  2. Flood basalts and extinction events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stothers, Richard B.

    1993-01-01

    The largest known effusive eruptions during the Cenozoic and Mesozoic Eras, the voluminous flood basalts, have long been suspected as being associated with major extinctions of biotic species. Despite the possible errors attached to the dates in both time series of events, the significance level of the suspected correlation is found here to be 1 percent to 4 percent. Statistically, extinctions lag eruptions by a mean time interval that is indistinguishable from zero, being much less than the average residual derived from the correlation analysis. Oceanic flood basalts, however, must have had a different biological impact, which is still uncertain owing to the small number of known examples and differing physical factors. Although not all continental flood basalts can have produced major extinction events, the noncorrelating eruptions may have led to smaller marine extinction events that terminated at least some of the less catastrophically ending geologic stages. Consequently, the 26 Myr quasi-periodicity seen in major marine extinctions may be only a sampling effect, rather than a manifestation of underlying periodicity.

  3. 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.

  4. Linking Indices for Biodiversity Monitoring to Extinction Risk Theory

    OpenAIRE

    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 reflec...

  5. Linking Indices for Biodiversity Monitoring to Extinction Risk Theory

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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 reflec...

  6. 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...

  7. The astronomical pulse of global extinction events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, David F V; Dorne, Jean-Lou C M

    2006-06-23

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 global vegetation model and then by migration and biome classification assumptions. Bootstrap comparisons indicated that effects on hotpots as a group were not significantly different from effects on random same-biome collections of grid cells with respect to biome change or migration rates; in some scenarios, however, botspots exhibited relatively high biome change and low migration rates. Especially vulnerable 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Enhancing Divergent Search through Extinction Events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehman, Joel; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2015-01-01

    A challenge in evolutionary computation is to create representations as evolvable as those in natural evolution. This paper hypothesizes that extinction events, i.e. mass extinctions, can significantly increase evolvability, but only when combined with a divergent search algorithm, i.e. a search...... driven towards diversity (instead of optimality). Extinctions amplify diversity-generation by creating unpredictable evolutionary bottlenecks. Persisting through multiple such bottlenecks is more likely for lineages that diversify across many niches, resulting in indirect selection pressure...... 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. Chronology of magmatic and biological events during mass extinctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaltegger, U.; Davies, J.; Baresel, B.; Bucher, H.

    2016-12-01

    For mass extinctions, high-precision geochronology is key to understanding: 1) the age and duration of mass extinction intervals, derived from palaeo-biodiversity or chemical proxies in marine sections, and 2) the age and duration of the magmatism responsible for injecting volatiles into the atmosphere. Using high-precision geochronology, here we investigate the sequence of events linked to the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (TJB) and the Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB) mass extinctions. At the TJB, the model of Guex et al. (2016) invokes degassing of early magmas produced by thermal erosion of cratonic lithosphere as a trigger of climate disturbance in the late Rhaetian. We provide geochronological evidence that such early intrusives from the CAMP (Central Atlantic Magmatic Province), predate the end-Triassic extinction event (Blackburn et al. 2013) by 100 kyr (Davies et al., subm.). We propose that these early intrusions and associated explosive volcanism (currently unidentified) initiate the extinction, followed by the younger basalt eruptions of the CAMP. We also provide accurate and precise calibration of the PTB in marine sections in S. China: The PTB and the extinction event coincide within 30 kyr in deep water settings; a hiatus followed by microbial limestone deposition in shallow water settings is of <100 kyr duration. The PTB extinction interval is preceded by up to 300 kyr by the onset of partly alkaline explosive, extrusive and intrusive rocks, which are suggested as the trigger of the mass extinction, rather than the subsequent basalt flows of the Siberian Traps (Burgess and Bowring 2015). From temporal constraints, the main inferences that can be made are: The duration of extinction events is in the x10 kyr range during the initial intrusive activity of a Large Igneous Province, and is postdated by the majority of basalt flows over several 100 kyr. For modeling climate change associated with mass extinctions, volatiles released from the basalt flows may

  13. 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

  14. Olson's Extinction and the latitudinal biodiversity gradient of tetrapods in the Permian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocklehurst, Neil; Day, Michael O; Rubidge, Bruce S; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2017-04-12

    The terrestrial vertebrate fauna underwent a substantial change in composition between the lower and middle Permian. The lower Permian fauna was characterized by diverse and abundant amphibians and pelycosaurian-grade synapsids. During the middle Permian, a therapsid-dominated fauna, containing a diverse array of parareptiles and a considerably reduced richness of amphibians, replaced this. However, it is debated whether the transition is a genuine event, accompanied by a mass extinction, or whether it is merely an artefact of the shift in sampling from the palaeoequatorial latitudes to the palaeotemperate latitudes. Here we use an up-to-date biostratigraphy and incorporate recent discoveries to thoroughly review the Permian tetrapod fossil record. We suggest that the faunal transition represents a genuine event; the lower Permian temperate faunas are more similar to lower Permian equatorial faunas than middle Permian temperate faunas. The transition was not consistent across latitudes; the turnover occurred more rapidly in Russia, but was delayed in North America. The argument that the mass extinction is an artefact of a latitudinal biodiversity gradient and a shift in sampling localities is rejected: sampling correction demonstrates an inverse latitudinal biodiversity gradient was prevalent during the Permian, with peak diversity in the temperate latitudes. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. Rebuilding Biodiversity of Patagonian Marine Molluscs after the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberhan, Martin; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    We analysed field-collected quantitative data of benthic marine molluscs across the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary in Patagonia to identify patterns and processes of biodiversity reconstruction after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. We contrast diversity dynamics from nearshore environments with those from offshore environments. In both settings, Early Palaeogene (Danian) assemblages are strongly dominated by surviving lineages, many of which changed their relative abundance from being rare before the extinction event to becoming the new dominant forms. Only a few of the species in the Danian assemblages were newly evolved. In offshore environments, however, two newly evolved Danian bivalve species attained ecological dominance by replacing two ecologically equivalent species that disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous. In both settings, the total number of Danian genera at a locality remained below the total number of late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) genera at that locality. We suggest that biotic interactions, in particular incumbency effects, suppressed post-extinction diversity and prevented the compensation of diversity loss by originating and invading taxa. Contrary to the total number of genera at localities, diversity at the level of individual fossiliferous horizons before and after the boundary is indistinguishable in offshore environments. This indicates an evolutionary rapid rebound to pre-extinction values within less than ca 0.5 million years. In nearshore environments, by contrast, diversity of fossiliferous horizons was reduced in the Danian, and this lowered diversity lasted for the entire studied post-extinction interval. In this heterogeneous environment, low connectivity among populations may have retarded the recolonisation of nearshore habitats by survivors. PMID:25028930

  16. Rebuilding biodiversity of Patagonian marine molluscs after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberhan, Martin; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    We analysed field-collected quantitative data of benthic marine molluscs across the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary in Patagonia to identify patterns and processes of biodiversity reconstruction after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. We contrast diversity dynamics from nearshore environments with those from offshore environments. In both settings, Early Palaeogene (Danian) assemblages are strongly dominated by surviving lineages, many of which changed their relative abundance from being rare before the extinction event to becoming the new dominant forms. Only a few of the species in the Danian assemblages were newly evolved. In offshore environments, however, two newly evolved Danian bivalve species attained ecological dominance by replacing two ecologically equivalent species that disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous. In both settings, the total number of Danian genera at a locality remained below the total number of late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) genera at that locality. We suggest that biotic interactions, in particular incumbency effects, suppressed post-extinction diversity and prevented the compensation of diversity loss by originating and invading taxa. Contrary to the total number of genera at localities, diversity at the level of individual fossiliferous horizons before and after the boundary is indistinguishable in offshore environments. This indicates an evolutionary rapid rebound to pre-extinction values within less than ca 0.5 million years. In nearshore environments, by contrast, diversity of fossiliferous horizons was reduced in the Danian, and this lowered diversity lasted for the entire studied post-extinction interval. In this heterogeneous environment, low connectivity among populations may have retarded the recolonisation of nearshore habitats by survivors.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Expert opinion on extinction risk and climate change adaptation for biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debra Javeline

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Despite projections of biodiversity loss and proposed adaptations to climate change, few data exist on the feasibility and effectiveness of adaptation strategies in minimizing biodiversity loss. Given the urgent need for action, scientific experts can fill critical information gaps by providing rapid and discerning risk assessment. A survey of 2,329 biodiversity experts projects, on average, that 9.5% of species will become extinct due to climate change within the next 100 years. This average projection is low relative to previously published values but substantial in absolute terms, because it amounts to a loss of hundreds of thousands of species over the next century. The average projection increases to 21% when experts are asked to estimate the percentage of species that will become extinct within the next 100 years due to climate change in combination with other causes. More than three-quarters of respondents reported being uncertain about their extinction estimates. A majority of experts preferred protected areas or corridors to reduce extinction risk but identified ex situ conservation and no intervention as the most feasible strategies. Experts also suggest that managed relocation of species, a particular adaptation strategy, is justifiable and effective in some situations but not others. Justifiable circumstances include the prevention of species extinction and overcoming human-made barriers to dispersal, and while experts are divided on the potential effectiveness of managed relocation for most taxonomic groups, higher percentages predict it effective for woody plants, terrestrial insects, and mammals. Most experts are open to the potential benefits of managed relocation but are concerned about unintended harmful consequences, particularly putting non-target species at risk of extinction. On balance, published biodiversity scientists feel that managed relocation, despite controversy about it, can be part of the conservation

  2. Catastrophic Events and Mass Extinctions: Impacts and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    This volume contains extended abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the conference on Catastrophic Events and Mass Extinctions: Impacts and Beyond, July 9-12, 2000, in Vienna, Austria.

  3. Mass extinction events and the plant fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McElwain, Jennifer C; Punyasena, Surangi W

    2007-10-01

    Five mass extinction events have punctuated the geological record of marine invertebrate life. They are characterized by faunal extinction rates and magnitudes that far exceed those observed elsewhere in the geological record. Despite compelling evidence that these extinction events were probably driven by dramatic global environmental change, they were originally thought to have little macroecological or evolutionary consequence for terrestrial plants. New high-resolution regional palaeoecological studies are beginning to challenge this orthodoxy, providing evidence for extensive ecological upheaval, high species-level turnover and recovery intervals lasting millions of years. The challenge ahead is to establish the geographical extent of the ecological upheaval, because reconstructing the vegetation dynamics associated with these events will elucidate the role of floral change in faunal mass extinction and provide a better understanding of how plants have historically responded to global environmental change similar to that anticipated for our future.

  4. 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,

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. First glimpse into Lower Jurassic deep-sea biodiversity: in situ diversification and resilience against extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thuy, Ben; Kiel, Steffen; Dulai, Alfréd; Gale, Andy S; Kroh, Andreas; Lord, Alan R; Numberger-Thuy, Lea D; Stöhr, Sabine; Wisshak, Max

    2014-07-07

    Owing to the assumed lack of deep-sea macrofossils older than the Late Cretaceous, very little is known about the geological history of deep-sea communities, and most inference-based hypotheses argue for repeated recolonizations of the deep sea from shelf habitats following major palaeoceanographic perturbations. We present a fossil deep-sea assemblage of echinoderms, gastropods, brachiopods and ostracods, from the Early Jurassic of the Glasenbach Gorge, Austria, which includes the oldest known representatives of a number of extant deep-sea groups, and thus implies that in situ diversification, in contrast to immigration from shelf habitats, played a much greater role in shaping modern deep-sea biodiversity than previously thought. A comparison with coeval shelf assemblages reveals that, at least in some of the analysed groups, significantly more extant families/superfamilies have endured in the deep sea since the Early Jurassic than in the shelf seas, which suggests that deep-sea biota are more resilient against extinction than shallow-water ones. In addition, a number of extant deep-sea families/superfamilies found in the Glasenbach assemblage lack post-Jurassic shelf occurrences, implying that if there was a complete extinction of the deep-sea fauna followed by replacement from the shelf, it must have happened before the Late Jurassic. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  8. A long-term association between global temperature and biodiversity, origination and extinction in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayhew, Peter J; Jenkins, Gareth B; Benton, Timothy G

    2008-01-07

    The past relationship between global temperature and levels of biological diversity is of increasing concern due to anthropogenic climate warming. However, no consistent link between these variables has yet been demonstrated. We analysed the fossil record for the last 520 Myr against estimates of low latitude sea surface temperature for the same period. We found that global biodiversity (the richness of families and genera) is related to temperature and has been relatively low during warm 'greenhouse' phases, while during the same phases extinction and origination rates of taxonomic lineages have been relatively high. These findings are consistent for terrestrial and marine environments and are robust to a number of alternative assumptions and potential biases. Our results provide the first clear evidence that global climate may explain substantial variation in the fossil record in a simple and consistent manner. Our findings may have implications for extinction and biodiversity change under future climate warming.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Pricelessness of Biodiversity: Using the Endangered Species Act to Help Combat Extinction and Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Falberg, Alisha

    2015-01-01

    The science is clear. Climate change is happening, and it has aserious adverse effect on the majority of biodiversity, species,and ecosystems. Currently, there are no laws that serve to protect biodiversity and species from the oncoming changes; however, there is a law that serves to protect endangered and threatened species generally: the Endangered Species Act. This paper proposes using conservation biology principles to suggest several amendments to the Endangered Species Act to help save ...

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Diversification events and the effects of mass extinctions on Crocodyliformes evolutionary history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronzati, Mario; Montefeltro, Felipe C; Langer, Max C

    2015-05-01

    The rich fossil record of Crocodyliformes shows a much greater diversity in the past than today in terms of morphological disparity and occupation of niches. We conducted topology-based analyses seeking diversification shifts along the evolutionary history of the group. Our results support previous studies, indicating an initial radiation of the group following the Triassic/Jurassic mass extinction, here assumed to be related to the diversification of terrestrial protosuchians, marine thalattosuchians and semi-aquatic lineages within Neosuchia. During the Cretaceous, notosuchians embodied a second diversification event in terrestrial habitats and eusuchian lineages started diversifying before the end of the Mesozoic. Our results also support previous arguments for a minor impact of the Cretaceous/Palaeogene mass extinction on the evolutionary history of the group. This argument is not only based on the information from the fossil record, which shows basal groups surviving the mass extinction and the decline of other Mesozoic lineages before the event, but also by the diversification event encompassing only the alligatoroids in the earliest period after the extinction. Our results also indicate that, instead of a continuous process through time, Crocodyliformes diversification was patchy, with events restricted to specific subgroups in particular environments and time intervals.

  18. Conodont index fossil Hindeodus changxingensis Wang fingers greatest mass extinction event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, I.; Nicoll, R.S.; Wardlaw, B.R.

    2007-01-01

    The marine conodont fossil species, Hindeodus changxingensis Wang, that has a distinctive morphology, is restricted to a very narrow stratigraphic interval essentially from the Permian-Triassic extinction event through the internationally recognized boundary and into the very earliest Triassic. The species is geographically widespread in the Tethyan Region, from Italy to South China, and serves as a characteristic index fossil to reliably identify this short but critical interval that encompasses the greatest mass extinction of life on earth and the boundary between the Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras. ?? 2007 Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, CAS.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Timing and pacing of the Late Devonian mass extinction event regulated by eccentricity and obliquity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vleeschouwer, David; Da Silva, Anne-Christine; Sinnesael, Matthias; Chen, Daizhao; Day, James E; Whalen, Michael T; Guo, Zenghui; Claeys, Philippe

    2017-12-22

    The Late Devonian envelops one of Earth's big five mass extinction events at the Frasnian-Famennian boundary (374 Ma). Environmental change across the extinction severely affected Devonian reef-builders, besides many other forms of marine life. Yet, cause-and-effect chains leading to the extinction remain poorly constrained as Late Devonian stratigraphy is poorly resolved, compared to younger cataclysmic intervals. In this study we present a global orbitally calibrated chronology across this momentous interval, applying cyclostratigraphic techniques. Our timescale stipulates that 600 kyr separate the lower and upper Kellwasser positive δ 13 C excursions. The latter excursion is paced by obliquity and is therein similar to Mesozoic intervals of environmental upheaval, like the Cretaceous Ocean-Anoxic-Event-2 (OAE-2). This obliquity signature implies coincidence with a minimum of the 2.4 Myr eccentricity cycle, during which obliquity prevails over precession, and highlights the decisive role of astronomically forced "Milankovitch" climate change in timing and pacing the Late Devonian mass extinction.

  2. Subsequent biotic crises delayed marine recovery following the late Permian mass extinction event in northern Italy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William J Foster

    Full Text Available The late Permian mass extinction event was the largest biotic crisis of the Phanerozoic and has the longest recovery interval of any extinction event. It has been hypothesised that subsequent carbon isotope perturbations during the Early Triassic are associated with biotic crises that impeded benthic recovery. We test this hypothesis by undertaking the highest-resolution study yet made of the rock and fossil records of the entire Werfen Formation, Italy. Here, we show that elevated extinction rates were recorded not only in the Dienerian, as previously recognised, but also around the Smithian/Spathian boundary. Functional richness increases across the Smithian/Spathian boundary associated with elevated origination rates in the lower Spathian. The taxonomic and functional composition of benthic faunas only recorded two significant changes: (1 reduced heterogeneity in the Dienerian, and (2 and a faunal turnover across the Smithian/Spathian boundary. The elevated extinctions and compositional shifts in the Dienerian and across the Smithian/Spathian boundary are associated with a negative and positive isotope excursion, respectively, which supports the hypothesis that subsequent biotic crises are associated with carbon isotope shifts. The Spathian fauna represents a more advanced ecological state, not recognised in the previous members of the Werfen Formation, with increased habitat differentiation, a shift in the dominant modes of life, appearance of stenohaline taxa and the occupation of the erect and infaunal tiers. In addition to subsequent biotic crises delaying the recovery, therefore, persistent environmental stress limited the ecological complexity of benthic recovery prior to the Spathian.

  3. Rarity in mass extinctions and the future of ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hull, Pincelli M.; Darroch, Simon A. F.; Erwin, Douglas H.

    2015-12-01

    The fossil record provides striking case studies of biodiversity loss and global ecosystem upheaval. Because of this, many studies have sought to assess the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis relative to past crises—a task greatly complicated by the need to extrapolate extinction rates. Here we challenge this approach by showing that the rarity of previously abundant taxa may be more important than extinction in the cascade of events leading to global changes in the biosphere. Mass rarity may provide the most robust measure of our current biodiversity crisis relative to those past, and new insights into the dynamics of mass extinction.

  4. A Near-extinction Event in Lynx: Do Microsatellite Data Tell the Tale?

    OpenAIRE

    Goran Spong; Linda Hellborg

    2002-01-01

    Fluctuations in population size can have a profound impact on effective population size and the maintenance of genetic variation within a population. A number of tests based on microsatellite data have been developed for the detection of bottleneck events in a population's past. In this paper, we search for signs of a bottleneck in microsatellite data on the Scandinavian lynx (Lynx lynx) population. This population was hunted to the brink of extinction, with fewer than 100 animals (one estima...

  5. 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.

  6. A Near-extinction Event in Lynx: Do Microsatellite Data Tell the Tale?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goran Spong

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available Fluctuations in population size can have a profound impact on effective population size and the maintenance of genetic variation within a population. A number of tests based on microsatellite data have been developed for the detection of bottleneck events in a population's past. In this paper, we search for signs of a bottleneck in microsatellite data on the Scandinavian lynx (Lynx lynx population. This population was hunted to the brink of extinction, with fewer than 100 animals (one estimate was as low as 30 individuals remaining in the late 1920s. Protection allowed recovery of the population, which currently numbers about 2000 adults. Despite this pronounced demographic bottleneck (more than 95% of the population was killed, we could find no conclusive genetic evidence of a bottleneck using four of the recently developed tests for detecting such events.

  7. Rapid demise and recovery of plant ecosystems across the end-Permian extinction event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochuli, Peter A.; Hermann, Elke; Vigran, Jorunn Os; Bucher, Hugo; Weissert, Helmut

    2010-12-01

    The end-Permian extinction event was the most pronounced biotic and ecological crisis in the history of the Earth. It is assumed that over 80% of marine genera disappeared, and that this event had a major impact on the evolution of marine organisms. The impact of this event on terrestrial biota is poorly known and a matter of controversial discussions. In contrast to the fundamental changes in marine fauna most major groups of plants range from the Late Palaeozoic into the Mesozoic. Consequently the impact of the end-Permian extinction event on the evolution of plants was often regarded as minor. However, major changes in the composition of the plant communities have been documented and a number of catastrophic scenarios have been envisioned — including the almost total destruction of plant ecosystems. Based on expanded sections from the Southern Barents Sea (Northern Norway) we trace mid-latitudinal terrestrial ecosystems across the Permo-Triassic transition with a time resolution in the order of 10 kyr, based on a high resolution C org-isotope stratigraphy. Our results show that the floral turnovers are linked with major changes in the C-isotope record and hence with global carbon cycling. The palynological records document the successive steps in the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems. After gradual changes during the latest Permian, plant ecosystems suffered from a major environmental perturbation leading to a rapid turnover from gymnosperm dominated ecosystems to assemblages dominated by lycopods. The dominance of the lycopods, expressed in a spore-spike, represents a relatively short-lived event in the order of 10 kyr. This perturbation of the terrestrial ecosystems preceded the globally recognized negative δ 13C org isotope spike by up to 100 kyr. It coincides with a first end-Permian negative shift of the C-isotope curve and was probably induced by a first major perturbation of the chemistry of the atmosphere, related to the onset of the volcanic

  8. 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.

  9. Eutrophication, microbial-sulfate reduction and mass extinctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schobben, Martin; Stebbins, Alan; Ghaderi, Abbas

    2016-01-01

    In post-Cambrian time, life on Earth experienced 5 major extinction events, likely instigated by adverse environmental conditions. Biodiversity loss among marine taxa, for at least 3 of these mass extinction events (Late Devonian, end-Permian and end-Triassic), has been connected with widespread...... oxygen-depleted and sulfide-bearing marine water. Furthermore, geochemical and sedimentary evidence suggest that these events correlate with rather abrupt climate warming and possibly increased terrestrial weathering. This suggests that biodiversity loss may be triggered by mechanisms intrinsic...

  10. 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.

  11. Climatic changes resulting from mass extinctions at the K-T boundary (and other bio-events)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampino, Michael R.; Volk, Tyler

    1988-01-01

    The mass extinctions at the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary include about 90 percent of marine calcareous nannoplankton (coccoliths), and carbon-isotope data show that marine primary productivity was drastically reduced for about 500,000 years after the boundary event, the so-called Strangelove Ocean effect. One result of the elimination of most marine phytoplankton would have been a severe reduction in production of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a biogenic gas that is believed to be the major precursor of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) over the oceans. A drastic reduction in marine CCN should lead to a cloud canopy with significantly lower reflectivity, and hence cause a significant warming at the earth's surface. Calculations suggest that, all other things being held constant, a reduction in CCN of more than 80 percent (a reasonable value for the K-T extinctions) could have produced a rapid global warming of 6 C or more. Oxygen-isotope analyses of marine sediments, and other kinds of paleoclimatic data, have provided for a marked warming, and a general instability of climate coincident with the killoff of marine plankton at the K-T boundary. Similar reductions in phytoplankton abundance at other boundaries, as indicated by marked shifts in carbon-isotope curves, suggest that severe temperature changes may have accompanied other mass extinctions, and raises the intriguing possibility that the extinction events themselves could have contributed to the climatic instabilities at critical bio-events in the geologic record.

  12. The hydrocarbon cycle and its role in hyperthermals, ocean anoxic events and mass extinctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlgren, Torbjørn

    2016-04-01

    Release of light isotopic carbon, ocean oxygen deficiency and extinction characterizes the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). The PETM carbon isotope excursion (CIE) has been linked to gas hydrate decomposition and/or methane release due to igneous intrusions in sedimentary basins. In reviewing the published geological and geochemical data it became apparent that the majority of observations are in fact compatible with a different source(s) of the light isotopic carbon, namely, that of fluids trapped in sedimentary basins. Here I make a connection between the drilled paleo-accumulations of oil and gas in the Barents Sea, their burial and tectonic history, and published data of the PETM that may be reinterpreted as to reflect large scale leakage of oil and gas accumulations. I focus on oil, as leaked oil has a preservation potential in the sedimentary record. In contrast, gas from either leaked gas accumulations or exsolution from pore waters has little preservation potential other than contributing to the CIE. Sedimentary records compatible with leaked oil is present in the Arctic Ocean and Spitsbergen as fluorescent bitumen/amorphous organic matter (AOM) with carbon isotope ratios and biomarker signatures similar to those recorded in Barents Sea oil samples. Bitumen/AOM-rich immature sediments are also found in the North Sea and unresolved complex organic matter compatible with highly weathered oil has been found as far south as Walvis Ridge, offshore Namibia. Large scale fluid leakage from sedimentary basins can also explain the increase in radiogenic Osmium and Rhenium that mimic the CIE. Also biological evidence such as the extinction of North Atlantic benthic foraminifera lineages, the A. Augustum bloom and the occurrence of malformed micro/nanno-fossils may be linked to large scale leakage of oil and diagenetically altered porewaters. The leaked oil and gas was partially re-cycled into an organic rich shale (source rock) suggesting a 'hydrocarbon cycle

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes Pontes, Antonio Rossano; Beltrão, Antonio Carlos Mariz; Normande, Iran Campello; Malta, Alexandre de Jesus Rodrigues; da Silva Júnior, Antonio Paulo; Santos, André Maurício Melo

    2016-01-01

    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 extinct. The

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Comparison of the ages of large-body impacts, flood-basalt eruptions, ocean-anoxic events and extinctions over the last 260 million years: a statistical study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampino, Michael R.; Caldeira, Ken

    2018-03-01

    Many studies have linked mass extinction events with the catastrophic effects of large-body impacts and flood-basalt eruptions, sometimes as competing explanations. We find that the ages of at least 10 out of a total of 11 documented extinction events over the last 260 Myr (12 out of 13 if we include two lesser extinction events) coincide, within errors, with the best-known ages of either a large impact crater (≥70 km diameter) or a continental flood-basalt eruption. The null hypothesis that this could occur by chance can be rejected with very high confidence (>99.999%). The ages of large impact craters correlate with recognized extinction events at 36 (two impacts), 66, 145 and 215 Myr ago (and possibly an event at 168 Myr ago), and the ages of continental flood basalts correlate with extinctions at 66, 94, 116, 183, 201, 252 and 259 Myr ago (and possibly at 133 Myr ago). Furthermore, at least 7 periods of widespread anoxia in the oceans of the last 260 Myr coincide with the ages of flood-basalt eruptions (with 99.999% confidence), and are coeval with extinctions, suggesting causal connections. These statistical relationships argue that most mass extinction events are related to climatic catastrophes produced by the largest impacts and large-volume continental flood-basalt eruptions.

  19. 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

  20. Shedding new light on the K-Pg extinction event: application of modern fire science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadden, Rory; Rein, Guillermo; Belcher, Claire

    2016-04-01

    The impact on fire on the earth system is a key component to understand the long term evolutionary history of our planet. However, in order to fully explore the role of fire, it is essential to draw on the significant existing literature and methods available to both palaeontologists and fire scientists if we are to better interpret the fossil record of life. A novel cross-disciplinary approach was developed to investigate the extent to which forest materials may have been ignited by the thermal radiation delivered by the collision of an extra-terrestrial body on the Yucatán Peninsula at the end of the Cretaceous period. A novel experimental approach was developed through close collaboration between earth scientists and fire safety engineers that drew on well established procedures for assessing material flammability. Through close working in both experimental design and interpretation, a new method to rapidly and effectively assess the expected ignition behaviour resulting from this event was developed. Prior modelling of the impact indicated that the impact resulted in a range of heat flux pulses, dependent on the angle of impact and melt spherule distribution and was shown to vary as a function of geographical location. These data were used as an input to a series of laboratory experiments undertaken at the Rushbrook Fire Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh. Building on existing material flammability assessment methods, modifications were made to the operation of the FM Global Fire Propagation Apparatus to allow these time-dependent heat flux pulses to be reproduced in the laboratory under controlled conditions of thermal input and burning environment. The results indicate that the ignition propensity of a particular biome is strongly dependent on both the fuel available and the heat pulse. It was observed that thin, dry fuels could be ignited easily under almost every condition but that live fuels could not. Live fuels could only be ignited by the less

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Think Like a Cockroach: How I Survived an Extinction Event in Biological Research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiley, H. S.

    2008-02-01

    Some young biologists might think that getting NIH funding has never been harder than it is now, but those of us who have been around for a while can remember a period in the early 90’s when NIH funding seemed to all but disappear. I’m talking 7% paylines at some institutions. I went through a period where I submitted 12 unsuccessful proposals in a row. Somehow I survived along with many of my colleagues, so excuse me if I don’t quite feel yet that the apocalypse is upon us. At the time, however, many of us felt exactly that way. We called the dramatic drop in funding “the asteroid strike”, in honor of the recently discovered impact site of the asteroid thought to be responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period.

  4. 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.

  5. Decoupling biogeochemical records, extinction, and environmental change during the Cambrian SPICE event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffbauer, James D.; Huntley, John Warren; Fike, David A.; Jeffrey, Matthew Jarrell; Gregg, Jay M.; Shelton, Kevin L.

    2017-01-01

    Several positive carbon isotope excursions in Lower Paleozoic rocks, including the prominent Upper Cambrian Steptoean Positive Carbon Isotope Excursion (SPICE), are thought to reflect intermittent perturbations in the hydrosphere-biosphere system. Models explaining these secular changes are abundant, but the synchronicity and regional variation of the isotope signals are not well understood. Examination of cores across a paleodepth gradient in the Upper Cambrian central Missouri intrashelf basin (United States) reveals a time-transgressive, facies-dependent nature of the SPICE. Although the SPICE event may be a global signal, the manner in which it is recorded in rocks should and does vary as a function of facies and carbonate platform geometry. We call for a paradigm shift to better constrain facies, stratigraphic, and biostratigraphic architecture and to apply these observations to the variability in magnitude, stratigraphic extent, and timing of the SPICE signal, as well as other biogeochemical perturbations, to elucidate the complex processes driving the ocean-carbonate system. PMID:28275734

  6. The role of temporal abundance structure and habitat preferences in the survival of conodonts during the mid-early Silurian Ireviken mass extinction event.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrej Spiridonov

    Full Text Available The Ireviken event was one of the most intense extinction episodes that occurred during the mid-Paleozoic era. It had a strong global effect on a range of clades, with conodonts, graptolites and chitinozoans affected most. Using geophysical proxies and conodont species parameters of their temporal abundance structure we investigate how they affected the selectivity of conodont species survival during this calamity. After performing bivariate logistic analyses on 34 species of conodonts, we find three variables that were statistically significantly associated with their odds of survival. These namely include spectral exponents that describe degrees of autocorrelation in a time series, the skewness of species abundance distribution, and average environmental preferences, which are mostly determined by ancient water depths at sampling sites. Model selection of multivariate logistic models found the best model includes species local abundance skewness and substrate preference. A similar pattern is revealed through the regression tree analysis. The apparent extinction selectivity points to a possible causes of environmental deterioration during the Ireviken event. The significant positive relationship between extinction risk and preferential existence in deeper environments suggests the open ocean causal mechanisms of biotic stress that occurred during the Ireviken event. Marine regressions, which were previously suggested as a causal factor in this extinction episode, on theoretical grounds should have had higher impact on species living in near-shore environments, through the processes of habitat loss which are associated with decreases of shelfal areas. In addition, the significant positive correlations found between skewness of abundance distributions and spectral exponent values and the probability of species survival suggest that community and ecosystem processes (which controlled species abundance fluctuation patterns were significantly

  7. 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......, by the time it has run its course, it will potentially surpass the previous five mass extinction events in the history of Earth. This article only deals with examples of extinction in the Quaternary period (from the final period of the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago)....

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Gradual extinction reduces Reinstatement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youssef eShiban

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The current study investigated whether gradually reducing the frequency of aversive stimuli during extinction can prevent the return of fear. Thirty-one participants of a three-stage procedure (acquisition, extinction and a reinstatement test on day two were randomly assigned to a standard extinction (SE and gradual extinction (GE procedure. The two groups differed only in the extinction procedure. While the SE group ran through a regular extinction process without any negative events, the frequency of the aversive stimuli during the extinction phase was gradually reduced for the GE group. The unconditioned stimulus was an air blast (5 bar, 10 ms. A spider and a scorpion were used as conditioned stimuli. The outcome variables were contingency ratings and physiological measures (skin conductance response and startle response. There were no differences found between the two groups for the acquisition and extinction phases concerning contingency ratings, SCR, or startle response. Gradual extinction compared to standard extinction significantly reduced the return of fear in the reinstatement test for the startle response but not for skin conductance response or contingency ratings. This study was successful in translating the findings in rodent to humans. The results suggest that the gradual extinction process is suitable for increasing the efficacy of fear extinction.

  11. The end-Cretaceous in the southwestern Tethys (Elles, Tunisia): orbital calibration of paleoenvironmental events before the mass extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibault, Nicolas; Galbrun, Bruno; Gardin, Silvia; Minoletti, Fabrice; Le Callonnec, Laurence

    2016-04-01

    An integrated study of magnetic mass susceptibility (MS), bulk stable isotopes and calcareous nannofossil paleoecological changes is undertaken on the late Maastrichtian of the Elles section, Tunisia, spanning the last ca. 1 Myr of the Cretaceous. A cyclostratigraphic analysis reveals the presence of Milankovitch frequencies and is used for proposal of two distinct orbital age models and to provide ages of important stratigraphic horizons, relative to the age of the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (K-PgB). Principal component analysis (PCA) performed on the nannofossil assemblage reveal two main factors, PCA1, mostly representing fluctuations of D. rotatorius, P. stoveri, Lithraphidites spp., Retecapsa spp., Staurolithites spp., Micula spp., and PCA2, mostly representing fluctuations of A. regularis, C. ehrenbergii, Micula spp., Rhagodiscus spp., W. barnesiae and Zeugrhabdotus spp. Variations in PCA1 and PCA2 match changes in bulk δ13C and δ18O, respectively, and suggest changes in surface-water fertility and temperatures and associated stress. The variations in abundances of high-latitude taxa and the warm-water species Micula murus and in bulk δ18O delineate fast changes in sea-surface paleotemperatures. As in many other sites, an end-Maastrichtian greenhouse warming is highlighted, followed by a short cooling and an additional warm pulse in the last 30 kyr of the Maastrichtian which has rarely been documented so far. Orbital tuning of the delineated climatic events is proposed following the two different age models. Calcareous nannofossil assemblages highlight a decrease in surface-water nutriency, but their species richness remains high through the latest Maastrichtian, indicating, in Tunisia, a weak impact of Deccan volcanism on calcareous nannoplankton diversity before the mass extinction.

  12. 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.

  13. Conservation Risks: When Will Rhinos be Extinct?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Timothy C; Ferreira, Sam M

    2016-08-01

    We develop a risk intelligence system for biodiversity enterprises. Such enterprises depend on a supply of endangered species for their revenue. Many of these enterprises, however, cannot purchase a supply of this resource and are largely unable to secure the resource against theft in the form of poaching. Because replacements are not available once a species becomes extinct, insurance products are not available to reduce the risk exposure of these enterprises to an extinction event. For many species, the dynamics of anthropogenic impacts driven by economic as well as noneconomic values of associated wildlife products along with their ecological stressors can help meaningfully predict extinction risks. We develop an agent/individual-based economic-ecological model that captures these effects and apply it to the case of South African rhinos. Our model uses observed rhino dynamics and poaching statistics. It seeks to predict rhino extinction under the present scenario. This scenario has no legal horn trade, but allows live African rhino trade and legal hunting. Present rhino populations are small and threatened by a rising onslaught of poaching. This present scenario and associated dynamics predicts continued decline in rhino population size with accelerated extinction risks of rhinos by 2036. Our model supports the computation of extinction risks at any future time point. This capability can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of proposed conservation strategies at reducing a species' extinction risk. Models used to compute risk predictions, however, need to be statistically estimated. We point out that statistically fitting such models to observations will involve massive numbers of observations on consumer behavior and time-stamped location observations on thousands of animals. Finally, we propose Big Data algorithms to perform such estimates and to interpret the fitted model's output.

  14. 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.

  15. Mass extinction: a commentary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raup, D. M.

    1987-01-01

    Four neocatastrophist claims about mass extinction are currently being debated; they are that: 1, the late Cretaceous mass extinction was caused by large body impact; 2, as many as five other major extinctions were caused by impact; 3, the timing of extinction events since the Permian is uniformly periodic; and 4, the ages of impact craters on Earth are also periodic and in phase with the extinctions. Although strongly interconnected the four claims are independent in the sense that none depends on the others. Evidence for a link between impact and extinction is strong but still needs more confirmation through bed-by-bed and laboratory studies. An important area for future research is the question of whether extinction is a continuous process, with the rate increasing at times of mass extinctions, or whether it is episodic at all scales. If the latter is shown to be generally true, then species are at risk of extinction only rarely during their existence and catastrophism, in the sense of isolated events of extreme stress, is indicated. This is line of reasoning can only be considered an hypothesis for testing. In a larger context, paleontologists may benefit from a research strategy that looks to known Solar System and Galactic phenomena for predictions about environmental effects on earth. The recent success in the recognition of Milankovitch Cycles in the late Pleistocene record is an example of the potential of this research area.

  16. Phylogenetics and biogeographic approaches to the study of extinction: from timetrees to patterns of biotic assemblage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel eSanmartin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Global climate change and its impact on biodiversity levels have made extinction a relevant topic in biological research. Yet, until recently, extinction has received less attention in macroevolutionary studies than speciation; the reason is the difficulty to infer an event that actually eliminates rather than creates new taxa. For example, in biogeography, extinction has often been seen as noise, introducing homoplasy in biogeographic relationships, rather than a pattern-generating process. The molecular revolution and the possibility to integrate time into phylogenetic reconstructions have allowed studying extinction under different perspectives. Here, we review phylogenetic (temporal and biogeographic (spatial approaches to the inference of extinction and the challenges this process poses for reconstructing evolutionary history. Specifically, we focus on the problem of discriminating between alternative high extinction scenarios using time trees with only extant taxa, and on the confounding effect introduced by asymmetric spatial extinction – different rates of extinction across areas – in biogeographic inference. Finally, we identify the most promising avenues of research in both fields, which include the integration of additional sources of evidence such as the fossil record or environmental information in birth-death models and biogeographic reconstructions, the development of new models that tie extinction rates to phenotypic or environmental variation, or the implementation within a Bayesian framework of parametric non-stationary biogeographic models.

  17. 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.

  18. Disc dark matter in the Galaxy and potential cycles of extraterrestrial impacts, mass extinctions and geological events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampino, Michael R.

    2015-04-01

    A cycle in the range of 26-30 Myr has been reported in mass extinctions, and terrestrial impact cratering may exhibit a similar cycle of 31 ± 5 Myr. These cycles have been attributed to the Sun's vertical oscillations through the Galactic disc, estimated to take from ˜30 to 42 Myr between Galactic plane crossings. Near the Galactic mid-plane, the Solar system's Oort Cloud comets could be perturbed by Galactic tidal forces, and possibly a thin dark matter (DM) disc, which might produce periodic comet showers and extinctions on the Earth. Passage of the Earth through especially dense clumps of DM, composed of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) in the Galactic plane, could also lead to heating in the core of the planet through capture and subsequent annihilation of DM particles. This new source of periodic heating in the Earth's interior might explain a similar ˜30 Myr periodicity observed in terrestrial geologic activity, which may also be involved in extinctions. These results suggest that cycles of geological and biological evolution on the Earth may be partly controlled by the rhythms of Galactic dynamics.

  19. Are extinction opinions extinct?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamsin E. Lee

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Extinction models vary in the information they require, the simplest considering the rate of certain sightings only. More complicated methods include uncertain sightings and allow for variation in the reliability of uncertain sightings. Generally extinction models require expert opinion, either as a prior belief that a species is extinct, or to establish the quality of a sighting record, or both. Is this subjectivity necessary? We present two models to explore whether the individual quality of sightings, judged by experts, is strongly informative of the probability of extinction: the ‘quality breakpoint method’ and the ‘quality as variance method’. For the first method we use the Barbary lion as an exemplar. For the second method we use the Barbary lion, Alaotra grebe, Jamaican petrel and Pohnpei starling as exemplars. The ‘quality breakpoint method’ uses certain and uncertain sighting records, and the quality of uncertain records, to establish whether a change point in the rate of sightings can be established using a simultaneous Bayesian optimisation with a non-informative prior. For the Barbary lion, there is a change in subjective quality of sightings around 1930. Unexpectedly sighting quality increases after this date. This suggests that including quality scores from experts can lead to irregular effects and may not offer reliable results. As an alternative, we use quality as a measure of variance around the sightings, not a change in quality. This leads to predictions with larger standard deviations, however the results remain consistent across any prior belief of extinction. Nonetheless, replacing actual quality scores with random quality scores showed little difference, inferring that the quality scores from experts are superfluous. Therefore, we deem the expensive process of obtaining pooled expert estimates as unnecessary, and even when used we recommend that sighting data should have minimal input from experts in terms of

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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....

  3. Extinction intensity, selectivity and their combined macroevolutionary influence in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Jonathan L; Bush, Andrew M; Chang, Ellen T; Heim, Noel A; Knope, Matthew L; Pruss, Sara B

    2016-10-01

    The macroevolutionary effects of extinction derive from both intensity of taxonomic losses and selectivity of losses with respect to ecology, physiology and/or higher taxonomy. Increasingly, palaeontologists are using logistic regression to quantify extinction selectivity because the selectivity metric is independent of extinction intensity and multiple predictor variables can be assessed simultaneously. We illustrate the use of logistic regression with an analysis of physiological buffering capacity and extinction risk in the Phanerozoic marine fossil record. We propose the geometric mean of extinction intensity and selectivity as a metric for the influence of extinction events. The end-Permian mass extinction had the largest influence on the physiological composition of the fauna owing to its combination of high intensity and strong selectivity. In addition to providing a quantitative measure of influence to compare among past events, this approach provides an avenue for quantifying the risk posed by the emerging biodiversity crisis that goes beyond a simple projection of taxonomic losses. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. 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

  5. Response of beta diversity to pulses of Ordovician-Silurian mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darroch, Simon A F; Wagner, Peter J

    2015-02-01

    Ecologists are increasingly using the fossil record of mass extinction to build predictive models for the ongoing biodiversity crisis. During mass extinctions, major depletions in global (i.e., gamma) diversity may reflect decrease in alpha diversity (i.e., local assemblages support fewer taxa), and/or decrease in beta diversity (such that similar pools of taxa are common to a greater number of local areas). Contrasting the effects of extinction on alpha and beta diversity is therefore central to understanding how global richness becomes depleted over these critical events. Here we investigate the spatial effects of mass extinction by examining changes in alpha, beta, and gamma diversity in brachiopod communities over both pulses of Ordovician-Silurian extinction (-445.2 and -438.8 million years ago), which had dramatically different causal mechanisms. We furthermore reconstruct geographic range sizes for brachiopod genera to test competing models for drivers of beta diversity change. We find that: (1) alpha and beta diversity respond differently to extinction; (2) these responses differ between pulses of extinction; (3) changes in beta diversity associated with extinction are accompanied by changes in geographic range size; and (4) changes in global beta diversity were driven by the extinction of taxa with statistically small and large ranges, rather than range expansion/contraction in taxa that survive into the aftermath. A symptom of ongoing biotic crisis may therefore be the extinction of specific narrow- or wide-ranging taxa, rather than the global proliferation of opportunistic and "disaster" forms. In addition, our results illustrate that changes in beta diversity on these longer timescales may largely be dictated by emplacement and removal of barriers to dispersal. Lastly, this study reinforces the utility of the fossil record in addressing questions surrounding the role of global-scale processes (such as mass extinctions) in sculpting and assembling

  6. 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

  7. Rethinking Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-07

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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...

  9. Two hundred years of local avian extinctions in eastern Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Nárgila G; Lees, Alexander C; Aleixo, Alexandre; Barlow, Jos; Dantas, Sidnei M; Ferreira, Joice; Lima, Maria de Fátima C; Gardner, Toby A

    2014-10-01

    Local, regional, and global extinctions caused by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation have been widely reported for the tropics. The patterns and drivers of this loss of species are now increasingly well known in Amazonia, but there remains a significant gap in understanding of long-term trends in species persistence and extinction in anthropogenic landscapes. Such a historical perspective is critical for understanding the status and trends of extant biodiversity as well as for identifying priorities to halt further losses. Using extensive historical data sets of specimen records and results of contemporary surveys, we searched for evidence of local extinctions of a terra firma rainforest avifauna over 200 years in a 2500 km(2) eastern Amazonian region around the Brazilian city of Belém. This region has the longest history of ornithological fieldwork in the entire Amazon basin and lies in the highly threatened Belém Centre of Endemism. We also compared our historically inferred extinction events with extensive data on species occurrences in a sample of catchments in a nearby municipality (Paragominas) that encompass a gradient of past forest loss. We found evidence for the possible extinction of 47 species (14% of the regional species pool) that were unreported from 1980 to 2013 (80% last recorded between 1900 and 1980). Seventeen species appear on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, and many of these are large-bodied. The species lost from the region immediately around Belém are similar to those which are currently restricted to well-forested catchments in Paragominas. Although we anticipate the future rediscovery or recolonization of some species inferred to be extinct by our calculations, we also expect that there are likely to be additional local extinctions, not reported here, given the ongoing loss and degradation of remaining areas of native vegetation across eastern Amazonia. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Graptolite community responses to global climate change and the Late Ordovician mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheets, H David; Mitchell, Charles E; Melchin, Michael J; Loxton, Jason; Štorch, Petr; Carlucci, Kristi L; Hawkins, Andrew D

    2016-07-26

    Mass extinctions disrupt ecological communities. Although climate changes produce stress in ecological communities, few paleobiological studies have systematically addressed the impact of global climate changes on the fine details of community structure with a view to understanding how changes in community structure presage, or even cause, biodiversity decline during mass extinctions. Based on a novel Bayesian approach to biotope assessment, we present a study of changes in species abundance distribution patterns of macroplanktonic graptolite faunas (∼447-444 Ma) leading into the Late Ordovician mass extinction. Communities at two contrasting sites exhibit significant decreases in complexity and evenness as a consequence of the preferential decline in abundance of dysaerobic zone specialist species. The observed changes in community complexity and evenness commenced well before the dramatic population depletions that mark the tipping point of the extinction event. Initially, community changes tracked changes in the oceanic water masses, but these relations broke down during the onset of mass extinction. Environmental isotope and biomarker data suggest that sea surface temperature and nutrient cycling in the paleotropical oceans changed sharply during the latest Katian time, with consequent changes in the extent of the oxygen minimum zone and phytoplankton community composition. Although many impacted species persisted in ephemeral populations, increased extinction risk selectively depleted the diversity of paleotropical graptolite species during the latest Katian and early Hirnantian. The effects of long-term climate change on habitats can thus degrade populations in ways that cascade through communities, with effects that culminate in mass extinction.

  11. Integrated “plume winter” scenario for the double-phased extinction during the Paleozoic-Mesozoic transition: The G-LB and P-TB events from a Panthalassan perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isozaki, Yukio

    2009-11-01

    The event across the Paleozoic-Mesozoic transition involved the greatest mass extinction in history together with other unique geologic phenomena of global context, such as the onset of Pangean rifting and the development of superanoxia. The detailed stratigraphic analyses on the Permo-Triassic sedimentary rocks documented a two-stepped nature both of the extinction and relevant global environmental changes at the Guadalupian-Lopingian (Middle and Upper Permian) boundary (G-LB, ca. 260 Ma) and at the Permo-Triassic boundary (P-TB, ca. 252 Ma), suggesting two independent triggers for the global catastrophe. Despite the entire loss of the Permian-Triassic ocean floors by successive subduction, some fragments of mid-oceanic rocks were accreted to and preserved along active continental margins. These provide particularly important dataset for deciphering the Permo-Triassic paleo-environments of the extensive superocean Panthalassa that occupied nearly two thirds of the Earth's surface. The accreted deep-sea pelagic cherts recorded the double-phased remarkable faunal reorganization in radiolarians (major marine plankton in the Paleozoic) both across the G-LB and the P-TB, and the prolonged deep-sea anoxia (superanoxia) from the Late Permian to early Middle Triassic with a peak around the P-TB. In contrast, the accreted mid-oceanic paleo-atoll carbonates deposited on seamounts recorded clear double-phased changes of fusuline (representative Late Paleozoic shallow marine benthos) diversity and of negative shift of stable carbon isotope ratio at the G-LB and the P-TB, in addition to the Paleozoic minimum in 87Sr/ 86Sr isotope ratio in the Capitanian (Late Guadalupian) and the paleomagnetic Illawarra Reversal in the late Guadalupian. These bio-, chemo-, and magneto-stratigraphical signatures are concordant with those reported from the coeval shallow marine shelf sequences around Pangea. The mid-oceanic, deep- and shallow-water Permian records indicate that significant

  12. 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.

  13. Focus on biodiversity, health and wellbeing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Carolyn; Athias, Renato

    2015-12-01

    In 2012 Environmental Research Letters (ERL) launched a focus series of research papers on the theme of biodiversity, health and well-being. It was the year of the second Rio Summit on Sustainable Development, a huge number of species had been made extinct and conservationists were making increasingly urgent calls for the protection of biodiversity. The situation is ever more critical. Since we started the issue more species have become extinct, and hundreds more have now become critically endangered. The focus issue highlighted the complexity of the links of biodiversity and health, and provides more evidence for the importance to human health of biodiversity on our planet. Research papers contrasted anthropocentric western scientific views of biodiversity and its ecosystem service to humans, with the more horizontal conceptions of indigenous communities in the Amazon—and as many cultures have recognized throughout history, they recognize that we are part of nature: nature does not exist for us.

  14. 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.

  15. Palaeo leaf economics reveal a shift in ecosystem function associated with the end-Triassic mass extinction event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soh, W K; Wright, I J; Bacon, K L; Lenz, T I; Steinthorsdottir, M; Parnell, A C; McElwain, J C

    2017-07-17

    Climate change is likely to have altered the ecological functioning of past ecosystems, and is likely to alter functioning in the future; however, the magnitude and direction of such changes are difficult to predict. Here we use a deep-time case study to evaluate the impact of a well-constrained CO 2 -induced global warming event on the ecological functioning of dominant plant communities. We use leaf mass per area (LMA), a widely used trait in modern plant ecology, to infer the palaeoecological strategy of fossil plant taxa. We show that palaeo-LMA can be inferred from fossil leaf cuticles based on a tight relationship between LMA and cuticle thickness observed among extant gymnosperms. Application of this new palaeo-LMA proxy to fossil gymnosperms from East Greenland reveals significant shifts in the dominant ecological strategies of vegetation found across the Triassic-Jurassic transition. Late Triassic forests, dominated by low-LMA taxa with inferred high transpiration rates and short leaf lifespans, were replaced in the Early Jurassic by forests dominated by high-LMA taxa that were likely to have slower metabolic rates. We suggest that extreme CO 2 -induced global warming selected for taxa with high LMA associated with a stress-tolerant strategy and that adaptive plasticity in leaf functional traits such as LMA contributed to post-warming ecological success.

  16. 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!

  17. Reclaiming Hope in Extinction Storytelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Patrice

    2017-07-01

    Critics often take conservationists to task for delivering a constant barrage of bad news without offering a compelling vision of the future. Could recent advances in synthetic biology-an optimistic, forward-looking field with a can-do attitude-let conservationists develop a new vision and generate some better news? Synthetic biology and related gene-editing applications could be used to address threats to species. Genetic interventions might also be used in plants to better protect biodiversity in U.S. rangelands and forests. One possibility has stood out in its ability to capture media attention and the public imagination-recreating extinct species. And perhaps a de-extinction story could counter the seemingly relentless negativity in biodiversity talk. De-extinction proponent Stewart Brand writes that resurrecting species could shift the "conservation story … from negative to positive, from constant whining and guilt-tripping to high fives and new excitement." So, why do many people in conservation oppose the de-extinction narrative? This essay is an inquiry into whether there are intrinsic social reactions to these types of conservation solutions that might offset their potential benefits. If genetic tools are to be applied to address conservation issues in a realistic and responsible way, their broader social-cultural implications deserve far more attention than they have so far received. © 2017 The Hastings Center.

  18. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Walpole, Matt; Collen, Ben; Van Strien, Arco; Scharlemann, Jorn P.W.; Almond, Rosamunde E.A.; Baillie, Jonathan E.M.; Bomhard, Bastian; Brown, Claire; Bruno, John; Carpenter, Kent E.; Carr, Genevieve M.; Chanson, Janice; Chenery, Anna M.; Csirke, Jorge; Davidson, Nick C.; Dentener, Frank; Foster, Matt; Galli, Alessandro; Galloway, James N.; Genovesi, Piero; Gregory, Richard D.; Hockings, Marc; Kapos, Valerie; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Leverington, Fiona; Loh, Jonathan; McGeoch, Melodie A.; McRae, Louise; Minasyan, Anahit; Morcillo, Monica Hernandez; Oldfield, Thomasina E.E.; Pauly, Daniel; Quader, Suhel; Revenga, Carmen; Sauer, John R.; Skolnik, Benjamin; Spear, Dian; Stanwell-Smith, Damon; Stuart, Simon N.; Symes, Andy; Tierney, Megan; Tyrrell, Tristan D.; Vie, Jean-Christophe; Watson, Reg

    2011-01-01

    In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species' population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.

  19. The terminal cretaceous extinction event

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.A.J. Ryke

    1988-03-01

    Full Text Available Die oorsake van massauitsterwings in die geologiese verlede bly nog 'n fassinerende onderwerp vir bespreking. Die moontlikheid van katastrofiese ekstraterrestriële oorsake word tans nog druk bespreek en wissel van supernova tot die wyd gepubliseerde asteroiedimpakteorie van Alvarez en medewerkers wat op die aanwesigheid van groot hoeveelhede iridium op die grens tussen Kryt en Tersiêr gebaseer is. So 'n impak kon moontlik 'n wêreldwye vuur en gevolglike as tot gevolg gehad het wat die son se strale gekeer en 'n sogenaamde kernw inter veroorsaak het; die moontlikheid van suurreën is ook nie uitgesluit nie. Baie outeurs verw erp egter die ekstraterrestriële teorie en meen dat m assauitsterw ings aan verskillende terrestriële oorsake toegeskryf kan word. Moontlikhede is die verlaging van watertem peratuur in oseane, die teru gtrekkin g van die see sodat tussengetydiere aan droë toestande blootgestel word, die oorstroming van die land deur seewater en geofisiese aktiwiteite van die aarde. Die idee dat baie diergroepe, soos die d inosouriërs, nie skielik uitgesterf het nie, maar geleidelik, het ook heelwat aanhangers. Biotiese faktore soos siektes of die akkum ulering van letale gene kon w aarskynlik slegs 'n rol in agtergronduitsterw ing gespeel het, maar kon nie m assauitsterwings veroorsaak het nie. Groot veranderinge in ekostelsels kon egter wel tot m assauitsterw ings gelei het. Soos belangstelling in m assauitsterwing gedurende die laaste aantal jare toegeneem het, is daar baie gegewens vir die meeste uitsterw ingsgebeure versam el. Een belangrike onbeantwoorde vraag is of die sogenaamde katastrofiese gebeure - soos di teen die einde van dieKrytperiode - sowel kwalitatief as kwantitatief van die talle ander kleinskaalse uitsterw ingsgebeure verskil. 'n Aspek wat almal nog dronkslaan is die selektiwiteit ten opsigte van groepe wat tydens sekere periodes uitsterf. Die oorsake van massauitsterwings is w aarskynlik 'n sameloop van Koers 53(21988

  20. 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....... 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. Recent extinctions disturb path to equilibrium diversity in Caribbean bats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valente, Luis; Etienne, Rampal S.; Davalos, Liliana M.

    2017-01-01

    Islands are ideal systems to model temporal changes in biodiversity and reveal the influence of humans on natural communities. Although theory predicts biodiversity on islands tends towards an equilibrium value, the recent extinction of large proportions of island biotas complicates testing this

  3. Diversity, Biodiversity, Conservation, and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joao Carlos Marques

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The concepts of diversity and biodiversity are analysed regarding their historical emergence, and their intrinsic meaning and differences are discussed. Through a brief synopsis, difficulties usually experienced by statisticians in capturing the dynamics of diversity are analysed and main problems identified. The shift from diversity to the more holistic biodiversity as a working concept is appraised in terms of the novelty involved. Through a number of examples, the way the two concepts capture natural cyclic changes is analysed, and their reciprocal and complementary relations are approached theoretically. The way diversity could develop from the stores of biodiversity as its active expression through selective and evolutionary processes is described. Through the use of a very simple dynamic model, the concepts of diversity and biodiversity are analysed in extremely opposite hypothetical scenarios. Comparisons with natural situations are made and the theoretical implications from the conservation point of view are discussed. These support the opinion that conservation undertaken in restricted and protected areas is not self-sustainable, needing permanent external intervention to regulate internal processes, and in the long run will most probably lead in the direction of obsolescence and extinction. Finally, the relations between diversity, biodiversity, and sustainability are approached. The vagueness of the sustainability concept is discussed. Preservation of biodiversity is then defended as one of the best available indicators to assist us in fixing boundaries which may help to provide a more precise definition of sustainability.

  4. 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.

  5. Planetary Scale Events

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Biodiversity through time: where, what and why? Geodynamic Earth: plate movements and niche enhancement/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: ...

  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. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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 ≥...

  10. Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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 ...

  14. Teaching Biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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. Resonance – Journal of Science Education. Current Issue : Vol. 23, Issue 2 · Current Issue

  15. 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

  16. Biodiversity Conservation in Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Dale Squires

    2014-01-01

    Asian's remarkable economic growth brought many benefits but also fuelled threats to its ecosystems and biodiversity. Economic growth brings biodiversity threats but also conservation opportunities. Continued biodiversity loss is inevitable, but the types, areas and rates of biodiversity loss are not. Prioritising biodiversity conservation, tempered by what is tractable, remains a high priority. Policy and market distortions and failures significantly underprice biodiversity, undermine ecosys...

  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. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. Predicting extinction debt from community patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitzes, Justin; Harte, John

    2015-08-01

    A significant challenge in both measuring and predicting species extinction rates at global and local scales is the possibility of extinction debt, time-delayed extinctions that occur gradually following an initial impact. Here we examine how relative abundance distributions and spatial aggregation combine to influence the likely magnitude of future extinction debt following habitat loss or climate-driven range contraction. Our analysis is based on several fundamental premises regarding abundance distributions, most importantly that species abundances immediately following habitat loss are a sample from an initial relative abundance distribution and that the long-term, steady-state form of the species abundance distribution is a property of the biology of a community and not of area. Under these two hypotheses, the results show that communities following canonical lognormal and broken-stick abundance distributions are prone to exhibit extinction debt, especially when species exhibit low spatial aggregation. Conversely, communities following a logseries distribution with a constant Fisher's α parameter never demonstrate extinction debt and often show an "immigration credit," in which species richness rises in the long term following an initial decrease. An illustration of these findings in 25 biodiversity hotspots suggests a negligible immediate extinction rate for bird communities and eventual extinction debts of 30-50% of initial species richness, whereas plant communities are predicted to immediately lose 5-15% of species without subsequent extinction debt. These results shed light on the basic determinants of extinction debt and provide initial indications of the magnitude of likely debts in landscapes where few empirical data are available.

  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. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.)

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Biodiversity, globalisation and poverty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olorode, Omotoye

    2007-06-10

    The erosion of the stock of biodiversity on earth developed historically with the so-called voyages of discovery (and their antecedents), colonial conquests and the accompanying movements of natural products and peoples, i.e. movements of populations and genetic materials. These events happened with the development of technology and the so-called conquest, by man, of his environment and the appertaining development of specialization not only in industry but also in agriculture and environmental management. The development of specialization resulted in the homogenization of processes, products, inputs and input industries; this increased homogenization had the corollary of arrested heterogeneity across the board; what they call globalization is part of this process. The efficiency of homogenization, however, engendered new problems of fragility of human environment and of production and social relations and processes. The effects of this complex situation, in general terms and in terms of biodiversity in particular, have been more devastating for the more vulnerable regions, classes of people, and peoples of the world. A continuous rethinking of the epistemology and the social and political bases of existing policies on environment in general, and of biodiversity conservation in particular, has become imperative.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Community stability and selective extinction during the Permian-Triassic mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roopnarine, Peter D; Angielczyk, Kenneth D

    2015-10-02

    The fossil record contains exemplars of extreme biodiversity crises. Here, we examined the stability of terrestrial paleocommunities from South Africa during Earth's most severe mass extinction, the Permian-Triassic. We show that stability depended critically on functional diversity and patterns of guild interaction, regardless of species richness. Paleocommunities exhibited less transient instability—relative to model communities with alternative community organization—and significantly greater probabilities of being locally stable during the mass extinction. Functional patterns that have evolved during an ecosystem's history support significantly more stable communities than hypothetical alternatives. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  14. Global change and biodiversity loss: Some impediments to response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borza, Karen; Jamieson, Dale

    1991-01-01

    Discussed here are the effects of anthropogenic global climate change on biodiversity. The focus is on human responses to the problem. Greenhouse warming-induced climate change may shift agricultural growing belts, reduce forests of the Northern Hemisphere and drive many species to extinction, among other effects. If these changes occur together with the mass extinctions already occurring, we may suffer a profound loss of biological diversity.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Disease and the dynamics of extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCallum, Hamish

    2012-10-19

    Invading infectious diseases can, in theory, lead to the extinction of host populations, particularly if reservoir species are present or if disease transmission is frequency-dependent. The number of historic or prehistoric extinctions that can unequivocally be attributed to infectious disease is relatively small, but gathering firm evidence in retrospect is extremely difficult. Amphibian chytridiomycosis and Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) are two very different infectious diseases that are currently threatening to cause extinctions in Australia. These provide an unusual opportunity to investigate the processes of disease-induced extinction and possible management strategies. Both diseases are apparently recent in origin. Tasmanian DFTD is entirely host-specific but potentially able to cause extinction because transmission depends weakly, if at all, on host density. Amphibian chytridiomycosis has a broad host range but is highly pathogenic only to some populations of some species. At present, both diseases can only be managed by attempting to isolate individuals or populations from disease. Management options to accelerate the process of evolution of host resistance or tolerance are being investigated in both cases. Anthropogenic changes including movement of diseases and hosts, habitat destruction and fragmentation and climate change are likely to increase emerging disease threats to biodiversity and it is critical to further develop strategies to manage these threats.

  4. 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?

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Ahumada, J.A.; O’Brien, Timothy; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Boekee, Kelly; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Eichberg, David; Espinosa, Santiago; Fegraus, Eric; Fletcher, Christine; Jansen, P.A.

    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

  6. Some aspects of socio-economic activities that affect biodiversity of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Some aspects of socio-economic activities that affect biodiversity of coastal wetlands in Lagos State, Nigeria. ... Shore erosion, fish depletion, water pollution, extinction of wetland dependent animals and Biodiversity and productivity of this wetland will continue to decline and eventually destroyed. Keywords: Socio ...

  7. 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

  8. When and how did the terrestrial mid-Permian mass extinction occur? Evidence from the tetrapod record of the Karoo Basin, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Michael O; Ramezani, Jahandar; Bowring, Samuel A; Sadler, Peter M; Erwin, Douglas H; Abdala, Fernando; Rubidge, Bruce S

    2015-07-22

    A mid-Permian (Guadalupian epoch) extinction event at approximately 260 Ma has been mooted for two decades. This is based primarily on invertebrate biostratigraphy of Guadalupian-Lopingian marine carbonate platforms in southern China, which are temporally constrained by correlation to the associated Emeishan Large Igneous Province (LIP). Despite attempts to identify a similar biodiversity crisis in the terrestrial realm, the low resolution of mid-Permian tetrapod biostratigraphy and a lack of robust geochronological constraints have until now hampered both the correlation and quantification of terrestrial extinctions. Here we present an extensive compilation of tetrapod-stratigraphic data analysed by the constrained optimization (CONOP) algorithm that reveals a significant extinction event among tetrapods within the lower Beaufort Group of the Karoo Basin, South Africa, in the latest Capitanian. Our fossil dataset reveals a 74-80% loss of generic richness between the upper Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone (AZ) and the mid-Pristerognathus AZ that is temporally constrained by a U-Pb zircon date (CA-TIMS method) of 260.259 ± 0.081 Ma from a tuff near the top of the Tapinocephalus AZ. This strengthens the biochronology of the Permian Beaufort Group and supports the existence of a mid-Permian mass extinction event on land near the end of the Guadalupian. Our results permit a temporal association between the extinction of dinocephalian therapsids and the LIP volcanism at Emeishan, as well as the marine end-Guadalupian extinctions. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. Livestock biodiversity and sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, I.

    2011-01-01

    Sustainable development equally includes environmental protection including biodiversity, economic growth and social equity, both within and between generations. The paper first reviews different aspects related to the sustainable use of livestock biodiversity and property regimes that influence

  12. 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)

  13. Biodiversity in the Marketplace

    OpenAIRE

    Geoffrey Heal

    2000-01-01

    What is the nature of biodiversity as an economic commodity and why does it matter? How would its conservation contribute economically to our well-being? In this article, Geoffrey Heal considers three issues: Why is biodiversity important from an economic perspective? What kind of commodity is it? Does our usual economic mechanism, the market system, have the capacity to appreciate the economic value of biodiversity? The author first tries to characterize biodiversity from an economic perspec...

  14. Paradoxes in Biodiversity Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    David Pearce

    2005-01-01

    Biodiversity is important for human wellbeing, but it is declining. Measures to conserve biodiversity are essential but may be a waste of effort if several paradoxes are not addressed. The highest levels of diversity are in nations least able to practise effective conservation. The flow of funds to international biodiversity conservation appears trivial when compared to the scale of biodiversity loss. International agreements may not actually protect or conserve more than what would have been...

  15. Rio+20, biodiversity marginalized

    OpenAIRE

    Carrière, Stéphanie M.; Rodary, Estienne; Méral, Philippe; Serpantié, Georges; Boisvert, Valérie; Kull, C.A.; Lestrelin, Guillaume; Lhoutellier, Louise; Moizo, Bernard; Smektala, G.; Vandevelde, Jean-Christophe

    2013-01-01

    At the Rio+20 Conference (June 2012), the biodiversity conservation agenda was subsumed into broader environmental issues like sustainable development, “green economy,” and climate change. This shoehorning of biodiversity issues is concomitant with a trend toward market-based instruments and toward standardized biodiversity assessment and monitoring. This article raises concern that these trends can marginalize important and specific aspects of biodiversity governance, including other policy ...

  16. 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.

  17. Biodiversity loss decreases parasite diversity: theory and patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D

    2012-10-19

    Past models have suggested host-parasite coextinction could lead to linear, or concave down relationships between free-living species richness and parasite richness. I explored several models for the relationship between parasite richness and biodiversity loss. Life cycle complexity, low generality of parasites and sensitivity of hosts reduced the robustness of parasite species to the loss of free-living species diversity. Food-web complexity and the ordering of extinctions altered these relationships in unpredictable ways. Each disassembly of a food web resulted in a unique relationship between parasite richness and the richness of free-living species, because the extinction trajectory of parasites was sensitive to the order of extinctions of free-living species. However, the average of many disassemblies tended to approximate an analytical model. Parasites of specialist hosts and hosts higher on food chains were more likely to go extinct in food-web models. Furthermore, correlated extinctions between hosts and parasites (e.g. if parasites share a host with a specialist predator) led to steeper declines in parasite richness with biodiversity loss. In empirical food webs with random removals of free-living species, the relationship between free-living species richness and parasite richness was, on average, quasi-linear, suggesting biodiversity loss reduces parasite diversity more than previously thought.

  18. 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.

  19. Biodiversity and globalization

    OpenAIRE

    Heal, Geoffrey

    2002-01-01

    Reduction of the earth’s biodiversity as a result of human activities is a matter of great concern to prominent scientists. What are the economic aspects of this loss? In economic terms, what is biodiversity and why might it matter? And is the loss of biodiversity in any way connected with globalization of the economy?

  20. Knowing Agricultural Biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Mulvany, P.

    2001-01-01

    The term "agricultural biodiversity" is relatively recent, perhaps post-CBD. Although, the specific nature of the biodiversity used by people was recognised for a long time, the overwhelming emphasis in the CBD was on general biodiversity, mainly 'wild' flora and fauna that inhabit this fragile biosphere in which people also live.

  1. A comprehensive quantitative assessment of bird extinction risk in Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathália Machado

    Full Text Available In an effort to avoid species loss, scientists have focused their efforts on the mechanisms making some species more prone to extinction than others. However, species show different responses to threats given their evolutionary history, behavior, and intrinsic biological features. We used bird biological features and external threats to (1 understand the multiple pathways driving Brazilian bird species to extinction, (2 to investigate if and how extinction risk is geographically structured, and (3 to quantify how much diversity is currently represented inside protected areas. We modeled the extinction risk of 1557 birds using classification trees and evaluated the relative contribution of each biological feature and external threat in predicting extinction risk. We also quantified the proportion of species and their geographic range currently protected by the network of Brazilian protected areas. The optimal classification tree showed different pathways to bird extinction. Habitat conversion was the most important predictor driving extinction risk though other variables, such as geographic range size, type of habitat, hunting or trapping and trophic guild, were also relevant in our models. Species under higher extinction risk were concentrated mainly in the Cerrado Biodiversity Hotspot and were not quite represented inside protected areas, neither in richness nor range. Predictive models could assist conservation actions, and this study could contribute by highlighting the importance of natural history and ecology in these actions.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. End Ordovician extinctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harper, David Alexander Taylor; Hammarlund, Emma U.; Rasmussen, Christian Mac Ørum

    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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The Age of Extinction

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    the fossil fuels. In this book one can find striking examples of the loss of biodiversity due to the reasons mentioned above. In spite of the fact that many factors are affecting the biodiversity of the planet, climate change has an effect which will dwarf the other possible reasons for the elimination of many of the species on Earth.

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. The value of biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

    2011-01-01

    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,...

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Ecological and evolutionary legacy of megafauna extinctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galetti, Mauro; Moleón, Marcos; Jordano, Pedro; Pires, Mathias M; Guimarães, Paulo R; Pape, Thomas; Nichols, Elizabeth; Hansen, Dennis; Olesen, Jens M; Munk, Michael; de Mattos, Jacqueline S; Schweiger, Andreas H; Owen-Smith, Norman; Johnson, Christopher N; Marquis, Robert J; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-10-09

    For hundreds of millions of years, large vertebrates (megafauna) have inhabited most of the ecosystems on our planet. During the late Quaternary, notably during the Late Pleistocene and the early Holocene, Earth experienced a rapid extinction of large, terrestrial vertebrates. While much attention has been paid to understanding the causes of this massive megafauna extinction, less attention has been given to understanding the impacts of loss of megafauna on other organisms with whom they interacted. In this review, we discuss how the loss of megafauna disrupted and reshaped ecological interactions, and explore the ecological consequences of the ongoing decline of large vertebrates. Numerous late Quaternary extinct species of predators, parasites, commensals and mutualistic partners were associated with megafauna and were probably lost due to their strict dependence upon them (co-extinctions). Moreover, many extant species have megafauna-adapted traits that provided evolutionary benefits under past megafauna-rich conditions, but are now of no or limited use (anachronisms). Morphological evolution and behavioural changes allowed some of these species partially to overcome the absence of megafauna. Although the extinction of megafauna led to a number of co-extinction events, several species that likely co-evolved with megafauna established new interactions with humans and their domestic animals. Species that were highly specialized in interactions with megafauna, such as large predators, specialized parasites, and large commensalists (e.g. scavengers, dung beetles), and could not adapt to new hosts or prey were more likely to die out. Partners that were less megafauna dependent persisted because of behavioural plasticity or by shifting their dependency to humans via domestication, facilitation or pathogen spill-over, or through interactions with domestic megafauna. We argue that the ongoing extinction of the extant megafauna in the Anthropocene will catalyse another

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Taking Stock of Biodiversity to Stem Its Rapid Decline

    OpenAIRE

    Butchart, Stuart H. M; Stattersfield, Alison J; Bennun, Leon A; Shutes, Sue M; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Baillie, Jonathan E. M; Stuart, Simon N; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Mace, Georgina M

    2004-01-01

    The rapid destruction of the planet's biodiversity has prompted the nations of the world to set a target of achieving a significant reduction in the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010. However, we do not yet have an adequate way of monitoring progress towards achieving this target. Here we present a method for producing indices based on the IUCN Red List to chart the overall threat status (projected relative extinction risk) of all the world's bird species from 1988 to 2004. Red List Indice...

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-05-19

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Viable Cell Culture Banking for Biodiversity Characterization and Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryder, Oliver A; Onuma, Manabu

    2018-02-15

    Because living cells can be saved for indefinite periods, unprecedented opportunities for characterizing, cataloging, and conserving biological diversity have emerged as advanced cellular and genetic technologies portend new options for preventing species extinction. Crucial to realizing the potential impacts of stem cells and assisted reproductive technologies on biodiversity conservation is the cryobanking of viable cell cultures from diverse species, especially those identified as vulnerable to extinction in the near future. The advent of in vitro cell culture and cryobanking is reviewed here in the context of biodiversity collections of viable cell cultures that represent the progress and limitations of current efforts. The prospects for incorporating collections of frozen viable cell cultures into efforts to characterize the genetic changes that have produced the diversity of species on Earth and contribute to new initiatives in conservation argue strongly for a global network of facilities for establishing and cryobanking collections of viable cells.

  15. Environmental determinants of extinction selectivity in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Shanan E

    2008-07-31

    The causes of mass extinctions and the nature of biological selectivity during extinction events remain central questions in palaeobiology. Although many different environmental perturbations have been invoked as extinction mechanisms, it has long been recognized that fluctuations in sea level coincide with many episodes of biotic turnover. Recent work supports the hypothesis that changes in the areas of epicontinental seas have influenced the macroevolution of marine animals, but the extent to which differential environmental turnover has contributed to extinction selectivity remains unknown. Here I use a new compilation of the temporal durations of sedimentary rock packages to show that carbonate and terrigenous clastic marine shelf environments have different spatio-temporal dynamics and that these dynamics predict patterns of genus-level extinction, extinction selectivity and diversity among Sepkoski's Palaeozoic and modern evolutionary faunae. These results do not preclude a role for biological interactions or unusual physical events as drivers of macroevolution, but they do suggest that the turnover of marine shelf habitats and correlated environmental changes have been consistent determinants of extinction, extinction selectivity and the shifting composition of the marine biota during the Phanerozoic eon.

  16. Environmental sustainability model and biodiversity preservation in Central Rhodopes

    OpenAIRE

    Zlatka Grigorova; Ekaterina Arabska

    2013-01-01

    The paper examines the significance, opportunities and ways of biodiversity preservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the central region of the mountain of Rhodopes in Bulgaria. The proposed integrated model of recommendations embraces the following issues: preservation of rare, in danger of extinction and protected plant and animal species and their habitats; implementation of approved environmentally friendly practices in plant growing and animal husbandry; sustainable use...

  17. Threats to Biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Edward O.

    1989-01-01

    Discusses the extinction of biological wealth due to deforestation. Describes the historical trend of biological diversity and the importance of tropical forests. Lists five references for further reading. (YP)

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Business and biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    - a challenge that needs to be shared between conservationists, green organisations, public authorities, as well as the private sector. A new wave of green initiatives has emerged within the culture of business and marketing. The reasons for why businesses should engage in environmental actions are many......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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Marine biodiversity characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boeuf, Gilles

    2011-05-01

    Oceans contain the largest living volume of the "blue" planet, inhabited by approximately 235-250,000 described species, all groups included. They only represent some 13% of the known species on the Earth, but the marine biomasses are really huge. Marine phytoplankton alone represents half the production of organic matter on Earth while marine bacteria represent more than 10%. Life first appeared in the oceans more than 3.8 billion years ago and several determining events took place that changed the course of life, ranging from the development of the cell nucleus to sexual reproduction going through multi-cellular organisms and the capture of organelles. Of the 31 animal phyla currently listed, 12 are exclusively marine phyla and have never left the ocean. An interesting question is to try to understand why there are so few marine species versus land species? This pattern of distribution seems pretty recent in the course of Evolution. From an exclusively marine world, since the beginning until 440 million years ago, land number of species much increased 110 million years ago. Specific diversity and ancestral roles, in addition to organizational models and original behaviors, have made marine organisms excellent reservoirs for identifying and extracting molecules (>15,000 today) with pharmacological potential. They also make particularly relevant models for both fundamental and applied research. Some marine models have been the source of essential discoveries in life sciences. From this diversity, the ocean provides humankind with renewable resources, which are highly threatened today and need more adequate management to preserve ocean habitats, stocks and biodiversity. Copyright © 2011 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. The Age of Extinction

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 20; Issue 8. The Age of Extinction. Prasanna Venkhatesh V. Book Review Volume 20 Issue 8 August 2015 pp 748-750. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/020/08/0748-0750. Author Affiliations.

  7. 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.

  8. A scale of greatness and causal classification of mass extinctions: implications for mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengör, A M Celâl; Atayman, Saniye; Ozeren, Sinan

    2008-09-16

    A quantitative scale for measuring greatness, G, of mass extinctions is proposed on the basis of rate of biodiversity diminution expressed as the product of the loss of biodiversity, called magnitude (M), and the inverse of time in which that loss occurs, designated as intensity (I). On this scale, the catastrophic Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction appears as the greatest since the Ordovician and the only one with a probable extraterrestrial cause. The end-Permian extinction was less great but with a large magnitude (M) and smaller intensity (I); only some of its individual episodes involved some semblance of catastrophe. Other extinctions during the Phanerozoic, with the possible exception of the end-Silurian diversity plunge, were parts of a forced oscillatory phenomenon and seem caused by marine- and land-habitat destruction during continental assemblies that led to elimination of shelves and (after the Devonian) rain forests and enlargement of deserts. Glaciations and orogenies that shortened and thickened the continental crust only exacerbated these effects. During the Mesozoic and Cainozoic, the evolution of life was linearly progressive, interrupted catastrophically only at the K-T boundary. The end-Triassic extinction was more like the Paleozoic extinctions in nature and probably also in its cause. By contrast, the current extinction resembles none of the earlier ones and may end up being the greatest of all.

  9. 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.

  10. Middle-Late Permian mass extinction on land

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Retallack, G.J.; Metzger, C.A.; Greaver, T.; Jahren, A.H.; Smith, R.M.H.; Sheldon, N.D. [University of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States). Dept. of Geological Science

    2006-11-15

    The end-Permian mass extinction has been envisaged as the nadir of biodiversity decline due to increasing volcanic gas emissions over some 9 million years. We propose a different tempo and mechanism of extinction because we recognize two separate but geologically abrupt mass extinctions on land, one terminating the Middle Permian (Guadalupian) at 260.4 Ma and a later one ending the Permian Period at 251 Ma. Our evidence comes from new paleobotanical, paleopedological, and carbon isotopic studies of Portal Mountain, Antarctica, and comparable studies in the Karoo Basin, South Africa. Extinctions have long been apparent among marine invertebrates at both the end of the Guadalupian and end of the Permian, which were also times of warm-wet greenhouse climatic transients, marked soil erosion, transition from high- to low-sinuosity and braided streams, soil stagnation in wetlands, and profound negative carbon isotope anomalies. Both mass extinctions may have resulted from catastrophic methane outbursts to the atmosphere from coal intruded by feeder dikes to flood basalts, such as the end-Guadalupian Emeishan Basalt and end-Permian Siberian Traps.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. The Moral Imagination of De-extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Bruce

    2017-07-01

    We live amidst the sixth great extinction of life on Earth, and we live under the sign of molecular biology and biotechnology. An ethical maxim that is well-nigh universally acknowledged holds that with great power comes great moral responsibility. For those who accept the science and embrace the responsibility, there are two rather different kinds of moral vision and moral imagination at work. Detractors of biotechnology say that we should see ourselves as creaturely good citizens of the biotic community, accepting and accommodating what evolutionary natural selection has bequeathed to us, warts and all. Boosters of biotechnology say that we should see ourselves as its sovereigns, fashioning better forms of synthetic life and genetically driving evolution in better ways through anthropogenic selection. Faced with biodiversity loss, technology boosters, or eco-modernists, tend to respond by upping the ante on technology in hopes of increasing the benefits and lessening the impact of human relations with nature. The detractors, or eco-communitarians, respond by seeking to restructure the relationship between humans and nature by lowering the profile of human power so as to hear the voice of nonhuman being and better attune ourselves to it. Undergirding both of these moral visions is atonement. As a way of providing atonement, however, de-extinction fails. © 2017 The Hastings Center.

  17. 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

    2012-11-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. A Bigger Toolbox: Biotechnology in Biodiversity Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corlett, Richard T

    2017-01-01

    Conservation biology needs a bigger toolbox to meet unprecedented challenges. Genomics, fueled by declining sequencing costs, offers novel tools with increased precision for genetic questions previously answered with a few molecular markers, as well as completely new possibilities. Metabarcoding promises quicker, cheaper, and more accurate assessments of biodiversity in groups that are difficult to assess by traditional methods, while sequencing low-quality DNA extends the range of useable materials to include museum specimens, archeological remains, and environmental samples. Genomic and transcriptomic data can be used to assess the potential of populations to adapt to new challenges. In the near future, gene-editing tools may help endangered species cope with change, while gene drives control unwanted species and help wanted ones. De-extinction has become a serious prospect. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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,...

  9. Biodiversity and the lexicon zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    B.G. Marcot

    2007-01-01

    Ecologists and natural resource managers struggle to define and relate biodiversity, biocomplexity, ecological integrity, ecosystem services, and related concepts; to describe effects of disturbance dynamics on biodiversity; and to understand how biodiversity relates to resilience, resistance, and stability of ecosystems and sustainability of resource conditions. To...

  10. 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....

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. Extinction and spontaneous recovery of spatial behavior in pigeons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leising, Kenneth J; Wong, Jared; Blaisdell, Aaron P

    2015-10-01

    We investigated extinction and spontaneous recovery of spatial associations using a landmark-based appetitive search task in a touchscreen preparation with pigeons. Four visual landmarks (A, B, C, and D) were separately established as signals of a hidden reinforced target among an 8 × 7 array of potential target locations. The target was located above landmarks (LM) A and C and below B and D. After conditioning, A and B were extinguished. Responding to A and C was assessed on probe tests 2 days following extinction, whereas, B and D were tested 14 days after extinction. We observed spontaneous recovery from spatial extinction following a 14-day, but not a 2-day, postextinction retention interval. Furthermore, by plotting the spatial distribution of responding across the X and Y axes during testing, we found that spontaneous recovery of responding to the target in our task was due to enhanced spatial control (i.e., a change in the overall distribution of responses) following the long delay to testing. These results add spatial extinction and spontaneous recovery to the list of findings supporting the assertion that extinction involves new learning that attenuates the originally acquired response, and that original learning of the spatial relationship between paired events survives extinction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. 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 (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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.)

  20. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2012-12-01

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is marked by a major mass extinction, yet this event is thought to have had little effect on the diversity of lizards and snakes (Squamata). A revision of fossil squamates from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of North America shows that lizards and snakes suffered a devastating mass extinction coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Species-level extinction was 83%, and the K-Pg event resulted in the elimination of many lizard groups and a dramatic decrease in morphological disparity. Survival was associated with small body size and perhaps large geographic range. The recovery was prolonged; diversity did not approach Cretaceous levels until 10 My after the extinction, and resulted in a dramatic change in faunal composition. The squamate fossil record shows that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was far more severe than previously believed, and underscores the role played by mass extinctions in driving diversification.

  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. Educating for preserving biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Méndez, I. E.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The notion of “culture of diversity” is presented in a new dimension. “That of educating for preserving biodiversity” is advanced together with its main challenges. The need of educating the masses for preserving biodiversity is perhaps the most outstanding to be faced, particularly if pedagogic requirements and the diversity of population is to be met. Likewise, it should help to put individuals in contact with the many elements conforming biodiversity and lead them to recognize its value ethically and esthetically. The research presents the framework for designing educating programs enhancing the genetic level, the ecosystem and the qualitative dimension and including materials and energy flood and its meaning for the homeostasis and autopoiesis of the system, together with its interactions with other components for achieving an equilibrium and stability. The importance of the natural evolution tendency is highlighted.

  3. 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...... appeal. However, some studies have found birds to perform relatively poorly as indicators. We therefore ask how the effectiveness of this approach can be improved by supplementing data on birds with information on other taxa. 2. Here, we explore two strategies using (i) species data for other taxa...... and (ii) genus- and family-level data for invertebrates (when available). We used three distinct species data sets for sub-Saharan Africa, Denmark and Uganda, which cover different spatial scales, biogeographic regions and taxa (vertebrates, invertebrates and plants). 3. We found that networks of priority...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. The value of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, C J R

    2008-11-01

    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.

  8. High-throughput biodiversity analysis: Rapid assessment of species richness and ecological interactions of Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) in the tropics

    OpenAIRE

    Gomez-Zurita,Jesus; Cardoso,Anabela; Coronado,Indiana; De la Cadena,Gissela; Jurado-Rivera,José A.; Maes,Jean-Michel; Montelongo,Tinguaro; Nguyen,Dinh; Papadopoulou,Anna

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Biodiversity assessment has been the focus of intense debate and conceptual and methodological advances in recent years. The cultural, academic and aesthetic impulses to recognise and catalogue the diversity in our surroundings, in this case of living objects, is furthermore propelled by the urgency of understanding that we may be responsible for a dramatic reduction of biodiversity, comparable in magnitude to geological mass extinctions. One of the most important advances in this at...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. On the decline of biodiversity due to area loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keil, Petr; Storch, David; Jetz, Walter

    2015-11-17

    Predictions of how different facets of biodiversity decline with habitat loss are broadly needed, yet challenging. Here we provide theory and a global empirical evaluation to address this challenge. We show that extinction estimates based on endemics-area and backward species-area relationships are complementary, and the crucial difference comprises the geometry of area loss. Across three taxa on four continents, the relative loss of species, and of phylogenetic and functional diversity, is highest when habitable area disappears inward from the edge of a region, lower when it disappears from the centre outwards, and lowest when area is lost at random. In inward destruction, species loss is almost proportional to area loss, although the decline in phylogenetic and functional diversity is less severe. These trends are explained by the geometry of species ranges and the shape of phylogenetic and functional trees, which may allow baseline predictions of biodiversity decline for underexplored taxa.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

    The recent increase in liquid biofuel production has stemmed from a desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil, mitigate rising energy prices, promote rural economic development, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The growth of this industry has important implications for biodiversity, the effects of which depend largely on which biofuel feedstocks are being grown and the spatial extent and landscape pattern of land requirements for growing these feedstocks. Current biofuel production occurs largely on croplands that have long been in agricultural production. The additional land area required for future biofuels production can be met in part by reclaiming reserve or abandoned croplands and by extending cropping into lands formerly deemed marginal for agriculture. In the United States, many such marginal lands have been enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), providing important habitat for grassland species. The demand for corn ethanOl has changed agricultural commodity economics dramatically, already contributing to loss of CRP lands as contracts expire and lands are returned to agricultural production. Nevertheless, there are ways in which biofuels can be developed to enhance their coexistence with biodiversity. Landscape heterogeneity can be improved by interspersion of land uses, which is easier around facilities with smaller or more varied feedstock demands. The development of biofuel feedstocks that yield high net energy returns with minimal carbon debts or that do not require additional land for production, such as residues and wastes, should be encouraged. Competing land uses, including both biofuel production and biodiversity protection, should be subjected to comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, so that incentives can be directed where they will do the most good.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. Predicting the consequences of species loss using size-structured biodiversity approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Blanchard, Julia L; Eklöf, Anna; Galiana, Nuria; Hartvig, Martin; R Hirt, Myriam; Kalinkat, Gregor; Nordström, Marie C; O'Gorman, Eoin J; Rall, Björn C; Schneider, Florian D; Thébault, Elisa; Jacob, Ute

    2017-05-01

    Understanding the consequences of species loss in complex ecological communities is one of the great challenges in current biodiversity research. For a long time, this topic has been addressed by traditional biodiversity experiments. Most of these approaches treat species as trait-free, taxonomic units characterizing communities only by species number without accounting for species traits. However, extinctions do not occur at random as there is a clear correlation between extinction risk and species traits. In this review, we assume that large species will be most threatened by extinction and use novel allometric and size-spectrum concepts that include body mass as a primary species trait at the levels of populations and individuals, respectively, to re-assess three classic debates on the relationships between biodiversity and (i) food-web structural complexity, (ii) community dynamic stability, and (iii) ecosystem functioning. Contrasting current expectations, size-structured approaches suggest that the loss of large species, that typically exploit most resource species, may lead to future food webs that are less interwoven and more structured by chains of interactions and compartments. The disruption of natural body-mass distributions maintaining food-web stability may trigger avalanches of secondary extinctions and strong trophic cascades with expected knock-on effects on the functionality of the ecosystems. Therefore, we argue that it is crucial to take into account body size as a species trait when analysing the consequences of biodiversity loss for natural ecosystems. Applying size-structured approaches provides an integrative ecological concept that enables a better understanding of each species' unique role across communities and the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  4. Patterns in Biodiversity: Spatial organisation of biodiversity in the Netherland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, M.A.

    2007-01-01

    A better understanding of biodiversity and its current threats is urgently needed, especially in the Netherlands where high population density, industrialisation, and intensive land-use have radically altered the natural landscape. Often, biodiversity research is seriously hampered by a lack of

  5. The fossil record of evolution: Data on diversification and extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepkoski, J. J., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    Understanding of the evolution of complex life, and of the roles that changing terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments played in life's history, is dependent upon synthetic knowledge of the fossil record. Paleontologists have been describing fossils for more that two centuries. However, much of this information is dispersed in monographs and journal articles published throughout the world. Over the past several years, this literature was surveyed, and a data base on times of origination and extinction of fossil genera was compiled. The data base, which now holds approximately 32,000 genera, covers all taxonomic groups of marine animals, incorporates the most recent taxonomic assignments, and uses a detailed global time framework that can resolve originations and extinctions to intervals averaging three million years in duration. These data can be used to compile patterns of global biodiversity, measure rates of taxic evolution, and test hypotheses concerning adaptive radiations, mass extinctions, etc. Thus far, considerable effort was devoted to using the data to test the hypothesis of periodicity of mass extinction. Rates of extinction measured from the data base have also been used to calibrate models of evolutionary radiations in marine environments. It was observed that new groups, or clades of animals (i.e., orders and classes) tend to reach appreciable diversity first in nearshore environments and then to radiate in more offshore environments; during decline, these clades may disappear from the nearshore while persisting in offshore, deep water habitats. These observations have led to suggestions that there is something special about stressful or perturbed environments that promotes the evolution of novel kinds of animals that can rapidly replace their predecessors. The numerical model that is being investigated to study this phenomenon treats environments along onshore-offshore gradients as if they were discrete habitats. Other aspects of this

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Colloquium paper: dynamics of origination and extinction in the marine fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, John

    2008-08-12

    The discipline-wide effort to database the fossil record at the occurrence level has made it possible to estimate marine invertebrate extinction and origination rates with much greater accuracy. The new data show that two biotic mechanisms have hastened recoveries from mass extinctions and confined diversity to a relatively narrow range over the past 500 million years (Myr). First, a drop in diversity of any size correlates with low extinction rates immediately afterward, so much so that extinction would almost come to a halt if diversity dropped by 90%. Second, very high extinction rates are followed by equally high origination rates. The two relationships predict that the rebound from the current mass extinction will take at least 10 Myr, and perhaps 40 Myr if it rivals the Permo-Triassic catastrophe. Regardless, any large event will result in a dramatic ecological and taxonomic restructuring of the biosphere. The data also confirm that extinction and origination rates both declined through the Phanerozoic and that several extinctions in addition to the Permo-Triassic event were particularly severe. However, the trend may be driven by taxonomic biases and the rates vary in accord with a simple log normal distribution, so there is no sharp distinction between background and mass extinctions. Furthermore, the lack of any significant autocorrelation in the data is inconsistent with macroevolutionary theories of periodicity or self-organized criticality.

  9. 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.

  10. The Extinction of the Conulariids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spencer G. Lucas

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Conulariids are unusual extinct metazoans most often considered to be a group of scyphozoan cnidarians or close relatives. Generally, the temporal range of conulariid fossils is perceived to be late Precambrian or Cambrian to Triassic, though a supposed Cretaceous conulariid from Peru was published 46 years ago. A re-evaluation of this fossil indicates it is not a conulariid, but instead a pinnacean bivalve (Pinna sp., confirming that the geologically youngest conulariids are of Late Triassic age. However, a review of the Triassic conulariid fossil record indicates it is very sparse, with only eight published records. It does not provide a reliable basis for analyzing the structure of conulariid extinction. Nevertheless, conulariid extinction still appears to have taken place very close to the end of the Triassic. The cause of conulariid extinction may have been the onset of the Mesozoic marine revolution, in which durivorous predators developed new mechanisms for preying on the epifaunal benthos, including the conulariids.

  11. Linking soil biodiversity and agricultural soil management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thiele-Bruhn, S.; Bloem, J.; de Vries, F.T.; Kalbitz, K.; Wagg, C.

    2012-01-01

    Soil biodiversity vastly exceeds aboveground biodiversity, and is prerequisite for ecosystem stability and services. This review presents recent findings in soil biodiversity research focused on interrelations with agricultural soil management. Richness and community structure of soil biota depend

  12. 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,…

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

  17. Operationalizing biodiversity for conservation planning

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Biodiversity has acquired such a general meaning that people now find it difficult to pin down a precise sense for planning and policy-making aimed at biodiversity ... Wildlife and Ecology, Tropical Forest Research Centre and the Rainforest Cooperative Research Centre, PO Box 780, Atherton, Queensland, 4883, Australia ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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;…

  20. Extinct New Zealand megafauna were not in decline before human colonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allentoft, Morten Erik; Heller, Rasmus; Oskam, Charlotte L; Lorenzen, Eline D; Hale, Marie L; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Jacomb, Christopher; Holdaway, Richard N; Bunce, Michael

    2014-04-01

    The extinction of New Zealand's moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) followed the arrival of humans in the late 13th century and was the final event of the prehistoric Late Quaternary megafauna extinctions. Determining the state of the moa populations in the pre-extinction period is fundamental to understanding the causes of the event. We sampled 281 moa individuals and combined radiocarbon dating with ancient DNA analyses to help resolve the extinction debate and gain insights into moa biology. The samples, which were predominantly from the last 4,000 years preceding the extinction, represent four sympatric moa species excavated from five adjacent fossil deposits. We characterized the moa assemblage using mitochondrial DNA and nuclear microsatellite markers developed specifically for moa. Although genetic diversity differed significantly among the four species, we found that the millennia preceding the extinction were characterized by a remarkable degree of genetic stability in all species, with no loss of heterozygosity and no shifts in allele frequencies over time. The extinction event itself was too rapid to be manifested in the moa gene pools. Contradicting previous claims of a decline in moa before Polynesian settlement in New Zealand, our findings indicate that the populations were large and stable before suddenly disappearing. This interpretation is supported by approximate Bayesian computation analyses. Our analyses consolidate the disappearance of moa as the most rapid, human-facilitated megafauna extinction documented to date.

  1. European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh (contributor), Paul Henning

    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...... and climate change? The first ever European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity uses informative texts, stunning photographs and maps to answer these questions and other issues. The European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity functions as a comprehensive guide allowing non-specialists to access information about this unseen...... Biodiversity'. Starting with the smallest organisms such as the bacteria, this segment works through a range of taxonomic groups such as fungi, nematodes, insects and macro-fauna to illustrate the astonishing levels of heterogeneity of life in soil. The European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity is more than just...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Is Global Anoxia an Alternative Cause for the Hirnantian Mass Extinction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Weirdt, Julie; Vandenbroucke, Thijs; Emsbo, Poul; McLaughlin, Patrick; Delabroye, Aurélien; Munnecke, Axel; Desrochers, André

    2017-04-01

    Cooling and glacial episodes have long been considered the main driver of Late Ordovician-Silurian (mass) extinction events that coincide with δ13Ccarb excursions. However, emerging evidence for protracted cooling during most of the Ordovician and the misalignment between major regressions and faunal turnovers in the Upper Ordovician, suggests a more complex relation between glaciations and extinctions. Emsbo et al. (2010, GSA Abstracts with Programs) demonstrated dramatic enrichments in redox sensitive metals during the early Wenlock Ireviken extinction event and suggested ocean anoxia as an alternative kill-mechanism. Vandenbroucke et al. (2015, Nature Communications), built on this idea and recorded a similar increase of redox-sensitive metals at the onset of the mid-Pridoli extinction event, coinciding with peak abundances of malformed (teratological) fossil microplankton (acritarchs and chitinozoans). By analogy with metal-induced malformations in modern marine microplankton, teratology might serve as an independent proxy for monitoring changes in the metal concentration of the Palaeozoic ocean. These data from the Ireviken and Pridoli events are the foundation for the hypothesis that many, if not all, of these Late Ordovician-Silurian extinctions are caused by large-scale 'oceanic anoxic events'. Here, we are testing this hypothesis for the most devastating extinction event in this series, the Hirnantian mass extinction. Bulk rock samples spanning the Hirnantian strata of Anticosti Island were geochemically analysed. Our choice of sections is guided by the presence of teratological acritarchs (Delabroye et al., 2012, Rev. Pal. Pal.) that overlap the base of the extinction horizon. Revealing similar results as in our the previous studies, the new XRF data show distinct peaks in redox sensitive metals, supporting ocean anoxia and metal pollution as an important factor in the Hirnantian extinction, if not its fundamental cause.

  5. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariño Arturo H

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

  6. 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

  7. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariño, Arturo H; Chavan, Vishwas; King, Nick

    2011-01-01

    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. 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. 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 nonparticipant 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. The BIP Index could potentially help in (a) identifying countries most likely to contribute to filling gaps in digitized

  8. Splash-like marine biodiversity additions after the cambrian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruban Dmitry A.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Some Phanerozoic biotic radiations in the marine realm led to marine biodiversity additions, i.e., increases in the global number of genera to unprecedented levels. Each of the two alternative biodiversity curves implies five post-Cambrian events of this kind, which coincided with parts of the biotic radiations. However, differences between these curves do not allow to find coherent marine biodiversity additions with the only exception of those occurred at the interval of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification. The attempted interpretations indicate that the marine biodiversity additions increased the number of marine genera by 10-30 % (from the previous unprecedented level to that new. All additions were relatively brief and occurred as splashes throughout the Phanerozoic. Peculiar intrinsic and extrinsic factors, as well as the speed of diversification should be considered when triggers of these events are looked for. Undoubtedly, splash-like marine biodiversity additions played an important role in the evolution of life in the sea, but a lot of research is required in order to understand their true nature.

  9. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    and marine (mass) ex¬tinction. The geographic and temporal extend and the intensity (ferruginous vs. euxinic) of anoxic con¬ditions is, however, strongly debated and not well constraint. This complicates understanding of close coupling between Earth’s physical, chemical and bi¬ological processes. We studied...... 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...

  11. Erasing fear memories with extinction training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quirk, Gregory J; Paré, Denis; Richardson, Rick; Herry, Cyril; Monfils, Marie H; Schiller, Daniela; Vicentic, Aleksandra

    2010-11-10

    Decades of behavioral studies have confirmed that extinction does not erase classically conditioned fear memories. For this reason, research efforts have focused on the mechanisms underlying the development of extinction-induced inhibition within fear circuits. However, recent studies in rodents have uncovered mechanisms that stabilize and destabilize fear memories, opening the possibility that extinction might be used to erase fear memories. This symposium focuses on several of these new developments, which involve the timing of extinction training. Extinction-induced erasure of fear occurs in very young rats, but is lost with the development of perineuronal nets in the amygdala that render fear memories impervious to extinction. Moreover, extinction administered during the reconsolidation phase, when fear memory is destabilized, updates the fear association as safe, thereby preventing the return of fear, in both rats and humans. The use of modified extinction protocols to eliminate fear memories complements existing pharmacological strategies for strengthening extinction.

  12. 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.

  13. Adaptive Management to Protect Biodiversity: Best Available Science and the Endangered Species Act

    OpenAIRE

    Olivia Odom Green; Ahjond S. Garmestani

    2012-01-01

    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 best available science mandate is virtually meaningless and imposes no additional scientific rigor in agency decision making beyond what is normally required of administrative procedures. In this paper, we propose to ...

  14. Five Years of Experimental Warming Increases the Biodiversity and Productivity of Phytoplankton Communities

    OpenAIRE

    Fordham, Damien A.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding, predicting, and mitigating the impacts of climate change on biodiversity poses one of the most crucial challenges this century. Currently, we know more about how future climates are likely to shift across the globe than about how species will respond to these changes. Two recent studies show how mesocosm experiments can hasten understanding of the ecological consequences of climate change on species' extinction risk, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Using a large-s...

  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. Getting the measure of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purvis, A; Hector, A

    2000-05-11

    The term 'biodiversity' is a simple contraction of 'biological diversity', and at first sight the concept is simple too: biodiversity is the sum total of all biotic variation from the level of genes to ecosystems. The challenge comes in measuring such a broad concept in ways that are useful. We show that, although biodiversity can never be fully captured by a single number, study of particular facets has led to rapid, exciting and sometimes alarming discoveries. Phylogenetic and temporal analyses are shedding light on the ecological and evolutionary processes that have shaped current biodiversity. There is no doubt that humans are now destroying this diversity at an alarming rate. A vital question now being tackled is how badly this loss affects ecosystem functioning. Although current research efforts are impressive, they are tiny in comparison to the amount of unknown diversity and the urgency and importance of the task.

  17. 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.

  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. 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...

  20. Interstellar extinction in the infrared

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draine, B.T.

    1989-01-01

    Extinction by insterstellar dust at infrared wavelengths is reviewed. For 0.7 λ proportional to λ -1.75 , although the observational uncertainties remain appreciable. In the 8-30 μ m region interstellar extinction is dominated by the 9.7 μ m and 18 μ m silicate features; the absolute strength (relative to the continuum extinction at shorter wavelengths), the detailed wavelength-dependence of these features, and the possible variation of the profile shape from diffuse clouds to dense clouds, all remain somewhat controversial. In the farinfrared λ > ∼ 30 μ m grain emissivity estimates by different authors vary considerably; future observations of thermal emission from diffuse clouds in the 300 μ m region offer the prospect of substantially reducing uncertainties in far-infrared emissivities

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aerts Raf

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

  6. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Raf; Honnay, Olivier

    2011-11-24

    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

  7. 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

  8. EXTINCTION OF SPECIES BY PERIODIC COMET SHOWERS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davis, M.; Hut, P.; Muller, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    A 26-Myr periodicity has recently been seen in the fossil record of extinction in the geological past. At least two of these extinctions are known to be associated with the impact on the Earth of a comet or asteroid with a diameter of a few kilometres. We propose that the periodic events are triggered by an unseen companion to the Sun, travelling in a moderately eccentric orbit, which at its closest approach (perihelion) passes through the 'Oort cloud' of comets which surrounds the Sun. During each passage this unseen solar companion perturbs the orbits of these comets, sending a large number of them (over 1 x 10{sup 9}) into paths which reach the inner Solar System. Several of these hit the Earth, on average, in the following million years. At present the unseen companion should be approximately at its maximum distance from the Sun, {approx}2.4 light yr, and it will present no danger to the Earth until approximately AD 15,000,000.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. Biodiversity and biosystematic research in a brave new 21st century information-technology world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Anderson

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available A variety of challenges to biodiversity and biosystematics research are discussed. Despite escalating estimates of the biodiversity of the planet, resources being devoted to advance this knowledge have been in decline. Despite the proliferation of information technologies, the focus of knowledge has frequently shifted to making information readily available, rather than generating new information. The principles of authorial responsibility and of explicit documentation of knowledge are under siege. The shortfall of investment in training, research, and collections management (the ''taxonomic deficit'' has lead to a ''taxonomic impediment'' to ecological research, at a time when rates of extinction appear to be rising dramatically. The contents of present volume represent stepping-stones of biodiversity research – a discipline vital to the future of life on the planet.

  16. Habitat destruction and the extinction debt revisited

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loehle, C.

    1996-02-01

    A very important analysis of the problem of habitat destruction concluded that such destruction may lead to an extinction debt, which is the irreversible loss of species following a prolonged transient or delay. An error in interpretation of this model led the authors to apply the results to all types of habitat destruction, but in fact the model applies only to an across-the-board decrease in fecundity, not to disturbances. For repeated, spatially random disturbance, a different model applies. For habitat destruction on regional scales (reduction in ecosystem area without disturbance in remnant areas), one must, in contrast, apply species-area relations based on the distribution of different habitat types (e.g., elevational and rainfall gradients, physiographic and edaphic variability). The error in interpretation of the basic model is presented, followed by clarification of model usage and development of a new model that applies to disturbance events.

  17. 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

    2017-07-13

    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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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)…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  11. The effect of geographic range on extinction risk during background and mass extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Payne, Jonathan L.; Finnegan, Seth

    2007-01-01

    Wide geographic range is generally thought to buffer taxa against extinction, but the strength of this effect has not been investigated for the great majority of the fossil record. Although the majority of genus extinctions have occurred between major mass extinctions, little is known about extinction selectivity regimes during these “background” intervals. Consequently, the question of whether selectivity regimes differ between background and mass extinctions is largely unresolved. Using log...

  12. 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…

  13. 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...... be important habitats and valuable corridors for both common and less common species. At the same time a comprehensive, functional and viable green structure is important for urban populations to whom it serves many functions and offers a whole range of benefits. Urban green structure should serve both...... 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...

  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. 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

  16. Environmental trends in extinction during the Paleozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepkoski, J. John, Jr.

    1987-01-01

    Extinction intensities calculated from 505 Paleozoic marine assemblages divided among six environmental zones and 40 stratigraphic intervals indicate that whole communities exhibit increasing extinction offshore but that genera within individual taxonomic classes tend to have their highest extinction onshore. The offshore trend at the community level results from a concentration of genera in classes with low characteristic extinction rates in nearshore environments. This finding is consistent with the ecologic expectation that organisms inhabiting unpredictably fluctuating environments should suffer more extinction than counterparts living under more predictably equitable conditions.

  17. Measuring temporal trends in biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Buckland, S. T.; Yuan, Y.; Marcon, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Yuan was part-funded by EPSRC/NERC Grant EP/1000917/1 and Marcon by ANR-10-LABX-25-01. In 2002, nearly 200 nations signed up to the 2010 target of the Convention for Biological Diversity, ‘to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010’. In order to assess whether the target was met, it became necessary to quantify temporal trends in measures of diversity. This resulted in a marked shift in focus for biodiversity measurement. We explore the developments in measuring biodiver...

  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. Global late Quaternary megafauna extinctions linked to humans, not climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Sandom, C.; Faurby, S.; Sandel, B.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2014-01-01

    The late Quaternary megafauna extinction was a severe global-scale event. Two factors, climate change and modern humans, have received broad support as the primary drivers, but their absolute and relative importance remains controversial. To date, focus has been on the extinction chronology of individual or small groups of species, specific geographical regions or macroscale studies at very coarse geographical and taxonomic resolution, limiting the possibility of adequately testing the propos...

  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. Global biodiversity monitoring: from data sources to essential biodiversity variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proenca, Vania; Martin, Laura J.; Pereira, Henrique M.; Fernandez, Miguel; McRae, Louise; Belnap, Jayne; Böhm, Monika; Brummitt, Neil; Garcia-Moreno, Jaime; Gregory, Richard D.; Honrado, Joao P; Jürgens, Norbert; Opige, Michael; Schmeller, Dirk S.; Tiago, Patricia; van Sway, Chris A

    2016-01-01

    Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) consolidate information from varied biodiversity observation sources. Here we demonstrate the links between data sources, EBVs and indicators and discuss how different sources of biodiversity observations can be harnessed to inform EBVs. We classify sources of primary observations into four types: extensive and intensive monitoring schemes, ecological field studies and satellite remote sensing. We characterize their geographic, taxonomic and temporal coverage. Ecological field studies and intensive monitoring schemes inform a wide range of EBVs, but the former tend to deliver short-term data, while the geographic coverage of the latter is limited. In contrast, extensive monitoring schemes mostly inform the population abundance EBV, but deliver long-term data across an extensive network of sites. Satellite remote sensing is particularly suited to providing information on ecosystem function and structure EBVs. Biases behind data sources may affect the representativeness of global biodiversity datasets. To improve them, researchers must assess data sources and then develop strategies to compensate for identified gaps. We draw on the population abundance dataset informing the Living Planet Index (LPI) to illustrate the effects of data sources on EBV representativeness. We find that long-term monitoring schemes informing the LPI are still scarce outside of Europe and North America and that ecological field studies play a key role in covering that gap. Achieving representative EBV datasets will depend both on the ability to integrate available data, through data harmonization and modeling efforts, and on the establishment of new monitoring programs to address critical data gaps.

  2. Children prioritize virtual exotic biodiversity over local biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballouard, Jean-Marie; Brischoux, François; Bonnet, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Oceanographic controls on the diversity and extinction of planktonic foraminifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Shanan E; Kelly, Daniel C; Fraass, Andrew J

    2013-01-17

    Understanding the links between long-term biological evolution, the ocean-atmosphere system and plate tectonics is a central goal of Earth science. Although environmental perturbations of many different kinds are known to have affected long-term biological evolution, particularly during major mass extinction events, the relative importance of physical environmental factors versus biological interactions in governing rates of extinction and origination through geological time remains unknown. Here we use macrostratigraphic data from the Atlantic Ocean basin to show that changes in global species diversity and rates of extinction among planktonic foraminifera have been linked to tectonically and climatically forced changes in ocean circulation and chemistry from the Jurassic period to the present. Transient environmental perturbations, such as those that occurred after the asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous period approximately 66 million years ago, and the Eocene/Oligocene greenhouse-icehouse transition approximately 34 million years ago, are superimposed on this general long-term relationship. Rates of species origination, by contrast, are not correlated with corresponding macrostratigraphic quantities, indicating that physiochemical changes in the ocean-atmosphere system affect evolution principally by driving the synchronous extinction of lineages that originated owing to more protracted and complex interactions between biological and environmental factors.

  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. [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

  8. Mercury spikes suggest volcanic driver of the Ordovician-Silurian mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Qing; Wang, Xiangdong; Zhao, Laishi; Grasby, Stephen E; Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Zhang, Lei; Li, Yang; Cao, Ling; Li, Zhihong

    2017-07-13

    The second largest Phanerozoic mass extinction occurred at the Ordovician-Silurian (O-S) boundary. However, unlike the other major mass extinction events, the driver for the O-S extinction remains uncertain. The abundance of mercury (Hg) and total organic carbon (TOC) of Ordovician and early Silurian marine sediments were analyzed from four sections (Huanghuachang, Chenjiahe, Wangjiawan and Dingjiapo) in the Yichang area, South China, as a test for evidence of massive volcanism associated with the O-S event. Our results indicate the Hg concentrations generally vary in parallel with TOC, and that the Hg/TOC ratios remain low and steady state through the Early and Middle Ordovician. However, Hg concentrations and the Hg/TOC ratio increased rapidly in the Late Katian, and have a second peak during the Late Hirnantian (Late Ordovician) that was temporally coincident with two main pulses of mass extinction. Hg isotope data display little to no variation associated with the Hg spikes during the extinction intervals, indicating that the observed Hg spikes are from a volcanic source. These results suggest intense volcanism occurred during the Late Ordovician, and as in other Phanerozoic extinctions, likely played an important role in the O-S event.

  9. An agricultural model for biodiversity conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Travis, A.J.

    2008-01-01

    This presentation discusses the SANREM CRSP long term research activity (LTRA-2), "An Agricultural Markets Model for Biodiversity Conservation," in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia. The objectives are: LTRA-2 (An Agricultural Markets Model for Biodiversity Conservation)

  10. 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

  11. Aerobic Marine Habitat Loss During the Late Permian Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penn, J. L.; Deutsch, C.; Payne, J.; Sperling, E. A.

    2016-12-01

    Rapid climate change at the end of the Permian is thought to have triggered the most severe mass extinction in Earth's history, but the precise mechanism of biodiversity loss is unknown. Geological evidence points to lethally hot equatorial temperatures and an expansion of anoxic ocean waters as likely culprits. However, previous climate model simulations of the warm Early Triassic exhibit weak tropical warming, and anoxic conditions require a massive and unconstrained increase in the ocean nutrient reservoir. Reconciling model predictions with the geologic record remains a key challenge to identifying the kill-mechanism, which must also take into account the role of animal physiology. Here we apply a recently developed index for the metabolic scope of marine animals to the first global climate simulations of the Permian-Triassic transition to quantify the effects of ocean warming and oxygen (O2) depletion on aerobic habitat availability. Forcing with extreme CO2 concentrations warms the surface ocean by over 10oC, consistent with paleoproxies for upper ocean temperature change. Warming depletes global O2, with greatest losses occuring in tropical deep waters as a result of their reduced ventilation. Together warming and deoxygenation would have constricted the occurrence of marine habitat by 80% globally, by decreasing the metabolic index of the Permian ocean. These changes are most pronounced in the tropics where the fossil record suggests recovery was severely inhibited. Fossil deposits also record changes in animal body size across the extinction. We find that adaptation via body size reductions can compensate for increasing hypoxia at high latitudes, and even prevent extinction there, but cannot maintain the habitability of the tropics.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Which instruments to preserve forest biodiversity?

    OpenAIRE

    Elodie Brahic

    2010-01-01

    In general, neither the social norms nor market dynamics stimulate spontaneously activities and practices conducive to biodiversity. The nature of public good of biodiversity leads to its rapid erosion. Even if it can respond positively to social expectations and improve welfare in the long term2, taking into account biodiversity often leads to changes in the way we produce or how to exercise its property right. The consideration of biodiversity may determine production losses and income decr...

  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. 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,

  2. 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...

  3. 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:

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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…

  7. Biodiversity Conservation in the REDD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paoli, Gary D; Wells, Philip L; Meijaard, Erik; Struebig, Matthew J; Marshall, Andrew J; Obidzinski, Krystof; Tan, Aseng; Rafiastanto, Andjar; Yaap, Betsy; Ferry Slik, Jw; Morel, Alexandra; Perumal, Balu; Wielaard, Niels; Husson, Simon; D'Arcy, Laura

    2010-11-23

    Deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics is a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The tropics also harbour more than half the world's threatened species, raising the possibility that reducing GHG emissions by curtailing tropical deforestation could provide substantial co-benefits for biodiversity conservation. Here we explore the potential for such co-benefits in Indonesia, a leading source of GHG emissions from land cover and land use change, and among the most species-rich countries in the world. We show that focal ecosystems for interventions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia do not coincide with areas supporting the most species-rich communities or highest concentration of threatened species. We argue that inherent trade-offs among ecosystems in emission reduction potential, opportunity cost of foregone development and biodiversity values will require a regulatory framework to balance emission reduction interventions with biodiversity co-benefit targets. We discuss how such a regulatory framework might function, and caution that pursuing emission reduction strategies without such a framework may undermine, not enhance, long-term prospects for biodiversity conservation in the tropics.

  8. Biodiversity Conservation in the REDD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferry Slik JW

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics is a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG emissions. The tropics also harbour more than half the world's threatened species, raising the possibility that reducing GHG emissions by curtailing tropical deforestation could provide substantial co-benefits for biodiversity conservation. Here we explore the potential for such co-benefits in Indonesia, a leading source of GHG emissions from land cover and land use change, and among the most species-rich countries in the world. We show that focal ecosystems for interventions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia do not coincide with areas supporting the most species-rich communities or highest concentration of threatened species. We argue that inherent trade-offs among ecosystems in emission reduction potential, opportunity cost of foregone development and biodiversity values will require a regulatory framework to balance emission reduction interventions with biodiversity co-benefit targets. We discuss how such a regulatory framework might function, and caution that pursuing emission reduction strategies without such a framework may undermine, not enhance, long-term prospects for biodiversity conservation in the tropics.

  9. The changing biodiversity of AlabamaDrosophila: important impacts of seasonal variation, urbanization, and invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombin, Andrei; Reed, Laura K

    2016-10-01

    Global warming and anthropogenic disturbances significantly influence the biosphere, tremendously increasing species extinction rates. In Central Alabama, we analyzed Drosophilidae species composition change nearly 100 years after the previous survey. We found ten Drosophilid species that were not reported during the last major biodiversity studies, two of which are invasive pests. In addition, we analyzed the influence of seasonal environmental variables characteristic of the subtropical climate zone on Drosophila abundance and biodiversity. We found a significant correlation between temperature and abundance of total Drosophila as well as for six of the seven most represented species individually, with a maximum abundance at intermediate temperatures (18-26°C). In addition, temperature was positively correlated with biodiversity of Drosophila . Precipitation produced a significant effect on the abundance of five species of Drosophila, with different optima for each species, but did not affect overall biodiversity. We concluded that in the subtropical climate zone of Central Alabama, seasonal temperature and precipitation changes produce a significant effect on Drosophila abundance and biodiversity, while local land use also impacts fly abundance, contributing to an apparent shift in species composition over the last century. We expect global climate change and other anthropogenic factors to further impact Drosophila species composition in the subtropical climate zone into the future.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. Norms and the Conservation of Biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    user

    Biodiversity, conservation biol- ogy, habitat, environmental eth- ics, endangered species. The aim of this article is to discuss the various ways in which norms enter into discussions of biodiversity and its conserva- tion. It will treat both conservation policy and the science behind biodiversity. Introduction. Twenty years ago, the ...

  15. 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.…

  16. 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.

  17. Soil biodiversity and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Six, Johan; Pereg, Lily; Brevik, Eric

    2017-04-01

    Biodiversity is important for the maintenance of soil quality. Healthy, biodiverse soils are crucial for human health and wellbeing from several reasons, for example: biodiversity has been shown to be important in controlling populations of pathogens; healthy, well-covered soils can reduce disease outbreaks; carbon-rich soils may also reduce outbreaks of human and animal parasites; exposure to soil microbes can reduce allergies; soils have provided many of our current antibiotics; soil organisms can provide biological disease and pest control agents, healthy soils mean healthier and more abundant foods; soil microbes can enhance crop plant resilience; healthy soils promote good clean air quality, less prone to wind and water erosion; and healthy soils provide clean and safe water through filtration, decontamination by microbes and removal of pollutants. Soil microbes and other biota provide many benefits to human health. Soil microbes are a source of medicines, such as antibiotics, anticancer drugs and many more. Organisms that affect soil health and thus human health include those involved in nutrient cycling, decomposition of organic matter and determining soil structure (e.g. aggregation). Again these are related to food security but also affect human health in other ways. Many beneficial organisms have been isolated from soil - plant growth promoting and disease suppressive microbes used as inoculants, foliar inoculants for improvement of ruminant digestion systems and inoculants used in bioremediation of toxic compounds in the environment. Soil biodiversity is highly recognised now as an important feature of healthy soil and imbalances have been shown to give advantage to harmful over beneficial organisms. This presentation will highlight the many connections of biodiversity to soil quality and human health.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Estimating local biodiversity change: a critique of papers claiming no net loss of local diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Andrew; Cardinale, Bradley J; Allington, Ginger R H; Byrnes, Jarrett; Arthur Endsley, K; Brown, Daniel G; Hooper, David U; Isbell, Forest; O'Connor, Mary I; Loreau, Michel

    2016-08-01

    Global species extinction rates are orders of magnitude above the background rate documented in the fossil record. However, recent data syntheses have found mixed evidence for patterns of net species loss at local spatial scales. For example, two recent data meta-analyses have found that species richness is decreasing in some locations and is increasing in others. When these trends are combined, these papers argued there has been no net change in species richness, and suggested this pattern is globally representative of biodiversity change at local scales. Here we reanalyze results of these data syntheses and outline why this conclusion is unfounded. First, we show the datasets collated for these syntheses are spatially biased and not representative of the spatial distribution of species richness or the distribution of many primary drivers of biodiversity change. This casts doubt that their results are representative of global patterns. Second, we argue that detecting the trend in local species richness is very difficult with short time series and can lead to biased estimates of change. Reanalyses of the data detected a signal of study duration on biodiversity change, indicating net biodiversity loss is most apparent in studies of longer duration. Third, estimates of species richness change can be biased if species gains during post-disturbance recovery are included without also including species losses that occurred during the disturbance. Net species gains or losses should be assessed with respect to common baselines or reference communities. Ultimately, we need a globally coordinated effort to monitor biodiversity so that we can estimate and attribute human impacts as causes of biodiversity change. A combination of technologies will be needed to produce regularly updated global datasets of local biodiversity change to guide future policy. At this time the conclusion that there is no net change in local species richness is not the consensus state of knowledge.

  2. Speciation gradients and the distribution of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schluter, Dolph; Pennell, Matthew W

    2017-05-31

    Global patterns of biodiversity are influenced by spatial and environmental variations in the rate at which new species form. We relate variations in speciation rates to six key patterns of biodiversity worldwide, including the species-area relationship, latitudinal gradients in species and genetic diversity, and between-habitat differences in species richness. Although they sometimes mirror biodiversity patterns, recent rates of speciation, at the tip of the tree of life, are often highest where species richness is low. Speciation gradients therefore shape, but are also shaped by, biodiversity gradients and are often more useful for predicting future patterns of biodiversity than for interpreting the past.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. When did Carcharocles megalodon become extinct? A new analysis of the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimiento, Catalina; Clements, Christopher F

    2014-01-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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...

  12. Erasing fear memories with extinction training

    OpenAIRE

    Quirk, Gregory J.; Paré, Denis; Richardson, Rick; Herry, Cyril; Monfils, Marie H.; Schiller, Daniela; Vicentic, Aleksandra

    2010-01-01

    Decades of behavioral studies have confirmed that extinction does not erase classically-conditioned fear memories. For this reason, research efforts have focused on the mechanisms underlying the development of extinction-induced inhibition within fear circuits. However, recent studies in rodents have uncovered mechanisms that stabilize and destabilize fear memories, opening the possibility that extinction might be used to erase fear memories. This symposium focuses on several of these new dev...

  13. 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

  14. 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).

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. The Near-IR Extinction Law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stead, Joseph J.; Hoare, Melvin G.

    2010-11-01

    We show that the power-law slope of the near-IR extinction law is significantly steeper than previously thought. Simulated colour-colour diagrams including a stellar population synthesis, realistic extinction distribution along the line-of-sight and synthesis through the filter profiles are compared to data from the UKIDSS Galactic Plane Survey. The slope of extinction with wavelength is found to be 2.14 ± 0.05 for total visual extinctions up to about 25 magnitudes and for a number of locations.

  18. 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)

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. Intellectual Property and biodiversity: interplay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhola, Ravi; Dave, Shreya

    2017-05-01

    Potentially divergent objectives and thereby obligations under the Convention on Biodiversity and Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement are also reflected in respective domestic legislations in India. The review article focuses on Biological Diversity Act, 2002 vis-à-vis Patents Act, 1970 of India with intricacies involved thereunder. Authors have analyzed the obligations under these domestic legislations. The article goes on to make a few suggestions to aid effective implementation of both the statutes. The scope of this review article is limited in two aspects; first, it speaks only about Indian landscape and second, it discusses about interplay of biodiversity law only with respect to patent law instead of all the domestic Intellectual Property enactments of India.

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:25993256

  4. Global late Quaternary megafauna extinctions linked to humans, not climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandom, Christopher James; Faurby, Søren; Sandel, Brody Steven

    2014-01-01

    The late Quaternary megafauna extinction was a severe global-scale event. Two factors, climate change and modern humans, have received broad support as the primary drivers, but their absolute and relative importance remains controversial. To date, focus has been on the extinction chronology...... of individual or small groups of species, specific geographical regions or macroscale studies at very coarse geographical and taxonomic resolution, limiting the possibility of adequately testing the proposed hypotheses. We present, to our knowledge, the first global analysis of this extinction based...... on comprehensive country-level data on the geographical distribution of all large mammal species (more than or equal to 10 kg) that have gone globally or continentally extinct between the beginning of the Last Interglacial at 132 000 years BP and the late Holocene 1000 years BP, testing the relative roles played...

  5. Island biodiversity conservation needs palaeoecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nogué, Sandra; de Nascimento, Lea; Froyd, Cynthia A.

    2017-01-01

    The discovery and colonization of islands by humans has invariably resulted in their widespread ecological transformation. The small and isolated populations of many island taxa, and their evolution in the absence of humans and their introduced taxa, mean that they are particularly vulnerable to ...... 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. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. The difference conservation makes to extinction risk of the world's ungulates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Michael; Duckworth, J W; Holmes, Katharine; Mallon, David P; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Stuart, Simon N

    2015-10-01

    Previous studies show that conservation actions have prevented extinctions, recovered populations, and reduced declining trends in global biodiversity. However, all studies to date have substantially underestimated the difference conservation action makes because they failed to account fully for what would have happened in the absence thereof. We undertook a scenario-based thought experiment to better quantify the effect conservation actions have had on the extinction risk of the world's 235 recognized ungulate species. We did so by comparing species' observed conservation status in 2008 with their estimated status under counterfactual scenarios in which conservation efforts ceased in 1996. We estimated that without conservation at least 148 species would have deteriorated by one International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List category, including 6 species that now would be listed as extinct or extinct in the wild. The overall decline in the conservation status of ungulates would have been nearly 8 times worse than observed. This trend would have been greater still if not for conservation on private lands. While some species have benefited from highly targeted interventions, such as reintroduction, most benefited collaterally from conservation such as habitat protection. We found that the difference conservation action makes to the conservation status of the world's ungulate species is likely to be higher than previously estimated. Increased, and sustained, investment could help achieve further improvements. © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Climate warming increases biodiversity of small rodents by favoring rare or less abundant species in a grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Guangshun; Liu, Jun; Xu, Lei; Yu, Guirui; He, Honglin; Zhang, Zhibin

    2013-06-01

    Our Earth is facing the challenge of accelerating climate change, which imposes a great threat to biodiversity. Many published studies suggest that climate warming may cause a dramatic decline in biodiversity, especially in colder and drier regions. In this study, we investigated the effects of temperature, precipitation and a normalized difference vegetation index on biodiversity indices of rodent communities in the current or previous year for both detrended and nondetrended data in semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia during 1982-2006. Our results demonstrate that temperature showed predominantly positive effects on the biodiversity of small rodents; precipitation showed both positive and negative effects; a normalized difference vegetation index showed positive effects; and cross-correlation function values between rodent abundance and temperature were negatively correlated with rodent abundance. Our results suggest that recent climate warming increased the biodiversity of small rodents by providing more benefits to population growth of rare or less abundant species than that of more abundant species in Inner Mongolia grassland, which does not support the popular view that global warming would decrease biodiversity in colder and drier regions. We hypothesized that higher temperatures might benefit rare or less abundant species (with smaller populations and more folivorous diets) by reducing the probability of local extinction and/or by increasing herbaceous food resources. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  12. 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…

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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);…

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. The Pliocene marine megafauna extinction and its impact on functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimiento, Catalina; Griffin, John N; Clements, Christopher F; Silvestro, Daniele; Varela, Sara; Uhen, Mark D; Jaramillo, Carlos

    2017-08-01

    The end of the Pliocene marked the beginning of a period of great climatic variability and sea-level oscillations. Here, based on a new analysis of the fossil record, we identify a previously unrecognized extinction event among marine megafauna (mammals, seabirds, turtles and sharks) during this time, with extinction rates three times higher than in the rest of the Cenozoic, and with 36% of Pliocene genera failing to survive into the Pleistocene. To gauge the potential consequences of this event for ecosystem functioning, we evaluate its impacts on functional diversity, focusing on the 86% of the megafauna genera that are associated with coastal habitats. Seven (14%) coastal functional entities (unique trait combinations) disappeared, along with 17% of functional richness (volume of the functional space). The origination of new genera during the Pleistocene created new functional entities and contributed to a functional shift of 21%, but minimally compensated for the functional space lost. Reconstructions show that from the late Pliocene onwards, the global area of the neritic zone significantly diminished and exhibited amplified fluctuations. We hypothesize that the abrupt loss of productive coastal habitats, potentially acting alongside oceanographic alterations, was a key extinction driver. The importance of area loss is supported by model analyses showing that animals with high energy requirements (homeotherms) were more susceptible to extinction. The extinction event we uncover here demonstrates that marine megafauna were more vulnerable to global environmental changes in the recent geological past than previously thought.

  20. 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.

  1. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conde, Dalia Amor; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak

    2015-01-01

    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 majo...

  2. Extinctions in ancient and modern seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

    In the coming century, life in the ocean will be confronted with a suite of environmental conditions that have no analog in human history. Thus, there is an urgent need to determine which marine species will adapt and which will go extinct. Here, we review the growing literature on marine extinctions and extinction risk in the fossil, historical, and modern records to compare the patterns, drivers, and biological correlates of marine extinctions at different times in the past. Characterized by markedly different environmental states, some past periods share common features with predicted future scenarios. We highlight how the different records can be integrated to better understand and predict the impact of current and projected future environmental changes on extinction risk in the ocean. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Effects of memory age and interval of fear extinction sessions on contextual fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuda, Shingo; Matsuzawa, Daisuke; Ishii, Daisuke; Tomizawa, Haruna; Shimizu, Eiji

    2014-08-22

    Fear extinction is a major task in our understanding of the biological mechanisms of exposure therapy, one of the most used treatments for stress-related disorders. It was recently reported that an extinction of 5 consecutive days prevents spontaneous recovery of fear memory. Memory age and the timing of fear extinction influence the effect of fear extinction. In this study, we used contextual fear extinction in adult male mice to examine whether memory age influences an extinction of 5 consecutive days and whether consecutiveness is necessary to prevent spontaneous recovery. Our results showed that, although fear memory was not affected by the passage of time, the old fear memory (28 days after fear conditioning) was more sensitive to fear extinction than the young fear memory (7 days after fear conditioning). Additionally, we demonstrated that consecutiveness of extinction sessions is not necessary to prevent spontaneous recovery. Instead, fear extinction sessions at spaced intervals were found to be more effective than consecutive extinction sessions for young fear memory. Our results suggest that taking memory age and the interval of fear extinction sessions into consideration would help to optimize exposure therapy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Linking national wood consumption with global biodiversity and ecosystem service losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Carrasco, L Roman; Kastner, Thomas

    2017-05-15

    Identifying the global hotspots of forestry driven species, ecosystem services losses and informing the consuming nations of their environmental footprint domestically and abroad is essential to design demand side interventions and induce sustainable production methods. Here we first use countryside species area relationship model to project species extinctions of four vertebrate taxa (mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles) due to forest land use in 174 countries. We combine the projected extinctions with a global database on the monetary value of ecosystem services provided by different biomes and with bilateral trade data of wood products to calculate species extinctions and ecosystem services losses inflicted by national wood consumption and international wood trade. Results show that globally a total of 485 species are projected to go extinct due to current forest land use. About 32% of this projected loss can be attributed to land use devoted for export production. However, under the counterfactual scenario with the same consumption levels but no international trade of wood products, an additional 334 species are projected to go extinct. Globally, we find that losses of ecosystem services worth $1.5trillion/year are embodied in the timber trade. Compared to high-income nations, tropical countries such as Philippines, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Gambia and Bolivia presented the highest net ecosystem services losses (>3000US$/ha/year) that could not be compensated through current land rents, indicating underpriced exports. Small tropical countries also gained much lower rents per species extinction suffered. These results can help internalize these costs into the global trade through financial compensation mechanisms such as REDD+ or through price premiums on wood sourced from these countries. Overall the results can provide valuable insights for devising national strategies to meet several of the global Aichi 2020 biodiversity targets and can also be useful for

  5. Metal-induced malformations in early Palaeozoic plankton are harbingers of mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbroucke, Thijs R A; Emsbo, Poul; Munnecke, Axel; Nuns, Nicolas; Duponchel, Ludovic; Lepot, Kevin; Quijada, Melesio; Paris, Florentin; Servais, Thomas; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-08-25

    Glacial episodes have been linked to Ordovician-Silurian extinction events, but cooling itself may not be solely responsible for these extinctions. Teratological (malformed) assemblages of fossil plankton that correlate precisely with the extinction events can help identify alternate drivers of extinction. Here we show that metal poisoning may have caused these aberrant morphologies during a late Silurian (Pridoli) event. Malformations coincide with a dramatic increase of metals (Fe, Mo, Pb, Mn and As) in the fossils and their host rocks. Metallic toxins are known to cause a teratological response in modern organisms, which is now routinely used as a proxy to assess oceanic metal contamination. Similarly, our study identifies metal-induced teratology as a deep-time, palaeobiological monitor of palaeo-ocean chemistry. The redox-sensitive character of enriched metals supports emerging 'oceanic anoxic event' models. Our data suggest that spreading anoxia and redox cycling of harmful metals was a contributing kill mechanism during these devastating Ordovician-Silurian palaeobiological events.

  6. Adaptive Management to Protect Biodiversity: Best Available Science and the Endangered Species Act

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Odom Green

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 best available science mandate is virtually meaningless and imposes no additional scientific rigor in agency decision making beyond what is normally required of administrative procedures. In this paper, we propose to define best available science in a way that shifts from a way of using science to a way of doing science, and a sound method of doing science for wildlife management and climate change is via the principles of adaptive management [1]. Adaptive management, as a means of data accumulation and continuous learning, can fulfill and give teeth to the best available science mandate while increasing the adaptive capacity of wildlife management agencies to protect biodiversity in an unpredictably dynamic environment.

  7. Disease-induced decline of an apex predator drives invasive dominated states and threatens biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollings, Tracey; Jones, Menna; Mooney, Nick; McCallum, Hamish

    2016-02-01

    Apex predators are important in protecting biodiversity through top-down influence on food webs. Their loss is linked with competitive release of invasive mesopredators and species extinctions. The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) has experienced severe declines over a 15-yr period as a novel transmissible cancer has spread across its current geographic range. We surveyed the mammalian community, using hair traps, across the spatial extent of the devil's progressive population decline. We found increased activity of alien invasive species (feral cats, black rats), and reduced small and medium-sized native prey species in response to the timing of the decline. In areas of long-term devil decline, invasive species comprised a significantly larger proportion of the community. The results provide evidence that the devil plays a keystone role in Tasmania's ecosystem with their decline linked to a shift toward an invasive state and biodiversity loss in one of Australia's most intact faunal communities.

  8. 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

  9. Global ocean conveyor lowers extinction risk in the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lea-Anne; Frank, Norbert; Hebbeln, Dierk; Weinberg, Claudia; Robinson, Laura; van de Flierdt, Tina; Dahl, Mikael; Douarin, Melanie; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Correa, Matthias Lopez; Rogers, Alex D.; Ruckelshausen, Mario; Roberts, J. Murray

    2014-01-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Biodiversity and environmental education: A contradiction?

    OpenAIRE

    J.G. Ferreira

    2002-01-01

    The need for the maintenance of biodiversity has become a much-debated environmental concern. However, calling for continued biodiversity exposes one to potential accusations of caring more for the natural environment than for people. This article briefly reviews the development of environmental education and provides an overview of the concepts “biodiversity”, “sustainable development” and “sustainable consumption”. Reasons for maintaining biodiversity while simultaneously allowing for susta...

  13. On biodiversity conservation and poverty traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Christopher B.; Travis, Alexander J.; Dasgupta, Partha

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces a special feature on biodiversity conservation and poverty traps. We define and explain the core concepts and then identify four distinct classes of mechanisms that define important interlinkages between biodiversity and poverty. The multiplicity of candidate mechanisms underscores a major challenge in designing policy appropriate across settings. This framework is then used to introduce the ensuing set of papers, which empirically explore these various mechanisms linking poverty traps and biodiversity conservation. PMID:21873176

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Cheap carbon and biodiversity co-benefits from forest regeneration in a hotspot of endemism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilroy, James J.; Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, Felicity A.; Wheeler, Charlotte; Baptiste, Brigitte L. G.; Medina Uribe, Claudia A.; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P.

    2014-06-01

    Climate change and biodiversity loss can be addressed simultaneously by well-planned conservation policies, but this requires information on the alignment of co-benefits under different management actions. One option is to allow forests to naturally regenerate on marginal agricultural land: a key question is whether this approach will deliver environmental co-benefits in an economically viable manner. Here we report on a survey of carbon stocks, biodiversity and economic values from one of the world's most endemic-rich and threatened ecosystems: the western Andes of Colombia. We show that naturally regenerating secondary forests accumulate significant carbon stocks within 30 years, and support biodiverse communities including many species at risk of extinction. Cattle farming, the principal land use in the region, provides minimal economic returns to local communities, making forest regeneration a viable option despite weak global carbon markets. Efforts to promote natural forest regeneration in the tropical Andes could therefore provide globally significant carbon and biodiversity co-benefits at minimal cost.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Elucidating the impact of microbial community biodiversity on pharmaceutical biotransformation during wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadler, Lauren B; Delgado Vela, Jeseth; Jain, Sunit; Dick, Gregory J; Love, Nancy G

    2017-10-27

    In addition to removing organics and other nutrients, the microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) biotransform many pharmaceuticals present in wastewater. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between pharmaceutical biotransformation and biodiversity in WWTP bioreactor microbial communities and identify taxa and functional genes that were strongly associated with biotransformation. Dilution-to-extinction of an activated sludge microbial community was performed to establish cultures with a gradient of microbial biodiversity. Batch experiments were performed using the dilution cultures to determine biotransformation extents of several environmentally relevant pharmaceuticals. With this approach, because the communities were all established from the same original community, and using sequencing of the 16S rRNA and metatranscriptome, we identified candidate taxa and genes whose activity and transcript abundances associated with the extent of individual pharmaceutical biotransformation and were lost across the biodiversity gradient. Metabolic genes such as dehydrogenases, amidases and monooxygenases were significantly associated with pharmaceutical biotransformation, and five genera were identified whose activity significantly associated with pharmaceutical biotransformation. Understanding how biotransformation relates to biodiversity will inform the design of biological WWTPs for enhanced removal of chemicals that negatively impact environmental health. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  20. Pattern formation, synchronization, and outbreak of biodiversity in cyclically competing games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wen-Xu; Ni, Xuan; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Grebogi, Celso

    2011-01-01

    Species in nature are typically mobile over diverse distance scales, examples of which range from bacteria run to long-distance animal migrations. These behaviors can have a significant impact on biodiversity. Addressing the role of migration in biodiversity microscopically is fundamental but remains a challenging problem in interdisciplinary science. We incorporate both intra- and inter-patch migrations in stochastic games of cyclic competitions and find that the interplay between the migrations at the local and global scales can lead to robust species coexistence characterized dynamically by the occurrence of remarkable target-wave patterns in the absence of any external control. The waves can emerge from either mixed populations or isolated species in different patches, regardless of the size and the location of the migration target. We also find that, even in a single-species system, target waves can arise from rare mutations, leading to an outbreak of biodiversity. A surprising phenomenon is that target waves in different patches can exhibit synchronization and time-delayed synchronization, where the latter potentially enables the prediction of future evolutionary dynamics. We provide a physical theory based on the spatiotemporal organization of the target waves to explain the synchronization phenomena. We also investigate the basins of coexistence and extinction to establish the robustness of biodiversity through migrations. Our results are relevant to issues of general and broader interest such as pattern formation, control in excitable systems, and the origin of order arising from self-organization in social and natural systems.

  1. 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.

  2. Potentially dangerous consequences for biodiversity of solar geoengineering implementation and termination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trisos, Christopher H; Amatulli, Giuseppe; Gurevitch, Jessica; Robock, Alan; Xia, Lili; Zambri, Brian

    2018-03-01

    Solar geoengineering is receiving increased policy attention as a potential tool to offset climate warming. While climate responses to geoengineering have been studied in detail, the potential biodiversity consequences are largely unknown. To avoid extinction, species must either adapt or move to track shifting climates. Here, we assess the effects of the rapid implementation, continuation and sudden termination of geoengineering on climate velocities-the speeds and directions that species would need to move to track changes in climate. Compared to a moderate climate change scenario (RCP4.5), rapid geoengineering implementation reduces temperature velocities towards zero in terrestrial biodiversity hotspots. In contrast, sudden termination increases both ocean and land temperature velocities to unprecedented speeds (global medians >10 km yr -1 ) that are more than double the temperature velocities for recent and future climate change in global biodiversity hotspots. Furthermore, as climate velocities more than double in speed, rapid climate fragmentation occurs in biomes such as temperate grasslands and forests where temperature and precipitation velocity vectors diverge spatially by >90°. Rapid geoengineering termination would significantly increase the threats to biodiversity from climate change.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. Constructing a biodiversity terminological inventory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nhung T H Nguyen

    Full Text Available The increasing growth of literature in biodiversity presents challenges to users who need to discover pertinent information in an efficient and timely manner. In response, text mining techniques offer solutions by facilitating the automated discovery of knowledge from large textual data. An important step in text mining is the recognition of concepts via their linguistic realisation, i.e., terms. However, a given concept may be referred to in text using various synonyms or term variants, making search systems likely to overlook documents mentioning less known variants, which are albeit relevant to a query term. Domain-specific terminological resources, which include term variants, synonyms and related terms, are thus important in supporting semantic search over large textual archives. This article describes the use of text mining methods for the automatic construction of a large-scale biodiversity term inventory. The inventory consists of names of species, amongst which naming variations are prevalent. We apply a number of distributional semantic techniques on all of the titles in the Biodiversity Heritage Library, to compute semantic similarity between species names and support the automated construction of the resource. With the construction of our biodiversity term inventory, we demonstrate that distributional semantic models are able to identify semantically similar names that are not yet recorded in existing taxonomies. Such methods can thus be used to update existing taxonomies semi-automatically by deriving semantically related taxonomic names from a text corpus and allowing expert curators to validate them. We also evaluate our inventory as a means to improve search by facilitating automatic query expansion. Specifically, we developed a visual search interface that suggests semantically related species names, which are available in our inventory but not always in other repositories, to incorporate into the search query. An assessment of

  8. Biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available four times the size of Spain) (IUCN-WCPA undated). The eco-regions under the best protection tend to be the savannah habitats, particularly those of Eastern and Southern Africa (Burgess and others 2005). Charismatic animals, such as large mammals..., and on freshwater and marine ecosystems. Global trade has intensified the demand for animal products, tropical timbers, cash crops and seafood. At the same time, global connectedness has brought new problems, such as global climate change, IAS, the spread...

  9. 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)

  10. Biodiversity monitoring in Europe: the EU FP7 EBONE project. European biodiversity observation NEtwork

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lück-Vogel, Melanie

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available submission Presentation Poster presentation A) Title Biodiversity Monitoring in Europe: The EU FP7 EBONE project European Biodiversity Observation NEtwork B) Short title EBONE - European Biodiversity Observation NEtwork C) Author(s) Vogel, M. (1...), Jongman, R. (2) D) Presenting author Melanie Vogel Institution(s) (1) Council for Scientific Research CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa (2) Alterra, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands E) Keywords Biodiversity Monitoring, EBONE FP7, Europe, Mediterranean...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Fear conditioning and extinction in anxiety- and depression-prone persons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dibbets, Pauline; van den Broek, Anne; Evers, Elisabeth A T

    2015-01-01

    Anxiety and depression frequently co-occur and may share similar deficits in the processing of emotional stimuli. High anxiety is associated with a failure in the acquisition and extinction of fear conditioning. Despite the supposed common deficits, no research has been conducted on fear acquisition and extinction in depression. The main aim of the present study was to investigate and compare fear acquisition and extinction in anxiety- and depression-prone participants. Non-clinical anxious, depressive, anxious-depressive and control participants performed a fear discrimination task. During acquisition, the CS+ predicted an aversive event (unconditioned stimulus, US) and the CS- safety (no US). During extinction, the CS+ was no longer followed by the US, rendering it (temporarily) into a safety signal. On each CS participants rated their US expectancy; skin conductance responses (SCRs) were measured throughout. The expectancy scores indicated that high anxiety resulted in less safety learning during acquisition and extinction; no effect of depression was observed. SCRs showed that high-anxiety persons displayed less discrimination learning (CS+ minus CS-) during acquisition than low-anxiety persons. During extinction, high-depression persons demonstrated more discriminative SCR than low-depression persons. The observed discrepancies in response patterns of high-anxiety and -depression persons seem to indicate distinctive information processing of emotional stimuli.

  18. A life-history approach to the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Wenyun; Smith, Felisa A; Charnov, Eric L

    2013-10-01

    A major criticism of the "overkill" theory for the late Pleistocene extinction in the Americas has been the seeming implausibility of a relatively small number of humans selectively killing off millions of large-bodied mammals. Critics argue that early Paleoindian hunters had to be extremely selective to have produced the highly size-biased extinction pattern characteristic of this event. Here, we derive a probabilistic extinction model that predicts the extinction risk of mammals at any body mass without invoking selective human harvest. The new model systematically analyzes the variability in life-history characteristics, such as the instantaneous mortality rate, age of first reproduction, and the maximum net reproductive rate. It captures the body size-biased extinction pattern in the late Pleistocene and precisely predicts the percentage of unexpectedly persisting large mammals and extinct small ones. A test with a global late Quaternary mammal database well supports the model. The model also emphasizes that quantitatively analyzing patterns of variability in ecological factors can shed light on diverse behaviors and patterns in nature. From a macro-scale conservation perspective, our model can be modified to predict the fate of biota under the pressures from both climate change and human impacts.

  19. 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

  20. Test of Martin’s overkill hypothesis using radiocarbon dates on extinct megafauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surovell, Todd A.; Pelton, Spencer R.; Anderson-Sprecher, Richard; Myers, Adam D.

    2016-01-01

    Following Martin [Martin PS (1973) Science 179:969–974], we propose the hypothesis that the timing of human arrival to the New World can be assessed by examining the ecological impacts of a small population of people on extinct Pleistocene megafauna. To that end, we compiled lists of direct radiocarbon dates on paleontological specimens of extinct genera from North and South America with the expectation that the initial decline of extinct megafauna should correspond in time with the initial evidence for human colonization and that those declines should occur first in eastern Beringia, next in the contiguous United States, and last in South America. Analyses of spacings and frequency distributions of radiocarbon dates for each region support the idea that the extinction event first commenced in Beringia, roughly 13,300–15,000 BP. For the United States and South America, extinctions commenced considerably later but were closely spaced in time. For the contiguous United States, extinction began at ca. 12,900–13,200 BP, and at ca. 12,600–13,900 BP in South America. For areas south of Beringia, these estimates correspond well with the first significant evidence for human presence and are consistent with the predictions of the overkill hypothesis. PMID:26504205

  1. Test of Martin's overkill hypothesis using radiocarbon dates on extinct megafauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surovell, Todd A; Pelton, Spencer R; Anderson-Sprecher, Richard; Myers, Adam D

    2016-01-26

    Following Martin [Martin PS (1973) Science 179:969-974], we propose the hypothesis that the timing of human arrival to the New World can be assessed by examining the ecological impacts of a small population of people on extinct Pleistocene megafauna. To that end, we compiled lists of direct radiocarbon dates on paleontological specimens of extinct genera from North and South America with the expectation that the initial decline of extinct megafauna should correspond in time with the initial evidence for human colonization and that those declines should occur first in eastern Beringia, next in the contiguous United States, and last in South America. Analyses of spacings and frequency distributions of radiocarbon dates for each region support the idea that the extinction event first commenced in Beringia, roughly 13,300-15,000 BP. For the United States and South America, extinctions commenced considerably later but were closely spaced in time. For the contiguous United States, extinction began at ca. 12,900-13,200 BP, and at ca. 12,600-13,900 BP in South America. For areas south of Beringia, these estimates correspond well with the first significant evidence for human presence and are consistent with the predictions of the overkill hypothesis.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. River networks as biodiversity hotlines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Décamps, Henri

    2011-05-01

    For several years, measures to insure healthy river functions and to protect biodiversity have focused on management at the scale of drainage basins. Indeed, rivers bear witness to the health of their drainage basins, which justifies integrated basin management. However, this vision should not mask two other aspects of the protection of aquatic and riparian biodiversity as well as services provided by rivers. First, although largely depending on the ecological properties of the surrounding terrestrial environment, rivers are ecological systems by themselves, characterized by their linearity: they are organized in connected networks, complex and ever changing, open to the sea. Second, the structure and functions of river networks respond to manipulations of their hydrology, and are particularly vulnerable to climatic variations. Whatever the scale considered, river networks represent "hotlines" for sharing water between ecological and societal systems, as well as for preserving both systems in the face of global change. River hotlines are characterized by spatial as well as temporal legacies: every human impact to a river network may be transmitted far downstream from its point of origin, and may produce effects only after a more or less prolonged latency period. Here, I review some of the current issues of river ecology in light of the linear character of river networks. Copyright © 2011 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. Comparative genomics for biodiversity conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E. Grueber

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Genomic approaches are gathering momentum in biology and emerging opportunities lie in the creative use of comparative molecular methods for revealing the processes that influence diversity of wildlife. However, few comparative genomic studies are performed with explicit and specific objectives to aid conservation of wild populations. Here I provide a brief overview of comparative genomic approaches that offer specific benefits to biodiversity conservation. Because conservation examples are few, I draw on research from other areas to demonstrate how comparing genomic data across taxa may be used to inform the characterisation of conservation units and studies of hybridisation, as well as studies that provide conservation outcomes from a better understanding of the drivers of divergence. A comparative approach can also provide valuable insight into the threatening processes that impact rare species, such as emerging diseases and their management in conservation. In addition to these opportunities, I note areas where additional research is warranted. Overall, comparing and contrasting the genomic composition of threatened and other species provide several useful tools for helping to preserve the molecular biodiversity of the global ecosystem.

  7. Coral reef resilience through biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2013-01-01

    Irrefutable evidence of coral reef degradation worldwide and increasing pressure from rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification associated with climate change have led to a focus on reef resilience and a call to “manage” coral reefs for resilience. Ideally, global action to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be accompanied by local action. Effective management requires reduction of local stressors, identification of the characteristics of resilient reefs, and design of marine protected area networks that include potentially resilient reefs. Future research is needed on how stressors interact, on how climate change will affect corals, fish, and other reef organisms as well as overall biodiversity, and on basic ecological processes such as connectivity. Not all reef species and reefs will respond similarly to local and global stressors. Because reef-building corals and other organisms have some potential to adapt to environmental changes, coral reefs will likely persist in spite of the unprecedented combination of stressors currently affecting them. The biodiversity of coral reefs is the basis for their remarkable beauty and for the benefits they provide to society. The extraordinary complexity of these ecosystems makes it both more difficult to predict their future and more likely they will have a future.

  8. 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.

  9. No evidence of the effect of extreme weather events on annual occurrence of four groups of ectothermic species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Crisis of Japanese vascular flora shown by quantifying extinction risks for 1618 taxa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taku Kadoya

    Full Text Available Although many people have expressed alarm that we are witnessing a mass extinction, few projections have been quantified, owing to limited availability of time-series data on threatened organisms, especially plants. To quantify the risk of extinction, we need to monitor changes in population size over time for as many species as possible. Here, we present the world's first quantitative projection of plant species loss at a national level, with stochastic simulations based on the results of population censuses of 1618 threatened plant taxa in 3574 map cells of ca. 100 km2. More than 500 lay botanists helped monitor those taxa in 1994-1995 and in 2003-2004. We projected that between 370 and 561 vascular plant taxa will go extinct in Japan during the next century if past trends of population decline continue. This extinction rate is approximately two to three times the global rate. Using time-series data, we show that existing national protected areas (PAs covering ca. 7% of Japan will not adequately prevent population declines: even core PAs can protect at best <60% of local populations from decline. Thus, the Aichi Biodiversity Target to expand PAs to 17% of land (and inland water areas, as committed to by many national governments, is not enough: only 29.2% of currently threatened species will become non-threatened under the assumption that probability of protection success by PAs is 0.5, which our assessment shows is realistic. In countries where volunteers can be organized to monitor threatened taxa, censuses using our method should be able to quantify how fast we are losing species and to assess how effective current conservation measures such as PAs are in preventing species extinction.

  13. End-Triassic nonmarine biotic events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spencer G. Lucas

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Late Triassic was a prolonged interval of elevated extinction rates and low origination rates that manifested themselves in a series of extinctions during Carnian, Norian and Rhaetian time. Most of these extinctions took place in the marine realm, particularly affecting radiolarians, conodonts, bivalves, ammonoids and reef-building organisms. On land, the case for a Late Triassic mass extinction is much more tenuous and has largely focused on tetrapod vertebrates (amphibians and reptiles, though some workers advocate a sudden end-Triassic (TJB extinction of land plants. Nevertheless, an extensive literature does not identify a major extinction of land plants at the TJB, and a comprehensive review of palynological records concluded that TJB vegetation changes were non-uniform (different changes in different places, not synchronous and not indicative of a mass extinction of land plants. Claims of a substantial perturbation of plant ecology and diversity at the TJB in East Greenland are indicative of a local change in the paleoflora largely driven by lithofacies changes resulting in changing taphonomic filters. Plant extinctions at the TJB were palaeogeographically localized events, not global in extent. With new and more detailed stratigraphic data, the perceived TJB tetrapod extinction is mostly an artifact of coarse temporal resolution, the compiled correlation effect. The amphibian, archosaur and synapsid extinctions of the Late Triassic are not concentrated at the TJB, but instead occur stepwise, beginning in the Norian and extending into the Hettangian. There was a disruption of the terrestrial ecosystem across the TJB, but it was more modest than generally claimed. The ecological severity of the end-Triassic nonmarine biotic events are relatively low on the global scale. Biotic turnover at the end of the Triassic was likely driven by the CAMP (Central Atlantic Magmatic Province eruptions, which caused significant environmental

  14. Pre-trauma individual differences in extinction learning predict posttraumatic stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lommen, M.J.J.; Engelhard, I.M.; Sijbrandij, M.; van Hout, M.A.; Hermans, D.

    2013-01-01

    In the aftermath of a traumatic event, many people suffer from psychological distress, but only a minority develops posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Pre-trauma individual differences in fear conditioning, most notably reduced extinction learning, have been proposed as playing an important role

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J.

    2016-05-01

    Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event.

  18. New tools for monitoring biodiversity and environments

    OpenAIRE

    Baker, Edward

    2014-01-01

    How do we do science when the computer of 15 years ago now fits in your pocket and costs less than the battery you need to run it? Should biodiversity scientists work with the hacker and maker community? Should we forge links with engineering departments? Should hardware become a standard tool of the biodiversity informatician?

  19. Does biodiversity protect humans against infectious disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L; Lafferty, Kevin D; DeLeo, Giulio; Young, Hillary S; Hudson, Peter J; Kuris, Armand M

    2014-04-01

    Control of human infectious disease has been promoted as a valuable ecosystem service arising from the conservation of biodiversity. There are two commonly discussed mechanisms by which biodiversity loss could increase rates of infectious disease in a landscape. First, loss of competitors or predators could facilitate an increase in the abundance of competent reservoir hosts. Second, biodiversity loss could disproportionately affect non-competent, or less competent reservoir hosts, which would otherwise interfere with pathogen transmission to human populations by, for example, wasting the bites of infected vectors. A negative association between biodiversity and disease risk, sometimes called the "dilution effect hypothesis," has been supported for a few disease agents, suggests an exciting win-win outcome for the environment and society, and has become a pervasive topic in the disease ecology literature. Case studies have been assembled to argue that the dilution effect is general across disease agents. Less touted are examples in which elevated biodiversity does not affect or increases infectious disease risk for pathogens of public health concern. In order to assess the likely generality of the dilution effect, we review the association between biodiversity and public health across a broad variety of human disease agents. Overall, we hypothesize that conditions for the dilution effect are unlikely to be met for most important diseases of humans. Biodiversity probably has little net effect on most human infectious diseases but, when it does have an effect, observation and basic logic suggest that biodiversity will be more likely to increase than to decrease infectious disease risk.

  20. 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…

  1. Bussiness Cases for Biodiversity: the smallholders' perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vollaard, B.; Verweij, P.A.

    2011-01-01

    Market-based instruments are increasingly being promoted as a promising measure to face the twin challenge of biodiversity conservation and development. In the realm of market-based approaches, an important instrument is the creation of biodiversity business: ‘commercial enterprises that generate

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. Enhancing Life Sciences Teachers' Biodiversity Knowledge

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the last two decades, South Africa has made efforts to integrate biodiversity content in its Life Sciences curriculum ... the ongoing professional learning and development of teachers through support systems that promote the .... of biodiversity, such as: biomes, taxonomic classification, ecological niche, human impact.

  8. 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...

  9. Biogeographic and bathymetric determinants of brachiopod extinction and survival during the Late Ordovician mass extinction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finnegan, Seth; Mac Ørum Rasmussen, Christian; Harper, David A. T.

    2016-01-01

    The Late Ordovician mass extinction (LOME) coincided with dramatic climate changes, but there are numerous ways in which these changes could have driven marine extinctions. We use a palaeobiogeographic database of rhynchonelliform brachiopods to examine the selectivity of Late Ordovician......–Early Silurian genus extinctions and evaluate which extinction drivers are best supported by the data. The first (latest Katian) pulse of the LOME preferentially affected genera restricted to deeper waters or to relatively narrow (less than 35°) palaeolatitudinal ranges. This pattern is only observed...... in the latest Katian, suggesting that it reflects drivers unique to this interval. Extinction of exclusively deeper-water genera implies that changes in water mass properties such as dissolved oxygen content played an important role. Extinction of genera with narrow latitudinal ranges suggests that interactions...

  10. Hospital autopsy: Endangered or extinct?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, Angus; Osborn, Michael; Nicholas, Nick

    2015-08-01

    To determine the hospital autopsy rate for the UK in 2013. A study of data from a 'Freedom of Information' request to all (n=186) acute NHS Trusts within England (n=160), NHS Boards in Scotland (n=14) and Wales (n=7) and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland (n=5). Hospital autopsy rates were calculated from the number of hospital autopsies performed in 2013 as a percentage of total inpatient deaths in the Trust that year. The UK response rate was 99% (n=184), yielding a mean autopsy rate of 0.69%. The mean rates were 0.51% (England), 2.13% (Scotland), 0.65% (Wales) and 0.46% (Northern Ireland). 23% (n=38) of all included respondents had a rate of 0% and 86% (n=143) a rate less than 1%. The decline in hospital autopsy has continued relentlessly and, for better or for worse, the practice is on the verge of extinction in the UK. The study highlights to health professionals and policy makers the magnitude of this decline. Further research should investigate the impact of this on patient safety, clinical audit, public health and medical education. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  11. Extinction from a rationalist perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallistel, C R

    2012-05-01

    The merging of the computational theory of mind and evolutionary thinking leads to a kind of rationalism, in which enduring truths about the world have become implicit in the computations that enable the brain to cope with the experienced world. The dead reckoning computation, for example, is implemented within the brains of animals as one of the mechanisms that enables them to learn where they are (Gallistel, 1990, 1995). It integrates a velocity signal with respect to a time signal. Thus, the manner in which position and velocity relate to one another in the world is reflected in the manner in which signals representing those variables are processed in the brain. I use principles of information theory and Bayesian inference to derive from other simple principles explanations for: (1) the failure of partial reinforcement to increase reinforcements to acquisition; (2) the partial reinforcement extinction effect; (3) spontaneous recovery; (4) renewal; (5) reinstatement; (6) resurgence (aka facilitated reacquisition). Like the principle underlying dead-reckoning, these principles are grounded in analytic considerations. They are the kind of enduring truths about the world that are likely to have shaped the brain's computations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Biodiversity and models of evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Stress before extinction learning enhances and generalizes extinction memory in a predictive learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meir Drexler, Shira; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Wolf, Oliver T

    2017-05-01

    In extinction learning, the individual learns that a previously acquired association (e.g. between a threat and its predictor) is no longer valid. This learning is the principle underlying many cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic treatments, e.g. 'exposure therapy'. However, extinction is often highly-context dependent, leading to renewal (relapse of extinguished conditioned response following context change). We have previously shown that post-extinction stress leads to a more context-dependent extinction memory in a predictive learning task. Yet as stress prior to learning can impair the integration of contextual cues, here we aim to create a more generalized extinction memory by inducing stress prior to extinction. Forty-nine men and women learned the associations between stimuli and outcomes in a predictive learning task (day 1), extinguished them shortly after an exposure to a stress/control condition (day 2), and were tested for renewal (day 3). No group differences were seen in acquisition and extinction learning, and a renewal effect was present in both groups. However, the groups differed in the strength and context-dependency of the extinction memory. Compared to the control group, the stress group showed an overall reduced recovery of responding to the extinguished stimuli, in particular in the acquisition context. These results, together with our previous findings, demonstrate that the effects of stress exposure on extinction memory depend on its timing. While post-extinction stress makes the memory more context-bound, pre-extinction stress strengthens its consolidation for the acquisition context as well, making it potentially more resistant to relapse. These results have implications for the use of glucocorticoids as extinction-enhancers in exposure therapy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Interoceptive conditioning with nicotine using extinction and re-extinction to assess stimulus similarity with bupropion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charntikov, Sergios; deWit, Nicole R.; Bevins, Rick A

    2014-01-01

    Bupropion is an atypical antidepressant that increases long-term quit rates of tobacco smokers. A better understanding of the relation between nicotine and this first-line medication may provide insight into improving treatment. For all experiments, rats first had nicotine (0.4 mg base/kg) and saline session intermixed; intermittent access to sucrose only occurred on nicotine session. Nicotine in this protocol comes to differentially control “anticipatory” dipper entries. To more closely examine the overlap in the interoceptive stimulus effects of nicotine and bupropion, we assessed whether subsequent prolonged and repeated non-reinforced (extinction) sessions with the bupropion stimulus could weaken responding to nicotine (i.e., transfer of extinction). We also examined whether retraining the discrimination after initial extinction and then conducting extinction again (i.e., re-extinction) with bupropion would affect responding. We found that bupropion (20 and 30 mg/kg) fully substituted for the nicotine stimulus in repeated 20-min extinction sessions. The extent of substitution in extinction did not necessarily predict performance in the transfer test (e.g., nicotine responding unchanged after extinction with 20 mg/kg bupropion). Generalization of extinction back to nicotine was not seen with 20 mg/kg bupropion even after increasing the number of extinction session from 6 to 24. Finally, there was evidence that learning in the initial extinction phase was retained in the re-extinction phase for nicotine and bupropion. These findings indicate that learning involving the nicotine stimuli are complex and that assessment approach for stimulus similarity changes conclusions regarding substitution by bupropion. Further research will be needed to identify whether such differences may be related to different facets of nicotine dependence and/or its treatment. PMID:25080073

  16. Interstellar extinction in the Small Magellanic Cloud

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nandy, K.; McLachlan, A.; Thompson, G.I.; Morgan, D.H.; Willis, A.J.; Wilson, R.; Gondhalekar, P.M.; Houziaux, L.

    1982-01-01

    IUE observations of three considerably reddened stars located near the core of the Small Magellanic Cloud and of two comparison stars which are also SMC members are presented. This region contains a considerable amount of dust. The UV spectrum of one of the reddened stars (BBB 338) shows the lambda 2200 feature characteristic of the Galactic extinction curve. This absorption feature is not obvious in the UV spectra of the other two reddened stars. Due to lack of a suitable comparison star it has not been possible to measure the UV extinction of BBB 338. The extinction curves derived for the other two reddened SMC members differ from the mean Galactic law in that they exhibit very weak or absent lambda 2200 and much higher values of far-UV extinction. These differences are greater than have been found for stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, confirming earlier observations by others. (author)

  17. Three Color Particle Optical Extinction Monitor Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to design, build and test a multi-color (red, green, blue) particle optical extinction monitor suitable for use in either land or airborne applications....

  18. Agricultural biodiversity, social-ecological systems and sustainable diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Thomas; Prosperi, Paolo; Cogill, Bruce; Flichman, Guillermo

    2014-11-01

    The stark observation of the co-existence of undernourishment, nutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity, the triple burden of malnutrition, is inviting us to reconsider health and nutrition as the primary goal and final endpoint of food systems. Agriculture and the food industry have made remarkable advances in the past decades. However, their development has not entirely fulfilled health and nutritional needs, and moreover, they have generated substantial collateral losses in agricultural biodiversity. Simultaneously, several regions are experiencing unprecedented weather events caused by climate change and habitat depletion, in turn putting at risk global food and nutrition security. This coincidence of food crises with increasing environmental degradation suggests an urgent need for novel analyses and new paradigms. The sustainable diets concept proposes a research and policy agenda that strives towards a sustainable use of human and natural resources for food and nutrition security, highlighting the preeminent role of consumers in defining sustainable options and the importance of biodiversity in nutrition. Food systems act as complex social-ecological systems, involving multiple interactions between human and natural components. Nutritional patterns and environment structure are interconnected in a mutual dynamic of changes. The systemic nature of these interactions calls for multidimensional approaches and integrated assessment and simulation tools to guide change. This paper proposes a review and conceptual modelling framework that articulate the synergies and tradeoffs between dietary diversity, widely recognised as key for healthy diets, and agricultural biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions, crucial resilience factors to climate and global changes.

  19. Sleep Deprivation Disrupts Recall of Conditioned Fear Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straus, Laura D; Acheson, Dean T; Risbrough, Victoria B; Drummond, Sean P A

    2017-03-01

    Learned fear is crucial in the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders, and extinction of learned fear is necessary for response to exposure-based treatments. In humans, research suggests disrupted sleep impairs consolidation of extinction, though no studies have examined this experimentally using total sleep deprivation. Seventy-one healthy controls underwent a paradigm to acquire conditioned fear to a visual cue. Twenty-four hours after fear conditioning, participants underwent extinction learning. Twenty-four hours after extinction learning, participants underwent extinction recall. Participants were randomized to three groups: 1) well-rested throughout testing ("normal sleep"; n = 21); 2) 36 hours total sleep deprivation before extinction learning ("pre-extinction deprivation"; n = 25); or 3) 36 hours total sleep deprivation after extinction learning and before extinction recall ("post-extinction deprivation"; n = 25). The groups were compared on blink EMG reactivity to the condition stimulus during extinction learning and recall. There were no differences among the three groups during extinction learning. During extinction recall, the pre-extinction deprivation group demonstrated significantly less extinction recall than the normal sleep group. There was no significant difference between the normal sleep and post-extinction deprivation group during extinction recall. Results indicated sleep deprivation prior to extinction training significantly disrupts extinction recall. These findings suggest that (1) sleep deprivation in the immediate aftermath of trauma could be a potential contributor to PTSD development and maintenance via interference with natural extinction processes and (2) management of sleep symptoms should be considered during extinction-based therapy.

  20. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

    Science.gov (United States)

    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