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Extinction filters mediate the global effects of habitat fragmentation on animals

Extinction filters mediate the global effects of habitat fragmentation on animals
Extinction filters mediate the global effects of habitat fragmentation on animals
Habitat loss is the primary driver of biodiversity decline worldwide, but the effects of fragmentation (the spatial arrangement of remaining habitat) are debated. We tested the hypothesis that forest fragmentation sensitivity—affected by avoidance of habitat edges—should be driven by historical exposure to, and therefore species’ evolutionary responses to disturbance. Using a database containing 73 datasets collected worldwide (encompassing 4489 animal species), we found that the proportion of fragmentation-sensitive species was nearly three times as high in regions with low rates of historical disturbance compared with regions with high rates of disturbance (i.e., fires, glaciation, hurricanes, and deforestation). These disturbances coincide with a latitudinal gradient in which sensitivity increases sixfold at low versus high latitudes. We conclude that conservation efforts to limit edges created by fragmentation will be most important in the world’s tropical forests.
0036-8075
1236-1239
Betts, Matthew G.
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Wolf, Christopher
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Betts, Matthew G.
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Wolf, Christopher
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Pfeifer, Marion
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Banks-leite, Cristina
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Ribeiro, Danilo Bandini
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Barlow, Jos
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Melles, Stephanie L.
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Phalan, Benjamin T.
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Possingham, Hugh
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Slade, Eleanor M.
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Somarriba, Eduardo
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Valente, Jonathon J.
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Watling, James I.
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Wells, Konstans
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Wearn, Oliver R.
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Wood, Eric
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Young, Richard
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Ewers, Robert M.
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Betts, Matthew G., Wolf, Christopher, Pfeifer, Marion, Banks-leite, Cristina, Arroyo-rodríguez, Víctor, Ribeiro, Danilo Bandini, Barlow, Jos, Eigenbrod, Felix, Faria, Deborah, Fletcher, Robert J., Hadley, Adam S., Hawes, Joseph E., Holt, Robert D., Klingbeil, Brian, Kormann, Urs, Lens, Luc, Levi, Taal, Medina-rangel, Guido F., Melles, Stephanie L., Mezger, Dirk, Morante-filho, José Carlos, Orme, C. David L., Peres, Carlos A., Phalan, Benjamin T., Pidgeon, Anna, Possingham, Hugh, Ripple, William J., Slade, Eleanor M., Somarriba, Eduardo, Tobias, Joseph A., Tylianakis, Jason M., Urbina-cardona, J. Nicolás, Valente, Jonathon J., Watling, James I., Wells, Konstans, Wearn, Oliver R., Wood, Eric, Young, Richard and Ewers, Robert M. (2019) Extinction filters mediate the global effects of habitat fragmentation on animals. Science, 366 (6470), 1236-1239. (doi:10.1126/science.aax9387).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Habitat loss is the primary driver of biodiversity decline worldwide, but the effects of fragmentation (the spatial arrangement of remaining habitat) are debated. We tested the hypothesis that forest fragmentation sensitivity—affected by avoidance of habitat edges—should be driven by historical exposure to, and therefore species’ evolutionary responses to disturbance. Using a database containing 73 datasets collected worldwide (encompassing 4489 animal species), we found that the proportion of fragmentation-sensitive species was nearly three times as high in regions with low rates of historical disturbance compared with regions with high rates of disturbance (i.e., fires, glaciation, hurricanes, and deforestation). These disturbances coincide with a latitudinal gradient in which sensitivity increases sixfold at low versus high latitudes. We conclude that conservation efforts to limit edges created by fragmentation will be most important in the world’s tropical forests.

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Accepted/In Press date: 23 October 2019
Published date: 6 December 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 436473
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/436473
ISSN: 0036-8075
PURE UUID: 53a4322b-6547-4b57-be77-6dfc472ab17c
ORCID for Felix Eigenbrod: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8982-824X

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Date deposited: 11 Dec 2019 17:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:56

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Contributors

Author: Matthew G. Betts
Author: Christopher Wolf
Author: Marion Pfeifer
Author: Cristina Banks-leite
Author: Víctor Arroyo-rodríguez
Author: Danilo Bandini Ribeiro
Author: Jos Barlow
Author: Felix Eigenbrod ORCID iD
Author: Deborah Faria
Author: Robert J. Fletcher
Author: Adam S. Hadley
Author: Joseph E. Hawes
Author: Robert D. Holt
Author: Brian Klingbeil
Author: Urs Kormann
Author: Luc Lens
Author: Taal Levi
Author: Guido F. Medina-rangel
Author: Stephanie L. Melles
Author: Dirk Mezger
Author: José Carlos Morante-filho
Author: C. David L. Orme
Author: Carlos A. Peres
Author: Benjamin T. Phalan
Author: Anna Pidgeon
Author: Hugh Possingham
Author: William J. Ripple
Author: Eleanor M. Slade
Author: Eduardo Somarriba
Author: Joseph A. Tobias
Author: Jason M. Tylianakis
Author: J. Nicolás Urbina-cardona
Author: Jonathon J. Valente
Author: James I. Watling
Author: Konstans Wells
Author: Oliver R. Wearn
Author: Eric Wood
Author: Richard Young
Author: Robert M. Ewers

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