Looking back on biodiversity change: lessons for the road ahead

Dornelas, M., Chase, J.M., Gotelli, N.J., Magurran, A.E., McGill, B.J., Antão, L.H., Blowes, S.A., Daskalova, G. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5674-5322, et al. (2023). Looking back on biodiversity change: lessons for the road ahead. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 378 (1881) e20220199. 10.1098/rstb.2022.0199.

Full text not available from this repository.


Estimating biodiversity change across the planet in the context of widespread human modification is a critical challenge. Here, we review how biodiversity has changed in recent decades across scales and taxonomic groups, focusing on four diversity metrics: species richness, temporal turnover, spatial beta-diversity and abundance. At local scales, change across all metrics includes many examples of both increases and declines and tends to be centred around zero, but with higher prevalence of declining trends in beta-diversity (increasing similarity in composition across space or biotic homogenization) and abundance. The exception to this pattern is temporal turnover, with changes in species composition through time observed in most local assemblages. Less is known about change at regional scales, although several studies suggest that increases in richness are more prevalent than declines. Change at the global scale is the hardest to estimate accurately, but most studies suggest extinction rates are probably outpacing speciation rates, although both are elevated. Recognizing this variability is essential to accurately portray how biodiversity change is unfolding, and highlights how much remains unknown about the magnitude and direction of multiple biodiversity metrics at different scales. Reducing these blind spots is essential to allow appropriate management actions to be deployed.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 30 May 2023 06:37
Last Modified: 30 May 2023 06:37
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/18824

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item