Characterizing extinction debt following habitat fragmentation using neutral theory

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Title: Characterizing extinction debt following habitat fragmentation using neutral theory
Authors: Thompson, S
Chisholm, RA
Rosindell, J
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Habitat loss leads to species extinctions, both immediately and over the long-term as “extinction debt” is repaid. The same quantity of habitat can be lost in different spatial patterns with varying habitat fragmentation. How this translates to species loss remains an open problem requiring an understanding of the interplay between community dynamics and habitat structure across temporal and spatial scales. Here we develop formulas that characterize extinction debt in a spatial neutral model after habitat loss and fragmentation. Central to our formulas are two new metrics, which depend on properties of the taxa and landscape: “effective area”, measuring the remaining number of individuals; and “effective connectivity”, measuring individuals’ ability to disperse through fragmented habitat. This formalizes the conventional wisdom that habitat area and habitat connectivity are the two critical requirements for long term preservation of biodiversity. Our approach suggests that mechanistic fragmentation metrics help resolve debates about fragmentation and species loss.
Issue Date: 14-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance: 9-Sep-2019
ISSN: 1461-023X
Publisher: Wiley
Journal / Book Title: Ecology Letters
Copyright Statement: This paper is embargoed until 12 months after publication.
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/I021179/1
Keywords: Ecology
0501 Ecological Applications
0602 Ecology
0603 Evolutionary Biology
Publication Status: Accepted
Embargo Date: 2020-10-14
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences

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