Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/117319
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Type: Journal article
Title: Co-extinctions annihilate planetary life during extreme environmental change
Author: Strona, G.
Bradshaw, C.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2018; 8(1):16724-1-16724-12
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 2045-2322
2045-2322
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Giovanni Strona and Corey J. A. Bradshaw
Abstract: Climate change and human activity are dooming species at an unprecedented rate via a plethora of direct and indirect, often synergic, mechanisms. Among these, primary extinctions driven by environmental change could be just the tip of an enormous extinction iceberg. As our understanding of the importance of ecological interactions in shaping ecosystem identity advances, it is becoming clearer how the disappearance of consumers following the depletion of their resources - a process known as 'co-extinction' - is more likely the major driver of biodiversity loss. Although the general relevance of co-extinctions is supported by a sound and robust theoretical background, the challenges in obtaining empirical information about ongoing (and past) co-extinction events complicate the assessment of their relative contributions to the rapid decline of species diversity even in well-known systems, let alone at the global scale. By subjecting a large set of virtual Earths to different trajectories of extreme environmental change (global heating and cooling), and by tracking species loss up to the complete annihilation of all life either accounting or not for co-extinction processes, we show how ecological dependencies amplify the direct effects of environmental change on the collapse of planetary diversity by up to ten times.
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
RMID: 0030102860
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-35068-1
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/CE170100015
Appears in Collections:Environment Institute publications

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