3 years ago

Warning signals of biodiversity collapse across gradients of tropical forest loss

Mason J. Campbell, Jorge F. S. Menezes, Fabio de Oliveira Roque, Jose Manuel Ochoa-Quintero, Tobin Northfield, William F. Laurance
We evaluate potential warning signals that may aid in identifying the proximity of ecological communities to biodiversity thresholds from habitat loss—often termed “tipping points”—in tropical forests. We used datasets from studies of Neotropical mammal, frog, bird, and insect communities. Our findings provide only limited evidence that an increase in the variance (heteroskedasticity) of biodiversity-related parameters can provide a general warning signal of impending threshold changes in communities, as forest loss increases. However, such an apparent effect was evident for amphibians in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and Amazonian mammal and bird communities, suggesting that impending changes in some species assemblages might be predictable. We consider the potential of such warning signs to help forecast drastic changes in biodiversity.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-19985-9

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-19985-9

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