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The susceptibility of species to extinctions in model communities
J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany.
J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, United States.
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2011 (English)In: Basic and Applied Ecology, ISSN 1439-1791, E-ISSN 1618-0089, Vol. 12, no 7, 590-599 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the fact that the loss of a species from a community has the potential to cause a dramatic decline in biodiversity, for example through cascades of secondary extinctions, little is known about the factors contributing to the extinction risk of any particular species. Here we expand earlier modeling approaches using a dynamic food-web model that accounts for bottom-up as well as top-down effects. We investigate what factors influence a species’ extinction risk and time to extinction of the non-persistent species. We identified three basic properties that affect a species’ risk of extinction. The highest extinction risk is born by species with (1) low energy input (e.g. high trophic level), (2) susceptibility to the loss of energy pathways (e.g. specialists with few prey species) and (3) dynamic instability (e.g. low Hill exponent and reliance on homogeneous energy channels when feeding on similarly sized prey). Interestingly, and different from field studies, we found that the trophic level and not the body mass of a species influences its extinction risk. On the other hand, body mass is the single most important factor determining the time to extinction of a species, resulting in small species dying first. This suggests that in the field the trophic level might have more influence on the extinction risk than presently recognized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2011. Vol. 12, no 7, 590-599 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-73619DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2011.09.002ISI: 000299149700005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-73619DiVA: diva2:475167
Note

funding agencies|ESF||German Research Foundation| BR 2315/13 BR 2315/11-1 |

Available from: 2012-01-10 Created: 2012-01-10 Last updated: 2017-04-19

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