Loss of functional diversity through anthropogenic extinctions of island birds is not offset by biotic invasions

Sayol, Ferran; Cooke, Robert S.C.; Pigot, Alex L.; Blackburn, Tim M.; Tobias, Joseph A.; Steinbauer, Manuel J.; Antonelli, Alexandre; Faurby, Søren. 2021 Loss of functional diversity through anthropogenic extinctions of island birds is not offset by biotic invasions. Science Advances, 7 (46), eabj5790. 10, pp.

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Human impacts reshape ecological communities through the extinction and introduction of species. The combined impact of these factors depends on whether non-native species fill the functional roles of extinct species, thus buffering the loss of functional diversity. This question has been difficult to address, because comprehensive information about past extinctions and their traits is generally lacking. We combine detailed information about extinct, extant, and established alien birds to quantify historical changes in functional diversity across nine oceanic archipelagos. We found that alien species often equal or exceed the number of anthropogenic extinctions yet apparently perform a narrower set of functional roles as current island assemblages have undergone a substantial and ubiquitous net loss in functional diversity and increased functional similarity among assemblages. Our results reveal that the introduction of alien species has not prevented anthropogenic extinctions from reducing and homogenizing the functional diversity of native bird assemblages on oceanic archipelagos.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2375-2548
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 29 Dec 2021 14:48 +0 (UTC)

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