Warning signals of biodiversity collapse across gradients of tropical forest loss

Fabio De Oliveira Roque, Jorge F.S. Menezes, Tobin Northfield, Jose Manuel Ochoa-Quintero, Mason J. Campbell, William F. Laurance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1622
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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