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What drives at‐risk species richness? Environmental factors are more influential than anthropogenic factors or biological traits.

Howard, C. and Flather, C.H. and Stephens, P.A. (2019) 'What drives at‐risk species richness? Environmental factors are more influential than anthropogenic factors or biological traits.', Conservation letters., 12 (2). e12624.

Abstract

Species at risk of extinction are not uniformly distributed in space. Concentrations of threatened species may occur where threatening processes are intense, in refuges from those processes, or in areas of high species diversity. However, there have been few attempts to identify the processes that explain the distribution of at‐risk species. Here, we identified the relative importance of biological traits, environmental factors, and anthropogenic stressors in driving the spatial patterns of both total and at‐risk species richness of North American mammals and birds. Environmental factors are the predominant drivers of both total and at‐risk species richness. Strikingly, the directions of variable relationships differ substantially between models of total and at‐risk species richness. Understanding how environmental gradients differentially drive variation in total and at‐risk species richness can inform conservation action. Moreover, our approach can predict shifts in at‐risk species concentrations in response to projected environmental change and anthropogenic stressors.

Item Type:Article
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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(941Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12624
Publisher statement:© 2018 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:25 November 2018
Date deposited:17 December 2018
Date of first online publication:13 December 2018
Date first made open access:No date available

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