A global synthesis of plant extinction rates in urban areas.

Journal article


Hahs, Amy K., McDonnell, Mark J., McCarthy, Michael A., Vesk, Peter A., Corlett, Richard T., Norton, Briony, A., Clemants, Steven E., Duncan, Richard P., Thompson, Ken, Schwartz, Mark W. and Williams, Nicholas S. G. 2009. A global synthesis of plant extinction rates in urban areas. Ecology Letters. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01372.x
AuthorsHahs, Amy K., McDonnell, Mark J., McCarthy, Michael A., Vesk, Peter A., Corlett, Richard T., Norton, Briony, A., Clemants, Steven E., Duncan, Richard P., Thompson, Ken, Schwartz, Mark W. and Williams, Nicholas S. G.
Abstract

Plant extinctions from urban areas are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide. To minimize this threat, it is critical to understand what factors are influencing plant extinction rates. We compiled plant extinction rate data for 22 cities around the world. Two‐thirds of the variation in plant extinction rates was explained by a combination of the city’s historical development and the current proportion of native vegetation, with the former explaining the greatest variability. As a single variable, the amount of native vegetation remaining also influenced extinction rates, particularly in cities > 200 years old. Our study demonstrates that the legacies of landscape transformations by agrarian and urban development last for hundreds of years, and modern cities potentially carry a large extinction debt. This finding highlights the importance of preserving native vegetation in urban areas and the need for mitigation to minimize potential plant extinctions in the future.

KeywordsConservation biology; Extinction debt; Global change; Land‐cover change; Landscape ecology; Historical data; Native vegetation; Novel ecosystems; Restoration ecology; Species persistence
Year2009
JournalEcology Letters
PublisherWiley
ISSN1461023X
14610248
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01372.x
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622983
hdl:10545/622983
Publication dates13 Oct 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Sep 2018, 09:16
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Archived with thanks to Ecology Letters

ContributorsRoyal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, University of Melbourne, National University of Singapore, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Lincoln University, University of Sheffield and University of California
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