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Review
. 2014 Jul 25;345(6195):401-6.
doi: 10.1126/science.1251817.

Defaunation in the Anthropocene

Affiliations
Review

Defaunation in the Anthropocene

Rodolfo Dirzo et al. Science. .

Abstract

We live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss: species and population extirpations and, critically, declines in local species abundance. Particularly, human impacts on animal biodiversity are an under-recognized form of global environmental change. Among terrestrial vertebrates, 322 species have become extinct since 1500, and populations of the remaining species show 25% average decline in abundance. Invertebrate patterns are equally dire: 67% of monitored populations show 45% mean abundance decline. Such animal declines will cascade onto ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Much remains unknown about this "Anthropocene defaunation"; these knowledge gaps hinder our capacity to predict and limit defaunation impacts. Clearly, however, defaunation is both a pervasive component of the planet's sixth mass extinction and also a major driver of global ecological change.

Comment in

  • Fauna in decline: plight of the pangolin.
    Liu Y, Weng Q. Liu Y, et al. Science. 2014 Aug 22;345(6199):884. doi: 10.1126/science.345.6199.884-a. Science. 2014. PMID: 25146276 No abstract available.
  • Fauna in decline: meek shall inherit.
    Christianini AV, Oliveira PS, Bruna EM, Vasconcelos HL. Christianini AV, et al. Science. 2014 Sep 5;345(6201):1129. doi: 10.1126/science.345.6201.1129-a. Science. 2014. PMID: 25190784 No abstract available.
  • Fauna in decline: beyond extinction.
    Briggs JC. Briggs JC. Science. 2014 Nov 14;346(6211):820. doi: 10.1126/science.346.6211.820. Science. 2014. PMID: 25395528 No abstract available.
  • Fauna in decline: protect forests now.
    Wells JV. Wells JV. Science. 2014 Nov 14;346(6211):821. doi: 10.1126/science.346.6211.821-b. Epub 2014 Nov 13. Science. 2014. PMID: 25395530 No abstract available.

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