Fifteen forms of biodiversity trend in the Anthropocene

Trends Ecol Evol. 2015 Feb;30(2):104-13. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2014.11.006. Epub 2014 Dec 23.


Humans are transforming the biosphere in unprecedented ways, raising the important question of how these impacts are changing biodiversity. Here we argue that our understanding of biodiversity trends in the Anthropocene, and our ability to protect the natural world, is impeded by a failure to consider different types of biodiversity measured at different spatial scales. We propose that ecologists should recognize and assess 15 distinct categories of biodiversity trend. We summarize what is known about each of these 15 categories, identify major gaps in our current knowledge, and recommend the next steps required for better understanding of trends in biodiversity.

Keywords: Anthropocene; alpha diversity; beta diversity; change; landscape; local; loss; meta-community; region; species richness; winners and losers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biodiversity*
  • Climate Change
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Extinction, Biological
  • Geography
  • Human Activities*
  • Introduced Species
  • Population Dynamics
  • Time Factors