Nationwide revisitation reveals thousands of local extinctions across the ranges of 713 threatened and rare plant species

Kempel, Anne; Bornand, Christophe N.; Gygax, Andreas; Juillerat, Philippe; Jutzi, Michael; Sager, Lionel; Bäumler, Beat; Eggenberg, Stefan; Fischer, Markus (2020). Nationwide revisitation reveals thousands of local extinctions across the ranges of 713 threatened and rare plant species. Conservation letters, 13(6) Wiley 10.1111/conl.12749

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Despite increasing awareness of global biodiversity loss, we lack quantitative data on local extinctions for many species. This is especially true for rare species, which are typically assessed on the basis of expert judgment rather than data. Revisiting previously assessed populations enables estimation of local extinction rates and the identification of species characteristics and habitats with high local extinction risk. Between 2010 and 2016, in a nationwide revisitation study, 420 volunteer botanists revisited 8,024 populations of the 713 rarest and most threatened plant species in Switzerland recorded between 1960 and 2001. Of the revisited 8,024 populations, 27% had gone locally extinct. Among critically endangered species, the local extinctions increased to 40%. Species from ruderal and freshwater habitat types showed the highest proportion of local extinctions. Our results provide compelling evidence for rapid and widespread local extinctions and suggest that current conservation measures are insufficient. Local extinctions precede and provide early warnings for global extinctions. The ongoing loss of populations suggests that we will lose species diversity unless we scale up species‐targeted conservation and restoration measures, especially in anthropogenic landscapes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
13 Central Units > Administrative Director's Office > Botanical Garden
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biodiversity

UniBE Contributor:

Kempel, Anne Sybille; Bornand, Christophe Nathanael; Gygax, Andreas; Jutzi, Michael; Eggenberg, Stefan Peter and Fischer, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1755-263X

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

25 Sep 2020 13:40

Last Modified:

05 Jan 2021 08:40

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/conl.12749

Uncontrolled Keywords:

citizen science, endangered plants, extinction risk, IUCN threat categories, monitoring, rarity,species trend

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146531

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146531

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