Near-complete extinction of native small mammal fauna 25 years after forest fragmentation

Gibson, Luke, Lynam, Antony J., Bradshaw, Corey J.A., He, Fangliang, Bickford, David P., Woodruff, David S., Bumrungsri, Sara, and Laurance, William F. (2013) Near-complete extinction of native small mammal fauna 25 years after forest fragmentation. Science, 341 (6153). pp. 1508-1510.

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Tropical forests continue to be felled and fragmented around the world. A key question is how rapidly species disappear from forest fragments and how quickly humans must restore forest connectivity to minimize extinctions. We surveyed small mammals on forest islands in Chiew Larn Reservoir in Thailand 5 to 7 and 25 to 26 years after isolation and observed the near-total loss of native small mammals within 5 years from <10-hectare (ha) fragments and within 25 years from 10- to 56-ha fragments. Based on our results, we developed an island biogeographic model and estimated mean extinction half-life (50% of resident species disappearing) to be 13.9 years. These catastrophic extinctions were probably partly driven by an invasive rat species; such biotic invasions are becoming increasingly common in human-modified landscapes. Our results are thus particularly relevant to other fragmented forest landscapes and suggest that small fragments are potentially even more vulnerable to biodiversity loss than previously thought.

Item ID: 29998
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9203
Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF), National University of Singapore (NUS), Ah Meng Memorial Conservation Fund, Australian Research Council (ARC), National Sciences and Engineeering Research Council of Canada, Sun Yat-sen University, Singapore International Graduate Award
Projects and Grants: NSF Grant BSR-9000486, NSF Grant BSR-9300182, NUS Grant R-154-000-479-112, Ah Meng Memorial Conservation Fund Grant R-154-000521-720
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2013 09:48
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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