Vanishing of the common species: Empty habitats and the role of genetic diversity

Published on Feb 1, 2018in Biological Conservation 4.66
· DOI :10.1016/j.biocon.2017.12.018
Jan Christian Habel23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Technische Universität München),
Thomas Schmitt26
Estimated H-index: 26
(Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg)
Abstract Biodiversity is declining, with major causes identified as habitat loss and a reduction of habitat quality. Recent studies have shown that particularly species with specific habitat demands are suffering in this way. Accordingly, habitat specialists have been nominated as umbrella species, which because they represent a much larger number of species, are thought best to fulfil the requirements of nature conservation. However, species which are ecologically intermediate between habitat specialists and generalists, and typically form networks of populations on adjoining habitats, might suffer even more severely under rapid habitat fragmentation than those specialists which had for a long time already occurred as discrete populations. Today, most of these formerly more widely distributed intermediate species also exist only as small and isolated populations which, because of their increasing geographic isolation, cannot counterbalance local extinctions by recolonisation. Furthermore, these species are mostly equipped with relatively high genetic diversity that is maintained by continual exchange of individuals between local populations. However, this high level of genetic variability frequently decreases after the collapse of population networks – with negative effects on the viability of these species. Thus, factors at the population and molecular levels may lead that formerly common species vanish in the near future.
  • References (41)
  • Citations (4)
Published on May 1, 2003in Conservation Genetics 2.02
David H. Reed9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Macquarie University),
Edwin H. Lowe4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Macquarie University)
+ 1 AuthorsRichard Frankham53
Estimated H-index: 53
(Macquarie University)
Deleterious alleles may be removed (purged) bynatural selection in populations undergoinginbreeding. However, there is controversyregarding the effectiveness of selection inreducing the risk of extinction due toinbreeding, especially in relation to the rateof inbreeding. We evaluated the effect of therate of inbreeding on reducing extinction risk,in populations of Drosophila melanogastermaintained using full-sib mating (160replicates), or at effective population sizes(Ne) of 10 (80) or 20 (80).E...
120 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 1998in Nature 41.58
Ilik J. Saccheri24
Estimated H-index: 24
Mikko Kuussaari26
Estimated H-index: 26
+ 3 AuthorsIlkka Hanski82
Estimated H-index: 82
It has been proposed that inbreeding contributes to the decline and eventual extinction of small and isolated populations. There is ample evidence of fitness reduction due to inbreeding (inbreeding depression) in captivity and from a few experimental and observational field studies, but no field studies on natural populations have been conducted to test the proposed effect on extinction. It has been argued that in natural populations the impact of inbreeding depression on population survival wil...
1,293 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 1998in Journal of Insect Conservation 1.56
Irma Wynhoff1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Leiden University)
Details of a reintroduction of Maculinea teleius (scarce large blue butterfly) and Maculinea nausithous (dusky large blue butterfly) into a nature reserve in the Netherlands are given. The introduced population of M. teleius expanded during the first three years. In contrast, the newly established population of M. nausithous declined in the year after the reintroduction but expanded later. After a considerable increase in numbers, this species can nowadays be seen in two subpopulations: one in a...
44 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 1, 2013in Biodiversity and Conservation 2.83
Katharina J. Filz5
Estimated H-index: 5
Jan O. Engler14
Estimated H-index: 14
+ 2 AuthorsThomas Schmitt31
Estimated H-index: 31
Butterflies are strongly declining on grassland habitats of Central Europe. Therefore, the success of conservation measures on high quality grassland habitats is controversially discussed. We compared the changes in butterfly diversity and community structure on six managed calcareous grasslands with eight unmanaged vineyard fallows. We obtained strong losses of species diversity and remarkable shifts of community compositions on both habitat types. However, the changes on vineyard fallows were ...
18 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2012in Biological Conservation 4.66
Jan Christian Habel23
Estimated H-index: 23
(American Museum of Natural History),
Thomas Schmitt31
Estimated H-index: 31
In general, species with large ecological amplitudes are equipped with high genetic diversities. In contrast, more specialised species with narrow ecological amplitudes show low levels of genetic diversity. Generalist species are mostly rather marginally affected by recent land-use changes; specialist can be supported by specific conservation measures. We argue that, in the light of Conservation Genetics, species being ecologically intermediate between these two extremes are the most seriously a...
51 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2001in Biological Conservation 4.66
Dirk Maes26
Estimated H-index: 26
Hans Van Dyck32
Estimated H-index: 32
(University of Antwerp)
We illustrate the strong decrease in the number of butterfly species in Flanders (north Belgium) in the 20th century using data from a national butterfly mapping scheme. Nineteen of the 64 indigenous species went extinct and half of the remaining species are threatened at present. Flanders is shown to be the region with the highest number of extinct butterflies in Europe. More intensive agriculture practices and expansion of house and road building increased the extinction rate more than eightfo...
188 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2000in Biological Conservation 4.66
Lejla Buza1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Australian National University),
Andrew G. Young29
Estimated H-index: 29
(Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation),
Peter H. Thrall48
Estimated H-index: 48
(Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
Genetic variation and fixation coefficients were measured for 17 fragmented populations of the endangered tetraploid pea Swainsona recta ranging in size from 1 to 430 flowering plants. Allelic richness and fixation coefficient were correlated with the log population size, suggesting that reduced population size is accompanied by genetic erosion, primarily due to a loss of rare (q<0.1) alleles, and increased inbreeding. Comparative germination and growth studies of seed from five populations repr...
114 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 3, 2008in Nature 41.58
Brett A. Melbourne28
Estimated H-index: 28
(University of California, Berkeley),
Alan Hastings70
Estimated H-index: 70
(University of California, Davis)
Extinction is a fundamental process in biological systems, and is central to our understanding of biodiversity and evolution. The use of mathematics linked to experiments on insect populations shows that different kinds of randomness in the life of an animal combine together in such a way that the risk of extinction is many times higher than previously thought possible.
275 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1995
Richard B. Primack51
Estimated H-index: 51
Conservation biology and biological diversity threats to biological diversity conservation at the population and species levels conservation at the community level conservation and sustainable development.
237 Citations
Published on Apr 1, 2010in Animal Conservation 2.89
Tomas Kadlec11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Charles University in Prague),
P. Vrba1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Charles University in Prague)
+ 2 AuthorsM. Konvicka1
Estimated H-index: 1
Large populations, seemingly not at risk of extinction, can decline rapidly due to alteration of habitat. This appears to be the case of the butterfly Chazara briseis, which is declining in all of Central and Eastern Europe, even from apparently large areas of its steppe grassland habitats. We combined mark–recapture, allozyme electrophoresis and adult behaviour observation to study the last remaining metapopulation of this once-widespread butterfly in the Czech Republic. The total population es...
37 Citations Source Cite
  • References (41)
  • Citations (4)
Cited By4
Published on Oct 2, 2018in Journal of Bryology 1.08
Lars Hedenäs20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Swedish Museum of Natural History)
Cryptic species are rarer than their combined, morphologically recognisable species. Each cryptic species may have its own habitat requirements and distribution, and each should be considered separately in biodiversity conservation. This investigation explores how well the two cryptic species of the wetland moss Hamatocaulis vernicosus (Mitt.) Hedenas s.l., included in Annex II of the EU Habitat Directive, are safeguarded in existing protected sites in Sweden. Further, the northern distribution ...
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Published on Nov 28, 2018in PLOS ONE 2.77
Jan Christian Habel23
Estimated H-index: 23
Mike Teucher3
Estimated H-index: 3
Dennis Rödder25
Estimated H-index: 25
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Published on Jan 18, 2019in Biological Journal of The Linnean Society 2.53
Joan C. Hinojosa2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Spanish National Research Council),
Yeray Monasterio + 2 AuthorsRoger Vila23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Spanish National Research Council)
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Published on Apr 1, 2019in Biodiversity and Conservation 2.83
Kristina Plenk (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna), Katharina Bardy1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna)
+ 1 AuthorsMatthias Kropf12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna)
Many steppe species reach their (north)westernmost distribution limit in western Central Europe. This also applies to Poa badensis, a rare steppe plant of calcareous rock/sand vegetation. To explore potential differences in reproductive success and genetic composition of peripheral populations, we analysed the absolute (north)westernmost occurrences in Western Germany and populations at the western margin (Eastern Austria) and the centre (Central Hungary) of the Pannonicum, representing a part o...
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