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Extinction debt in fragmented grasslands: paid or not?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. (landscape ecology)
2009 (English)In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 20, no 1, 3-7 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fragmentation of grasslands and forests is considered amajor threat to biodiversity. In the case of plants, theeffect of fragmentation or landscape context is still unclearand published results are divergent. One explanation forthis divergence is the slow response of long-lived plants,creating an extinction debt. However, this has not beenempirically confirmed. In this study, data were compiledfrom broad-scale studies of grasslands from throughoutthe world that relate plant diversity to fragmentationeffects. Only seven studies from northern Europe, out ofa total 61, gave any information on actual habitat fragmentationin time and space. In landscapes with 410%grassland remaining, present-day species richness wasrelated to past landscape or habitat pattern. In landscapeswith o10% grassland remaining, in contrast, plant speciesrichness was more related to contemporary landscapeor habitat pattern. Studies from landscapes with 410%grassland remaining supported the concept of an extinctiondebt, while studies from more fragmented landscapesdid not provide any evidence of an extinction debt. Inorder to make generalisations about historical legacies onspecies diversity in grasslands it is important to consider arange of highly transformed landscapes, and not onlylandscapes with a high amount of grassland remaining.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 20, no 1, 3-7 p.
National Category
Botany Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-28546DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2009.05647.xISI: 000263701500002OAI: diva2:225063
Available from: 2009-06-24 Created: 2009-06-24 Last updated: 2013-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Cousins, Sara
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