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Habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss and extinction debt
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2010 (English)In: Ecology LettersArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Intensification or abandonment of agricultural land use has led to a severe decline of semi-natural habitats across Europe. This can cause immediate loss of species but also time-delayed extinctions, known as the extinction debt. In a pan-European study of 147 fragmented grassland remnants, we found differences in the extinction debt of species from different trophic levels. Present-day species richness of long-lived vascular plant specialists was better explained by past than current landscape patterns, indicating an extinction debt. In contrast, short-lived butterfly specialists showed no evidence for an extinction debt at a time scale of c. 40 years. Our results indicate that management strategies maintaining the status quo of fragmented habitats are insufficient, as time- delayed extinctions and associated co-extinctions will lead to further biodiversity loss in the future.

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Keyword [sv]
landskapsekologi, spridning, fragementering
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52983DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01457OAI: diva2:389522
Available from: 2011-01-19 Created: 2011-01-19 Last updated: 2011-02-03Bibliographically approved

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Lindborg, Regina
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Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK)

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