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Landscape-scale forest loss as a catalyst of population and biodiversity change

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Abstract

Global biodiversity assessments have highlighted land-use change as a key driver of biodiversity change. However, there is little empirical evidence of how habitat transformations such as forest loss and gain are reshaping biodiversity over time. We quantified how change in forest cover has influenced temporal shifts in populations and ecological assemblages from 6090 globally distributed time series across six taxonomic groups. We found that local-scale increases and decreases in abundance, species richness, and temporal species replacement (turnover) were intensified by as much as 48% after forest loss. Temporal lags in population- and assemblage-level shifts after forest loss extended up to 50 years and increased with species’ generation time. Our findings that forest loss catalyzes population and biodiversity change emphasize the complex biotic consequences of land-use change.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1341-1347
Number of pages8
JournalScience
Volume368
Issue number6497
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020

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