Research Article

The geography of biodiversity change in marine and terrestrial assemblages

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Science  18 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6463, pp. 339-345
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw1620

Spatial structure of species change

Biodiversity is undergoing rapid change driven by climate change and other human influences. Blowes et al. analyze the global patterns in temporal change in biodiversity using a large quantity of time-series data from different regions (see the Perspective by Eriksson and Hillebrand). Their findings reveal clear spatial patterns in richness and composition change, where marine taxa exhibit the highest rates of change. The marine tropics, in particular, emerge as hotspots of species richness losses. Given that human activities are affecting biodiversity in magnitudes and directions that differ across the planet, these findings will provide a much needed biogeographic understanding of biodiversity change that can help inform conservation prioritization.

Science, this issue p. 339; see also p. 308

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