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Type: Journal article
Title: Why tropical island endemics are acutely susceptible to global change
Author: Fordham, D.
Brook, B.
Citation: Biodiversity and Conservation, 2010; 19(2 Sp Iss):329-342
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publ
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0960-3115
Statement of
Damien A. Fordham and Barry W. Brook
Abstract: Tropical islands are species foundries, formed either as a by-product of volcanism, when previously submerged seabed is thrust upwards by tectonics, or when a peninsula is isolated by rising sea level. After colonisation, the geographical isolation and niche vacancies provide the competitive impetus for an evolutionary radiation of distinct species-island endemics. Yet the very attributes which promote speciation in evolutionary time also leave island endemics highly vulnerable to recent and rapid impacts by modern people. Indeed, the majority of documented human-driven extinctions have been exacted upon island endemics. The causes include over-exploitation, invasive species brought by people and destruction of island’s naturally constrained habitats. Imminent threats include inundation by rising sea levels and other adaptive pressures related to anthropogenic global warming. We review recent work which underscores the susceptibility of island endemics to the drivers of global change, and suggest a methodological framework under which, we argue, the science and mitigation of island extinctions can be most productively advanced.
Keywords: Biodiversity; Biogeography; Climate change; Deforestation; Extinction; Over-exploitation; Habitat loss; Invasive species; Southeast Asia; Synergistic human impacts
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008
RMID: 0020100242
DOI: 10.1007/s10531-008-9529-7
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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