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One equation fits overkill: why allometry underpins both prehistoric and modern body size-biased extinctions

Brook, Barry William and Bowman, David (2005). One equation fits overkill: why allometry underpins both prehistoric and modern body size-biased extinctions. Population Ecology,47(2):137-141.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 22 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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IRMA ID A00004xPUB95
Title One equation fits overkill: why allometry underpins both prehistoric and modern body size-biased extinctions
Author Brook, Barry William
Bowman, David
Journal Name Population Ecology
Publication Date 2005
Volume Number 47
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1438-390X   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-24044503434
Start Page 137
End Page 141
Total Pages 5
Place of Publication Tokyo, Japan
Publisher Springer Publishing Company
Field of Research 0602 - Ecology
1603 - Demography
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract The higher extinction proneness of large bodied vertebrates, both in the past and during the modern global biodiversity crisis, has a fundamental explanation in allometry: maximal population increase is scaled to body mass (W) by W–0.25, whilst generation length scales by W0.25 . Populations of any sized vertebrate can persist if their populations experience the same proportional reduction each generation, but if this chronic mortality occurs at an annual rate, then smaller short-lived animals are able to survive whilst larger animals are driven inexorably to extinction. On this basis, our interpretation of the empirical body mass-extinction risk evidence for both the Late Pleistocene extinctions and the contemporary biodiversity crisis is that human impacts are sufficiently rapid and ubiquitous to outstrip the capacity of natural selection in most large taxa, upsetting the highly evolved life history trade-offs that permit the maintenance of a diverse assemblage of different sized animals.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10144-005-0213-4   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Additional Notes Print Ed. ISSN: 1438-3896
 
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