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Social-ecological predictors of global invasions and extinctions

Ecology and Society

By:
and
DOI: 10.5751/ES-05550-180315

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Abstract

Most assessments of resilience have been focused on local conditions. Studies focused on the relationship between humanity and environmental degradation are rare, and are rarely comprehensive. We investigated multiple social-ecological factors for 100 countries around the globe in relation to the percentage of invasions and extinctions within each country. These 100 countries contain approximately 87% of the world’s population, produce 43% of the world’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP), and take up 74% of the earth’s total land area. We used an information theoretic approach to determine which models were most supported by our data, utilizing an a priori set of plausible models that included a combination of 15 social-ecological variables, each social-ecological factor by itself, and selected social-ecological factors grouped into three broad classes. These variables were per capita GDP, export-import ratio, tourism, undernourishment, energy efficiency, agricultural intensity, rainfall, water stress, wilderness protection, total biodiversity, life expectancy, adult literacy, pesticide regulation, political stability, and female participation in government. Our results indicate that as total biodiversity and total land area increase, the percentage of endangered birds also increases. As the independent variables (agricultural intensity, rainfall, water stress, and total biodiversity) in the ecological class model increase, the percentage of endangered mammals in a country increases. The percentage of invasive birds and mammals in a country increases as per capita GDP increases. As life expectancy increases, the percentage of invasive and endangered birds and mammals increases. Although our analysis does not determine mechanisms, the patterns observed in this study provide insight into the dynamics of a complex, global, social-ecological system.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Social-ecological predictors of global invasions and extinctions
Series title:
Ecology and Society
DOI:
10.5751/ES-05550-180315
Volume
18
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s):
Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description:
15 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Ecology and Society