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Alien versus native species as drivers of recent extinctions

Blackburn, TM; Bellard, C; Ricciardi, A; (2019) Alien versus native species as drivers of recent extinctions. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment , 17 (4) pp. 203-207. 10.1002/fee.2020. Green open access

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Abstract

Native plants and animals can rapidly become superabundant and dominate ecosystems, leading some people to claim that native species are no less likely than alien species to cause environmental damage such as biodiversity loss. We compared how frequently alien species and native species have been implicated as drivers of recent extinctions in a comprehensive global database, the 2017 IUCN Red List. Alien species were considered to be a contributing cause of 25% of plant extinctions and 33% of animal extinctions, whereas native species were implicated in less than 3% and 5% of animal and plant extinctions, respectively. When listed as a putative driver of recent extinctions, native species were more often associated with co-occurring drivers than were alien species. Our results add a new line of evidence that the biogeographic origin (evolutionary history) of a species is a determining factor of its potential to cause disruptive environmental impacts.

Type: Article
Title: Alien versus native species as drivers of recent extinctions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/fee.2020
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/fee.2020
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058307
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