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Body mass and latitude as global predictors of vertebrate populations exposure to multiple threats

Capdevila, Pol; Noviello, Nicola; McRae, Louise; Freeman, Robin; Clements, Christopher; (2022) Body mass and latitude as global predictors of vertebrate populations exposure to multiple threats. bioRxiv: Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

The interactive effects of multiple threats are one of the main causes of biodiversity loss, yet our understanding of what predisposes species to be impacted by multiple threats remains limited. Here we analyse a global dataset of over 7000 marine, freshwater, and terrestrial vertebrate populations, alongside trait, threat and geographical data, to identify the factors influencing the number of threats a species is subjected to at the population level. Out of a suite of predictors tested, we find that body mass and latitude both are broadly available for vertebrate species, and influence the number of threats a population is subjected to. Larger bodied species and those nearer the equator are typically affected by a higher number of threats. However, whilst this pattern broadly holds across ecosystems for most taxa, amphibians and reptiles show opposing trends. We suggest that latitude and body mass should be considered as key predictors to identify which vertebrate populations are likely to be impacted by multiple threats. These general predictors can help to better understand the impacts of the Anthropocene on global vertebrate biodiversity and design effective conservation policies.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Body mass and latitude as global predictors of vertebrate populations exposure to multiple threats
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1101/2022.02.04.479091
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.02.04.479091
Language: English
Additional information: The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY-NC 4.0 International license.
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/10169834
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