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Red List for British seaweeds: evaluating the IUCN methodology for non-standard marine organisms

Brodie, Juliet; Wilbraham, Joanna; Maggs, Christine A; Baldock, Lin; Bunker, Francis; Mieszkowska, Nova; Scanlan, Clare; ... Yesson, Chris; + view all (2023) Red List for British seaweeds: evaluating the IUCN methodology for non-standard marine organisms. Biodiversity and Conservation 10.1007/s10531-023-02649-0. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is an authoritative tool in biodiversity conservation. Whilst IUCN criteria have been applied successfully to groups such as birds and mammals, a Red List assessment of British seaweeds in 2021 revealed that the categories to which seaweed species were assigned were dependent on how the criteria were applied. Here, this seaweed assessment is used as a case study with which to evaluate the IUCN methodology for use with ‘non-standard’ groups of organisms. A data-driven assessment of red (Rhodophyta), green (Chlorophyta) and brown (Phaeophyceae) seaweeds, which applied three (A, B and D) of the five IUCN criteria (A–E), categorized 13% of 617 British species as threatened. Following peer review, only 7% of species were categorized as threatened (1% Critically Endangered—CR, 3% Endangered—EN, 3% Vulnerable—VU), and 55% as Data Deficient. This reduction in species categorized as threatened suggests that strict application of the IUCN criteria may, at least for the seaweeds, over-estimate threat. As a result of this assessment, recommendations include the need for a more unified monitoring system and a review of the suitability for/application of the IUCN assessment criteria to some types of organisms. For example, in clonal populations, it is not possible to count individuals, and complex life histories cause additional complications. IUCN criteria must be applicable to a wide range of organisms, including seaweeds.

Type: Article
Title: Red List for British seaweeds: evaluating the IUCN methodology for non-standard marine organisms
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10531-023-02649-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-023-02649-0
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Climate change, Clonal populations, Generation time, Peer review, Seaweeds, Species extinction
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10175397
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