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Minimum viable population sizes and global extinction risk are unrelated


Brook, BW and Traill, LW and Bradshaw, CJA, Minimum viable population sizes and global extinction risk are unrelated, Ecology Letters, 9, (4) pp. 375-382. ISSN 1461-023X (2006) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2006.00883.x


Theoretical and empirical work has shown that once reduced in size and geographical range, species face a considerably elevated risk of extinction. We predict minimum viable population sizes (MVP) for 1198 species based on long-term time-series data and model-averaged population dynamics simulations. The median MVP estimate was 1377 individuals (90% probability of persistence over 100 years) but the overall distribution was wide and strongly positively skewed. Factors commonly cited as correlating with extinction risk failed to predict MVP but were able to predict successfully the probability of World Conservation Union Listing. MVPs were most strongly related to local environmental variation rather than a speciesí intrinsic ecological and life history attributes. Further, the large variation in MVP across species is unrelated to (or at least dwarfed by) the anthropogenic threats that drive the global biodiversity crisis by causing once-abundant species to decline.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Density dependence, extinction correlates, generalized linear mixed models, minimum viable population size, model-averaging, population variability
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Population ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:116330
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:108
Deposited By:Biological Sciences
Deposited On:2017-05-05
Last Modified:2017-08-28

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