Santa Fe Institute

Maria was recently invited to give a talk on detecting and dissecting biodiversity change at the Santa Fe Institute where she discussed BioTIME and some of the resulting analyses and publications to emerge from it


Abstract: The planet is undergoing fast and global change in climate and human use of natural resources. We ask the question: how is biodiversity changing in this context? We used biodiversity time series in the bioTIME database to dissect richness and turnover change within and across communities, in space and time and across taxa.Change in community composition emerges as the most evident way in which biodiversity is changing in the Anthropocene. Colonizations and extinctions are accelerating but are approximately balanced. Most populations have no detectable trend in their abundances, and those that are changing are equally divided among those increasing and those decreasing in abundance. Temporal turnover in ecological communities is therefore the result of a balance between winners and losers. On average we do not detect a significant change in species richness, although many locations have decreasing and others increasing trends. However, there are spatial patterns in this variation, with the marine realm showing the strongest trends in turnover and species richness change.