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The commonness of rarity: Global and future distribution of rarity across land plants

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  • Brian J. Enquist, University of Arizona, Santa Fe Institute
  • ,
  • Xiao Feng, University of Arizona
  • ,
  • Brad Boyle, University of Arizona
  • ,
  • Brian Maitner, University of Arizona
  • ,
  • Erica A. Newman, University of Arizona
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  • Peter Møller Jørgensen, Missouri Botanical Garden
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  • Patrick R. Roehrdanz, Conservation International
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  • Barbara M. Thiers, New York Botanical Garden
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  • Joseph R. Burger, University of Arizona
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  • Richard T. Corlett, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Thomas L.P. Couvreur, Universite de Montpellier
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  • Gilles Dauby, Universite de Montpellier
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  • John C. Donoghue, Rincon Consultants Inc.
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  • Wendy Foden, South African National Parks
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  • Jon C. Lovett, Leeds University, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
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  • Pablo A. Marquet, Santa Fe Institute, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Universidad de Chile
  • ,
  • Cory Merow, Southern Connecticut State University
  • ,
  • Guy Midgley, University of Stellenbosch
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  • Naia Morueta-Holme, Center for Macroecology, Københavns Universitet
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  • Danilo M. Neves, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
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  • Ary T. Oliveira-Filho, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
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  • Nathan J.B. Kraft, University California Los Angeles
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  • Daniel S. Park, Harvard University
  • ,
  • Robert K. Peet, University of North Carolina
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  • Michiel Pillet, University of Arizona
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  • Josep M. Serra-Diaz, Universite de Lorraine
  • ,
  • Brody Sandel
  • Mark Schildhauer, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • ,
  • Irena Šímová, Charles University
  • ,
  • Cyrille Violle, Universite de Montpellier
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  • Jan J. Wieringa, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre
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  • Susan K. Wiser, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research
  • ,
  • Lee Hannah, Conservation International
  • ,
  • Jens Christian Svenning
  • Brian J. McGill, University of Maine

A key feature of life’s diversity is that some species are common but many more are rare. Nonetheless, at global scales, we do not know what fraction of biodiversity consists of rare species. Here, we present the largest compilation of global plant diversity to quantify the fraction of Earth’s plant biodiversity that are rare. A large fraction, ~36.5% of Earth’s ~435,000 plant species, are exceedingly rare. Sampling biases and prominent models, such as neutral theory and the k-niche model, cannot account for the observed prevalence of rarity. Our results indicate that (i) climatically more stable regions have harbored rare species and hence a large fraction of Earth’s plant species via reduced extinction risk but that (ii) climate change and human land use are now disproportionately impacting rare species. Estimates of global species abundance distributions have important implications for risk assessments and conservation planning in this era of rapid global change.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummereaaz0414
TidsskriftScience Advances
Vol/bind5
Nummer11
ISSN2375-2548
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 27 nov. 2019

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