Global correlates of range contractions and expansions in terrestrial mammals

Michela Pacifici*, Carlo Rondinini, Jonathan Rhodes, Andrew Burbidge, Andrea Cristiano, James Watson, John Woinarski, Moreno Di Marco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Understanding changes in species distributions is essential to disentangle the mechanisms that drive their responses to anthropogenic habitat modification. Here we analyse the past (1970s) and current (2017) distribution of 204 species of terrestrial non-volant mammals to identify drivers of recent contraction and expansion in their range. We find 106 species lost part of their past range, and 40 of them declined by >50%. The key correlates of this contraction are large body mass, increase in air temperature, loss of natural land, and high human population density. At the same time, 44 species have some expansion in their range, which correlates with small body size, generalist diet, and high reproductive rates. Our findings clearly show that human activity and life history interact to influence range changes in mammals. While the former plays a major role in determining contraction in species’ distribution, the latter is important for both contraction and expansion
Original languageEnglish
Article number2840
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Volume11
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

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