Biodiversity of species. BION Biodiversity Network, Bonn. Stuart L. Pimm

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1 Biodiversity of species BION Biodiversity Network, Bonn Stuart L. Pimm Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, USA

2 The need for a biodiversity assessment One of the four principal functions of the United Nation s Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is to perform regular and timely assessments of knowledge on biodiversity. CBD s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (the Aichi Targets) and other biodiversity-related conventions (for example, the associated Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC)) contain explicit targets that also require data on the status of biodiversity and the extent to which our actions protect it.

3 REVIEW SUMMARY BIODIVERSITY STATUS The biodiversity of species and their rates of extinction, distribution, and protection S. L. Pimm,* C. N. Jenkins, R. Abell, T. M. Brooks, J. L. Gittleman, L. N. Joppa, P. H. Raven, C. M. Roberts, J. O. Sexton known species have and such species are eries. The numbers very small ranges are in well-known taxa. concentrated and likely to be threate We expect unknown characteristics. Curr are about 1000 tim ON OUR WEBSITE Read the full article at science Cite this article as S. L. Pimm et al., Science 344, (2014). DOI: / science *All of the papers discussed in this talk are available for free download at ResearchGate; the graphics are online as indicated

4 1. How many species are known and how many are undescribed? 2. Where are the most species, the species with the smallest ranges i.e. endemics, and the endangered species 3. How will what we don t know change our understanding? 4. How fast are species going extinct? 5. And how fast should they be going extinct?

5 1. How many species are known and how many are undescribed? 2. Where are the most species, the species with the smallest ranges i.e. endemics, and the endangered species 3. How will what we don t know change our understanding? 4. How fast are species going extinct? 5. And how fast should they be going extinct? 6 How can we use this information to prevent species extinctions?

6 How many species are known and how many are undescribed? For animals Costello et al. estimate 5±3 million eukaryote species, Raven & Yeates estimate 5-6 million insects alone Mora et al. 8.7±1.3 million, while Scheffers et al. think it impossible to give a plausible range.

7 Example: flowering plants How many species of flowering plant are there? How many are in threatened with extinction? Where are they?

8 How many species of flowering plant are there? Two problems (a) synonomy (b) missing species species that taxonomists have not yet described

9 All Monocots including grasses from GrassBase ~69,000 species Selected nonmonocots ~49,000

10 Basic idea: extrapolate from the diminishing numbers of species described per year to predict numbers of as-yet known species

11 Basic idea: extrapolate from the diminishing numbers of species described per year to predict numbers of as-yet known species Great idea, fails badly

12 The number of species described per 5 years has increased almost exponentially

13 We must correct for taxonomic effort But so, too, has the number of taxonomists who are describing species in each 5 year interval

14 1. Species per taxonomist eventually declines

15 Monocots 17% increase over present totals Non-monocots 13% over present totals Family by family estimates match expert opinions on the missing species

16 For land plants, there are 298,900 accepted species names, 477,601 synonyms, and 263,925 names unresolved*. Because the accepted names among those resolved is 38%, it seems reasonable to predict that the same proportion of unresolved names will eventually be accepted. This yields another ~100,000 species for a total estimate of 400,000 species*. Our models predict 15% more to be discovered so total number of species of land plants is >450,000 species *A. J. Paton, From working list to online flora of all known plants: Looking forward with hindsight 1. Ann. Mo. Bot. Gard. 99, (2013)

17 So where are the species? (And where are the missing ones?)

18 But where are the missing species living? Biodiversity hotspots house most undiscovered plant species Lucas N. Joppa a,b,c, David L. Roberts b,c, Norman Myers d,1, and Stuart L. Pimm e a Microsoft Research, Cambridge CB3 0FB, United Kingdom; b Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NR, United Kingdom; c Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew TW9 3AB, United Kingdom; d Green College, Oxford University, Oxford OX2 6HG, United Kingdom; and e Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC Contributed by Norman Myers, June 10, 2011 (sent for review April 6, 2011) For most organisms, the number of described species considerably relative priorities change as taxonomists complete the catalog

19 Flowering Plants

20 Professor Pimm s fiercest critic

21 To understand extinctions, we need the laws of biodiversity a scientific law is a generality consbioforall/ 10: Extinctions and the practice of preventing them Stuart L. Pimm and Clinton N. Jenkins

22 The laws of biodiversity I 'the following law may be deduced from these [preceding] facts: Every species has come into existence coincident both in space and time with a pre-existing closely allied species. Mr. Alfred Russell Wallace Esq. invites you to subscribe to a collection of unique and special butterflies to be collected in the Amazon by himself and Mr. Bates. He will sail next month for Belem Brazil.

23 The laws of biodiversity II For species ranges on average is a poor description; many ranges are small, only a few are large.

24 The laws of biodiversity II 729, ,513 These distributions of range sizes are general i.e. they are laws 4, , ,602 Pimm et al Science

25 The laws of biodiversity III Species with small ranges are locally rare, while species with large ranges are locally common (Mother Nature is a Large range, common within it Small range, very rare within it

26

27 The laws of biodiversity IV The number of species vary greatly from place to place. The tropics have more species than the arctic. Tropical forests have more species than tropical grasslands or deserts. Amphibian species richness

28 Mammal richness Base map Globaia

29 Bird richness Base map Globaia

30 The laws of biodiversity V The places where species with small geographical ranges live are geographically concentrated birds, endemics Source Clinton Jenkins; from data from NatureServe; base map Globaia

31 Threatened birds

32 S.L. Pimm and C. N. Jenkins Scientific American September 2005

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39 SavingSpecies.org proudly supports local conservation groups to connect, protect, and restore their ecosystems in China, Colombia, Brazil and Madagascar. With thanks to my colleagues

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