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Exceptional body size–extinction risk relations shed new light on the freshwater biodiversity crisis

  1. Jonathan M. Jeschkeb,c,d
  1. aDepartment of Biology and Ecology of Fishes, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), 12587 Berlin, Germany;
  2. bDepartment of Ecosystem Research, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), 12587 Berlin, Germany;
  3. cDepartment of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Institute of Biology, Freie Universit?t Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany;
  4. dBerlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB), 14195 Berlin, Germany

In PNAS, Ripple et al. (1) show that the smallest species of reptiles, amphibians, and bony fishes suffer unusually high extinction risks given what we know about general body size–extinction risk relationships (2). The results of this study have important implications, considering that most studies exploring the community- or ecosystem-level consequences of nonrandom biodiversity loss focus on the well-known, pronounced extinction risk for the largest species (2). For example, recent analyses show that extinctions and population declines of marine mammals, seabirds, terrestrial animals, and anadromous fish have caused major loss of large-scale nutrient-cycling functions, affecting many ecosystems across the globe (3). In contrast, little is …

?1To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: kalinkat{at}igb-berlin.de.

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