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Extinction risk is most acute for the world’s largest and smallest vertebrates

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, September 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
51 news outlets
blogs
5 blogs
twitter
186 tweeters
facebook
3 Facebook pages

Readers on

mendeley
105 Mendeley
Title
Extinction risk is most acute for the world’s largest and smallest vertebrates
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, September 2017
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1702078114
Pubmed ID
Authors

William J. Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M. Newsome, Michael Hoffmann, Aaron J. Wirsing, Douglas J. McCauley

Abstract

Extinction risk in vertebrates has been linked to large body size, but this putative relationship has only been explored for select taxa, with variable results. Using a newly assembled and taxonomically expansive database, we analyzed the relationships between extinction risk and body mass (27,647 species) and between extinction risk and range size (21,294 species) for vertebrates across six main classes. We found that the probability of being threatened was positively and significantly related to body mass for birds, cartilaginous fishes, and mammals. Bimodal relationships were evident for amphibians, reptiles, and bony fishes. Most importantly, a bimodal relationship was found across all vertebrates such that extinction risk changes around a body mass breakpoint of 0.035 kg, indicating that the lightest and heaviest vertebrates have elevated extinction risk. We also found range size to be an important predictor of the probability of being threatened, with strong negative relationships across nearly all taxa. A review of the drivers of extinction risk revealed that the heaviest vertebrates are most threatened by direct killing by humans. By contrast, the lightest vertebrates are most threatened by habitat loss and modification stemming especially from pollution, agricultural cropping, and logging. Our results offer insight into halting the ongoing wave of vertebrate extinctions by revealing the vulnerability of large and small taxa, and identifying size-specific threats. Moreover, they indicate that, without intervention, anthropogenic activities will soon precipitate a double truncation of the size distribution of the world's vertebrates, fundamentally reordering the structure of life on our planet.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 186 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 105 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 105 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 28 27%
Student > Master 19 18%
Researcher 18 17%
Student > Bachelor 14 13%
Other 6 6%
Other 20 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 60 57%
Environmental Science 34 32%
Unspecified 4 4%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 3 3%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 2%
Other 2 2%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 552. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 January 2018.
All research outputs
#7,782
of 8,922,604 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#269
of 48,365 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#550
of 244,010 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#14
of 993 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,922,604 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 48,365 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 25.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 244,010 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 993 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.