Environmental correlates of body size influence range size and extinction risk: A global study in rodents - Université Paris-Est-Créteil-Val-de-Marne Access content directly
Journal Articles Global Ecology and Biogeography Year : 2023

Environmental correlates of body size influence range size and extinction risk: A global study in rodents

Abstract

Aim: Species-level traits, such as body and range sizes, are important correlates of extinction risk. However, both are often related and are driven by environmental factors. Here, we elucidated links between environmental factors, body size, range size and susceptibility to extinction, across the whole order of rodents. Location: Global. Time period: Current. Major taxa studied: Rodents (order Rodentia). Methods: We compiled an unprecedentedly large database of rodent morphology, phylogeny, range size, conservation status, global climate and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), comprising >86% of all described species. Using phylogenetic regressions, we initially explored the environmental factors driving body size. Next, we modelled the relationship between body size and range size. From this relationship, we computed and mapped (at the assemblage level) an index of relative range size, corresponding to the deviation from the expected range size of each species, given its body size. Finally, we tested whether relative range was correlated with the risk of extinction of the species derived from an assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Results: We found that, contrary to the expectations of Bergmann's rule, the body size of rodents was mostly influenced by variation in NDVI (rather than latitude/temperature). Body size, in turn, imposed a constraint on species range size, as evidenced by a triangular relationship that was segmented at the lower bound. The relative species range size derived from this relationship highlighted four geographical regions where rodents with small relative range were concentrated globally. We demonstrated that lower relative range size was associated with increased risk of extinction. Main conclusions: Species that, given their body size, are distributed across ranges that are smaller than expected have elevated extinction risk. Therefore, investigating the relationships between environmental drivers, body size and range size might help to detect species that could become threatened in the near future.
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Origin : Publication funded by an institution
Licence : CC BY - Attribution

Dates and versions

hal-03959671 , version 1 (27-01-2023)

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Yoan Fourcade, Bader Alhajeri. Environmental correlates of body size influence range size and extinction risk: A global study in rodents. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 2023, 32, pp.206 - 217. ⟨10.1111/geb.13622⟩. ⟨hal-03959671⟩
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