What is “dark diversity” and how can we use it to guide conservation and restoration?

The core of ecology is devoted to studying the interactions among species and their environment. But why are some species present and others absent in an environment? Think of a region of forest that has been converted to an agricultural field. The species that were thriving in the forest now have become absent because they are not tolerant of the new environmental conditions imposed upon them in the agricultural field.

Only a subset of all species in a region can tolerate the ecological conditions of a given site (the site-specific species pool). Of those, not all are realized in the local species pool. These absent species form what is called the dark diversity of a community. Authors Lewis et al. (2017) believe that the dark diversity concept can be used to complement and further develop conservation prioritization and management decision

Read more

In a climate crisis no one is safe, but marine species are getting hit twice as hard

Our world is undergoing a climate crisis, which threatens every living thing on the planet. A study by Pinsky et al. (2019) has found that marine species are more vulnerable to warming than terrestrial species which may change the course of conservation management and deployment of conservation resources.

Read more