DOI: 10.1126/science.adj5763 ISSN: 0036-8075

Climate change is an important predictor of extinction risk on macroevolutionary timescales

Cooper M. Malanoski, Alex Farnsworth, Daniel J. Lunt, Paul J. Valdes, Erin E. Saupe
  • Multidisciplinary

Anthropogenic climate change is increasing rapidly and already impacting biodiversity. Despite its importance in future projections, understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which climate mediates extinction remains limited. We present an integrated approach examining the role of intrinsic traits versus extrinsic climate change in mediating extinction risk for marine invertebrates over the past 485 million years. We found that a combination of physiological traits and the magnitude of climate change is necessary to explain marine invertebrate extinction patterns. Our results suggest that taxa previously identified as extinction resistant may still succumb to extinction if the magnitude of climate change is great enough.

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