↓ Skip to main content

Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, September 2011
Altmetric Badge

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 (91st percentile)

Mentioned by

2 news outlets
8 blogs
7 policy sources
55 tweeters
7 Facebook pages
1 video uploader


992 Dimensions

Readers on

2314 Mendeley
7 CiteULike
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity
Published in
Nature, September 2011
DOI 10.1038/nature10425
Pubmed ID

Luke Gibson, Tien Ming Lee, Lian Pin Koh, Barry W. Brook, Toby A. Gardner, Jos Barlow, Carlos A. Peres, Corey J. A. Bradshaw, William F. Laurance, Thomas E. Lovejoy, Navjot S. Sodhi


Human-driven land-use changes increasingly threaten biodiversity, particularly in tropical forests where both species diversity and human pressures on natural environments are high. The rapid conversion of tropical forests for agriculture, timber production and other uses has generated vast, human-dominated landscapes with potentially dire consequences for tropical biodiversity. Today, few truly undisturbed tropical forests exist, whereas those degraded by repeated logging and fires, as well as secondary and plantation forests, are rapidly expanding. Here we provide a global assessment of the impact of disturbance and land conversion on biodiversity in tropical forests using a meta-analysis of 138 studies. We analysed 2,220 pairwise comparisons of biodiversity values in primary forests (with little or no human disturbance) and disturbed forests. We found that biodiversity values were substantially lower in degraded forests, but that this varied considerably by geographic region, taxonomic group, ecological metric and disturbance type. Even after partly accounting for confounding colonization and succession effects due to the composition of surrounding habitats, isolation and time since disturbance, we find that most forms of forest degradation have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on tropical biodiversity. Our results clearly indicate that when it comes to maintaining tropical biodiversity, there is no substitute for primary forests.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 55 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 2,314 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 50 2%
United States 33 1%
United Kingdom 22 <1%
Canada 8 <1%
Australia 8 <1%
Spain 7 <1%
France 6 <1%
Japan 4 <1%
Germany 4 <1%
Other 51 2%
Unknown 2121 92%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 481 21%
Student > Master 425 18%
Researcher 416 18%
Student > Bachelor 264 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 139 6%
Other 398 17%
Unknown 191 8%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 1103 48%
Environmental Science 679 29%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 82 4%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 33 1%
Social Sciences 31 1%
Other 109 5%
Unknown 277 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 140. 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 14 July 2020.
All research outputs
of 16,011,957 outputs
Outputs from Nature
of 76,121 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 99,937 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
of 908 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,011,957 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 76,121 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 86.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% 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 99,937 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 908 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 91% of its contemporaries.