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Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

Overview of attention for article published in Science Advances, June 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#2 of 2,319)
  • 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)

Citations

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2176 Mendeley
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2 CiteULike
Title
Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction
Published in
Science Advances, June 2015
DOI 10.1126/sciadv.1400253
Pubmed ID
Authors

Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich, Anthony D. Barnosky, Andrés García, Robert M. Pringle, Todd M. Palmer

Abstract

The oft-repeated claim that Earth's biota is entering a sixth "mass extinction" depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the "background" rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates. We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. The latter is conservatively low because listing a species as extinct requires meeting stringent criteria. Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate. Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 2,176 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 25 1%
United Kingdom 21 <1%
United States 21 <1%
Canada 14 <1%
France 12 <1%
Colombia 8 <1%
Portugal 7 <1%
Germany 5 <1%
Mexico 5 <1%
Other 36 2%
Unknown 2022 93%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 479 22%
Student > Master 455 21%
Student > Bachelor 402 18%
Researcher 319 15%
Unspecified 98 5%
Other 423 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 1037 48%
Environmental Science 521 24%
Unspecified 179 8%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 85 4%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 79 4%
Other 275 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3921. 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 13 November 2018.
All research outputs
#84
of 12,147,275 outputs
Outputs from Science Advances
#2
of 2,319 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#1
of 236,938 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Science Advances
#1
of 65 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,147,275 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 2,319 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 127.0. 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 236,938 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 65 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.