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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 1,424)
  • 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)

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1503 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, Paul R Ehrlich, Anthony D Barnosky, 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

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Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 28 2%
United States 27 2%
United Kingdom 21 1%
Canada 15 <1%
France 13 <1%
Colombia 9 <1%
Germany 7 <1%
Mexico 7 <1%
Spain 6 <1%
Other 43 3%
Unknown 1327 88%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 341 23%
Student > Master 340 23%
Student > Bachelor 246 16%
Researcher 244 16%
Student > Postgraduate 69 5%
Other 263 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 789 52%
Environmental Science 366 24%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 63 4%
Unspecified 59 4%
Social Sciences 50 3%
Other 176 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3513. 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 20 November 2017.
All research outputs
#66
of 8,659,566 outputs
Outputs from Science Advances
#2
of 1,424 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#3
of 229,543 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Science Advances
#1
of 62 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,659,566 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 1,424 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 122.3. 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 229,543 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 62 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.