Reddin CJ, Kocsis Á, Aberhan M, Kießling W (2020)
Publication Type: Journal article
Publication year: 2020
Organismic groups vary non-randomly in their vulnerability to extinction. However, it is unclear whether the same groups are consistently vulnerable, regardless of the dominant extinction drivers, or whether certain drivers have their own distinctive and predictable victims. Given the challenges presented by anthropogenic global warming, we focus on changes in extinction selectivity trends during ancient hyperthermal events: geologically rapid episodes of global warming. Focusing on the fossil record of the last 300 million years, we identify clades and traits of marine ectotherms that were more prone to extinction under the onset of six hyperthermal events than during other times. Hyperthermals enhanced the vulnerability of marine fauna that host photosymbionts, particularly zooxanthellate corals, the reef environments they provide, and genera with actively burrowing or swimming adult life-stages. The extinction risk of larger sized fauna also increased relative to non-hyperthermal times, while genera with a poorly buffered internal physiology did not become more vulnerable on average during hyperthermals. Hyperthermal-vulnerable clades include rhynchonelliform brachiopods and bony fish, whereas resistant clades include cartilaginous fish, and ostreid and venerid bivalves. These extinction responses in the geological past mirror modern responses of these groups to warming, including range-shift magnitudes, population losses, and experimental performance under climate-related stressors. Accordingly, extinction mechanisms distinctive to rapid global warming may be indicated, including sensitivity to warming-induced seawater deoxygenation. In anticipation of modern warming-driven marine extinctions, the trends illustrated in the fossil record offer an expedient preview.
Reddin, C.J., Kocsis, Á., Aberhan, M., & Kießling, W. (2020). Victims of ancient hyperthermal events herald the fates of marine clades and traits under global warming. Global Change Biology. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15434
Reddin, Carl James, et al. "Victims of ancient hyperthermal events herald the fates of marine clades and traits under global warming." Global Change Biology (2020).