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Macroecology and Biogeography meeting

May 3rd to 6th 2023 - Universität Bayreuth

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Anthropogenic Influences on Biodiversity on Islands

Kira Meyer1, Anna Walentowitz1, Carl Beierkuhnlein1
1 Biogeography, University of Bayreuth

P 1.17 in Poster Session Thursday (15:15-16:00)

Island ecosystems are hotspots of plant biodiversity. The interdependent mechanisms of isolation, extinction and migration have shaped the landscape of ecological patterns on islands on spatial and temporal scales. However, anthropogenic impact factors show an increasing trend qualitatively and quantitively, leading to growing numbers of ecological processes now mainly being shaped by the influence of human mediated drivers. As island ecosystems display a particular vulnerability to these changes it is especially important to identify the patterns and analyse the mechanisms behind those disturbance factors.  

Derived from this special status of importance, the overarching objective of my master's thesis is to detect which anthropogenic influence factors have an effect on biodiversity on islands. I use a systematic literature review (SLR) with an adjacent meta-analysis (MA) approach to answer the following questions: (1) How do humans influence biodiversity on islands?; (2) Is insular biodiversity research related to anthropogenic influence factors biased?; and (3) Which human impact factor is the most influential?  

Preliminary results show a wide range of human influence factors exhibiting significant negative effects on biodiversity on islands throughout the literature landscape. A quantitative trend towards research on the impact of invasive species, land-cover change and socio-economic factors can be identified. Additionally, a bias towards species richness being studied as the responding biodiversity parameter can be examined. Regarding the meta-analysis, I expect to find that land-cover change and invasive species introduction will be the most influential human drivers impacting biodiversity on islands.  

The generated results of the SLA display an overview on the tendencies and trends of anthropogenic influences on biodiversity in islands ecosystems. The evidence derived from the statistical approach of the MA will result in generalizable statements of how humans impact biodiversity on islands. Through those approaches, applications for management of said anthropogenic influences can be derived.  

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