What is the magic number? New debates about the old question on minimum viable population size

The word “new” is a funny term in this context, as one might think that most of what could be said about minimum viable populations (MVP) has been said already. Nevertheless, it seems the subject is still always good for a debate, a point proven by a two recent reviews and responses in TREE. In…

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Controversy about species-area versus endemics-area relationships for calculating extinction rates

I’m lagging a little behind the news, but maybe it’s also an advantage to write about this issue after the first smoke has cleared. The topic is a paper by Fangliang He and Stephen Hubbell that appeared in Nature two weeks ago and that has sparked considerable controversy. Basically, the authors claim that “conventional” extinction…