Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

In:

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Trophic downgrading of Planet Earth
Estes, J.A.; Terborgh, J.; Brashares, J.S.; Power, M.E.; Berger, J.; Bond, W.J.; Carpenter, S.R.; Essington, T.E.; Holt, R.D.; Jackson, J.B.C.; Marquis, R.J.; Oksanen, L.; Oksanen, T.; Paine, R.T.; Pikitch, E.K.; Ripple, W.J.; Sandin, S.A.; Scheffer, M.; Schoener, T.W.; Shurin, J.B.; Sinclair, A.R.E.; Soulé, M.E.; Virtanen, R.; Wardle, D.A. (2011). Trophic downgrading of Planet Earth. Science (Wash.) 333(6040): 301-306. dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1205106
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: Washington DC. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Deterioration; Trophic relationships; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Estes, J.A.
  • Terborgh, J.
  • Brashares, J.S.
  • Power, M.E.
  • Berger, J.
  • Bond, W.J.
  • Carpenter, S.R.
  • Essington, T.E.
  • Holt, R.D.
  • Jackson, J.B.C.
  • Marquis, R.J.
  • Oksanen, L.
  • Oksanen, T.
  • Paine, R.T.
  • Pikitch, E.K.
  • Ripple, W.J.
  • Sandin, S.A.
  • Scheffer, M.
  • Schoener, T.W.
  • Shurin, J.B.
  • Sinclair, A.R.E.
  • Soulé, M.E.
  • Virtanen, R.
  • Wardle, D.A.

Abstract
    Until recently, large apex consumers were ubiquitous across the globe and had been for millions of years. The loss of these animals may be humankind’s most pervasive influence on nature. Although such losses are widely viewed as an ethical and aesthetic problem, recent research reveals extensive cascading effects of their disappearance in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems worldwide. This empirical work supports long-standing theory about the role of top-down forcing in ecosystems but also highlights the unanticipated impacts of trophic cascades on processes as diverse as the dynamics of disease, wildfire, carbon sequestration, invasive species, and biogeochemical cycles. These findings emphasize the urgent need for interdisciplinary research to forecast the effects of trophic downgrading on process, function, and resilience in global ecosystems.

 Top | Authors