Ecology Letters | VOL. 23

A 450 million years long latitudinal gradient in age‐dependent extinction

Publication Date Dec 18, 2019


Leigh Van Valen famously stated that under constant conditions extinction probability is independent of species age. To test this 'law of constant extinction', we developed a new method using deep learning to infer age-dependent extinction and analysed 450myr of marine life across 21 invertebrate clades. We show that extinction rate significantly decreases with age in >90% of the cases, indicating that most species died out soon after their appearance while those which survived experienced ever decreasing extinction risk. This age-dependent extinction pattern is stronger towards the Equator and holds true when the potential effects of mass extinctions and taxonomic inflation are accounted for. These results suggest that the effect of biological interactions on age-dependent extinction rate is more intense towards the tropics. We propose that the latitudinal diversity gradient and selection at the species level account for this exceptional, yet little recognised, macroevolutionary and macroecological pattern.


Age-dependent Extinction Latitudinal Diversity Gradient Taxonomic Inflation Macroecological Pattern Law Of Extinction Age-dependent Rate Age-dependent Pattern Extinction Rate Effects Of Inflation Effects Of Extinctions

Round-ups are the summaries of handpicked papers around trending topics published every week. These would enable you to scan through a collection of papers and decide if the paper is relevant to you before actually investing time into reading it.

Climate change Research Articles published between Jan 23, 2023 to Jan 29, 2023

R DiscoveryJan 30, 2023
R DiscoveryArticles Included:  3

Climate change adaptation has shifted from a single-dimension to an integrative approach that aligns with vulnerability and resilience concepts. Adapt...

Read More

Coronavirus Pandemic

You can also read COVID related content on R COVID-19

R ProductsCOVID-19


Creating the world’s largest AI-driven & human-curated collection of research, news, expert recommendations and educational resources on COVID-19

COVID-19 Dashboard

Disclaimer: All third-party content on this website/platform is and will remain the property of their respective owners and is provided on “as is” basis without any warranties, express or implied. Use of third-party content does not indicate any affiliation, sponsorship with or endorsement by them. Any references to third-party content is to identify the corresponding services and shall be considered fair use under The Copyright Law.