At the global scale, species with small ranges are more likely to face extinction when threatened by changes in climate or land use. It is not well-documented, however, whether this risk also applies at the local level.
This study by researchers from Germany used historical land-use data combined with GBIF-mediated plant occurrences to derive species range based on the number of grid cells occupied by a given species. They then identified cells that had experienced natural habitat loss and the species present before and after the change.
Grouping species into small or large ranges, the author calculated the probability of a group persisting at a given amount of habitat loss, showing that small-range species have a steeper decline than large-range plants.
At 80 per cent habitat loss, for example, the probability of persisting for species with larger ranges is higher than 85 per cent, while small-range species have a significantly lower persistence probability of 75 per cent.