Walter Jetz

Walter Jetz
Yale University | YU · Center for Biodiversity and Global Change

About

326
Publications
173,413
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35,134
Citations
Citations since 2016
152 Research Items
24837 Citations
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Publications

Publications (326)
Preprint
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All aspects of biodiversity research, from taxonomy to conservation, rely on data associated with species names. Effective integration of names across multiple fields is paramount and depends on coordination and organization of taxonomic data. We review current efforts and find that even key applications for well-studied taxa still lack taxonomic e...
Conference Paper
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Assessing and addressing biodiversity needs are of critical and time-sensitive importance, with the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework’s Global Taxonomy Initiative underscoring the need to build capacity in how we conceptualize biodiversity (Abrahamse et al. 2021). Species—as biological units—and their names are the backbone for the data integ...
Article
Full-text available
Invertebrates constitute the majority of animal species and are critical for ecosystem functioning and services. Nonetheless, global invertebrate biodiversity patterns and their congruences with vertebrates remain largely unknown. We resolve the first high-resolution (~20-km) global diversity map for a major invertebrate clade, ants, using biodiver...
Article
The performance of species distribution models (SDMs) is known to be affected by analysis grain and positional error of species occurrences. Coarsening of the analysis grain has been suggested to compensate for positional errors. Nevertheless, this way of dealing with positional errors has never been thoroughly tested. With increasing use of fine‐s...
Preprint
Species depend upon a constrained set of environmental conditions, or niches, for survival and reproduction that are being increasingly perturbed or lost under rapid climatic change. Seasonal environments offer an important system to study the range of biological responses to cope with such change, as they require species to either undergo physiolo...
Article
Full-text available
The Country Compendium of the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species (GRIIS) is a collation of data across 196 individual country checklists of alien species, along with a designation of those species with evidence of impact at a country level. The Compendium provides a baseline for monitoring the distribution and invasion status of all...
Article
Biodiversity varies predictably with environmental energy around the globe, but the underlaying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. The evolutionary speed hypothesis predicts that environmental kinetic energy shapes variation in speciation rates through temperature- or life history-dependent rates of evolution. To test whether variation in e...
Article
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Biogeographical inference and assessments of species' threat status and trends depend on comprehensive information on the current geographical distribution of species. Even country‐level presences remain poorly known for many insect species and consistent global overviews for those species are missing. Here we integrate information from literature...
Article
How and why lineages evolve along with niche space as they diversify and adapt to different environments is fundamental to evolution. Progress has been hampered by the difficulties of linking a robust empirical characterization of species niches with flexible evolutionary models that describe their evolution. Consequently, the relative influence of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Butterflies are a diverse and charismatic insect group that are thought to have diversified via coevolution with plants and in response to dispersals following key geological events. These hypotheses have been poorly tested at the macroevolutionary scale because a comprehensive phylogenetic framework and datasets on global distributions and larval...
Preprint
Full-text available
The global biodiversity crisis threatens the natural world and its capacity to provide benefits to humans into the future. The conservation of evolutionary history, captured by the measure phylogenetic diversity (PD), is linked to the maintenance of these benefits and future options. The Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) metric...
Preprint
The worldwide variation in vegetation height is fundamental to the global carbon cycle and central to the functioning of ecosystems and their biodiversity. Geospatially explicit and, ideally, highly resolved information is required to manage terrestrial ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and prevent biodiversity loss. Here, we present the first g...
Article
Full-text available
1. Individual decisions regarding how, why, and when organisms interact with one another and with their environment scale up to shape patterns and processes in communities. Recent evidence has firmly established the prevalence of intraspecific variation in nature and its relevance in community ecology, yet challenges associated with collecting data...
Article
Full-text available
Space-based tracking technology using low-cost miniature tags is now delivering data on fine-scale animal movement at near-global scale. Linked with remotely sensed environmental data, this offers a biological lens on habitat integrity and connectivity for conservation and human health; a global network of animal sentinels of environmental change.
Article
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A standardized delineation of the world’s mountains has many applications in research, education, and the science-policy interface. Here we provide a new inventory of 8616 mountain ranges developed under the auspices of the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA). Building on an earlier compilation, the presented geospatial database uses a f...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Understanding the impacts of urbanization and the associated urban land expansion on species is vital for informed urban planning that minimizes biodiversity loss. Predicting habitat that will be lost to urban land expansion for over 30,000 species under three different future scenarios, we find that up to 855 species are directly thre...
Article
Insects provide vital ecological functions and account for over half of all described species. An at least basic understanding of their geographical distributions is key for addressing a range of central ecological and evolutionary questions and to inform conservation. However, even for popular groups, such as butterflies, the knowledge of species’...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Comprehensive, global information on species' occurrences is an essential biodiversity variable and central to a range of applications in ecology, evolution, biogeography and conservation. Expert range maps often represent a species' only available distributional information and play an increasing role in conservation assessments and macroeco...
Preprint
Full-text available
How and why lineages evolve along niche space as they diversify and adapt to different environments is fundamental to evolution. Progress has been hampered by the difficulties of linking a comprehensive empirical characterization of species niches with flexible evolutionary models that describe their evolution. Consequently, the relative influence...
Article
Advances in spatial biodiversity science and nationally available data have enabled the development of indicators that report on biodiversity outcomes, account for uneven global biodiversity between countries, and provide direct planning support. We urge their inclusion in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Article
Full-text available
High-resolution climatic data are essential to many questions and applications in environmental research and ecology. Here we develop and implement a new semi-mechanistic downscaling approach for daily precipitation estimate that incorporates high resolution (30 arcsec, ≈1 km) satellite-derived cloud frequency. The downscaling algorithm incorporate...
Article
Full-text available
A vast range of research applications in biodiversity sciences requires integrating primary species, genetic, or ecosystem data with other environmental data. This integration requires a consideration of the spatial and temporal scale appropriate for the data and processes in question. But a versatile and scale flexible environmental annotation of...
Article
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To meet the ambitious objectives of biodiversity and climate conventions, the international community requires clarity on how these objectives can be operationalized spatially and how multiple targets can be pursued concurrently. To support goal setting and the implementation of international strategies and action plans, spatial guidance is needed...
Article
Full-text available
The Tree of Life will be irrevocably reshaped as anthropogenic extinctions continue to unfold. Theory suggests that lineage evolutionary dynamics, such as age since origination, historical extinction filters and speciation rates, have influenced ancient extinction patterns – but whether these factors also contribute to modern extinction risk is lar...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Tropical moist forests harbor much of the world’s biodiversity, but this diversity is not evenly distributed globally, with tropical moist forests in the Neotropics and Indomalaya generally exhibiting much greater diversity than in the Afrotropics. Here, we assess the ubiquity of this “pantropical diversity disparity” (PDD) using the p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Invasive alien species are repeatedly shown to be amongst the top threats to biodiversity globally. Robust indicators for measuring the status and trends of biological invasions are lacking, but essential for monitoring biological invasions and the effectiveness of interventions. Here, we formulate and demonstrate three such indicators that capture...
Article
Full-text available
Conserving and managing biodiversity in the face of ongoing global change requires sufficient evidence to assess status and trends of species distributions. Here, we propose novel indicators of biodiversity data coverage and sampling effectiveness and analyze national trajectories in closing spatiotemporal knowledge gaps for terrestrial vertebrates...
Article
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Individual variation is increasingly recognized as a central component of ecological processes, but its role in structuring environmental niche associations remains largely unknown. Species’ responses to environmental conditions are ultimately determined by the niches of single individuals, yet environmental associations are typically captured only...
Article
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Signatory countries to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are formulating goals and indicators through 2050 under the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Among the goals is increasing the integrity of ecosystems. The CBD is now seeking input toward a quantifiable definition of integrity and methods to track it globally. Here, w...
Article
Full-text available
The colours of fleshy fruits play a critical role in plant dispersal by advertising ripe fruits to consumers. Fruit colours have long been classified into syndromes attributed to selection by animal dispersers, despite weak evidence for this hypothesis. Here, we test the relative importance of biotic (bird and mammal frugivory) and abiotic (wet sea...
Article
Full-text available
The quantification of Hutchison’s n‐dimensional hypervolume has enabled substantial progress in community ecology, species niche analysis and beyond. However, most existing methods do not support a partitioning of the different components of hypervolume. Such a partitioning is crucial to address the ‘curse of dimensionality’ in hypervolume measures...
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructing the tempo at which biodiversity arose is a fundamental goal of evolutionary biologists, yet the relative merits of evolutionary-rate estimates are debated based on whether they are derived from the fossil record or time-calibrated phylogenies (timetrees) of living species. Extinct lineages unsampled in timetrees are known to “pull” s...
Article
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Tropical cloud forests (TCFs) are one of the world’s most species- and endemism-rich terrestrial ecosystems. TCFs are threatened by direct human pressures and climate change, yet the fate of these extraordinary ecosystems remains insufficiently quantified. With discussions of the post-2020 biodiversity framework underway, TCFs are a defining test c...
Article
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Much of biodiversity remains undiscovered, causing species and their functions to remain unrealized and potentially lost in ignorance. Here we use extensive species-level data in a time-to-event model framework to identify taxonomic and geographic discovery gaps in terrestrial vertebrates. Biological, environmental and sociological factors all affe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Signatory countries to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are formulating indicators through 2030 under the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). These goals include increasing the integrity of natural ecosystems. However, the definition of integrity and methods for measuring it remain unspecified. Moreover, nations did not achie...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic change is affecting mountain regions worldwide. Managing this change and advancing biodiversity information for research requires spatially detailed information on species distributions which often is incomplete. Here, we provide a model‐based approach for the integration of expert‐based elevational range information with expert range...
Article
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Mountain systems are exceptionally species rich, yet the associated elevational gradients in functional and phylogenetic diversity and their consistency across latitude remain little understood. Here, we document how avian functional and phylogenetic diversity and structure vary along all major elevational gradients worldwide and uncover strong lat...
Article
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[revised from pre-print posted on Current Biology's SSRN server: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3761886] Reconstructing the tempo at which biodiversity arose is a fundamental goal of evolutionary biologists, yet the relative merits of evolutionary-rate estimates are debated based on whether they are derived from the fossil rec...
Preprint
High-resolution climatic data are essential to many applications in environmental research. Here we develop a new semi-mechanistic downscaling approach for daily precipitation that incorporates high resolution (30 arc sec) satellite-derived cloud frequency. The downscaling algorithm incorporates orographic predictors such as wind fields, valley exp...
Preprint
Full-text available
The quantification of Hutchison’s n-dimensional hypervolume has enabled substantial progress in community ecology, species niche analysis and beyond. While non-parametric methods for quantifying and comparing hypervolumes are popular, they do not support a partitioning of the different components and drivers of hypervolume variation. Here, we propo...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The origin of turtles and crocodiles and their easily recognized body forms dates to the Triassic and Jurassic. Despite their long-term success, extant species diversity is low, and endangerment is extremely high compared to other terrestrial vertebrate groups, with ~ 65% of ~ 25 crocodilian and ~ 360 turtle species now threatened by e...
Preprint
Full-text available
Conserving and managing biodiversity in the face of ongoing global change requires sufficient evidence to assess status and trends of species distributions. Here we analyze national trajectories in closing spatiotemporal knowledge gaps for terrestrial vertebrates (1950-2019) based on novel indicators of data coverage and sampling effectiveness. Des...
Preprint
Full-text available
Meter-resolution imagery of our world and myriad biodiversity records collected through citizen scientists and automated sensors belie the fact that much of the planet’s biodiversity remains undiscovered. Conservative estimates suggest only 13 to 18% of all living species may be known at this point, although this number could be as low as 1.5%. Thi...
Article
Targets for human development are increasingly connected with   targets for nature, however, existing scenarios do not explicitly address this relationship. Here, we outline a strategy to generate scenarios centred on our relationship with nature to inform decision-making at multiple scales.
Article
Global biodiversity indicators are often derived by intersecting observed or projected changes in anthropogenic pressures with underlying patterns in the distribution of biodiversity. However these patterns are typically delineated at a coarser resolution than the key ecological processes shaping both land-use and biological distributions. The ‘Bio...
Article
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Reduced human mobility during the pandemic will reveal critical aspects of our impact on animals, providing important guidance on how best to share space on this crowded planet.
Article
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Phylogenetic diversity measures are increasingly used in conservation planning to represent aspects of biodiversity beyond that captured by species richness. Here we develop two new metrics that combine phylogenetic diversity and the extent of human pressure across the spatial distribution of species-one metric valuing regions and another prioritis...
Preprint
Full-text available
paragraph To meet the ambitious objectives of biodiversity and climate conventions, countries and the international community require clarity on how these objectives can be operationalized spatially, and multiple targets be pursued concurrently ¹ . To support governments and political conventions, spatial guidance is needed to identify which areas...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite the scientific consensus on the extinction crisis and its anthropogenic origin, the quantification of historical trends and of future scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services has been limited, due to the lack of inter-model comparisons and harmonized scenarios. Here, we present a multi-model analysis to assess the impacts of land-us...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
The characterization of species’ environmental niches and spatial distribution predictions based on them are now central to much of ecology and conservation, but implicitly requires decisions about the appropriate spatial scale (i.e. grain) of analysis. Ecological theory and empirical evidence suggest that range‐resident species respond to their en...
Article
Full-text available
Migration is a widespread response of birds to seasonally varying climates. As seasonality is particularly pronounced during interglacial periods, this raises the question of the significance of bird migration during past periods with different patterns of seasonality. Here, we apply a mechanistic model to climate reconstructions to simulate the pa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Area-based conservation through reserves or other measures is vital for preserving biodiversity and its functions for future generations, but its effective implementation suffers from a lack of both management-level detail and transparency around national responsibilities that might underpin cross-national support mechanisms. Here we implement a co...
Article
Full-text available
Big, time-scaled phylogenies are fundamental to connecting evolutionary processes to modern biodiversity patterns. Yet inferring reliable phylogenetic trees for thousands of species involves numerous trade-offs that have limited their utility to comparative biologists. To establish a robust evolutionary timescale for all approximately 6,000 living...
Article
Biodiversity hotspots are important for understanding how areas of high species richness form, but disentangling the processes that produce them is difficult. We combine geographical ranges, phylogenetic relationships and trait data for 606 conifer species in order to explore the mechanisms underlying richness hotspot formation. We identify eight r...
Article
Invasions by alien species continue worldwide, causing tremendous harm to biodiversity and human well-being. Post-2020 discussions of the Convention on Biological Diversity must link targets to monitoring innovations and decision support for a maximally effective and global response.