Extinction is in essence a demographic process, when mortality surpasses fertility. Therefore, understanding demographic processes is essential for conservation and research in ecology and evolution. Our aim is to assess the landscape of available data on demographic traits, particularly for tetrapods. We have constructed a metadatabase that collates and standardizes 33 databases on close to ~35,000 species. With it, we have developed the Demographic Index of Species Knowledge (DISKo).
DISKo estimates the level of available information on mortality and fertility at both, the species level (e.g. maximum lifespan or age at sexual maturity) and the population level (i.e. life tables or population projection matrices). The aim is to provide a tool that allows practitioners to find efficiently the level of demographic data available on any species. We strongly believe that this initiative will be key to support research and the development of informed models to facilitate decision-making and conservation planning. Furthermore, DISKo will provide a unique platform for theoretical studies on ecology, evolution, or physiology, among many disciplines.
Coordinator: Dalia A. Conde
- COMADRE: a global data base of animal demography