|From Kinnison et al. (2015)|
- Within hours to days, the microbial community at every place in the world will shift dramatically. The vast majority of species will go extinct locally and a few will become incredibly abundant - at least in the short term.
- Within days to weeks, many plants and animals that interact with microbes (and what organisms don’t?) will show reductions in growth and reproduction. Of course, some benefits will also initially accrue as – all of a sudden – chemotherapy, antibiotics, pesticides, and herbicides become more effective. The main point is that the performance of many plants and animals will begin to shift within a week.
- Within months, the relative abundance and biomass of plants and animals will shift dramatically as a result of these effects changing microbial communities and their influence on animal and plant performance.
- Within years, many animals and plants will go extinct. Most of these will go extinct because the shorter-lived organisms on which they depend will have non-evolved themselves into extinction.
- Within decades, the cascading effects of species extinction will mean than most animals and plants will go extinct, as will the microbes that depend on them. The few species that linger will be those that are very long lived and that have resting eggs or stages.
- Within centuries, all life will be gone. Except tardigrades, presumably.