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Potential for positive biodiversity outcomes under diet-driven land use change in Great Britain

Ferguson-Gow, Henry; Nicholas, Owen; Outhwaite, Charolotte L; Green, Rosie; Scheelbeek, Pauline; Eustachio Colombo, Patricia; Wheeler, Amber; ... Pearson, Richard G; + view all (2022) Potential for positive biodiversity outcomes under diet-driven land use change in Great Britain. Wellcome Open Research , 7 , Article 147. 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17698.1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: A shift toward human diets that include more fruit and vegetables, and less meat is a potential pathway to improve public health and reduce food system-related greenhouse gas emissions. Associated changes in land use could include conversion of grazing land into horticulture, which makes more efficient use of land per unit of dietary energy and frees-up land for other uses. Methods: Here we use Great Britain as a case study to estimate potential impacts on biodiversity from converting grazing land to a mixture of horticulture and natural land covers by fitting species distribution models for over 800 species, including pollinating insects and species of conservation priority. Results: Across several land use scenarios that consider the current ratio of domestic fruit and vegetable production to imports, our statistical models suggest a potential for gains to biodiversity, including a tendency for more species to gain habitable area than to lose habitable area. Moreover, the models suggest that climate change impacts on biodiversity could be mitigated to a degree by land use changes associated with dietary shifts. Conclusions: Our analysis demonstrates that options exist for changing agricultural land uses in a way that can generate win-win-win outcomes for biodiversity, adaptation to climate change and public health

Type: Article
Title: Potential for positive biodiversity outcomes under diet-driven land use change in Great Britain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17698.1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17698.1
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Ferguson-Gow H et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: biodiversity, land use change, public health, conservation, diets, species distribution modeling
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10148727
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