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Global effects of land use on local terrestrial biodiversity

Newbold, T; Hudson, LN; Hill, SL; Contu, S; Lysenko, I; Senior, RA; Börger, L; ... Purvis, A; + view all (2015) Global effects of land use on local terrestrial biodiversity. Nature , 520 (7545) 45 - 50. 10.1038/nature14324. Green open access

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Abstract

Human activities, especially conversion and degradation of habitats, are causing global biodiversity declines. How local ecological assemblages are responding is less clear--a concern given their importance for many ecosystem functions and services. We analysed a terrestrial assemblage database of unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage to quantify local biodiversity responses to land use and related changes. Here we show that in the worst-affected habitats, these pressures reduce within-sample species richness by an average of 76.5%, total abundance by 39.5% and rarefaction-based richness by 40.3%. We estimate that, globally, these pressures have already slightly reduced average within-sample richness (by 13.6%), total abundance (10.7%) and rarefaction-based richness (8.1%), with changes showing marked spatial variation. Rapid further losses are predicted under a business-as-usual land-use scenario; within-sample richness is projected to fall by a further 3.4% globally by 2100, with losses concentrated in biodiverse but economically poor countries. Strong mitigation can deliver much more positive biodiversity changes (up to a 1.9% average increase) that are less strongly related to countries' socioeconomic status.

Type: Article
Title: Global effects of land use on local terrestrial biodiversity
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/nature14324
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14324
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited
Keywords: Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation of Natural Resources, Ecology, History, 16th Century, History, 17th Century, History, 18th Century, History, 19th Century, History, 20th Century, History, 21st Century, Human Activities, Models, Biological, Population Dynamics, Species Specificity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1464937
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