Land use and biodiversity loss

The PREDICTS project ("Protecting Responses of Ecological Diversity in Changing Terrestrial Systems") published a large-scale study on the effects of worldwide soil and land use on global biodiversity in Jena in April 2015 with the help of, among others, the Natural History Museum London and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. The study reconstructs the development of the relation between land use and biodiversity from 1500 to 2005. Its results indicate, above all, a close relationship between land use and species loss: compared to pre-industrial times, the diversity of species in regional ecosystems has decreased by 13.6 percent.

In an analysis of 280 publications that included 26,593 animal and plant species, the research group reached the following prognosis: even if the hitherto development halted in the present, a decrease of worldwide species diversity of 3.4 percent is to be expected by 2100. Especially ecosystems and their biodiversity in financially weak countries previously rich in species would be affected. In these more gravely affected habitats, thus, a decrease in biodiversity of 76.5 percent is to be expected. However, the researchers point out that through continuous countermoves and preventive measures a 1.9 percent increase of species wealth can be achieved in the same time period.

Newbold, Tim / Hudson, Lawrence N. / Hill, Samantha L. L. / Contu, Sara / Lysenko, Igor / Senior, Rbecca A. / Börger, Luca / Bennett, Dominic J. / Choimes, Argyrios / Collen, Ben / Day, Julie / De Palma, Adriana / Díaz, Sandra / Echeverria-Londono, Susy / Edgar, Melanie J. / Feldman, Anat / Garon, Morgan / Harrison, Michelle L. K. / Alhusseini, Tamera / Ingram, Daniel J. / Itescu, Yuval / Kattge, Jens / Kemp, Victoria / Kirkpatrick, Lucinda / Kleyer, Michael / Laginha Pinto Correia, David / Martin, Callum D. / Meiri, Shai / Novosolov, Maria / Pan, Yuan / Phillips, Helen R. P. / Purves, Drew W. / Robinson, Alexandra / Simpson, Jake / Tuck, Sean L. / Weiher, Evan / White, Hannah J. / Ewers, Robert M. / Mace, Georgina M. / Scharlemann, Jörn P. W. / Purvis, Andy (2015): Global effects of land use on local terrestrial biodiversity. In: Nature (520), S. 45-50 Online Version

Newbold, Tim / Hudson, Lawrence N. / Arnell, Andrew P. / Contu, Sara / De Palma, Adriana / Ferrier, Simon / Hill, Samantha L. L. / Andrew J., Hoskins / Lysenko, Igor / Phillips, Helen R. P. / Burton, Victoria J. / Chng, Charlotte W. T. / Emerson, Susan / Gao, Di / Pask-Hale, Gwilym / Hutton, Jon / Jung, Martin / Sanchez-Ortiz, Katia / Simmons,Benno I. / Whitmee, Sarah / Zhang, Hanbin / Scharlemann, Jörn P. W. / Purvis, Andy (2016): Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment. In: Science 353(6296), 288-291. Doi: 10.1126/science.aaf2201 Online Version

Website PREDICTS project Online Version

Website "Research Group Functional Biogeography" at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry Online Version

Further information on land use and biodiversity loss:

Gossner, Martin M. Gossner / Lewinsohn, Thomas M. / Kahl, Tiemo / Grassein, Fabrice / Boch, Steffen / Prati, Daniel / Birkhofer, Klaus / Renner, Swen C. / Sikorski, Johannes / Wubet, Tesfaye / Arndt, Hartmut / Baumgartner, Vanessa / Blaser, Stefan / Blüthgen, Nico / Börschig, Carmen / Buscot, Francois / Diekötter, Tim / Ré Jorge, Leonardo / Jung, Kirsten / Keyel, Alexander C. / Klein, Alexandra-Maria / Klemmer, Sandra / Krauss, Jochen / Lange, Markus / Müller, Jörg / Overmann, Jörg / Pašalić, Esther / Penone, Caterina / Perović, David J. / Purschke, Oliver / Schall, Peter / Socher, Stephanie A. / Sonnemann, Ilja / Tschapka, Marco / Tscharntke, Teja / Türke, Manfred / Venter, Paul C. / Weiner, Christiane N. / Werner, Michael / Wolters, Volkmar / Wurst, Susanne / Westphal, Catrin / Fischer, Markus / Weisser, Wolfgang W. / Allan, Eric (2016): Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities. In: Nature (540), S. 266-269 Online Version

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