Farming and the fate of wild nature

Green, Rhys E, Cornell, Stephen J, Scharlemann, Jörn P W and Balmford, Andrew (2005) Farming and the fate of wild nature. Science, 307 (5709). pp. 550-555. ISSN 0036-8075

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Abstract

World food demand is expected to more than double by 2050. Decisions about how to meet this challenge will have profound effects on wild species and habitats. We show that farming is already the greatest extinction threat to birds (the best known taxon), and its adverse impacts took set to increase, especially in developing countries. Two competing solutions have been proposed: wildlife-friendly farming (which boosts densities of wild populations on farmland but may decrease agricultural yields) and land sparing (which minimizes demand for farmland by increasing yield). We present a model that identifies how to resolve the trade-off between these approaches. This shows that the best type of farming for species persistence depends on the demand for agricultural products and on how the population densities of different species on farmland change with agricultural yield. Empirical data on such density-yield functions are sparse, but evidence from a range of taxa in developing countries suggests that high-yield farming may allow more species to persist

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0101 Land use
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD1401 Agriculture
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0001 Natural history (General) > QH0075 Nature conservation
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology > QH0540 Ecology
S Agriculture
Depositing User: Jorn Scharlemann
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2012 08:06
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 12:21
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/42544

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