Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment

Newbold, Tim, Hudson, Lawrence N, Arnell, Andrew P, Contu, Sara, De Palma, Adriana, Ferrier, Simon, Hill, Samantha L L, Hoskins, Andrew J, 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 and Purvis, Andy (2016) Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment. Science, 353 (6296). pp. 288-291. ISSN 0036-8075

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Abstract

Land use and related pressures have reduced local terrestrial biodiversity, but it is unclear how the magnitude of change relates to the recently proposed planetary boundary (“safe limit”). We estimate that land use and related pressures have already reduced local biodiversity intactness—the average proportion of natural biodiversity remaining in local ecosystems—beyond its recently proposed planetary boundary across 58.1% of the world’s land surface, where 71.4% of the human population live. Biodiversity intactness within most biomes (especially grassland biomes), most biodiversity hotspots, and even some wilderness areas is inferred to be beyond the boundary. Such widespread transgression of safe limits suggests that biodiversity loss, if unchecked, will undermine efforts toward long-term sustainable development.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Biodiversity, Conservation, Land use, PREDICTS
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Sustainability Research Programme
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0001 Natural history (General) > QH0075 Nature conservation
Depositing User: Jorn Scharlemann
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 08:54
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 15:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/62053

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