Ultimate drivers of native biodiversity change in agricultural systems

  • Norton D
  • Reid N
  • Young L
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Abstract

The ability to address land degradation and biodiversity loss while maintaining the production of plant and animal products is a key global challenge. Biodiversity decline as a result of vegetation clearance, cultivation, grazing, pesticide and herbicide application, and plantation establishment, amongst other factors, has been widely documented in agricultural ecosystems. In this paper we identify six ultimate drivers that underlie these proximate factors and hence determine what native biodiversity occurs in modern agricultural landscapes; (1) historical legacies; (2) environmental change; (3) economy; (4) social values and awareness; (5) technology and knowledge; and (6) policy and regulation. While historical legacies and environmental change affect native biodiversity directly, all six indirectly affect biodiversity by influencing the decisions that land managers make about the way they use their land and water resources. Understanding these drivers is essential in developing strategies for sustaining native biodiversity in agricultural landscapes into the future.

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Norton, D. A., Reid, N., & Young, L. (2013). Ultimate drivers of native biodiversity change in agricultural systems. F1000Research, 2, 214. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.2-214.v1

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