Global Biodiversity Change: The Bad, the Good, and the Unknown

  • Pereira H
  • Navarro L
  • Martins I
  • 4


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Global biodiversity change is one of the most pressing environmental
issues of our time. Here, we review current scientific knowledge on
global biodiversity change and identify the main knowledge gaps. We
discuss two components of biodiversity change-biodiversity alterations
and biodiversity loss-across four dimensions of biodiversity: species
extinctions, species abundances, species distributions, and genetic
diversity. We briefly review the impacts that modern humans and their
ancestors have had on biodiversity and discuss the recent declines and
alterations in biodiversity. We analyze the direct pressures on
biodiversity change: habitat change, overexploitation, exotic species,
pollution, and climate change. We discuss the underlying causes, such as
demographic growth and resource use, and review existing scenario
projections. We identify successes and impending opportunities in
biodiversity policy and management, and highlight gaps in biodiversity
monitoring and models. Finally, we discuss how the ecosystem services
framework can be used to identify undesirable biodiversity change and
allocate conservation efforts.

Author-supplied keywords

  • extinctions; species; abundance; range; land-use;

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  • Henrique Miguel Pereira

  • Laetitia Marie Navarro

  • Ines Santos Martins

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