Navigation Links
Threats to biodiversity rise in the world's Mediterranean-climate regions
Date:2/17/2009

In the first systematic analysis of threats to the biodiversity of the world's mediterranean-climate regions, scientists at The Nature Conservancy and UC Davis report that these conservation hotspots are facing significant and increasing pressure. The study, which appears in this week's edition of the journal Diversity and Distributions, is part of a global conservation assessment of the rare mediterranean biome.

"Throughout human history, the mild climates of mediterranean regions have fostered growth of major urban centers, vast agricultural zones and dense human populations all in the midst of some of the rarest biodiversity on Earth", says Dr. Rebecca Shaw, a scientist with The Nature Conservancy's California program and the leader of the global assessment.

Mediterranean climates characterized by warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters are extremely rare, found on only 2% of the Earth's land surface: portions of California/Baja California, South Africa, Australia, Chile, and the Mediterranean Basin. Increasing the pace and scale of conservation in mediterranean regions is critically important to biodiversity protection, because these regions contain 20% of the world's plant species.

"If we are to reduce rates of biodiversity loss, then understanding patterns and trends in threats is of paramount importance," says lead author Dr. Emma Underwood, a research scientist at the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis.

To this end, scientists from The Nature Conservancy and U. C. Davis analyzed changes in land use and population density in the world's five mediterranean-climate regions.

Overall, population density and urban areas increased in these regions by 13 percent from 1990 to 2000, while agricultural areas spread by 1 percent. Population grew by over 34 million people from 1990 to 2000, twice the population of Chile. Urban areas expanded by 2,110 square miles (5,480 square kilometers), an area about half the size of the nation of Lebanon. The greatest increase in urban area was in California, USA and Baja California, Mexico. Loss of natural habitat to agriculture was greatest in southwest Australia.

Underwood said that urban expansion is worrisome in that it is not only impacting lowlands, which have been the historic urban centers, but is spreading into intact foothills, especially those within commutable distances to major cities. For example, this trend is seen in California's Sierra Nevada foothills and the Sierra de Guadarrama region near Madrid in Spain.

The researchers also analyzed the relationship between these threats and the number of at-risk plants and animals. For example, they found that numbers of threatened plant and mammal species increased as the size of the urban footprint and population density grew. These findings indicate the need to accelerate conservation action to outpace threats in the mediterranean biome. "This information can help support decisions about how best to invest scarce conservation resources," says co-author Kirk Klausmeyer, a scientist with The Nature Conservancy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Davina Quarterman
dquarterman@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. AAAS Symposium: Emerging threats to tropical, temperate and ocean ecosystems
2. Book breaks new ground in the study of economics and forest threats management
3. Rising energy, food prices major threats to wetlands as farmers eye new areas for crops
4. UC San Diego researchers could help US military thwart explosive threats
5. First map of threats to marine ecosystems shows all the worlds oceans are affected
6. Lessons from evolution applied to national security and other threats
7. Forest Service launches Web-based forest threats viewing tool
8. Biodiversity itself begets a species cascade, researchers say
9. The global impact of climate change on biodiversity
10. Alpine rivers hold important clues for preserving biodiversity and coping with climate change
11. Networks of small habitat patches can preserve urban biodiversity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/14/2016)... , Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... ) - --> - Renvoi : image ... --> --> ... biométriques, fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour ... de DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des cartes ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... -- --> --> ... Access Management Market by Component (Provisioning, Directory Services, Password ... Size, by Deployment, by Vertical, and by Region - ... is estimated to grow from USD 7.20 Billion in ... Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2% during the ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... HAMBURG, Germany , March 9, 2016 ... African country,s government identified that more than 23,000 public ... name or had been receiving their salary unlawfully.    ... West African country,s government identified that more than 23,000 ... recorded name or had been receiving their salary unlawfully. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and ... that its Board of Directors has approved the payment of ... of 2016. The cash dividend of $0.24 ... 2016 to stockholders of record as of the close of ... subject to approval of the Board of Directors and may ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Springs, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... May 23, ... ... process automation and building management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has ... decade of established business in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... ... announce that 10 of its most experienced veterinary clients have treated over 100 of ... this cutting edge technology to provide the highest level of care for their patients. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall ... as reported by Food Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for ... Olsen, CEO of Baltimore-based biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest ...
Breaking Biology Technology: