Jul 2, 2015

Future habitat loss and extinctions driven by land-use change in biodiversity hotspots under four scenarios of climate-change mitigation

Conservation Biology : the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Samuel M JantzGeorge Hurtt


Numerous species have been pushed into extinction as an increasing portion of Earth's land surface has been appropriated for human enterprise. In the future, global biodiversity will be affected by both climate change and land-use change, the latter of which is currently the primary driver of species extinctions. How societies address climate change will critically affect biodiversity because climate-change mitigation policies will reduce direct climate-change impacts; however, these policies will influence land-use decisions, which could have negative impacts on habitat for a substantial number of species. We assessed the potential impact future climate policy could have on the loss of habitable area in biodiversity hotspots due to associated land-use changes. We estimated past extinctions from historical land-use changes (1500-2005) based on the global gridded land-use data used for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report and habitat extent and species data for each hotspot. We then estimated potential extinctions due to future land-use changes under alternative climate-change scenarios (2005-2100). Future land-use changes are projected to reduce natural vegetative cover by 26-58% in the hotspots...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Extinction, Species
Genetic Hotspot
Climate Change

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