Increasing impacts of land use on biodiversity and carbon sequestration driven by population and economic growth

Marques, Alexandra and Martins, Ines and Kastner, Thomas and Plutzar, Christoph and Theurl, Michaela and Eisenmenger, Nina and Huijbregts, Mark and Wood, Richard and Stadler, Konstantin and Bruckner, Martin ORCID: and Canelas, Joana and Hilbers, Jelle and Tukker, Arnold and Erb, Karlheinz and Pereira, Henrique (2019) Increasing impacts of land use on biodiversity and carbon sequestration driven by population and economic growth. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3. pp. 628-637. ISSN 2397-334X

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Biodiversity and ecosystem service losses driven by land-use change are expected to intensify as a growing and more affluent global population requires more agricultural and forestry products, and teleconnections in the global economy lead to increasing remote environmental responsibility. By combining global biophysical and economic models, we show that, between the years 2000 and 2011, overall population and economic growth resulted in increasing total impacts on bird diversity and carbon sequestration globally, despite a reduction of land-use impacts per unit of gross domestic product (GDP). The exceptions were North America and Western Europe, where there was a reduction of forestry and agriculture impacts on nature accentuated by the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Biodiversity losses occurred predominantly in Central and Southern America, Africa and Asia with international trade an important and growing driver. In 2011, 33% of Central and Southern America and 26% of Africa's biodiversity impacts were driven by consumption in other world regions. Overall, cattle farming is the major driver of biodiversity loss, but oil seed production showed the largest increases in biodiversity impacts. Forestry activities exerted the highest impact on carbon sequestration, and also showed the largest increase in the 2000-2011 period. Our results suggest that to address the biodiversity crisis, governments should take an equitable approach recognizing remote responsibility, and promote a shift of economic development towards activities with low biodiversity impacts.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: To see the final version of this paper please visit the publisher's website. Access to the published version requires a subscription. The original publication is available at Authors would like to thank the financial support provided by EU-FP7 project DESIRE (project no. FP7-ENV-2012,308552). K.H.E. and T.K. have been funded by the Austrian Science Fund project GELUC (project no. P29130), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) project no. KA 4815/1-1 and ERC grant (ERC-2010,263522 LUISE). K.H.E., T.K. and C.P. have been funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) through project no. ESR17-014. T.K. acknowledges support from the Swedish Research Council Formas (project no. 231,2014,1181). M.A.J.H. was supported by the ERC grant (ERC-CoG SIZE 647224).
Keywords: Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Environmental impact
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Ecological Economics
Version of the Document: Submitted
Variance from Published Version: Minor
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2019 09:44
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2019 14:54
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