Tag Archives: biodiversity

Biodiversity can flourish on an urban planet

Mention the word biodiversity to a city dweller and images of remote natural beauty will probably come to mind – not an empty car park around the corner. Wildlife, we think, should be found in wild places, or confined to sanctuaries and national parks. But research shows that cities can in fact support biodiversity and […] … learn more→

Birds, dams and people: biodiversity in China

The 2012 China Ecological Footprint Report has highlighted the cost to biodiversity of China’s rapid economic development. Biodiversity in China is under pressure because of loss of habitat. In our study area on the upper Yangtze River, this is exacerbated by a series of proposed dams. Four large hydro-electricity schemes, each involving the construction of […] … learn more→

For Rio+20, a call to preserve biodiversity

An estimated 9 million species of living things inhabit the Earth — plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms such as algae and bacteria. But those species are disappearing at an alarming rate, and this loss of biodiversity appears to be a major driver of environmental changes that can affect the biological and chemical processes that humans […] … learn more→

Biodiversity and farming: finding ways to co-exist

Biodiversity and farming go head to head in two R&D projects that I have a hand in. The struggles to both feed the swelling ranks of humanity and save our continent’s natural splendour are so often at odds, but we need to find a way to marry the two. The projects I’m involved in are: […] … learn more→

Conservation clusters: making the case

Silicon Valley, Bangalore, Shanghai. At one time or another, each of these locations, among others, has become home to a successful ‘business cluster’ of industries. Although the term was coined as recently as 1990, clustering of businesses in the same geographical locality has taken place for centuries, driving productivity, innovation and expertise. A comparatively new […] … learn more→

Three-quarters of America’s threatened species aren’t being protected

We know very little about the world’s biodiversity. A recent study suggests that, despite 250 years of taxonomic effort, a mere 14% of the world’s species are recognised by scientists. Worryingly, anthropogenic effects, including habitat loss, climate change, and invasive species, threaten to exterminate thousands of species before they are even described. In this race […] … learn more→

A new model for understanding biodiversity

Researchers develop a unified theory of ecosystem change by combining spatial modelling and food web analysis. Animals like foxes and raccoons are highly adaptable. They move around and eat everything from insects to eggs. They and other “generalist feeders” like them may also be crucial to sustaining biological diversity, according to a new study published […] … learn more→

Old-growth rainforests vital for biodiversity

We live in an age of vanishing rainforests. Half of the world’s tropical forests have disappeared since World War II and roughly another 10 million hectares are being felled each year — the equivalent of 40 football fields every minute. It’s a bit of a no-brainer to say this is bad for biodiversity. After all, […] … learn more→