Research gaps in knowledge of the impact of urban growth on biodiversity

Author(s): McDonald, R.I., Mansur, A.V., Ascensão, F., Colbert, M., Crossman, K., Elmqvist, T., et.al.
In: Nature Sustainability, DOI: 10.1038/s41893-019-0436-6
Year: 2019
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Urban
Link to centre authors: Elmqvist, Thomas
Full reference: McDonald, R.I., Mansur, A.V., Ascensão, F., Colbert, M., Crossman, K., Elmqvist, T., et.al. 2019. Research gaps in knowledge of the impact of urban growth in biodiversity. Nature Sustainability, DOI: 10.1038/s41893-019-0436-6

Summary

By 2030, an additional 1.2 billion people are forecast in urban areas globally. We review the scientific literature (n = 922 studies) to assess direct and indirect impacts of urban growth on habitat and biodiversity. Direct impacts are cumulatively substantial, with 290,000 km2 of natural habitat forecast to be converted to urban land uses between 2000 and 2030. Studies of direct impact are disproportionately from high-income countries. Indirect urban impacts on biodiversity, such as food consumption, affect a greater area than direct impacts, but comparatively few studies (34%) have quantified urban indirect impacts on biodiversity.

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