Reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss is a major challenge facing humanity1, as the consequences of biological annihilation would be irreversible for humankind2–4. Although the ongoing degradation of ecosystems5,6 and the extinction of species that comprise them7,8 are now well-documented, little is known about the role that remaining wilderness areas have in mitigating the global biodiversity crisis. Here we model the persistence probability of biodiversity, combining habitat condition with spatial variation in species composition, to show that retaining these remaining wilderness areas is essential for the international conservation agenda. Wilderness areas act as a buffer against species loss, as the extinction risk for species within wilderness communities is—on average—less than half that of species in non-wilderness communities. Although all wilderness areas have an intrinsic conservation value9,10, we identify the areas on every continent that make the highest relative contribution to the persistence of biodiversity. Alarmingly, these areas—in which habitat loss would have a more-marked effect on biodiversity—are poorly protected. Given globally high rates of wilderness loss10, these areas urgently require targeted protection to ensure the long-term persistence of biodiversity, alongside efforts to protect and restore more-degraded environments.

Wilderness areas halve the extinction risk of terrestrial biodiversity / Di Marco, M.; Ferrier, S.; Harwood, T. D.; Hoskins, A. J.; Watson, J. E. M.. - In: NATURE. - ISSN 0028-0836. - 573:7775(2019), pp. 582-585. [10.1038/s41586-019-1567-7]

Wilderness areas halve the extinction risk of terrestrial biodiversity

Di Marco M.
Primo
Investigation
;
2019

Abstract

Reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss is a major challenge facing humanity1, as the consequences of biological annihilation would be irreversible for humankind2–4. Although the ongoing degradation of ecosystems5,6 and the extinction of species that comprise them7,8 are now well-documented, little is known about the role that remaining wilderness areas have in mitigating the global biodiversity crisis. Here we model the persistence probability of biodiversity, combining habitat condition with spatial variation in species composition, to show that retaining these remaining wilderness areas is essential for the international conservation agenda. Wilderness areas act as a buffer against species loss, as the extinction risk for species within wilderness communities is—on average—less than half that of species in non-wilderness communities. Although all wilderness areas have an intrinsic conservation value9,10, we identify the areas on every continent that make the highest relative contribution to the persistence of biodiversity. Alarmingly, these areas—in which habitat loss would have a more-marked effect on biodiversity—are poorly protected. Given globally high rates of wilderness loss10, these areas urgently require targeted protection to ensure the long-term persistence of biodiversity, alongside efforts to protect and restore more-degraded environments.
2019
wilderness; biodiversity; extinction risk
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Wilderness areas halve the extinction risk of terrestrial biodiversity / Di Marco, M.; Ferrier, S.; Harwood, T. D.; Hoskins, A. J.; Watson, J. E. M.. - In: NATURE. - ISSN 0028-0836. - 573:7775(2019), pp. 582-585. [10.1038/s41586-019-1567-7]
File allegati a questo prodotto
File Dimensione Formato  
Di-Marco_Wilderness_2019.pdf

solo gestori archivio

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (versione pubblicata con il layout dell'editore)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 4.33 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.33 MB Adobe PDF   Contatta l'autore
Di-Marco_Wilderness_post-print_2019.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Documento in Post-print (versione successiva alla peer review e accettata per la pubblicazione)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 2.22 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.22 MB Adobe PDF

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1359824
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 21
  • Scopus 133
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 120
social impact