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Global biodiversity could be in a worse state than previously thought, warns study December 04,2019   |  Source: News-Medical.Net

Biodiversity across the globe could be in a worse state than previously thought as current biodiversity assessments fail to take into account the long-lasting impact of abrupt land changes, a new study has warned.

The study by PhD graduate Dr Martin Jung, Senior Lecturer in Geography Dr Pedram Rowhani and Professor of Conservation Science Jörn Scharlemann, all at the University of Sussex, shows that fewer species and fewer individuals are observed at sites that have been disturbed by an abrupt land change in past decades.

The authors warn that areas subjected to deforestation or intensification of agriculture can take at least ten years to recover, with reductions in species richness and abundance.

With current biodiversity assessments failing to take into account the impacts of past land changes, the researchers believe that the natural world could be in a far worse state than currently thought.

Lead author, Dr Martin Jung said:

"These findings show that recent abrupt land changes, like deforestation or intensification through agriculture, can cause even more impactful and long-lasting damage to biodiversity than previously thought.

"Our study shows that it can take at least ten or more years for areas which have undergone recent abrupt land changes to

 

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