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Biological diversity in a changing world

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Abstract

From the pioneering explorations of Joseph Banks (later a President of the Royal Society), to the present day, a great deal has been learnt about the extent, distribution and stability of biological diversity in the world. We now know that diverse life can be found even in the most inhospitable places. We have also learned that biological diversity changes through time over both large and small temporal scales. These natural changes track environmental conditions, and reflect ecological and evolutionary processes. However, anthropogenic activities, including overexploitation, habitat loss and climate change, are currently causing profound transformations in ecosystems and unprecedented loss of biological diversity. This series of papers considers temporal variation in biological diversity, examines the extent of human-related change relative to underlying natural change and builds on these insights to develop tools and policies to help guide us towards a sustainable future.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3593-3597
Number of pages5
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences
Volume365
Issue number1558
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Nov 2010

    Research areas

  • biodiversity, species richness, time, threat, speciation, extinction, RANGE SHIFTS, BIODIVERSITY, PERSPECTIVE, ASSEMBLAGES, POPULATION, GRADIENTS, RICHNESS, DYNAMICS, FUTURE

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ID: 6106640