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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Intensification of land use leads to the same species everywhere

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Homogenization of species communities in our landscape documented; reducing ecosystem services
November 30, 2016 Technical University of Munich (TUM)  ScienceDaily

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161130133911.htm

In places where humans use grasslands more intensively, it is not only the species diversity which decreases — the landscape also becomes more monotonous, and ultimately only the same species remain everywhere. This results in nature no longer being able to provide its ‘services’, which range from soil formation for food production to pest control.….

…What was unique in this case was that data from organisms in the ground such as from bacteria, fungi, and millipedes were also included….The findings showed that it did not matter whether grassland areas were used moderately or intensively by humans….

It is only when as many species as possible are able to find the unique habitats they require across large areas that ‘ecosystem services’, which improve human well-being, can remain intact. Because ‘nature’s services’ help increase food production by improving soil formation, for example, but they also help keep pests in check.

Gossner et al. Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities. Nature, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/nature20575

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