How much will it cost to save grassland diversity?

J.G. Hodgson, G. Montserrat-Mart, J. Tallowin, K. Thompson, S. Diaz, M. Cabido, J.P. Grime, P.J. Wilson, S.R. Band, A. Bogard, R. Cabido, D. Ciceres, P. Castro-Diez, C. Ferrer, M. Maestro-Martinez, M.C. Perez-Rontome, M. Charles, J.H.C. Cornelissen, S. Dabbert, N. Perez-HarguindeguyF. Sijtsma, D. Strijker, F. Vendramini, T. Vogel, J. Guerrero-Campo, P.L. Gupta, A. Hynd, G. Jones, A. Romo-Diez, I.H. Rorison, L. De Torres Espuny, P. Villar-Salvador, M.R. Zak

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic

Abstract

Conservation initiatives are failing to arrest the global loss of biodiversity. From our mechanistic studies of ecology and economics, we suggest that for grazing lands the root cause of this failure is a powerful economic deterrent to measures designed to protect diversity. We identify an exponential relationship between monetary returns and intensification of farming methods over an extremely wide range of grassland productivities and farm systems. At intermediate to high levels of fertility, however, this exponential increase in financial benefit from intensification is associated with a decline in biodiversity and an acceleration of the ecological processes driving species losses from grassland ecosystems. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-273
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume122
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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