Wherever human land use is located near sensitive natural areas, such as wetlands, it has significant impacts on biodiversity in those areas. Both species richness and species composition are affected. As biodiversity is lost, conservation efforts increase and act as a constraint on land use options. Given these links, land use is a central factor in an ecological-economic analysis of biodiversity. This paper presents a general, dynamic simulation model of the interaction between wetland biodiversity and land use. Results for a set of scenarios suggest that urban growth is unsustainable and that there may be a conflict between conservation of distinct aspects of biodiversity. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.