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World's biodiversity reaches 'unsafe levels', claims study

A recent study has claimed that the world's biodiversity has dropped drastically below the safe levels as animal and plant species are dropping fast.


World's biodiversity reaches 'unsafe levels', claims study

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A recent study has claimed that the world's biodiversity has dropped drastically below the safe levels as animal and plant species are dropping fast.

Species "intactness" has dropped below what one research group considers the safe limit across about 58 percent of Earth's terrestrial surface, the study reported.

 

The results, part of perhaps the most comprehensive quantification of global biodiversity change to date, provide key insights into the current extent of biodiversity losses, which have been lacking to date. The Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) captures changes in species abundance.

Researchers hypothesize that below a so-called safe limit of biodiversity intactness, the wide range of services provided by biodiversity that underpin human well-being, such as crop pollination, waste decomposition, and regulation of the global carbon cycle, are critically threatened.

Generally, the safe limit is placed at a precautionary 10 percent reduction in BII, meaning that species abundance within a given habitat is 90 percent of its original value in the absence of human land use.

 

To quantitatively assess changes in BII globally, Tim Newbold et al. analyzed a database of more than 2.3 million records of greater than 39,100 species living in 18,600 sites, together representing a far more comprehensive dataset than evaluated in previous studies analyzing global biodiversity intactness.

Their BII map reveals that global biodiversity has fallen to 84.6 percent. Even if the emergence of new species in a given region is accounted for, BII is still generally under the suggested threshold, at 88 percent of its original value. The impact of land-use pressures on biodiversity varies by biome, where grasslands are most affected, and tundra and boreal forests are least affected.

(With ANI inputs)

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