Seriously endangered areas include biotopes in tropical Africa and the Amazonas rain forest with its particularly large number of native plant species.
Photo: Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash


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Conservation measures to preserve biodiversity are urgently necessary. According to scientists, the situation is far more serious than previously assumed. One study investigates the influence on biodiversity of agriculture and climate change.

The destruction of important biotopes for plants and animals worldwide is happening even faster and more widely than previously assumed: this was the warning of scientists at the University of Hamburg in August 2019, calling on national governments all over the world to commit to sustainable land management.

The scientists have drawn up forecasts for biodiversity hotspots – 33 areas worldwide which are both rich in biodiversity and particularly endangered. They paid special attention in the study to the influence of agriculture and climate change. All the hotspots together account for only 2.5 per cent of the world’s surface, but are home to over 50 per cent of all the world’s plant and vertebrate species.

According to the forecasts, climate change is a long-term threat to biodiversity, while agriculture can wreak major destruction in the short term. The study shows that for the next 30 years the consequences of expanding land area under cultivation are serious, because they directly destroy the natural biotopes.

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