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Research: More species but less diversity

Research: More species but less diversity

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In both Great Britain and Sweden, the proportion of natural pastures and grasslands has decreased by up to 90 percent. In Great Britain, however, there has been less extensive regeneration of grasslands.

More species does not mean that biodiversity is conserved. This was claimed by researchers affiliated with SLU who analyzed cargo data from Great Britain.

It is Sweden's Agricultural University, SLU, that publishes the results of a research project based on the use of data collected in Great Britain.

more time

Natural inventories have a long tradition of showing changes in biological diversity over time. You have access to land use maps dating back to the 1930s and long-term weather data.

Collectively, the evidence enables studies and analyzes of how habitat destruction and climate change affect biodiversity.

Pasture and meadows

– As in Sweden, the biggest change was the loss of natural pastures and grasslands, which accounted for more than 90 percent of the lowlands, says Alistair Offred, senior lecturer in landscape ecology at SLU.

Among other things, the researchers used more than 20 million observations of plants, butterflies and birds from inventories made mainly by the public.

Surprisingly, in highly altered environments, some species have disappeared and increased within all ethnic groups.

In the end

The problem is that over time the same species are favored, leading to decline.

– Biodiversity is not just about the number of species in a place, but about which species are present, comments Theresa Montrose-Zenner, a former graduate student at SLU who led a study.

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Above all, the presence of natural pastures helps maintain species richness despite dramatic reductions in such land at the national level.

“Danger Diminished”

– Now, in a new project, we will examine how biodiversity changes in both Great Britain and Sweden have been affected by nature conservation efforts, for example how much the risk of species extinction is reduced when important habitats are protected, concludes Alistair Offred. .