Robert Scholes

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Savannas are globally important ecosystems of great significance to human economies. In these biomes, which are characterized by the co-dominance of trees and grasses, woody cover is a chief determinant of ecosystem properties. The availability of resources (water, nutrients) and disturbance regimes (fire, herbivory) are thought to be important in(More)
Knowledge of carbon exchange between the atmosphere, land and the oceans is important, given that the terrestrial and marine environments are currently absorbing about half of the carbon dioxide that is emitted by fossil-fuel combustion. This carbon uptake is therefore limiting the extent of atmospheric and climatic change, but its long-term nature remains(More)
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) introduced a new framework for analyzing social-ecological systems that has had wide influence in the policy and scientific communities. Studies after the MA are taking up new challenges in the basic science needed to assess, project, and manage flows of ecosystem services and effects on human well-being. Yet, our(More)
E coystem s nd H um an W elbeing The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is an international process designed to meet the needs of decision-makers and the public for scientific information concerning the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being, and to analyze options available to enhance the conservation of ecosystems and their contributions(More)
Quantitative scenarios are coming of age as a tool for evaluating the impact of future socioeconomic development pathways on biodiversity and ecosystem services. We analyze global terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biodiversity scenarios using a range of measures including extinctions, changes in species abundance, habitat loss, and distribution shifts, as(More)
The African continent has a large and growing role in the global carbon cycle, with potentially important climate change implications. However, the sparse observation network in and around the African continent means that Africa is one of the weakest links in our understanding of the global carbon cycle. Here, we combine data from regional and global(More)
Motivated by the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 due to human activities since the Industrial Revolution, several international scientific research programs have analyzed the role of individual components of the Earth system in the global carbon cycle. Our knowledge of the carbon cycle within the oceans, terrestrial ecosystems, and the atmosphere is(More)
We survey those recent developments in environmental and resource economics that have been prompted by a puzzling cultural phenomenon, where one group (usually natural scientists) sees in humanity's current use of Nature's services symptoms of a deep malaise, even while another group (usually economists) documents the fact that people today are on average(More)
R educing the rate of biodiversity loss and averting dangerous biodiversity change are international goals, reasserted by the Aichi Targets for 2020 by Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) after failure to meet the 2010 target ( 1, 2). However, there is no global, harmonized observation system for delivering regular,(More)
The nations of the world have set themselves a target of reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Here, we propose a biodiversity intactness index (BII) for assessing progress towards this target that is simple and practical--but sensitive to important factors that influence biodiversity status--and which satisfies the criteria for policy relevance(More)