Anthropogenic modification of forests means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity

  title={Anthropogenic modification of forests means only 40\% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity},
  author={Hedley S Grantham and Annie Duncan and Tom Evans and K R Jones and Hawthorne L. Beyer and Richard Schuster and Joseph Walston and Justina C. Ray and John G. Robinson and Martin Callow and Tom Clements and Hugo M. Costa and A. DeGemmis and Paul R. Elsen and Jamison Ervin and P Franco and Elizabeth Dow Goldman and Scott J. Goetz and Andrew J. Hansen and E. Hofsvang and Patrick Jantz and S Jupiter and Aili Kang and Penny F. Langhammer and William F. Laurance and Susan Lieberman and Matthew Linkie and Yadvinder S. Malhi and Sean L. Maxwell and Mart{\'i}n Mendez and Russell A. Mittermeier and Nicholas J. Murray and Hugh P. Possingham and Jeremy Radachowsky and Sassan S. Saatchi and Cristi{\'a}n Samper and J. Silverman and Aur{\'e}lie C. Shapiro and Bernardo B. N. Strassburg and Ted Stevens and Emma J. Stokes and R. Taylor and Timothy H. Tear and R Tizard and Oscar Venter and Piero Visconti and Shaobai Wang and James E. M. Watson},
  journal={Nature Communications},
Many global environmental agendas, including halting biodiversity loss, reversing land degradation, and limiting climate change, depend upon retaining forests with high ecological integrity, yet the scale and degree of forest modification remain poorly quantified and mapped. By integrating data on observed and inferred human pressures and an index of lost connectivity, we generate a globally consistent, continuous index of forest condition as determined by the degree of anthropogenic… 

Indigenous lands in protected areas have high forest integrity across the tropics

Limited protection and ongoing loss of tropical cloud forest biodiversity and ecosystems worldwide

A global assessment of the status of tropical cloud forests shows that they have declined overall by ~2.4% since 2001, with much of this occurring despite formal protection and with up to 8% loss in some regions.

Forest quality mitigates extinction risk in humid tropical vertebrates

Reducing deforestation underpins efforts to conserve global biodiversity. However, this focus on retaining forest cover overlooks the multitude of anthropogenic pressures that can degrade forest

Humid tropical vertebrates are at lower risk of extinction and population decline in forests with higher structural integrity

Reducing deforestation underpins global biodiversity conservation efforts. However, this focus on retaining forest cover overlooks the multitude of anthropogenic pressures that can degrade forest

Limiting the loss of terrestrial ecosystems to safeguard nature for biodiversity and humanity

This work found that at least 67 million km2 of Earth’s natural terrestrial ecosystems require retention – via a combination of strict protection but more prominently through sustainably managed land use regimes complemented by restoration actions – to contribute to biodiversity, climate, soil and freshwater objectives under four United Nations’ Resolutions.

Assessment of Factors Responsible for Forest Loss in Tropics

— The tropical forest harbors the most enriched and highly diverse ecosystem in the world. Presently, many natural, as well as human-induced activities, are causing a deliberating impact on the

The global exposure of species ranges and protected areas to forest management

The majority of vertebrate species globally are dependent on forests, most of which require active protection to safeguard global biodiversity. Forests, however, are increasingly either being

Reforestation enhanced landscape connectivity for thermal buffering in China

Deforestation-induced landscape fragmentation causes habitat loss and isolation, modifies local climate, and therefore threatens biodiversity. While, on the contrary, how large-scale reforestation

The road to recovery: a synthesis of outcomes from ecosystem restoration in tropical and sub-tropical Asian forests

Current policy is driving renewed impetus to restore forests to return ecological function, protect species, sequester carbon and secure livelihoods. Here we assess the contribution of tree planting

Where Might We Find Ecologically Intact Communities?

Conservation efforts should target the few remaining areas of the world that represent outstanding examples of ecological integrity and aim to restore ecological integrity to a much broader area of



The exceptional value of intact forest ecosystems

It is argued that maintaining and, where possible, restoring the integrity of dwindling intact forests is an urgent priority for current global efforts to halt the ongoing biodiversity crisis, slow rapid climate change and achieve sustainability goals.

The last frontiers of wilderness: Tracking loss of intact forest landscapes from 2000 to 2013

It is shown that global IFL extent has been reduced by 7.2% since the year 2000, largely driven by the tripling of IFL tropical forest loss in 2011–2013 compared to that in 2001–2003.

Anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests can double biodiversity loss from deforestation

Concerted political attention has focused on reducing deforestation, and this remains the cornerstone of most biodiversity conservation strategies. However, maintaining forest cover may not reduce

Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity

It is found that biodiversity values were substantially lower in degraded forests, but that this varied considerably by geographic region, taxonomic group, ecological metric and disturbance type.

Spatial priorities for conserving the most intact biodiverse forests within Central Africa

The forests of Central Africa contain some of Earth’s few remaining intact forests. These forests are increasingly threatened by infrastructure development, agriculture, and unsustainable extraction

Global forest loss disproportionately erodes biodiversity in intact landscapes

Deforestation substantially increased the odds of a species being listed as threatened, undergoing recent upgrading to a higher threat category and exhibiting declining populations, and it was shown that these risks were disproportionately high in relatively intact landscapes.

Importance of Indigenous Peoples’ lands for the conservation of Intact Forest Landscapes

  • J. FaJ. Watson S. Garnett
  • Environmental Science, Political Science
    Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  • 2020
Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) are critical strongholds for the environmental services that they provide, not least for their role in climate protection. On the basis of information about the

Forest Loss in Protected Areas and Intact Forest Landscapes: A Global Analysis

In spite of the high importance of forests, global forest loss has remained alarmingly high during the last decades. Forest loss at a global scale has been unveiled with increasingly finer spatial

Global humid tropics forest structural condition and forest structural integrity maps

Two data products are introduced to meet the need for structurally complex forests with low human pressure in the humid tropics, and represent an important step in maturation from conservation focus on forest extent to forest stands that should be considered “best of the last” in international policy settings.

Wilderness areas halve the extinction risk of terrestrial biodiversity

The persistence probability of biodiversity is modeled, combininghabitat condition with spatial variation in species composition, to show that retaining these remaining wilderness areas is essential for the international conservation agenda.