Biodiversity Intactness

Modeled average abundance of originally present species, relative to their abundance in an intact ecosystem after land use change or human impacts

  • Source: UNEP-WCMC/UCL/NHM/Imperial/CSIRO/Luc Hoffmann Institute/UCPH/Sussex

The Global Biodiversity Index from Newbold et al. at ~1 km resolution shows global estimates of how land use pressures have affected the numbers of species and individuals found in samples from local terrestrial ecological assemblages. The map represents the average losses of originally present species. Using 2,382,624 records of data from the Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity in Changing Terrestrial Systems (PREDICTS) database, a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts, the map models how sampled richness and abundance respond to land use pressures. The models also include 4 pressure variables—land use, land use intensity, human population density, and proximity to the nearest road. Values of the response variables are always expressed relative to an intact assemblage undisturbed by humans and therefore do not rely on estimates of absolute abundance or species richness, which vary widely among biomes and taxa. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Formal name

Global map of the Biodiversity Intactness Index, from Newbold et al. (2016) Science

Cautions

The models suggest a generally smaller impact of land use on the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) than that in a previous study and may have overestimated the BII by ignoring lagged responses and using sites that often have experienced some human impact as baselines. The density of sampling is inevitably uneven; biomes that are particularly underrepresented, relative to their global ecosystem productivity, include boreal forests, tundra, flooded grasslands, and savannas and mangroves, meaning that less confidence can be placed in the results for these biomes. The data probably also underrepresent soil and canopy species.

Suggested citation

Newbold, Tim, Lawrence N. Hudson, Andrew P. Arnell, Sara Contu, et al. 2016. "Dataset: Global Map of the Biodiversity Intactness Index." From Tim Newbold et al., "Has Land Use Pushed Territorial Biodiversity beyond the Planetary Boundary? A Global Assessment," Science 353 (2016): 288-289. http://dx.doi.org/10.5519/0009936. Retrieved: 01 Dec 2017. Accessed through Resource Watch, (date). www.resourcewatch.org.

Sources

United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)
University College London (UCL)
Natural History Museum (NHM)
Imperial College London (Imperial)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Canberra (CSIRO)
Luc Hoffmann Institute
University of Copenhagen (UCPH)
University of Sussex (Sussex)

Geographic coverage

Global

Spatial resolution

1 km

Date of content

2005

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