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

Overview

The biodiversity intactness map shows global estimates of how land use pressures have affected the numbers of species and individuals found in an area. This data is important because if biodiversity loss goes unchecked, it will undermine efforts toward long-term sustainable development. The data, created by Newbold et al. (2016), represents intactness in 2005 at a 1 kilometer resolution.

Methodology

The Biodiversity Intactness dataset 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. The datasets used 2,382,624 data points 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 modeled how richness and abundance respond to land use pressures. The models included 4 pressure variables—land use, land use intensity, human population density, and proximity to the nearest road. The values of the response variables were expressed relative to an intact assemblage undisturbed by humans. For the full documentation, please see the source methodology.

Data shown on Resource Watch Map

  • 2005 Biodiversity Intactness (%): Average proportion of natural biodiversity remaining in local ecosystems in 2005. Green areas are those within safe limits for biodiversity, and red areas are those beyond proposed safe limits.

Disclaimer

Excerpts of this description page were taken from the source metadata. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the dataset. For access to the full dataset and additional information, click on the “Learn more” button.

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Formal name

Global map of the Biodiversity Intactness Index

Cautions

The models suggested a generally smaller impact of land use on the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) than that found in a previous study. The latter model 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, including boreal forests, tundra, flooded grasslands, and savannas and mangroves, produce fewer confidence results. The data is likely to 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." In Tim Newbold et al., "Has Land Use Pushed Territorial Biodiversity beyond the Planetary Boundary? A Global Assessment." Science 353 (2016): 288-89. http://dx.doi.org/10.5519/0009936. 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

Frequency of updates

Irregular

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