Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Preserving biodiversity 'protects drylands'

The preservation of biodiversity can reduce the impacts of climate change and desertification on drylands according to a study on dryland biodiversity and ecosystems. In turn, this would help protect the livelihoods of more than a third of the global population. Drylands occupy more than 40 per cent of the global land surface. They host around a fifth of the major centres of global plant diversity and more than a third of endemic bird areas — home to birds that live in geographically restricted areas. According to Fernando Maestre, an ecologist at the King Juan Carlos University, Spain "Biodiversity has an important effect on the quality and quantity of the ecosystem services provided by drylands. These crucial services include carbon storage and the build-up of nutrient pools, all of which are crucial to prevent negative impacts of climate change and desertification.

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