Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Conservation Biology for All$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Navjot S. Sodhi and Paul R. Ehrlich

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554232

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554232.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 10 May 2021

Habitat destruction: death by a thousand cuts

Habitat destruction: death by a thousand cuts

(p.73) Chapter 4 Habitat destruction: death by a thousand cuts
Conservation Biology for All

William F. Laurance

Oxford University Press

William F. Laurance provides an overview of contemporary habitat loss in this chapter. Vast amounts of habitat destruction have already occurred. for instance, about half of all global forest cover has been lost, and forests have virtually vanished in over 50 nations worldwide. Habitat destruction has been highly uneven among different ecosystems. From a geographic perspective, islands, coastal areas, wetlands, regions with large or growing human populations, and emerging agricultural frontiers are all sustaining rapid habitat loss. From a biome perspective, habitat loss has been very high in Mediterranean forests, temperate forest‐steppe and woodland, temperate broadleaf forests, and tropical coniferous forests. Other ecosystems, particularly tropical rainforests, are now disappearing rapidly. Habitat destruction in the temperate zone peaked in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Although considerable habitat loss is occurring in some temperate ecosystems, overall forest cover is now increasing from forest regeneration and plantation establishment in some temperate regions. Primary (old‐growth) habitats are rapidly diminishing across much of the earth. In their place, a variety of semi‐natural or intensively managed ecosystems are being established. For example, although just two‐tenths of the temperate coniferous forests have disappeared, vast areas are being converted from old‐growth to timber‐production forests, with a greatly simplified stand structure and species composition. Boreal ecosystems have suffered relatively limited reductions to date but are especially vulnerable to global warming. Boreal forests could become increasingly vulnerable to destructive fires if future conditions become warmer or drier.

Keywords:   ecosystems, forest regeneration, forests, habitat destruction, habitat loss, plantations, tropical rainforests

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .