Download Nature in Fragments: The Legacy of Sprawl PDF

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This new assortment specializes in the effect of sprawl on biodiversity and the measures that may be taken to relieve it. prime organic and social scientists, conservationists, and land-use execs learn how sprawl impacts species and alters common groups, ecosystems, and average procedures. The participants combine biodiversity concerns, issues, and wishes into the becoming variety of anti-sprawl projects, together with the "smart growth" and "new urbanist" pursuits.

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HABITAT LOSS, FRAGMENTATION, AND DEGRADATION: EFFECTS ON ECOSYSTEMS AND PROCESSES Important ecosystem functions include biogeochemical cycles, such as the water and carbon cycles; life cycles, including photosynthesis, soil formation, and decomposition; and processes critical to the persistence of life, such as 28 ■ BIODIVERSITY AND THE GENESIS OF SPRAWL HUMAN ACTIVITIES AND NOVEL DISTURBANCES Sprawl brings people closer to the natural world. Although this may be beneficial for humans, our everyday activities create novel disturbances and impacts to the landscape.

Biodiversity provides invaluable ecosystem services, or the ecological processes that sustain life on Earth, including decomposition, nutrient cycling and soil formation, pollination, filtration of pollutants from water, regulation of global temperature and precipitation, and flood and erosion control. At the genetic level, biodiversity allows species to adapt to changing environmental conditions. It also provides a genetic “library,” a source of information to create better agricultural crops or livestock, which is, in essence, insurance for human food production.

S. population is expected to grow by another 100 million people before the middle of the twenty-first century. How and where are these people to be accommodated? Conservationists must recognize the necessity of taking equally aggressive steps to make development happen in the right places as they do to stop development in the wrong places. This means lending environmental support to the growth of transit and to the funding that goes with that growth. It also means supporting development built in accordance with smart-growth principals—higher-density, mixed-use development, where people have choices to walk or bike, where environmental damage is minimized.

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