Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 128–155

Human disturbance and natural habitat: a biome level analysis of a global data set

  • Lee Hannah
  • John L. Carr
  • Ali Lankerani
Papers

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of conversion of natural habitat to human use on a global scale. Human disturbance of natural systems is classified in a three-category system and ranked using a Habitat Index based on remaining undisturbed and partially disturbed land. Data is analysed by biome and biogeographic province, allowing identification of the biomes and provinces which have been the most impacted by human activity. Temperate biomes are found to be generally more disturbed than tropical biomes. Four of the top five most disturbed biomes are temperate. Certain biomes and geographic areas stand out as conservation priorities, notably the islands of Southeast Asia, Mediterranean vegetation types, Temperate Broadleaf Forests and Tropical Dry Forests. Areas for which data deficiencies exist are identified.

Keywords

human disturbance natural habitat biome biogeographic province 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aiken, R.S. and Leigh, C.H. (1985) On the Declining Fauna of Peninsular Malaysia in the Post-Colonial Period. Ambio 14, 15–22.Google Scholar
  2. Amin, H. and Schilz, G.B. (1976) A geography of Afghanistan. pp. 204. Omaha: University of Nebraska.Google Scholar
  3. Arntzen, J.W. and Veenendaal, E.M. (1986) A profile of environment and development in Botswana. pp. 172. Netherlands: IES Free University and National Institute of Research, University of Botswana, Gaborone.Google Scholar
  4. Asztalos, I., Enyed, G., Sarfali, B. and Simon, L. (1966) Geographical types of Hungarian agriculture. pp. 84. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado.Google Scholar
  5. Bishop, B.C. (1990) Karnali under stress: livelihood strategies and seasonal rhythms in a changing Nepal Himalaya. pp. 460. Chicago: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  6. Boudet, G. (1976) Mali. United Nations Ecol. Bull. 24, 137–40.Google Scholar
  7. Boulbet, J. (1982) Evolution des paysages vegetaux en Thailande du Nord-Est. pp. 36 + maps. Paris: Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient.Google Scholar
  8. Bourliere, F. (ed.) (1983) Ecosystems of the world: tropical savannas. pp. 730. Amsterdam: Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  9. Brandstrom, P., Hultin, J. and Lindstrom, J. (1979) Aspects of Agro-Pastoralism in East Africa. Scand. Inst. Afr. Stud. 51, 48–50.Google Scholar
  10. Brannon, R.H. (1967) The agricultural development of Uruguay. pp. 366. New York, Washington and London: Frederick A. Praeger.Google Scholar
  11. Browning, D. (1971) El Salvador: landscape and society. pp. 329. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  12. Bruenig, E.F. (1987) The Forest Ecosystem: Tropical and Boreal. Ambio 16, 68–79.Google Scholar
  13. Campbell, D.G. and Hammond, H.D. (eds) (1989) Floristic inventory of tropical countries: the status of plant systemics, collections and vegetation plus recommendations for the future. pp. 545. New York: The New York Botanical Garden.Google Scholar
  14. Collins, M. (ed.) (1990) The last rain forests. pp. 200. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Conzen, M.P. (ed.) (1990) The making of the American landscape. pp. 433. London: Unwin Hyman, Ltd.Google Scholar
  16. Coppack, J.T. (1971) An agricultural geography of Great Britain. pp. 345. London: G. Bell and Sons, Ltd.Google Scholar
  17. Cranbrook, Earl of (ed.) (1988) Key environments: Malaysia. pp. 317. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  18. Dalichow, F. (1972) Agricultural Geography of British Columbia. pp. 161. Vancouver: Versatile Publishing Co. Ltd.Google Scholar
  19. Dayton, L. (1990) New Life for Old Forest. New Scientist 13, 25–30.Google Scholar
  20. Dickinson, R.E. (1953) Germany: a general and regional geography. pp. 700. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co. Inc.Google Scholar
  21. Donner, W. (1987) Land use and environment in Indonesia. pp. 368. London: C. Hurst and Co.Google Scholar
  22. Espenshade, E.B. and Morrison, J.L. (eds) (1975) Goode's world atlas. pp. 372. Rand-McNally, Chicago.Google Scholar
  23. Evans, P.G.H. (1986) Dominica Multiple Land Use Project. Ambio 15, 82–4.Google Scholar
  24. Ewell, P.T. (1984) Intensification of peasant agriculture in Yucatan. pp. 233. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University.Google Scholar
  25. Fearnside, P.M. (1986) Spatial Concentration of Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Ambio 15, 74–81.Google Scholar
  26. Fienup, D.F., Brannan, R.H. and Fender, F.A. (1969) The agricultural development of Argentina: a policy and development perspective. pp. 437. New York: Frederick A. Praeger.Google Scholar
  27. Ford, R.E. (1990) The Dynamics of Human-Environment Interactions in the Tropical Montane Agrosystems of Rwanda. Mount. Res. Devel. 10, 43–63.Google Scholar
  28. Gottman, J. (1969) A geography of Europe. pp. 866. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  29. Grigg, D. (1984) An introduction to agricultural geography. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  30. Gunatilleke, I. and Gunatilleke, C. (1990) Distribution of Floristic Richness and its Conservation in Sri Lanka. Conserv. Biol. 4, 21–33.Google Scholar
  31. Gupta, S.K., Tejwani, K.G., Mather, H.N. and Srivasta, M.M. (1984) Land Resource Regions and Areas of India. In Contributions to Indian geography V: resource geography. (A. Ramesh, ed.) pp. 255. New Delhi: Heritage.Google Scholar
  32. Hannah, L., Lohse, D., Hutchinson, C., Carr, J.L. and Lankerani, A. (1994) A Preliminary Inventory of Human Disturbance of World Ecosystems. Ambio 23, 246–50.Google Scholar
  33. Heathcote, R.L. (1983) The arid lands: their use and abuse. pp. 323. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  34. Heaton, L. E. (1969) The agricultural development of Venezuela. pp. 320. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  35. Hecht, S.B. (1982) Amazonia: agriculture and land use research. Proceedings of the International Conference. Cali, Columbia: Centro International de Agriculture Tropical.Google Scholar
  36. Hirsch, P. (1987) Deforestation and Development in Thailand. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 8, 129–38.Google Scholar
  37. Hope, G., Peterson, J.A. and Allison, I. (1976) The equatorial glaciers of New Guinea. pp. 244. Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema.Google Scholar
  38. Houston, J.M. (1964) The western Mediterranean world. pp. 800. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  39. Hsieh, C. (1973) Atlas of China. pp. 282. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  40. Humphrey S.R. and Bain J.R. Endangered animals of Thailand pp. 468. Gainesville, Fl: Sandhill Crane Press.Google Scholar
  41. Ishi, Y. (1978) Thailand, a rice-growing society. pp. 340. Honolulu: University of Hawaii.Google Scholar
  42. Ishwaran, N. (1990) Conserving Sinharaja—An Experiment in Sustainable Development in Sri Lanka Ambio 19, 237–44.Google Scholar
  43. Janzen, D.H. (1988) Tropical dry forests: the most endangered major tropical ecosystem. In Biodiversity (E.O. Wilson, ed.) pp. 130–7. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  44. Kampp, Aa.H. (1975) An agricultural geography of Denmark. pp. 88. Budapest: Akademia Kiado.Google Scholar
  45. Kaplan, F.M., Solon, J.M. and Andors, S. (1979) Encyclopedia of China Today. pp. 336. Fairlawn, NJ: Eurasia Press and New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  46. Kardell, L., Steen, E. and Fabiao, A. (1986) Eucalyptus in Portugal. Ambio 15, 6–13.Google Scholar
  47. Kaul, R.N. (ed.) (1970) Afforestation in arid zones. pp. 435. The Hague: Dr. W. Junk N.V.Google Scholar
  48. Kish, G. (1960) Economic Atlas of the Soviet Union pp. 96. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  49. Kishk, M.A. (1986) Land Degradation in the Nile Valley. Ambio 15, 226–30.Google Scholar
  50. Knight, C.G. and Newman, J.L. (eds) (1976) Contemporary Africa: geography and change pp. 546. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentiss-Hall, Inc.Google Scholar
  51. Kowal, J.M. and Kassam, A.H. (1978) Agricultural ecology of Savanna: a study of west Africa. pp. 403. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  52. Kuo, L.T.C. (1976) Agriculture in the Peoples Republic of China. pp. 288. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  53. Le Houerou, H.N. (1989) The grazing land ecosystems of the African Sahel. Ecological Studies 75, 130–1.Google Scholar
  54. MacDonald, I.A.W., Kruger and Ferrar (eds) (1986) The ecology and management of biological invasions in South Africa. pp. 323. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Matteucci, S.D., Colma, A. and Pla, L. (1982) Desertification Maps of Falcon State, Venezuela. Environ. Conserv. 9, 217–24.Google Scholar
  56. Matthews, E. (1985) Atlas of archived vegetation, land-use and seasonal Albedo data sets: NASA technical memorandum 86199. pp. 54. New York: NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.Google Scholar
  57. Moran, E.F. (ed.) (1983) The dilemma of Amazonian development. pp. 347. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  58. Morrison, P.H. (1988) Old growth in the Pacific northwest. pp. 46. Alexandria, VA: Global Printing, Inc.Google Scholar
  59. Myers, N. (1988) Threatened Biotas: “Hot Spots” in Tropical Forests. The Environmentalist 8, 187–207.Google Scholar
  60. National Geographic (1992) Map Supplement: Amazonia, A World Resource at Risk. National Geographic 182(2).Google Scholar
  61. Newbury, P.A.R. (1980) A geography of agriculture. pp. 326. Plymouth: MacDonald and Evans, Ltd.Google Scholar
  62. Nuttonson, M.Y. (1961) An introduction to Northern Africa and a survey of the physical environment and agriculture of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. pp. 600. Washington DC: American Institute of Crop Ecology.Google Scholar
  63. Olang, M.O. (1984) Vegetation Cover Assessment in Turkana District, Kenya. Proceedings of the Workshop on Land Evaluation and Ettensive Grazing (LEEG) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 183–219.Google Scholar
  64. O'Reilly, F.D. and McDonald, P.I. (1983) Thailand's agriculture. pp. 98. Budapest: Akademia: Kiado.Google Scholar
  65. Oxford (1987) A social and economic atlas of India. pp. 254. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Paauw, D.S. (ed.) (1962) Prospects for East Sumatran plantation industries: a symposium. pp. 70. New Haven: Tale University Southeast Asia Studies.Google Scholar
  67. Parker, T., Gentry, A., Foster, R., Emmons, L., Remsen, J. Jr. (1993) The lowland dry forests of Santa Cruz, Bolivia: a blobal conservation priority. pp. 104. Rapid Assessment Program Working Paper No. 4, Washington, DC: Conservation International.Google Scholar
  68. Phillips, J. (1959) Agriculture and ecology in Africa. pp 424. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  69. Pick, J.B., Butler, E.W. and Lanzer, E.L. (1989) Atlas of Mexico. pp. 189. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  70. Pincherrel, P. (1969) France: a geographical survey. pp. 454. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc.Google Scholar
  71. Pritchard, J.M. (1971) Africa: the geography of a changing continent. pp. 248. New York: Africana Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  72. Profous, G.V. (1989) Reflections on Czechoslovak Forestry. J. Forestry 87, 42–6.Google Scholar
  73. Pryde, P.R. (1972) Conservation in the Soviet Union. pp. 301. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  74. Pesci, M. and Sarfali, B. (1977) Physical and economic geography of Hungary. pp. 198. Corvina Press.Google Scholar
  75. Prakaser Rao, V.L.S. (1986) Land-use survey in India. pp. 340. New Delhi: Heritage Publishers.Google Scholar
  76. Rand, P.D. (1988) Resident forest birds in Thailand: status and conservation. pp. 211. Cambridge. Rand-McNally Cosmopolitan World Atlas (1980) Chicago: Rand-McNally.Google Scholar
  77. Ratcliffe, D.A. (1984) Post-medieval and recent changes in British vegetation: the culmination of human influence. New Phytol. 98, 73–100.Google Scholar
  78. Richardson, S.D. (1966) Forestry in communist China. pp. 237. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
  79. Robinson, F. (ed.) (1989) The Cambridge encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. pp. 520. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  80. Schmidt, P.J. and Yeates, N.T.M. (1985) Beef cattle production. pp. 285. Sydney: Butterworths.Google Scholar
  81. Seddon, G. (1984) Logging in the Gogol Valley, Papua New Guinea. Ambio 13, 345–50.Google Scholar
  82. Shotski, V.P. (1979) Agro-industrial complexes and types of agriculture in Eastern Siberia. pp. 131. Budapest: Akademia: Kiado.Google Scholar
  83. Simson, H. (1979) Zimbabwe—a country study. pp. 322. Uppsala: The Scandinavian Institute of African Studies.Google Scholar
  84. Singh, J.S. and Joshi, M.C. (1990) Ecology of the Semi-arid Regions of India with emphasis on land-use. In Contributions to Indian Geography XI: Environmental Geography (R.B. Singh, ed.) pp. 352. New Delhi: Heritage Publishers.Google Scholar
  85. Smil, V. (1983) Deforestation in China. Ambio 12, 226–30.Google Scholar
  86. Squires, V. (1981) Livestock management in the arid zone. pp. 222. Tokyo: Nkata Press.Google Scholar
  87. Stamp, L.D. (1962) The land of Britain, its use and misse. pp. 456. London: Longmans, Green and Co. Ltd.Google Scholar
  88. Stott, P.A. (ed.) (1978) Nature and man in South East Asia. pp. 183. London: University of London School of Oriental and African Studies.Google Scholar
  89. Symons, L. (ed.) (1983) The Soviet Union, a systematic geography. pp. 266. Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble Books.Google Scholar
  90. Thomas, R.S. (1978) The United States and Canada: present and future. pp. 471. Columbus Ohio: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  91. Troughton, M.J. (1982) Canadian agriculture. pp. 355. Budapest: Akademia Kiado.Google Scholar
  92. Tseplyaev, V.P. (1965) The forests of the USSR. pp. 521. Jerusalem: Israel Program for Scientific Translations.Google Scholar
  93. Tsujii, T. and Okutomi, K. (1975) Preservation and Conservation of Vegetation. JIBP Synthesis 8, 146–9.Google Scholar
  94. Udvardy, M.D.F. (1975) A classification of the biogeographical provinces of the World. pp. 48. Morges, Swit.: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.Google Scholar
  95. Ulack, R. and Paver, G. (1989) Atlas of Southeast Asia. pp. 171. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  96. UNESCO (1958) Study of tropical vegetation: Proceedings of the Kandy Symposium. Nairobi: UNESCO. pp. 226.Google Scholar
  97. US Census (1987) Census of Agriculture, Part 1, Vol. 2, Agriculture Atlas of the United States: 2–20.Google Scholar
  98. Venezian, E.L. and Gamble, W.K. (1969) The agricultural development of Mexico. pp. 266. New York: Frederick A. Praeger.Google Scholar
  99. Wang, C.W. (1961) The forests of China. pp. 313. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  100. Ward, R.G. and Lea, D.A.M. (eds) (1970) An atlas of Papua and New Guinea. pp. 100. Glasgow: Collins, Longman.Google Scholar
  101. Westing, A.H. (ed.) (1984) Herbicides in war: The long-term ecological and human consequences. pp. 210. London: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  102. Whitten, A.J., Damanik, S.J., Anwar, J. and Hisyam, N. (1987) The ecology of Sumatra. pp. 583. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Gadjah Mada University Press.Google Scholar
  103. Willett, B.M. (ed.) (1985) Large print atlas for Zimbabwe. pp. 59. London: George Philip and Son Ltd.Google Scholar
  104. Wilgus, A.C. (1967) Historical atlas of Latin America. pp. 365. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
  105. WCMC-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (1991) UNEP/GRID West African Dataset from unpublished report by R. Paivinen and R. Witt.Google Scholar
  106. World Resources Institute (1994) World Resources Report 1994–95. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.Google Scholar
  107. Yoshino, M.M. (ed.) (1984) Climate and agricultural land use in Monsoon Asia. pp. 272. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.Google Scholar
  108. Young, A.L. and Reggiani, G.M. (eds) (1988) Agen organge and its associated dioxin: assessment of a controversy. pp. 334. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. (Biomedical Div.).Google Scholar
  109. Young, S.S. and Wang, Z.-J. (1989) Comparison of secondary and primary forests in the Ailao Region of Yunnan, China. Forest Ecol. Man. 28, 281–300.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee Hannah
    • 1
  • John L. Carr
    • 1
  • Ali Lankerani
    • 1
  1. 1.Conservation InternationalWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations