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Strengthening the scientific basis of ecosystem collapse risk assessments.

Newton, A. C., 2021. Strengthening the scientific basis of ecosystem collapse risk assessments. Land, 10 (11), 1252.

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land-10-01252.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.3390/land10111252


Progress is being made in assessing the conservation status of ecosystems, notably through initiatives such as the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) and the NatureServe Conservation Status Assessment (NCS). Both of these approaches consider conservation status in terms of the risk of ecosystem collapse. However, the scientific understanding of ecosystem collapse is still at a relatively early stage. Consequently, concerns have been raised regarding the scientific basis of ecosystem conservation assessments focusing on collapse risk. Here I explore how these concerns might potentially be addressed by considering how the concept is defined, and by briefly reviewing the theoretical basis of ecosystem collapse. I then examine the implications of recent research results for the design of ecosystem collapse risk assessments, and the challenges identified in those assessments conducted to date. Recommendations are made regarding how collapse risk assessments might be strengthened based on current scientific understanding, and how this understanding could be improved by further research. In addition, I examine the potential implications for conservation policy and practice if the scientific basis of collapse risk assessments is not strengthened in this way.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This article belongs to the Special Issue Identifying Endangered Terrestrial Ecosystems
Uncontrolled Keywords:ecosystem collapse; biodiversity loss; conservation; environmental management; ecosystem degradation
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:36383
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:14 Dec 2021 13:15
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:31


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