The relationships between net primary productivity, human population density and species conservation

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Abstract

Aim In this study, I determine the relationships between net primary productivity (NPP), human population density, species richness and land use. I also examine the implications of human settlement patterns for species conservation. Location Australia. Methods I document the associations between NPP, human population density and the species richness of birds, butterflies and mammals using correlations and spatial regressions. I also assess changes in land-use with NPP and population density, focussing particularly on protected areas. An initial exploration into the implications of the NPP-population density relationship for regional conservation strategies is provided.Results Human population density increases with NPP suggesting that available energy may be a key driving force of human settlement patterns. The species richness of each taxonomic group and geographically restricted species also increases with NPP leading to substantial overlap between species diversity and populated regions. The percentage of land designated as minimal use decreases considerably with increasing human population density and NPP, while intensive agriculture is confined entirely to areas of high NPP. There are strong negative relationships between the size of Australia's National Parks and human population density and NPP. Small parks are often surrounded by relatively dense settlements, but have high average NPP, while large parks are mostly isolated and characterized by low productivity. There are no areas in the highest quartile of NPP that also occur in the most sparsely populated regions, presenting challenges for conservation strategies wanting to protect productive areas under the least threat of human development. Main conclusions Human population density and species richness respond similarly to variation in NPP, leading to spatial congruence between human settlements and productive, species rich regions. Reducing the level of threat may require stabilizing the size of the human population, while capturing larger areas of relatively high productivity in the conservation reserve system would lead to greater protection of local diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biogeography
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

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species conservation
human population
primary productivity
population density
productivity
human settlements
species diversity
human settlement
species richness
settlement pattern
conservation areas
intensive farming
human development
land use
intensive agriculture
land use change
butterflies
national parks
butterfly
protected area

Cite this

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title = "The relationships between net primary productivity, human population density and species conservation",
abstract = "Aim In this study, I determine the relationships between net primary productivity (NPP), human population density, species richness and land use. I also examine the implications of human settlement patterns for species conservation. Location Australia. Methods I document the associations between NPP, human population density and the species richness of birds, butterflies and mammals using correlations and spatial regressions. I also assess changes in land-use with NPP and population density, focussing particularly on protected areas. An initial exploration into the implications of the NPP-population density relationship for regional conservation strategies is provided.Results Human population density increases with NPP suggesting that available energy may be a key driving force of human settlement patterns. The species richness of each taxonomic group and geographically restricted species also increases with NPP leading to substantial overlap between species diversity and populated regions. The percentage of land designated as minimal use decreases considerably with increasing human population density and NPP, while intensive agriculture is confined entirely to areas of high NPP. There are strong negative relationships between the size of Australia's National Parks and human population density and NPP. Small parks are often surrounded by relatively dense settlements, but have high average NPP, while large parks are mostly isolated and characterized by low productivity. There are no areas in the highest quartile of NPP that also occur in the most sparsely populated regions, presenting challenges for conservation strategies wanting to protect productive areas under the least threat of human development. Main conclusions Human population density and species richness respond similarly to variation in NPP, leading to spatial congruence between human settlements and productive, species rich regions. Reducing the level of threat may require stabilizing the size of the human population, while capturing larger areas of relatively high productivity in the conservation reserve system would lead to greater protection of local diversity.",
keywords = "Open access version available, Australia, Conservation biogeography, Human population density, Land-usepatterns, Net primary productivity, Protected areas, Species richness",
author = "Gary Luck",
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language = "English",
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pages = "201--212",
journal = "Journal of Biogeography",
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The relationships between net primary productivity, human population density and species conservation. / Luck, Gary.

In: Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 34, No. 2, 02.2007, p. 201-212.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - The relationships between net primary productivity, human population density and species conservation

AU - Luck, Gary

N1 - Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: month (773h) = February; Journal title (773t) = Journal of Biogeography. ISSNs: 0305-0270;

PY - 2007/2

Y1 - 2007/2

N2 - Aim In this study, I determine the relationships between net primary productivity (NPP), human population density, species richness and land use. I also examine the implications of human settlement patterns for species conservation. Location Australia. Methods I document the associations between NPP, human population density and the species richness of birds, butterflies and mammals using correlations and spatial regressions. I also assess changes in land-use with NPP and population density, focussing particularly on protected areas. An initial exploration into the implications of the NPP-population density relationship for regional conservation strategies is provided.Results Human population density increases with NPP suggesting that available energy may be a key driving force of human settlement patterns. The species richness of each taxonomic group and geographically restricted species also increases with NPP leading to substantial overlap between species diversity and populated regions. The percentage of land designated as minimal use decreases considerably with increasing human population density and NPP, while intensive agriculture is confined entirely to areas of high NPP. There are strong negative relationships between the size of Australia's National Parks and human population density and NPP. Small parks are often surrounded by relatively dense settlements, but have high average NPP, while large parks are mostly isolated and characterized by low productivity. There are no areas in the highest quartile of NPP that also occur in the most sparsely populated regions, presenting challenges for conservation strategies wanting to protect productive areas under the least threat of human development. Main conclusions Human population density and species richness respond similarly to variation in NPP, leading to spatial congruence between human settlements and productive, species rich regions. Reducing the level of threat may require stabilizing the size of the human population, while capturing larger areas of relatively high productivity in the conservation reserve system would lead to greater protection of local diversity.

AB - Aim In this study, I determine the relationships between net primary productivity (NPP), human population density, species richness and land use. I also examine the implications of human settlement patterns for species conservation. Location Australia. Methods I document the associations between NPP, human population density and the species richness of birds, butterflies and mammals using correlations and spatial regressions. I also assess changes in land-use with NPP and population density, focussing particularly on protected areas. An initial exploration into the implications of the NPP-population density relationship for regional conservation strategies is provided.Results Human population density increases with NPP suggesting that available energy may be a key driving force of human settlement patterns. The species richness of each taxonomic group and geographically restricted species also increases with NPP leading to substantial overlap between species diversity and populated regions. The percentage of land designated as minimal use decreases considerably with increasing human population density and NPP, while intensive agriculture is confined entirely to areas of high NPP. There are strong negative relationships between the size of Australia's National Parks and human population density and NPP. Small parks are often surrounded by relatively dense settlements, but have high average NPP, while large parks are mostly isolated and characterized by low productivity. There are no areas in the highest quartile of NPP that also occur in the most sparsely populated regions, presenting challenges for conservation strategies wanting to protect productive areas under the least threat of human development. Main conclusions Human population density and species richness respond similarly to variation in NPP, leading to spatial congruence between human settlements and productive, species rich regions. Reducing the level of threat may require stabilizing the size of the human population, while capturing larger areas of relatively high productivity in the conservation reserve system would lead to greater protection of local diversity.

KW - Open access version available

KW - Australia

KW - Conservation biogeography

KW - Human population density

KW - Land-usepatterns

KW - Net primary productivity

KW - Protected areas

KW - Species richness

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01575.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01575.x

M3 - Article

VL - 34

SP - 201

EP - 212

JO - Journal of Biogeography

JF - Journal of Biogeography

SN - 0305-0270

IS - 2

ER -