Agriculture and the threat to biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Environmental Research Letters. In common with Charles Perrings

Agriculture and the threat to biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Environmental Research Letters 10: 095015 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/095015. (SCOPUS, ISI Listed. Impact factor: 3.906 and 5-year: 4.419). In common with Charles Perrings (2015).

The relation between the growth of agriculture and threats to wildlife is the subject of much debate. The Millennium Assessment identified the extensive growth of agriculture as the primary driver of biodiversity loss, and a substantial body of subsequent research has emphasized the ‘land sparing’ potential of intensification. Given the negative impacts of both on-site and off-site effects of intensification, however, others have argued for an alternative ‘land sharing’ approach.  In this paper we re-evaluate the evidence for differences in the threat to biodiversity posed by the intensive and extensive growth of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.   Using data from the IUCN Red List, we analyze the impact of changes in agricultural productivity and agricultural land in 27 countries on threats to mammal, bird and plant species over two time scales.  We find that intensification does reduce the threat to all species on long time scales. However, we also find that intensification has more ambiguous effects on shorter time scales.