Agricultural development is a leading cause of habitat destruction that increasingly threatens global biodiversity. To help understand the likelihood and implications of agricultural expansion in areas of high conservation importance, this article examines agricultural suitability in forested portions of biodiversity hotspots and tropical wilderness areas, regions with especially rich concentrations of species found nowhere else. The study employs geographic information system technology to examine suitability for six crop categories in selected conservation localities worldwide: those portions of regions containing high biodiversity, protected areas (e.g. national parks) within these regions, and 10-km bands around the protected areas that are dominated by forest. Analyses reveal low suitability for most crop categories under both commercial and subsistence scenarios, with a few exceptions. In most cases, adequate planning can enable the coexistence of agriculture and biodiversity without compromising either.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Environmental Chemistry