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Nature, landscapes and biodiversity

Frequently asked questions about Nature, landscapes and biodiversity

Biodiversity is the shortened form of two words "biological" and "diversity". It refers to all the variety of life that can be found on Earth (plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms) as well as to the communities that they form and the...read more

Initially the loss of biodiversity could be defined as the extinction of species. Curiously the species richness of a particular ecosystem may hardly change or may even increase because new -often wide spread- species replace the original ones....read more

The natural environment provides the basic conditions without which humans could not survive. Ecosystem services are the benefits provided by ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food, water, timber, fiber, and genetic...read more

The ongoing and intensive exploitation of land and water is reducing biodiversity in the EU. According to preliminary calculations Europe’s Mean Species Abundance (MSA) is about 45%. This means that the abundance of characteristic species has...read more

  • The Natural Capital Index (NCI) for the Dutch natural ecosystems has declined rapidly in the last hundred years from 55% in 1900 to 30% in 1950 and to 18% in 2000. This means that the abundance of the original species is -on average- 18...read more

The Natural Capital Index (NCI) is an indicator that approximates terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity of natural ecosystems and agricultural land, respectively. The NCI considers biodiversity as a stock entity containing all original species and...read more

A crucial question is whether the current trends of species biodiversity loss are likely to continue in the future. The lack of a quantitative overview of global species trends makes it difficult to project development trends into the future. To...read more

One of the most important issues to support policy makers is the development of a small number of simple and feasible biodiversity indicators that adequately express the homogenization process. Such indicators are also needed for the...read more

Climate change is already bringing about structural changes in nature: plant and animal habitats are shifting and species are adapting their life cycles. The temperature is rising so fast that not all plant and animal species are expected to be...read more

A recent overview of the state of biodiversity in the world can be found in The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). The MA was called for by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000 in a report to the General Assembly entitled “We...read more