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Ecosystems: Biodiversity and Habitat Loss Annotated Bibliography

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Updated: Feb 14th, 2019

Alberti (2005) journal mainly focuses on the effects of urban development on the surrounding natural ecosystem and biodiversity. The main aspects covered in the journal are that the urban ecological systems are mostly characterized by the complex relationships that exist in the economic, socio, cultural and political environments of a particular area. Such relationships and their interactions are viewed to generate human dominated landscapes that impact on the natural processes of habitat ecosystems.

Alberti’s journal further highlights the fact that changes in ecosystem conditions that result from human interferences in urban areas affect the health and well being of the people who are inhabitants of those ecosystems.

The journal also highlights the fact that different urban patterns generate different ecological effects on the natural ecosystems around the urban areas. The review of the topic shows that the relationship between urban developmental patterns and the dynamics of ecosystem are concepts that are still not clearly understood in the scholarly world as well as in general.

Aylward’s paper evaluates biodiversity and the losses that incurred to biodiversity species. The main argument is focused mostly on what causes the habitat losses in a natural ecosystem. It does not cover the aspect of urban developments and its impact to the ecosystem as highlighted by Alberti.

The factors that have been identified by Aylward (1991) that cause biodiversity loss are the global economic markets, global and regional market price, and the policy failures of the government to conserve the environment. The paper also clarifies the economic and ecological rationale that is formed behind developing a distinction between the biological resources in an ecosystem and the biodiversity values. Recommendations proposed in the paper are to look for alternative approaches for attaching some economic relevance to biodiversity.

Carpenter’s book is one of four volumes for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment that have been designed to meet the scientific decision making processes with regards to ecosystem changes and the well being of humans. The book identifies four scenarios that will be used to focus on ecosystem changes and their impacts to the habitat and biodiversity of plants and animal species.

The four scenarios are the global orchestration scenario that depicts the global market, the order strength scenario that represents a global world concerned with protection of ecosystems, the adapting mosaic scenario which depicts a fragmented global world and the techno garden scenario that depicts a connected world that relies on technology and highly managed ecosystems.

Changes in biodiversity are also evaluated with regards to the four scenarios. This is analyzed in chapter ten of the book where the scenarios are examined to determine how biodiversity will change in the future and what actions we can incorporate to maintain the ecological system (Carpenter, 2005).

To add on, Hanna et al’s (2002) journal covers the aspect of conservation strategies for an ecosystem and the role climate change plays in these strategies. It provides an outlook of how climate change research has potential in providing effective improvements in the conservation strategies.

The journal focuses on biodiversity areas around the world that have a high vulnerability to climate change conditions as well as challenges that affect conservation efforts in these areas. The tools that are used for climatology, ecology and biogeography purposes are also evaluated in this paper. The paper highlights the fact that collaboration efforts across all industries and professions are important to ensure the proper planning of conservation activities to respond to climate changes.

Willis & Bhagwat (2009) on the other hand focus on several models that have been developed in the past to forecast the effects of climatic changes on biodiversity and ecosystems. Their article analyses the results of the models which have shown some alarming results on the consequences of climatic changes on biodiversity.

Examples of these results are that plant and animal species will go extinct in the next decade because of the changing climatic conditions. The results of the models also show that there will be large scale degradation of rainforests around the world as a result of negative impacts on biodiversity. The article does not cover the aspect of conservation strategies that can be used to deal with the changing climatic conditions.

Merrifield’s article analyzes the aspects of global market approaches that can be used to develop biodiversity conservation strategies. It highlights the policy involved in the implementation the Endangered Species Act which prohibits activities that are deemed harmful to specific plant species.

Little has been done to advance biodiversity conservation causes and the prohibitions from the Endangered Species Act are viewed to impose a significant amount of expenses on the economies of countries involved in those efforts.

Merrifield (1996) develops a mechanism that will be used by global markets to internalize the social costs that arise from eliminating scarce habitats and the social benefits that can be accrued from conserving the biodiversity. The mechanism is useful for environmentalists because it does not involve any politicization or budget cuts.


Alberti, M. (2005) The effects of urban patterns on ecosystem function. International Regional Science Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp.168-192

Aylward, B., (1991) The economic value of ecosystems: biological diversity.

Gatekeeper series 91-03. London: Environmental Economics Carpenter, S.R. (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being, Volume 2. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Washington: Island Press

Hanna, L., Midgley, G.F., & Millar, D. (2002) Climate change integrated conservation strategies. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Vol. 11, No. 6. pp 485-495

Merrifield, J. (1996) A market approach to conserving biodiversity. Ecological Economics Vol. 16. pp. 217-226

Willis, K.J, & Bhagwat, S.A. (2009) Biodiversity and climate change. Science. 326 (5954) 806- 807

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