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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity

Wardle, David


The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Approximately 9 million types of plants, animals, protists and fungi inhabit the earth. So, too, do 7 billion people. Two decades ago, at the first Earth Summit, the vast majority of the world's nations declared that human actions were dismantling Earth's ecosystems, eliminating genes, 30 species, and biological traits at an alarming rate. This observation led to a daunting question: How will loss of biological diversity alter the functioning of ecosystems and their ability to provide society with the goods and services needed to prosper?


Biodiversity; Extinction; Ecosystem functioning

Published in

2012, volume: 486, number: 7401, pages: 59-67
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group, Macmillan Publishers Limited

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification


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