• agricultural matrix;
  • agroecology;
  • conservation value;
  • ecosystem services;
  • remnant vegetation;
  • restoration;
  • traditional knowledge


To truly understand the current status of tropical diversity and to forecast future trends, we need to increase emphasis on the study of biodiversity in rural landscapes that are actively managed or modified by people. We present an integrated landscape approach to promote research in human-modified landscapes that includes the effects of landscape structure and dynamics on conservation of biodiversity, provision of ecosystem services, and sustainability of rural livelihoods. We propose research priorities encompassing three major areas: biodiversity, human–environment interactions, and restoration ecology. We highlight key areas where we lack knowledge and where additional understanding is most urgent for promoting conservation and sustaining rural livelihoods. Finally, we recommend participatory and multidisciplinary approaches in research and management. Lasting conservation efforts demand new alliances among conservation biologists, agroecologists, agronomists, farmers, indigenous peoples, rural social movements, foresters, social scientists, and land managers to collaborate in research, co-design conservation programs and policies, and manage human-modified landscapes in ways that enhance biodiversity conservation and promote sustainable livelihoods.