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Tropical Biodiversity in Human-Modified Landscapes: What is our Trump Card?
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2010
© 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Volume 42, Issue 5, pages 553–554, September 2010
How to Cite
Tabarelli, M. (2010), Tropical Biodiversity in Human-Modified Landscapes: What is our Trump Card?. Biotropica, 42: 553–554. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2010.00678.x
- Issue published online: 21 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 21 SEP 2010
- Received 12 May 2010; revision accepted 13 May 2010.
- land-use regulations;
- old growth species;
- species extinction;
- tropical forests
Many conservationists are now convinced that the expansion of the world system of protected areas combined with appropriate levels of biodiversity persistence within human-modified landscapes would drastically mitigate the announced impoverishment of tropical biotas. In this context, an inherent/intrinsic biodiversity ability to persist and recover within human-modified landscapes has emerged as a ‘trump card’ in the conservation battle, renewing our hope in a more sustainable development of the tropical region. However, this optimistic perspective on the conservation value of human-modified landscapes sounds, a priori, a little unrealistic in face of the current knowledge on the nature of human environments and the spectrum of native species that is likely to persist there. Rather than relying on illusory levels of biodiversity resilience and consequent flexible land-use regulations, our real trump card reposes on a radical and ambitious shift from freely exploited landscapes to strictly managed ones, despite the misleading noise produced by those voices advocating for immediate and almost unlimited access to natural resources. Otherwise, we are condemning future human populations to live in biologically impoverished and fragile environments with limited opportunities for life support.