Review

Landscapes that work for biodiversity and people

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  19 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6412, eaau6020
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau6020
  • Strawberry production in Central Coast, California.

    On the left, a homogeneous landscape of strawberry monoculture, including organic fields, supports fewer wild species then a diversified, organic farm (right) in the same region, which includes a small field of strawberry, surrounded by orchards, hedgerows, diverse vegetable crops, and natural habitats. The monoculture landscape creates barriers to wildlife dispersal, whereas the diversified landscape is more permeable.

    PHOTO: C. KREMEN
  • Fig. 1 Rebuilding connectivity in the matrix by using silvopasture.

    Photo of Finca La Luisa showing several types of silvopastoral systems, including regenerating secondary tropical dry forest trees with grass understory (yellow) and rows of planted Eucalyptus trees interspersed with nitrogen-fixing Leucaena leucocephala fodder shrubs and forage grasses (blue). These systems were established on former monoculture agricultural lands to restore compacted, degraded soils; the red area shows early stages of tropical dry forest regeneration prior to grass seeding for silvopasture. Silvopastures produce more cattle sustainably on less land, buffer ranchers from economic losses due to climate extremes, and create landscape connectivity to other forest fragments (orange) in the Cesar river valley, Colombia.

    PHOTO: J. J. LOPERA/CIPAV; ADAPTED BY NIRJA DESAI/SCIENCE
  • Fig. 2 Ecosystem service trade-offs with land management.

    Radar diagrams display how different land uses affect various ecosystem services and biodiversity. (A) Monoculture row cropping contributes to food production at the expense of other ecosystem services and biodiversity. (B) In a working landscape managed for conservation, patch types differ in the services they provide, but each patch type should display a relatively even array of services, minimizing trade-offs. (C) Across patches, the services provided for the working landscape in (B) are multifunctional.

    ILLUSTRATION: NIRJA DESAI/SCIENCE BASED ON C. KREMEN AND A. M. MERENLENDER; PHOTO: NATIONAL AERIAL IMAGERY PROGRAM, ADAPTED BY NIRJA DESAI/SCIENCE
  • Fig. 3 Approaches for conservation of working lands occupy the space (yellow) between highly developed (brown) and highly conserved (green) land uses.

    (A) An array of tools are available for working lands conservation, for private, communal, or public lands (see table S2 for more detail and examples). IUCN Cat, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources categories. (B) Forms of management for forage, crops, and tree products from cultivated lands (yellow), rangelands (light green), and forests (dark green), arrayed roughly along a management gradient of diversification (left to right) or chemical intensification (right to left). Cultivated lands include all planted systems. Dashed lines indicate overlapping concepts. EBM, ecosystem-based management.

    ILLUSTRATION: NIRJA DESAI/SCIENCE BASED ON C. KREMEN AND A. M. MERENLENDER
  • Fig. 4 The GER Corridor Initiative, Australia.

    The light green outline represents the plan to protect and restore more than 3,600 km2 as a climate corridor. The numbered, dark green shapes denote regional alliances of conservation and natural resource management organizations, including Landcare communities (Box 2). In the photo, members of the Molonglo Catchment Group Landcare community conduct restoration.

    MAPS: GREAT EASTERN RANGES; PHOTO: ANDREW CAMPBELL; ADAPTED BY NIRJA DESAI/SCIENCE
  • Fig. 5 Diversification practices can increase biodiversity.

    The integration of prairie strips into a corn-soy rotation exemplifies how diversification within working lands can substantially increase plant, pollinator, and bird species richness and abundance by two- to fourfold (as indicated by colors and numbers of icons, respectively) while minimizing externalities and enhancing other ecosystem services, such as pollination for the soy crop (table S2) (86).

    ILLUSTRATION: NIRJA DESAI/SCIENCE BASED ON STRIPS RESEARCH TEAM AND LEOPOLD CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

Supplementary Materials

  • Landscapes that work for biodiversity and people

    C. Kremen and A. M. Merenlender

    Materials/Methods, Supplementary Text, Tables, Figures, and/or References

    Download Supplement
    • Tables S1 and S2 
    • References 

Navigate This Article