Are changes in global oil production influencing the rate of deforestation and biodiversity loss?

Eisner, R., Seabrook, L. M. and MacAlpine, C. A. (2016) Are changes in global oil production influencing the rate of deforestation and biodiversity loss?. Biological Conservation, 196 147-155. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.02.017

Author Eisner, R.
Seabrook, L. M.
MacAlpine, C. A.
Title Are changes in global oil production influencing the rate of deforestation and biodiversity loss?
Journal name Biological Conservation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3207
Publication date 2016-02-17
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.02.017
Volume 196
Start page 147
End page 155
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Global biodiversity loss is driven principally by the expansion of agriculture. This expansion has slowed over the last 50 years as agricultural production has intensified, largely through the use of petrochemical-based fertilisers. The mid-2000s saw a transition where oil production became unresponsive to the increased demand for petrochemicals, pushing up their price and that of their end-products, including fertilisers. Such oil supply constraints threaten to reverse previous agricultural intensification gains and increase pressure for the conversion of native ecosystems. Price-driven land and food speculation and the search for alternative energy sources also have the potential to increase the demand for land. This study aimed to measure the change in the rate of deforestation and to map the resultant impact on biodiversity as oil production became inelastic in 2005. Globally, an additional 290,000 km2 of forests was cleared in the period 2007–12 compared with 2000–2006, which is a net increase of 29% between the two periods. The areas of increased forest loss broadly corresponded with the areas of highest biodiversity. We tested for, but found little correspondence with large-scale, corporate land acquisitions. Statistically significant hotspots of increased threat to biodiversity generally lie in a band through the tropics, particularly in south-east Asia, Africa and Central America, with fertiliser consumption affected in hotspot areas. A review of the drivers in these hotspots indicated that non-subsistence growth factors underpin most land-cover change. We conclude that conservation efforts need to mitigate pressures from growth and agricultural extensification, and be aware that the rate of loss increased with oil supply constraint in tropical and sub-tropical regions, coinciding with the areas of highest biodiversity.
Keyword Land-fertilizer substitution
Underlying drivers
Land-cover change
Food security
Economic growth
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
HERDC Pre-Audit
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 22 Feb 2016, 16:12:56 EST by Rowan Eisner on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management