Biodiversity

The Biodiversity sector of the FeliX model projects changes to Species Carrying Capacity of the biosphere as a result of agricultural and other economic activities. The carrying capacity defines the equilibrium or maximum sustainable species population, and is affected by land use change (agriculture and forestry), climate change, bioenergy production, infrastructure development, nitrogen deposition and fertilizer use.  These factors are implemented as direct drivers of biodiversity changes via the following model parameters:

Four impact factors are used to calculate and forecast the species carrying capacity of the terrestrial biosphere. Cumulative impact is defined as the product of these four factors.

Four impact factors are used to calculate and forecast the species carrying capacity of the terrestrial biosphere. Cumulative impact is defined as the product of these four factors.

  • Impact of Fertilizer Consumption on Biodiversity: a nonlinear function of Fertilizer Consumption (nitrogen, phosphate and potash fertilizers). 

  • Impact of Biomass Production on Biodiversity: a nonlinear function of forest and agricultural biomass production.

  • Impact of Climate Damage on Biodiversity: a nonlinear function of Temperature Change from Preindustrial. The structure is adopted from climate impact on economy.

  • Impact of Land Use Change on Biodiversity: takes into consideration changes in the extent of Agricultural Land, Other Land and Forest Land relative to their initial areas. 

Each of these parameters ranges from [0-1], with 1 corresponding to vanishing impacts. Cumulative impact is scaled between [1-100] (according to historical data [1]), where 100 is defined as the carrying capacity of the biosphere absent human intervention. Past and projected values are tabulated above.

Our results suggest that expanding biomass production in the present and the immediate future stands out as the most important driver of biodiversity loss. 

Mean species abundance (MSA) and extinction rates through 2100. MSA is a dimensionless index, while extinction rates are per annum. Percentages are shown relative to MSA.

Mean species abundance (MSA) and extinction rates through 2100. MSA is a dimensionless index, while extinction rates are per annum. Percentages are shown relative to MSA.

Mean Species Abundance tends toward equilibrium with Species Carrying CapacityDiscrepancies between these parameters affect species rates of regeneration and extinction. Model results on biodiversity are compared to historical data, as available [1].

[1] Secretariat of the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD), Cross-roads of Life on Earth - Exploring means to meet the 2010 Biodiversity Target, 2007.