Program Affiliations

  • Center for Latin American Studies

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Land use, biodiversity dynamics, ecosystem services

Stanford Advisees

Graduate and Fellowship Programs

  • Biology (School of Humanities and Sciences) (Phd Program)

All Publications

  • Predicting effects of large-scale reforestation on native and exotic birds DIVERSITY AND DISTRIBUTIONS Pejchar, L., Gallo, T., Hooten, M. B., Daily, G. C. 2018; 24 (6): 811–19

    View details for DOI 10.1111/ddi.12723

    View details for Web of Science ID 000433571100009

  • The impact on rural livelihoods and ecosystem services of a major relocation and settlement program: A case in Shaanxi, China AMBIO Li, C., Li, S., Feldman, M. W., Li, J., Zheng, H., Daily, G. C. 2018; 47 (2): 245–59


    China's largest-ever resettlement program is underway, aiming to restore ecosystems and lift ecosystem service providers out of the poverty trap and into sustainable livelihoods. We examine the impact of the relocation and settlement program (RSP) to date, reporting on an ecosystem services (ES) assessment and a 1400-household survey. The RSP generally achieves the goals of ES increase and livelihood restore. In biophysical terms, the RSP improves water quality, sediment retention, and carbon sequestration. In social terms, resettled households so far report transformation of livelihoods activities from traditional inefficient agricultural and forest production to non-farm activities. Increased income contributes to decrease the poverty rate and improve resettled households' living condition and standard. Meanwhile, the RSP decreases households' dependence on ES in terms of provisioning services. Difficulty and challenge also showed up subsequently after relocation. A major current challenge is to enable poorer households to move, while providing greater follow-up support to relocated households. While the program is unique to China, it illuminates widespread opportunities for addressing environmental and poverty-related concerns in a rapidly changing world.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13280-017-0941-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000424061000008

    View details for PubMedID 28983793

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5794687

  • Response to Kabisch and Colleagues BIOSCIENCE Rieb, J. T., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Daily, G. C., Armsworth, P. R., Boehning-Gaese, K., Bonn, A., Cumming, G. S., Eigenbrod, F., Grimm, V., Jackson, B. M., Marques, A., Pattanayak, S. K., Pereira, H. M., Peterson, G. D., Ricketts, T. H., Robinson, B. E., Schroeter, M., Schulte, L. A., Seppelt, R., Turner, M. G., Bennett, E. M. 2018; 68 (3): 167–68
  • When, Where, and How Nature Matters for Ecosystem Services: Challenges for the Next Generation of Ecosystem Service Models BIOSCIENCE Rieb, J. T., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Daily, G. C., Armsworth, P. R., Boehning-Gaese, K., Bonn, A., Cumming, G. S., Eigenbrod, F., Grimm, V., Jackson, B. M., Marques, A., Pattanayak, S. K., Pereira, H. M., Peterson, G. D., Ricketts, T. H., Robinson, B. E., Schroeter, M., Schulte, L. A., Seppelt, R., Turner, M. G., Bennett, E. M. 2017; 67 (9): 820–33
  • Mainstreaming investments in watershed services to enhance water security: Barriers and opportunities ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY Vogl, A. L., Goldstein, J. H., Daily, G. C., Vira, B., Bremer, L., McDonald, R. I., Shemie, D., Tellman, B., Cassin, J. 2017; 75: 19–27
  • Reply to Bridgewater and Babin: Need for a new protected area category for ecosystem services. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Xu, W., Xiao, Y., Zhang, J., Yang, W., Zhang, L., Hull, V., Wang, Z., Zheng, H., Liu, J., Polasky, S., Jiang, L., Xiao, Y., Shi, X., Rao, E., Lu, F., Wang, X., Daily, G. C., Ouyang, Z. 2017; 114 (22): E4319-E4320

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1703083114

    View details for PubMedID 28536203

  • Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Chaplin-Kramer, R., Sim, S., Hamel, P., Bryant, B., Noe, R., Mueller, C., Rigarlsford, G., Kulak, M., Kowal, V., Sharp, R., Clavreul, J., Price, E., Polasky, S., Ruckelshaus, M., Daily, G. 2017; 8


    International corporations in an increasingly globalized economy exert a major influence on the planet's land use and resources through their product design and material sourcing decisions. Many companies use life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate their sustainability, yet commonly-used LCA methodologies lack the spatial resolution and predictive ecological information to reveal key impacts on climate, water and biodiversity. We present advances for LCA that integrate spatially explicit modelling of land change and ecosystem services in a Land-Use Change Improved (LUCI)-LCA. Comparing increased demand for bioplastics derived from two alternative feedstock-location scenarios for maize and sugarcane, we find that the LUCI-LCA approach yields results opposite to those of standard LCA for greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, and of different magnitudes for soil erosion and biodiversity. This approach highlights the importance of including information about where and how land-use change and related impacts will occur in supply chain and innovation decisions.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms15065

    View details for Web of Science ID 000399983700001

    View details for PubMedID 28429710

  • Strengthening protected areas for biodiversity and ecosystem services in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Xu, W., Xiao, Y., Zhang, J., Yang, W., Zhang, L., Hull, V., Wang, Z., Zheng, H., Liu, J., Polasky, S., Jiang, L., Xiao, Y., Shi, X., Rao, E., Lu, F., Wang, X., Daily, G. C., Ouyang, Z. 2017; 114 (7): 1601-1606


    Recent expansion of the scale of human activities poses severe threats to Earth's life-support systems. Increasingly, protected areas (PAs) are expected to serve dual goals: protect biodiversity and secure ecosystem services. We report a nationwide assessment for China, quantifying the provision of threatened species habitat and four key regulating services-water retention, soil retention, sandstorm prevention, and carbon sequestration-in nature reserves (the primary category of PAs in China). We find that China's nature reserves serve moderately well for mammals and birds, but not for other major taxa, nor for these key regulating ecosystem services. China's nature reserves encompass 15.1% of the country's land surface. They capture 17.9% and 16.4% of the entire habitat area for threatened mammals and birds, but only 13.1% for plants, 10.0% for amphibians, and 8.5% for reptiles. Nature reserves encompass only 10.2-12.5% of the source areas for the four key regulating services. They are concentrated in western China, whereas much threatened species' habitat and regulating service source areas occur in eastern provinces. Our analysis illuminates a strategy for greatly strengthening PAs, through creating the first comprehensive national park system of China. This would encompass both nature reserves, in which human activities are highly restricted, and a new category of PAs for ecosystem services, in which human activities not impacting key services are permitted. This could close the gap in a politically feasible way. We also propose a new category of PAs globally, for sustaining the provision of ecosystems services and achieving sustainable development goals.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1620503114

    View details for PubMedID 28137858

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5321011

  • Sustainable intensification of agriculture for human prosperity and global sustainability AMBIO Rockstrom, J., Williams, J., Daily, G., Noble, A., Matthews, N., Gordon, L., Wetterstrand, H., DeClerck, F., Shah, M., Steduto, P., de Fraiture, C., Hatibu, N., Unver, O., Bird, J., Sibanda, L., Smith, J. 2017; 46 (1): 4-17


    There is an ongoing debate on what constitutes sustainable intensification of agriculture (SIA). In this paper, we propose that a paradigm for sustainable intensification can be defined and translated into an operational framework for agricultural development. We argue that this paradigm must now be defined-at all scales-in the context of rapidly rising global environmental changes in the Anthropocene, while focusing on eradicating poverty and hunger and contributing to human wellbeing. The criteria and approach we propose, for a paradigm shift towards sustainable intensification of agriculture, integrates the dual and interdependent goals of using sustainable practices to meet rising human needs while contributing to resilience and sustainability of landscapes, the biosphere, and the Earth system. Both of these, in turn, are required to sustain the future viability of agriculture. This paradigm shift aims at repositioning world agriculture from its current role as the world's single largest driver of global environmental change, to becoming a key contributor of a global transition to a sustainable world within a safe operating space on Earth.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13280-016-0793-6

    View details for Web of Science ID 000392285300001

    View details for PubMedID 27405653

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5226894

  • Using ecosystem service trade-offs to inform water conservation policies and management practices FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Zheng, H., Li, Y., Robinson, B. E., Liu, G., Ma, D., Wang, F., Lu, F., Ouyang, Z., Daily, G. C. 2016; 14 (10): 527-532

    View details for DOI 10.1002/fee.1432

    View details for Web of Science ID 000389309100014

  • Quantifying and sustaining biodiversity in tropical agricultural landscapes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Mendenhall, C. D., Shields-Estrada, A., Krishnaswami, A. J., Daily, G. C. 2016


    Decision-makers increasingly seek scientific guidance on investing in nature, but biodiversity remains difficult to estimate across diverse landscapes. Here, we develop empirically based models for quantifying biodiversity across space. We focus on agricultural lands in the tropical forest biome, wherein lies the greatest potential to conserve or lose biodiversity. We explore two questions, drawing from empirical research oriented toward pioneering policies in Costa Rica. First, can remotely sensed tree cover serve as a reliable basis for improved estimation of biodiversity, from plots to regions? Second, how does tropical biodiversity change across the land-use gradient from native forest to deforested cropland and pasture? We report on understory plants, nonflying mammals, bats, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Using data from 67,737 observations of 908 species, we test how tree cover influences biodiversity across space. First, we find that fine-scale mapping of tree cover predicts biodiversity within a taxon-specific radius (of 30-70 m) about a point in the landscape. Second, nearly 50% of the tree cover in our study region is embedded in countryside forest elements, small (typically 0.05-100 ha) clusters or strips of trees on private property. Third, most species use multiple habitat types, including crop fields and pastures (to which 15% of species are restricted), although some taxa depend on forest (57% of species are restricted to forest elements). Our findings are supported by comparisons of 90 studies across Latin America. They provide a basis for a planning tool that guides investments in tropical forest biodiversity similar to those for securing ecosystem services.

    View details for PubMedID 27791070

  • Climate change and habitat conversion favour the same species ECOLOGY LETTERS Frishkoff, L. O., Karp, D. S., Flanders, J. R., Zook, J., Hadly, E. A., Daily, G. C., M'Gonigle, L. K. 2016; 19 (9): 1081-1090


    Land-use change and climate change are driving a global biodiversity crisis. Yet, how species' responses to climate change are correlated with their responses to land-use change is poorly understood. Here, we assess the linkages between climate and land-use change on birds in Neotropical forest and agriculture. Across > 300 species, we show that affiliation with drier climates is associated with an ability to persist in and colonise agriculture. Further, species shift their habitat use along a precipitation gradient: species prefer forest in drier regions, but use agriculture more in wetter zones. Finally, forest-dependent species that avoid agriculture are most likely to experience decreases in habitable range size if current drying trends in the Neotropics continue as predicted. This linkage suggests a synergy between the primary drivers of biodiversity loss. Because they favour the same species, climate and land-use change will likely homogenise biodiversity more severely than otherwise anticipated.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/ele.12645

    View details for Web of Science ID 000382542500008

    View details for PubMedID 27396714

  • Anthropogenic impacts on Costa Rican bat parasitism are sex specific ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION Frank, H. K., Mendenhall, C. D., Judson, S. D., Daily, G. C., Hadly, E. A. 2016; 6 (14): 4898-4909

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ece3.2245

    View details for Web of Science ID 000380033400022

  • Improvements in ecosystem services from investments in natural capital SCIENCE Ouyang, Z., Zheng, H., Xiao, Y., Polasky, S., Liu, J., Xu, W., Wang, Q., Zhang, L., Xiao, Y., Rao, E., Jiang, L., Lu, F., Wang, X., Yang, G., Gong, S., Wu, B., Zeng, Y., Yang, W., Daily, G. C. 2016; 352 (6292): 1455-1459


    In response to ecosystem degradation from rapid economic development, China began investing heavily in protecting and restoring natural capital starting in 2000. We report on China's first national ecosystem assessment (2000-2010), designed to quantify and help manage change in ecosystem services, including food production, carbon sequestration, soil retention, sandstorm prevention, water retention, flood mitigation, and provision of habitat for biodiversity. Overall, ecosystem services improved from 2000 to 2010, apart from habitat provision. China's national conservation policies contributed significantly to the increases in those ecosystem services.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.aaf2295

    View details for Web of Science ID 000377975400048

    View details for PubMedID 27313045

  • Valuation of ecosystem services to inform management of multiple-use landscapes ECOSYSTEM SERVICES Ma, S., Duggan, J. M., Eichelberger, B. A., McNally, B. W., Foster, J. R., Pepi, E., Conte, M. N., Daily, G. C., Ziv, G. 2016; 19: 6-18
  • Impacts of Land-Use Change on Groundwater Supply: Ecosystem Services Assessment in Kona, Hawaii JOURNAL OF WATER RESOURCES PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT Brauman, K. A., Freyberg, D. L., Daily, G. C. 2015; 141 (12)
  • Tropical countryside riparian corridors provide critical habitat and connectivity for seed-dispersing forest birds in a fragmented landscape JOURNAL OF ORNITHOLOGY Sekercioglu, C. H., Loarie, S. R., Oviedo-Brenes, F., Mendenhall, C. D., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 2015; 156: S343-S353
  • Thermal niche predicts tolerance to habitat conversion in tropical amphibians and reptiles GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY Frishkoff, L. O., Hadly, E. A., Daily, G. C. 2015; 21 (11): 3901-3916

    View details for DOI 10.1111/gcb.13016

    View details for Web of Science ID 000364777200001

    View details for PubMedID 26148337

  • Confronting and resolving competing values behind conservation objectives PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Karpa, D. S., Mendenhall, C. D., Callaway, E., Frishkoff, L. O., Kareiva, P. M., Ehrlich, P. R., Daily, G. C. 2015; 112 (35): 11132-11137
  • Confronting and resolving competing values behind conservation objectives. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Karp, D. S., Mendenhall, C. D., Callaway, E., Frishkoff, L. O., Kareiva, P. M., Ehrlich, P. R., Daily, G. C. 2015; 112 (35): 11132-11137


    Diverse motivations for preserving nature both inspire and hinder its conservation. Optimal conservation strategies may differ radically depending on the objective. For example, creating nature reserves may prevent extinctions through protecting severely threatened species, whereas incentivizing farmland hedgerows may benefit people through bolstering pest-eating or pollinating species. Win-win interventions that satisfy multiple objectives are alluring, but can also be elusive. To achieve better outcomes, we developed and implemented a practical typology of nature conservation framed around seven common conservation objectives. Using an intensively studied bird assemblage in southern Costa Rica as a case study, we applied the typology in the context of biodiversity's most pervasive threat: habitat conversion. We found that rural habitats in a varied tropical landscape, comprising small farms, villages, forest fragments, and forest reserves, provided biodiversity-driven processes that benefit people, such as pollination, seed dispersal, and pest consumption. However, species valued for their rarity, endemism, and evolutionary distinctness declined in farmland. Conserving tropical forest on farmland increased species that international tourists value, but not species discussed in Costa Rican newspapers. Despite these observed trade-offs, our analyses also revealed promising synergies. For example, we found that maintaining forest cover surrounding farms in our study region would likely enhance most conservation objectives at minimal expense to others. Overall, our typology provides a framework for resolving the competing objectives of modern conservation.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1504788112

    View details for PubMedID 26283400

  • Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Bratman, G. N., Hamilton, J. P., Hahn, K. S., Daily, G. C., Gross, J. J. 2015; 112 (28): 8567-8572


    Urbanization has many benefits, but it also is associated with increased levels of mental illness, including depression. It has been suggested that decreased nature experience may help to explain the link between urbanization and mental illness. This suggestion is supported by a growing body of correlational and experimental evidence, which raises a further question: what mechanism(s) link decreased nature experience to the development of mental illness? One such mechanism might be the impact of nature exposure on rumination, a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses. We show in healthy participants that a brief nature experience, a 90-min walk in a natural setting, decreases both self-reported rumination and neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex (sgPFC), whereas a 90-min walk in an urban setting has no such effects on self-reported rumination or neural activity. In other studies, the sgPFC has been associated with a self-focused behavioral withdrawal linked to rumination in both depressed and healthy individuals. This study reveals a pathway by which nature experience may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1510459112

    View details for PubMedID 26124129

  • Notes from the field: Lessons learned from using ecosystem service approaches to inform real-world decisions ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS Ruckelshaus, M., Mckenzie, E., Tallis, H., Guerry, A., Daily, G., Kareiva, P., Polasky, S., Ricketts, T., Bhagabati, N., Wood, S. A., Bernhardt, J. 2015; 115: 11-21
  • Impacts of conservation and human development policy across stakeholders and scales PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Li, C., Zheng, H., Li, S., Chen, X., Li, J., Zeng, W., Liang, Y., Polasky, S., Feldman, M. W., Ruckelshaus, M., Ouyang, Z., Daily, G. C. 2015; 112 (24): 7396-7401


    Ideally, both ecosystem service and human development policies should improve human well-being through the conservation of ecosystems that provide valuable services. However, program costs and benefits to multiple stakeholders, and how they change through time, are rarely carefully analyzed. We examine one of China's new ecosystem service protection and human development policies: the Relocation and Settlement Program of Southern Shaanxi Province (RSP), which pays households who opt voluntarily to resettle from mountainous areas. The RSP aims to reduce disaster risk, restore important ecosystem services, and improve human well-being. We use household surveys and biophysical data in an integrated economic cost-benefit analysis for multiple stakeholders. We project that the RSP will result in positive net benefits to the municipal government, and to cross-region and global beneficiaries over the long run along with environment improvement, including improved water quality, soil erosion control, and carbon sequestration. However, there are significant short-run relocation costs for local residents so that poor households may have difficulty participating because they lack the resources to pay the initial costs of relocation. Greater subsidies and subsequent supports after relocation are necessary to reduce the payback period of resettled households in the long run. Compensation from downstream beneficiaries for improved water and from carbon trades could be channeled into reducing relocation costs for the poor and sharing the burden of RSP implementation. The effectiveness of the RSP could also be greatly strengthened by early investment in developing human capital and environment-friendly jobs and establishing long-term mechanisms for securing program goals. These challenges and potential solutions pervade ecosystem service efforts globally.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1406486112

    View details for Web of Science ID 000356251800034

    View details for PubMedID 26082546

  • Natural capital and ecosystem services informing decisions: From promise to practice PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Guerry, A. D., Polasky, S., Lubchenco, J., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Daily, G. C., Griffin, R., Ruckelshaus, M., Bateman, I. J., Duraiappah, A., Elmqvist, T., Feldman, M. W., Folke, C., Hoekstra, J., Kareiva, P. M., Keeler, B. L., Li, S., Mckenzie, E., Ouyang, Z., Reyers, B., Ricketts, T. H., Rockstrom, J., Tallis, H., Vira, B. 2015; 112 (24): 7348-7355


    The central challenge of the 21st century is to develop economic, social, and governance systems capable of ending poverty and achieving sustainable levels of population and consumption while securing the life-support systems underpinning current and future human well-being. Essential to meeting this challenge is the incorporation of natural capital and the ecosystem services it provides into decision-making. We explore progress and crucial gaps at this frontier, reflecting upon the 10 y since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. We focus on three key dimensions of progress and ongoing challenges: raising awareness of the interdependence of ecosystems and human well-being, advancing the fundamental interdisciplinary science of ecosystem services, and implementing this science in decisions to restore natural capital and use it sustainably. Awareness of human dependence on nature is at an all-time high, the science of ecosystem services is rapidly advancing, and talk of natural capital is now common from governments to corporate boardrooms. However, successful implementation is still in early stages. We explore why ecosystem service information has yet to fundamentally change decision-making and suggest a path forward that emphasizes: (i) developing solid evidence linking decisions to impacts on natural capital and ecosystem services, and then to human well-being; (ii) working closely with leaders in government, business, and civil society to develop the knowledge, tools, and practices necessary to integrate natural capital and ecosystem services into everyday decision-making; and (iii) reforming institutions to change policy and practices to better align private short-term goals with societal long-term goals.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1503751112

    View details for Web of Science ID 000356251800027

    View details for PubMedID 26082539

  • The benefits of nature experience: Improved affect and cognition LANDSCAPE AND URBAN PLANNING Bratman, G. N., Daily, G. C., Levy, B. J., Gross, J. J. 2015; 138: 41-50
  • A Protocol for eliciting nonmaterial values through a cultural ecosystem services frame CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Gould, R. K., Klain, S. C., Ardoin, N. M., Satterfield, T., Woodside, U., Hannahs, N., Daily, G. C., Chan, K. M. 2015; 29 (2): 575-586


    Stakeholders' nonmaterial desires, needs, and values often critically influence the success of conservation projects. These considerations are challenging to articulate and characterize, resulting in their limited uptake in management and policy. We devised an interview protocol designed to enhance understanding of cultural ecosystem services (CES). The protocol begins with discussion of ecosystem-related activities (e.g., recreation, hunting) and management and then addresses CES, prompting for values encompassing concepts identified in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) and explored in other CES research. We piloted the protocol in Hawaii and British Columbia. In each location, we interviewed 30 individuals from diverse backgrounds. We analyzed results from the 2 locations to determine the effectiveness of the interview protocol in elucidating nonmaterial values. The qualitative and spatial components of the protocol helped characterize cultural, social, and ethical values associated with ecosystems in multiple ways. Maps and situational, or vignette-like, questions helped respondents articulate difficult-to-discuss values. Open-ended prompts allowed respondents to express a diversity of ecosystem-related values and proved sufficiently flexible for interviewees to communicate values for which the protocol did not explicitly probe. Finally, the results suggest that certain values, those mentioned frequently throughout the interview, are particularly salient for particular populations. The protocol can provide efficient, contextual, and place-based data on the importance of particular ecosystem attributes for human well-being. Qualitative data are complementary to quantitative and spatial assessments in the comprehensive representation of people's values pertaining to ecosystems, and this protocol may assist in incorporating values frequently overlooked in decision making processes.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cobi.12407

    View details for Web of Science ID 000351353400028

    View details for PubMedID 25354730

  • Pollen Carried By Native and Nonnative Bees in the Large-scale Reforestation of Pastureland in Hawai'i: Implications for Pollination PACIFIC SCIENCE Miller, A. E., Brosi, B. J., Magnacca, K., Daily, G. C., Pejchar, L. 2015; 69 (1): 67-79

    View details for DOI 10.2984/69.1.5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353171100005

  • Loss of avian phylogenetic diversity in neotropical agricultural systems SCIENCE Frishkoff, L. O., Karp, D. S., M'Gonigle, L. K., Mendenhall, C. D., Zook, J., Kremen, C., Hadly, E. A., Daily, G. C. 2014; 345 (6202): 1343-1346
  • Predicting biodiversity change and averting collapse in agricultural landscapes. Nature Mendenhall, C. D., Karp, D. S., Meyer, C. F., Hadly, E. A., Daily, G. C. 2014; 509 (7499): 213-217


    The equilibrium theory of island biogeography is the basis for estimating extinction rates and a pillar of conservation science. The default strategy for conserving biodiversity is the designation of nature reserves, treated as islands in an inhospitable sea of human activity. Despite the profound influence of islands on conservation theory and practice, their mainland analogues, forest fragments in human-dominated landscapes, consistently defy expected biodiversity patterns based on island biogeography theory. Countryside biogeography is an alternative framework, which recognizes that the fate of the world's wildlife will be decided largely by the hospitality of agricultural or countryside ecosystems. Here we directly test these biogeographic theories by comparing a Neotropical countryside ecosystem with a nearby island ecosystem, and show that each supports similar bat biodiversity in fundamentally different ways. The island ecosystem conforms to island biogeographic predictions of bat species loss, in which the water matrix is not habitat. In contrast, the countryside ecosystem has high species richness and evenness across forest reserves and smaller forest fragments. Relative to forest reserves and fragments, deforested countryside habitat supports a less species-rich, yet equally even, bat assemblage. Moreover, the bat assemblage associated with deforested habitat is compositionally novel because of predictable changes in abundances by many species using human-made habitat. Finally, we perform a global meta-analysis of bat biogeographic studies, spanning more than 700 species. It generalizes our findings, showing that separate biogeographic theories for countryside and island ecosystems are necessary. A theory of countryside biogeography is essential to conservation strategy in the agricultural ecosystems that comprise roughly half of the global land surface and are likely to increase even further.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature13139

    View details for PubMedID 24739971

  • Predicting biodiversity change and averting collapse in agricultural landscapes NATURE Mendenhall, C. D., Karp, D. S., Meyer, C. F., Hadly, E. A., Daily, G. C. 2014; 509 (7499): 213-?

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature13139

    View details for Web of Science ID 000335454300036

    View details for PubMedID 24739971

  • Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians ECOLOGY Mendenhall, C. D., Frishkoff, L. O., Santos-Barrera, G., Pacheco, J., Mesfun, E., Mendoza Quijano, F., Ehrlich, P. R., Ceballos, G., Daily, G. C., Pringle, R. M. 2014; 95 (4): 856-870


    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface, and which are experiencing intensification pressure worldwide.

    View details for DOI 10.1890/12-2017.1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000334573600007

  • Cascading effects of insectivorous birds and bats in tropical coffee plantations ECOLOGY Karp, D. S., Daily, G. C. 2014; 95 (4): 1065-1074

    View details for DOI 10.1890/13-1012.1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000334573600024

  • The forest has a story: cultural ecosystem services in Kona, Hawai'i ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY Gould, R. K., Ardoin, N. M., Woodside, U., Satterfield, T., Hannahs, N., Daily, G. C. 2014; 19 (3)
  • Molecular diagnosis of bird-mediated pest consumption in tropical farmland. SpringerPlus Karp, D. S., Judson, S., Daily, G. C., Hadly, E. A. 2014; 3: 630-?

    View details for DOI 10.1186/2193-1801-3-630

    View details for PubMedID 25392800

  • Molecular diagnosis of bird-mediated pest consumption in tropical farmland. SpringerPlus Karp, D. S., Judson, S., Daily, G. C., Hadly, E. A. 2014; 3: 630-?


    Biodiversity loss will likely have surprising and dramatic consequences for human wellbeing. Identifying species that benefit society represents a critical first step towards predicting the consequences of biodiversity loss. Though natural predators prevent billions of dollars in agricultural pest damage annually, characterizing which predators consume pests has proven challenging. Emerging molecular techniques may illuminate these interactions. In the countryside of Costa Rica, we identified avian predators of coffee's most damaging insect pest, the coffee berry borer beetle (Coleoptera:Scolytidae Hypothenemus hampeii), by assaying 1430 fecal samples of 108 bird species for borer DNA. While feeding trials confirmed the efficacy of our approach, detection rates were low. Nevertheless, we identified six species that consume the borer. These species had narrow diet breadths, thin bills, and short wings; traits shared with borer predators in other systems. Borer predators were not threatened; therefore, safeguarding pest control necessitates managing species beyond those at risk of regional extinction by maintaining populations in farmland habitats. Generally, our results demonstrate potential for pairing molecular methods with ecological analyses to yield novel insights into species interactions.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/2193-1801-3-630

    View details for PubMedID 25392800

  • Forest bolsters bird abundance, pest control and coffee yield ECOLOGY LETTERS Karp, D. S., Mendenhall, C. D., Sandi, R. F., Chaumont, N., Ehrlich, P. R., Hadly, E. A., Daily, G. C. 2013; 16 (11): 1339-1347


    Efforts to maximise crop yields are fuelling agricultural intensification, exacerbating the biodiversity crisis. Low-intensity agricultural practices, however, may not sacrifice yields if they support biodiversity-driven ecosystem services. We quantified the value native predators provide to farmers by consuming coffee's most damaging insect pest, the coffee berry borer beetle (Hypothenemus hampei). Our experiments in Costa Rica showed birds reduced infestation by ~ 50%, bats played a marginal role, and farmland forest cover increased pest removal. We identified borer-consuming bird species by assaying faeces for borer DNA and found higher borer-predator abundances on more forested plantations. Our coarse estimate is that forest patches doubled pest control over 230 km2 by providing habitat for ~ 55 000 borer-consuming birds. These pest-control services prevented US$75-US$310 ha-year(-1) in damage, a benefit per plantation on par with the average annual income of a Costa Rican citizen. Retaining forest and accounting for pest control demonstrates a win-win for biodiversity and coffee farmers.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/ele.12173

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325976500002

    View details for PubMedID 23981013

  • Benefits, costs, and livelihood implications of a regional payment for ecosystem service program PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Zheng, H., Robinson, B. E., Liang, Y., Polasky, S., Ma, D., Wang, F., Ruckelshaus, M., Ouyang, Z., Daily, G. C. 2013; 110 (41): 16681-16686


    Despite broad interest in using payment for ecosystem services to promote changes in the use of natural capital, there are few expost assessments of impacts of payment for ecosystem services programs on ecosystem service provision, program cost, and changes in livelihoods resulting from program participation. In this paper, we evaluate the Paddy Land-to-Dry Land (PLDL) program in Beijing, China, and associated changes in service providers' livelihood activities. The PLDL is a land use conversion program that aims to protect water quality and quantity for the only surface water reservoir that serves Beijing, China's capital city with nearly 20 million residents. Our analysis integrates hydrologic data with household survey data and shows that the PLDL generates benefits of improved water quantity and quality that exceed the costs of reduced agricultural output. The PLDL has an overall benefit-cost ratio of 1.5, and both downstream beneficiaries and upstream providers gain from the program. Household data show that changes in livelihood activities may offset some of the desired effects of the program through increased expenditures on agricultural fertilizers. Overall, however, reductions in fertilizer leaching from land use change dominate so that the program still has a positive net impact on water quality. This program is a successful example of water users paying upstream landholders to improve water quantity and quality through land use change. Program evaluation also highlights the importance of considering behavioral changes by program participants.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1312324110

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325395600085

    View details for PubMedID 24003160

  • Benefits, costs, and livelihood implications of a regional payment for ecosystem service program PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Zheng, H., Robinson, B. E., Liang, Y., Polasky, S., Ma, D., Wang, F., Ruckelshaus, M., Ouyang, Z., Daily, G. C. 2013; 110 (41): 16681-16686


    Despite broad interest in using payment for ecosystem services to promote changes in the use of natural capital, there are few expost assessments of impacts of payment for ecosystem services programs on ecosystem service provision, program cost, and changes in livelihoods resulting from program participation. In this paper, we evaluate the Paddy Land-to-Dry Land (PLDL) program in Beijing, China, and associated changes in service providers' livelihood activities. The PLDL is a land use conversion program that aims to protect water quality and quantity for the only surface water reservoir that serves Beijing, China's capital city with nearly 20 million residents. Our analysis integrates hydrologic data with household survey data and shows that the PLDL generates benefits of improved water quantity and quality that exceed the costs of reduced agricultural output. The PLDL has an overall benefit-cost ratio of 1.5, and both downstream beneficiaries and upstream providers gain from the program. Household data show that changes in livelihood activities may offset some of the desired effects of the program through increased expenditures on agricultural fertilizers. Overall, however, reductions in fertilizer leaching from land use change dominate so that the program still has a positive net impact on water quality. This program is a successful example of water users paying upstream landholders to improve water quantity and quality through land use change. Program evaluation also highlights the importance of considering behavioral changes by program participants.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1312324110

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325395600085

    View details for PubMedID 24003160

  • Social-ecological systems as complex adaptive systems: modeling and policy implications ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS Levin, S., Xepapadeas, T., Crepin, A., Norberg, J., De Zeeuw, A., Folke, C., Hughes, T., Arrow, K., Barrett, S., Daily, G., Ehrlich, P., Kautsky, N., Maler, K., Polasky, S., Troell, M., Vincent, J. R., Walker, B. 2013; 18: 111-132
  • Forest Restoration and Parasitoid Wasp Communities in Montane Hawai'i PLOS ONE Gould, R. K., Pejchar, L., Bothwell, S. G., Brosi, B., Wolny, S., Mendenhall, C. D., Daily, G. 2013; 8 (3)

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0059356

    View details for Web of Science ID 000317562100115

    View details for PubMedID 23527171

  • Restoring Native Forest Understory: The Influence of Ferns and Light in a Hawaiian Experiment SUSTAINABILITY Gould, R. K., Mooney, H., Nelson, L., Shallenberger, R., Daily, G. C. 2013; 5 (3): 1317-1339

    View details for DOI 10.3390/su5031317

    View details for Web of Science ID 000324047700030

  • Social Norms and Global Environmental Challenges: The Complex Interaction of Behaviors, Values, and Policy BIOSCIENCE Kinzig, A. P., Ehrlich, P. R., Alston, L. J., Arrow, K., Barrett, S., Buchman, T. G., Daily, G. C., Levin, B., Levin, S., Oppenheimer, M., Ostrom, E., Saari, D. 2013; 63 (3): 164-175
  • Forest restoration and parasitoid wasp communities in montane Hawai'i. PloS one Gould, R. K., Pejchar, L., Bothwell, S. G., Brosi, B., Wolny, S., Mendenhall, C. D., Daily, G. 2013; 8 (3)


    Globally, most restoration efforts focus on re-creating the physical structure (flora or physical features) of a target ecosystem with the assumption that other ecosystem components will follow. Here we investigate that assumption by documenting biogeographical patterns in an important invertebrate taxon, the parasitoid wasp family Ichneumonidae, in a recently reforested Hawaiian landscape. Specifically, we test the influence of (1) planting configurations (corridors versus patches), (2) vegetation age, (3) distance from mature native forest, (4) surrounding tree cover, and (5) plant community composition on ichneumonid richness, abundance, and composition. We sampled over 7,000 wasps, 96.5% of which were not native to Hawai'i. We found greater relative richness and abundance of ichneumonids, and substantially different communities, in restored areas compared to mature forest and abandoned pasturelands. Non-native ichneumonids drive these differences; restored areas and native forest did not differ in native ichneumonid abundance. Among restored areas, ichneumonid communities did not differ by planting age or configuration. As tree cover increased within 120 m of a sampling point, ichneumonid community composition increasingly resembled that found in native forest. Similarly, native ichneumonid abundance increased with proximity to native forest. Our results suggest that restoration plantings, if situated near target forest ecosystems and in areas with higher local tree cover, can facilitate restoration of native fauna even in a highly invaded system.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0059356

    View details for PubMedID 23527171

  • Asset endowments, non-farm participation and local separability in remote rural China CHINA AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIC REVIEW Liang, Y., Feldman, M. W., Li, S., Daily, G. C. 2013; 5 (1): 66-88
  • Intensive agriculture erodes beta-diversity at large scales ECOLOGY LETTERS Karp, D. S., Rominger, A. J., Zook, J., Ranganathan, J., Ehrlich, P. R., Daily, G. C. 2012; 15 (9): 963-970


    Biodiversity is declining from unprecedented land conversions that replace diverse, low-intensity agriculture with vast expanses under homogeneous, intensive production. Despite documented losses of species richness, consequences for β-diversity, changes in community composition between sites, are largely unknown, especially in the tropics. Using a 10-year data set on Costa Rican birds, we find that low-intensity agriculture sustained β-diversity across large scales on a par with forest. In high-intensity agriculture, low local (α) diversity inflated β-diversity as a statistical artefact. Therefore, at small spatial scales, intensive agriculture appeared to retain β-diversity. Unlike in forest or low-intensity systems, however, high-intensity agriculture also homogenised vegetation structure over large distances, thereby decoupling the fundamental ecological pattern of bird communities changing with geographical distance. This ~40% decline in species turnover indicates a significant decline in β-diversity at large spatial scales. These findings point the way towards multi-functional agricultural systems that maintain agricultural productivity while simultaneously conserving biodiversity.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01815.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306475600005

    View details for PubMedID 22727063

  • Land cover effects on groundwater recharge in the tropics: ecohydrologic mechanisms ECOHYDROLOGY Brauman, K. A., Freyberg, D. L., Daily, G. C. 2012; 5 (4): 435-444

    View details for DOI 10.1002/eco.236

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307882700007

  • Improving estimates of biodiversity loss BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION Mendenhall, C. D., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 2012; 151 (1): 32-34
  • Securing natural capital and expanding equity to rescale civilization NATURE Ehrlich, P. R., Kareiva, P. M., Daily, G. C. 2012; 486 (7401): 68-73


    In biophysical terms, humanity has never been moving faster nor further from sustainability than it is now. Our increasing population size and per capita impacts are severely testing the ability of Earth to provide for peoples' most basic needs. Awareness of these circumstances has grown tremendously, as has the sophistication of efforts to address them. But the complexity of the challenge remains daunting. We explore prospects for transformative change in three critical areas of sustainable development: achieving a sustainable population size and securing vital natural capital, both in part through reducing inequity, and strengthening the societal leadership of academia.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature11157

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304854000028

    View details for PubMedID 22678281

  • Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity NATURE Cardinale, B. J., Duffy, J. E., Gonzalez, A., Hooper, D. U., Perrings, C., Venail, P., Narwani, A., Mace, G. M., Tilman, D., Wardle, D. A., Kinzig, A. P., Daily, G. C., Loreau, M., Grace, J. B., Larigauderie, A., Srivastava, D. S., Naeem, S. 2012; 486 (7401): 59-67


    The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Approximately 9 million types of plants, animals, protists and fungi inhabit the Earth. So, too, do 7 billion people. Two decades ago, at the first Earth Summit, the vast majority of the world's nations declared that human actions were dismantling the Earth's ecosystems, eliminating genes, species and biological traits at an alarming rate. This observation led to the question of how such loss of biological diversity will alter the functioning of ecosystems and their ability to provide society with the goods and services needed to prosper.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature11148

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304854000027

    View details for PubMedID 22678280

  • Potential evapotranspiration from forest and pasture in the tropics: A case study in Kona, Hawai ' i JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY Brauman, K. A., Freyberg, D. L., Daily, G. C. 2012; 440: 52-61
  • Integrating ecosystem-service tradeoffs into land-use decisions PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Goldstein, J. H., Caldarone, G., Duarte, T. K., Ennaanay, D., Hannahs, N., Mendoza, G., Polasky, S., Wolny, S., Daily, G. C. 2012; 109 (19): 7565-7570


    Recent high-profile efforts have called for integrating ecosystem-service values into important societal decisions, but there are few demonstrations of this approach in practice. We quantified ecosystem-service values to help the largest private landowner in Hawaii, Kamehameha Schools, design a land-use development plan that balances multiple private and public values on its North Shore land holdings (Island of O'ahu) of ∼10,600 ha. We used the InVEST software tool to evaluate the environmental and financial implications of seven planning scenarios encompassing contrasting land-use combinations including biofuel feedstocks, food crops, forestry, livestock, and residential development. All scenarios had positive financial return relative to the status quo of negative return. However, tradeoffs existed between carbon storage and water quality as well as between environmental improvement and financial return. Based on this analysis and community input, Kamehameha Schools is implementing a plan to support diversified agriculture and forestry. This plan generates a positive financial return ($10.9 million) and improved carbon storage (0.5% increase relative to status quo) with negative relative effects on water quality (15.4% increase in potential nitrogen export relative to status quo). The effects on water quality could be mitigated partially (reduced to a 4.9% increase in potential nitrogen export) by establishing vegetation buffers on agricultural fields. This plan contributes to policy goals for climate change mitigation, food security, and diversifying rural economic opportunities. More broadly, our approach illustrates how information can help guide local land-use decisions that involve tradeoffs between private and public interests.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1201040109

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304090600086

    View details for PubMedID 22529388

  • Does household composition matter? The impact of the Grain for Green Program on rural livelihoods in China ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS Liang, Y., Li, S., Feldman, M. W., Daily, G. C. 2012; 75: 152-160
  • The impacts of nature experience on human cognitive function and mental health YEAR IN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Bratman, G. N., Hamilton, J. P., Daily, G. C. 2012; 1249: 118-136


    Scholars spanning a variety of disciplines have studied the ways in which contact with natural environments may impact human well-being. We review the effects of such nature experience on human cognitive function and mental health, synthesizing work from environmental psychology, urban planning, the medical literature, and landscape aesthetics. We provide an overview of the prevailing explanatory theories of these effects, the ways in which exposure to nature has been considered, and the role that individuals' preferences for nature may play in the impact of the environment on psychological functioning. Drawing from the highly productive but disparate programs of research in this area, we conclude by proposing a system of categorization for different types of nature experience. We also outline key questions for future work, including further inquiry into which elements of the natural environment may have impacts on cognitive function and mental health; what the most effective type, duration, and frequency of contact may be; and what the possible neural mechanisms are that could be responsible for the documented effects.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06400.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305677800009

    View details for PubMedID 22320203

  • Water funds and payments for ecosystem services: practice learns from theory and theory can learn from practice ORYX Goldman-Benner, R. L., Benitez, S., Boucher, T., Calvache, A., Daily, G., Kareiva, P., Kroeger, T., Ramos, A. 2012; 46 (1): 55-63
  • Does Out-migration Reshape Rural Households' Livelihood Capitals in the Source Communities? Recent Evidence from Western China ASIAN AND PACIFIC MIGRATION JOURNAL Li, C., Li, S., Feldman, M. W., Daily, G. C., Li, J. 2012; 21 (1): 1-30
  • Resilience and stability in bird guilds across tropical countryside PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Karp, D. S., Ziv, G., Zook, J., Ehrlich, P. R., Daily, G. C. 2011; 108 (52): 21134-21139


    The consequences of biodiversity decline in intensified agricultural landscapes hinge on surviving biotic assemblages. Maintaining crucial ecosystem processes and services requires resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. However, the resilience and stability of surviving biological communities remain poorly quantified. From a 10-y dataset comprising 2,880 bird censuses across a land-use gradient, we present three key findings concerning the resilience and stability of Costa Rican bird communities. First, seed dispersing, insect eating, and pollinating guilds were more resilient to low-intensity land use than high-intensity land use. Compared with forest assemblages, bird abundance, species richness, and diversity were all ~15% lower in low-intensity land use and ~50% lower in high-intensity land use. Second, patterns in species richness generally correlated with patterns in stability: guilds exhibited less variation in abundance in low-intensity land use than in high-intensity land use. Finally, interspecific differences in reaction to environmental change (response diversity) and possibly the portfolio effect, but not negative covariance of species abundances, conferred resilience and stability. These findings point to the changes needed in agricultural production practices in the tropics to better sustain bird communities and, possibly, the functional and service roles that they play.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1118276108

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298479900055

    View details for PubMedID 22160726

  • Reconnecting to the Biosphere AMBIO Folke, C., Jansson, A., Rockstrom, J., Olsson, P., Carpenter, S. R., Chapin, F. S., Crepin, A., Daily, G., Danell, K., Ebbesson, J., Elmqvist, T., Galaz, V., Moberg, F., Nilsson, M., Osterblom, H., Ostrom, E., Persson, A., Peterson, G., Polasky, S., Steffen, W., Walker, B., Westley, F. 2011; 40 (7): 719-738


    Humanity has emerged as a major force in the operation of the biosphere, with a significant imprint on the Earth System, challenging social-ecological resilience. This new situation calls for a fundamental shift in perspectives, world views, and institutions. Human development and progress must be reconnected to the capacity of the biosphere and essential ecosystem services to be sustained. Governance challenges include a highly interconnected and faster world, cascading social-ecological interactions and planetary boundaries that create vulnerabilities but also opportunities for social-ecological change and transformation. Tipping points and thresholds highlight the importance of understanding and managing resilience. New modes of flexible governance are emerging. A central challenge is to reconnect these efforts to the changing preconditions for societal development as active stewards of the Earth System. We suggest that the Millennium Development Goals need to be reframed in such a planetary stewardship context combined with a call for a new social contract on global sustainability. The ongoing mind shift in human relations with Earth and its boundaries provides exciting opportunities for societal development in collaboration with the biosphere--a global sustainability agenda for humanity.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13280-011-0184-y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298500100002

    View details for PubMedID 22338712

  • Predictive model for sustaining biodiversity in tropical countryside PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Mendenhall, C. D., Sekercioglu, C. H., Brenes, F. O., Ehrlich, P. R., Daily, G. C. 2011; 108 (39): 16313-16316


    Growing demand for food, fuel, and fiber is driving the intensification and expansion of agricultural land through a corresponding displacement of native woodland, savanna, and shrubland. In the wake of this displacement, it is clear that farmland can support biodiversity through preservation of important ecosystem elements at a fine scale. However, how much biodiversity can be sustained and with what tradeoffs for production are open questions. Using a well-studied tropical ecosystem in Costa Rica, we develop an empirically based model for quantifying the "wildlife-friendliness" of farmland for native birds. Some 80% of the 166 mist-netted species depend on fine-scale countryside forest elements (≤ 60-m-wide clusters of trees, typically of variable length and width) that weave through farmland along hilltops, valleys, rivers, roads, and property borders. Our model predicts with ∼75% accuracy the bird community composition of any part of the landscape. We find conservation value in small (≤ 20 m wide) clusters of trees and somewhat larger (≤ 60 m wide) forest remnants to provide substantial support for biodiversity beyond the borders of tropical forest reserves. Within the study area, forest elements on farms nearly double the effective size of the local forest reserve, providing seminatural habitats for bird species typically associated with the forest. Our findings provide a basis for estimating and sustaining biodiversity in farming systems through managing fine-scale ecosystem elements and, more broadly, informing ecosystem service analyses, biodiversity action plans, and regional land use strategies.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1111687108

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295255300040

    View details for PubMedID 21911396

  • Rural household income and inequality under the Sloping Land Conversion Program in western China PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Li, J., Feldman, M. W., Li, S., Daily, G. C. 2011; 108 (19): 7721-7726


    As payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs proliferate globally, assessing their impact upon households' income and livelihood patterns is critical. The Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP) is an exceptional PES program, in terms of its ambitious biophysical and socioeconomic objectives, large geographic scale, numbers of people directly affected, and duration of operation. The SLCP has now operated in the poor mountainous areas in China for 10 y and offers a unique opportunity for policy evaluation. Using survey data on rural households' livelihoods in the southern mountain area in Zhouzhi County, Shaanxi Province, we carry out a statistical analysis of the effects of PES and other factors on rural household income. We analyze the extent of income inequality and compare the socio-demographic features and household income of households participating in the SLCP with those that did not. Our statistical analysis shows that participation in SLCP has significant positive impacts upon household income, especially for low- and medium-income households; however, participation also has some negative impacts on the low- and medium-income households. Overall, income inequality is less among households participating in the SLCP than among those that do not after 7 y of the PES program. Different income sources have different effects on Gini statistics; in particular, wage income has opposite effects on income inequality for the participating and nonparticipating households. We find, however, that the SLCP has not increased the transfer of labor toward nonfarming activities in the survey site, as the government expected.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1101018108

    View details for Web of Science ID 000290439500022

    View details for PubMedID 21518856

  • Solutions to environmental threats. Scientific American Daily, G. C., Howarth, R., Vaccari, D., Morris, A. C., Lambin, E. F., Doney, S. C., Gleick, P. H., Fahey, D. W. 2010; 302 (4): 58-60

    View details for PubMedID 20349575

  • Forest structure influences on rainfall partitioning and cloud interception: A comparison of native forest sites in Kona, Hawai'i AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY Brauman, K. A., Freyberg, D. L., Daily, G. C. 2010; 150 (2): 265-275
  • Detecting changes in habitat-scale bee foraging in a tropical fragmented landscape using stable isotopes FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT Brosi, B. J., Daily, G. C., Chamberlain, C. P., Mills, M. 2009; 258 (9): 1846-1855
  • Environment. Looming global-scale failures and missing institutions. Science Walker, B., Barrett, S., Polasky, S., Galaz, V., Folke, C., Engström, G., Ackerman, F., Arrow, K., Carpenter, S., Chopra, K., Daily, G., Ehrlich, P., Hughes, T., Kautsky, N., Levin, S., Mäler, K., Shogren, J., Vincent, J., Xepapadeas, T., de Zeeuw, A. 2009; 325 (5946): 1345-1346

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1175325

    View details for PubMedID 19745137

  • Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Nelson, E., Mendoza, G., Regetz, J., Polasky, S., Tallis, H., Cameron, D. R., Chan, K. M., Daily, G. C., Goldstein, J., Kareiva, P. M., Lonsdorf, E., Naidoo, R., Ricketts, T. H., Shaw, M. R. 2009; 7 (1): 4-11

    View details for DOI 10.1890/080023

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262934500002

  • Ecosystem services in decision making: time to deliver FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Daily, G. C., Polasky, S., Goldstein, J., Kareiva, P. M., Mooney, H. A., Pejchar, L., Ricketts, T. H., Salzman, J., Shallenberger, R. 2009; 7 (1): 21-28

    View details for DOI 10.1890/080025

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262934500004

  • The payoff of conservation investments in tropical countryside PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Chan, K. M., Daily, G. C. 2008; 105 (49): 19342-19347


    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services hinges on harmonizing agricultural production and conservation, yet there is no planning algorithm for predicting the efficacy of conservation investments in farmland. We present a conservation planning framework for countryside (working agricultural landscapes) that calculates the production and conservation benefits to the current baseline of incremental investments. Our framework is analogous to the use of reserve design algorithms. Unlike much countryside modeling, our framework is designed for application in data-limited contexts, which are prevalent. We apply our framework to quantify the payoff for Costa Rican birds of changing farm plot and border vegetation. We show that installing windbreaks of native vegetation enhances both bird diversity and farm income, especially when complementing certain crop types. We make predictions that differ from those of approaches currently applied to agri-environment planning,: e.g., although habitat with trees has lower local species richness than farm plot habitats (1-44% lower), replacing any plot habitat with trees should boost regional richness considerably. Our planning framework reveals the small, targeted changes on farms that can make big differences for biodiversity.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0810522105

    View details for Web of Science ID 000261706600058

    View details for PubMedID 19036931

  • Using return-on-investment to guide restoration: a case study from Hawaii CONSERVATION LETTERS Goldstein, J. H., Pejchar, L., Daily, G. C. 2008; 1 (5): 236-243
  • Sustaining biodiversity in ancient tropical countryside PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Ranganathan, J., Daniels, R. J., Chandran, M. D., Ehrlich, P. R., Daily, G. C. 2008; 105 (46): 17852-17854


    With intensifying demands for food and biofuels, a critical threat to biodiversity is agricultural expansion into native tropical ecosystems. Tropical agriculture, particularly intensive agriculture, often supports few native organisms, and consequently has been largely overlooked in conservation planning; yet, recent work in the Neotropics demonstrates that tropical agriculture with certain features can support significant biodiversity, decades after conversion to farmland. It remains unknown whether this conservation value can be sustained for centuries to millennia. Here, we quantify the bird diversity affiliated with agricultural systems in southwest India, a region continuously cultivated for >2,000 years. We show that arecanut palm (Areca catechu) production systems retain 90% of the bird species associated with regional native forest. Two factors promote this high conservation value. First, the system involves intercropping with multiple, usually woody, understory species and, thus, has high vertical structural complexity that is positively correlated with bird species richness. Second, the system encompasses nearby forests, where large quantities of leaf litter are extracted for mulch. The preservation of these forests on productive land traces back to their value in supplying inputs to arecanut cultivation. The long-term biodiversity value of an agricultural ecosystem has not been documented in South and Southeast Asia. Our findings open a new conservation opportunity for this imperiled region that may well extend to other crops. Some of these working lands may be able to sustain native species over long-time scales, indicating that conservation investments in agriculture today could pay off for people and for nature.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0808874105

    View details for Web of Science ID 000261225600052

    View details for PubMedID 18981411

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2577706

  • Should agricultural policies encourage land sparing or wildlife-friendly farming? FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Fischer, J., Brosi, B., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Goldman, R., Goldstein, J., Lindenmayer, D. B., Manning, A. D., Mooney, H. A., Pejchar, L., Ranganathan, J., Tallis, H. 2008; 6 (7): 382-387

    View details for DOI 10.1890/070019

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259308000020

  • Ecosystem services: From theory to implementation PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Daily, G. C., Matson, P. A. 2008; 105 (28): 9455-9456


    Around the world, leaders are increasingly recognizing ecosystems as natural capital assets that supply life-support services of tremendous value. The challenge is to turn this recognition into incentives and institutions that will guide wise investments in natural capital, on a large scale. Advances are required on three key fronts, each featured here: the science of ecosystem production functions and service mapping; the design of appropriate finance, policy, and governance systems; and the art of implementing these in diverse biophysical and social contexts. Scientific understanding of ecosystem production functions is improving rapidly but remains a limiting factor in incorporating natural capital into decisions, via systems of national accounting and other mechanisms. Novel institutional structures are being established for a broad array of services and places, creating a need and opportunity for systematic assessment of their scope and limitations. Finally, it is clear that formal sharing of experience, and defining of priorities for future work, could greatly accelerate the rate of innovation and uptake of new approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0804960105

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257784700003

    View details for PubMedID 18621697

  • Field evidence that ecosystem service projects support biodiversity and diversify options PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Goldman, R. L., Tallis, H., Kareiva, P., Daily, G. C. 2008; 105 (27): 9445-9448


    Ecosystem service approaches to conservation are being championed as a new strategy for conservation, under the hypothesis that they will broaden and deepen support for biodiversity protection. Where traditional approaches focus on setting aside land by purchasing property rights, ecosystem service approaches aim to engage a much wider range of places, people, policies, and financial resources in conservation. This is particularly important given projected intensification of human impacts, with rapid growth in population size and individual aspirations. Here we use field research on 34 ecosystem service (ES) projects and 26 traditional biodiversity (BD) projects from the Western Hemisphere to test whether ecosystem service approaches show signs of realizing their putative potential. We find that the ES projects attract on average more than four times as much funding through greater corporate sponsorship and use of a wider variety of finance tools than BD projects. ES projects are also more likely to encompass working landscapes and the people in them. We also show that, despite previous concern, ES projects not only expand opportunities for conservation, but they are no less likely than BD projects to include or create protected areas. Moreover, they do not draw down limited financial resources for conservation but rather engage a more diverse set of funders. We also found, however, that monitoring of conservation outcomes in both cases is so infrequent that it is impossible to assess the effectiveness of either ES or BD approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0800208105

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257645400056

    View details for PubMedID 18591667

  • Inadequate assessment of the ecosystem service rationale for conservation: Reply to Ghazoul CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Kremen, C., Daily, G. C., Klein, A., Scofield, D. 2008; 22 (3): 795-798
  • Diversity, natural history and conservation of amphibians and reptiles from the San Vito Region, southwestern Costa Rica REVISTA DE BIOLOGIA TROPICAL Santos-Barrera, G., Pacheco, J., Mendoza-Quijano, F., Bolanos, F., Chaves, G., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Ceballos, G. 2008; 56 (2): 755-778


    We present an inventory of the amphibians and reptiles of the San Vito de Coto Brus region, including the Las Cruces Biological Station, in southern Costa Rica, which is the result of a survey of the herpetofauna occurring in mountain forest fragments, pastures, coffee plantations, and other disturbed areas. We found 67 species, included 26 species of amphibians and of 41 of reptiles. We describe the distribution patterns of the community on the basis of the life zones, elevation, fragmentation, and degree of anthropogenic impact. We also provide some nouvelle data on the systematics of some select taxa, their geographical ranges, microhabitats, activity, and other relevant ecological and natural history features. Finally, we comment on the present conservation status of the herpetofauna in the region. Previous literature and collection records indicate a higher number of species occurring in this area, which suggests that some declines have occurred, especially of amphibians, in last decades.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259618700027

    View details for PubMedID 19256442

  • The effects of forest fragmentation on bee communities in tropical countryside JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY Brosi, B. J., Daily, G. C., Shih, T. M., Oviedo, F., Duran, G. 2008; 45 (3): 773-783
  • Assessing the conservation value of a human-dominated island landscape: Plant diversity in Hawaii BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION Goldman, R. L., Goldstein, L. P., Daily, G. C. 2008; 17 (7): 1765-1781
  • Optimal design of agricultural landscapes for pollination services CONSERVATION LETTERS Brosi, B. J., Armsworth, P. R., Daily, G. C. 2008; 1 (1): 27-36
  • Birds as agents of seed dispersal in a human-dominated landscape in southern Costa Rica BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION Pejchar, L., Pringle, R. M., Ranganathan, J., Zook, J. R., Duran, G., Oviedo, F., Daily, G. C. 2008; 141 (2): 536-544
  • Institutional incentives for managing the landscape: Inducing cooperation for the production of ecosystem services ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS Goldman, R. L., Thompson, B. H., Daily, G. C. 2007; 64 (2): 333-343
  • Ecosystem-service science and the way forward for conservation CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Armsworth, P. R., Chan, K. M., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Kremen, C., Ricketts, T. H., Sanjayan, M. A. 2007; 21 (6): 1383-1384
  • Satellite detection of bird communities in tropical countryside ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS Ranganathan, J., Chan, K. M., Daily, G. C. 2007; 17 (5): 1499-1510


    The future of biodiversity hinges partly on realizing the potentially high conservation value of human-dominated countryside. The characteristics of the countryside that promote biodiversity preservation remain poorly understood, however, particularly at the fine scales at which individual farmers tend to make land use decisions. To address this problem, we explored the use of a rapid remote sensing method for estimating bird community composition in tropical countryside, using a two-step process. First, we asked how fine-grained variation in land cover affected community composition. Second, we determined whether the observed changes in community composition correlated with three easily accessible remote sensing metrics (wetness, greenness, and brightness), derived from performing a tasseled-cap transformation on a Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus image. As a comparison, we also examined whether the most commonly used remote sensing indicator in ecology, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), correlated with community composition. We worked within an agricultural landscape in southern Costa Rica, where the land comprised a complex and highly heterogeneous mosaic of remnant native vegetation, pasture, coffee cultivation, and other crops. In this region, we selected 12 study sites (each < 60 ha) that encompassed the range of available land cover possibilities in the countryside. Within each site, we surveyed bird communities within all major land cover types, and we conducted detailed field mapping of land cover. We found that the number of forest-affiliated species increased with forest cover and decreased with residential area across sites. Conversely, the number of agriculture-affiliated species using forest increased with land area devoted to agricultural and residential uses. Interestingly, we found that the wetness and brightness metrics predicted the number of forest- and agriculture-affiliated species within a site as well as did detailed field-generated maps of land cover. In contrast, NDVI and the closely correlated greenness metric did not correlate with land cover or with bird communities. Our study shows the strong potential of the tasseled-cap transformation as a tool for assessing the conservation value of countryside for biodiversity.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000248265700019

    View details for PubMedID 17708224

  • Persistence of forest birds in the Costa Rican agricultural countryside CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Sekercioglu, C. H., Loarie, S. R., Brenes, F. O., Ehrlich, P. R., Daily, G. C. 2007; 21 (2): 482-494


    Understanding the persistence mechanisms of tropical forest species in human-dominated landscapes is a fundamental challenge of tropical ecology and conservation. Many species, including more than half of Costa Rica's native land birds, use mostly deforested agricultural countryside, but how they do so is poorly known. Do they commute regularly to forest or can some species survive in this human-dominated landscape year-round? Using radiotelemetry, we detailed the habitat use, movement, foraging, and nesting patterns of three bird species, Catharus aurantiirostris, Tangara icterocephala, and Turdus assimilis, by obtaining 8101 locations from 156 individuals. We chose forest birds that varied in their vulnerability to deforestation and were representative of the species found both in forest and human-dominated landscapes. Our study species did not commute from extensive forest; rather, they fed and bred in the agricultural countryside. Nevertheless, T. icterocephala and T. assimilis, which are more habitat sensitive, were highly dependent on the remaining trees. Although trees constituted only 11% of land cover, these birds spent 69% to 85% of their time in them. Breeding success of C. aurntiirostris and T. icterocephala in deforested habitats was not different than in forest remnants, where T. assimilis experienced reduced breeding success. Although this suggests an ecological trap for T. assimilis, higher fledgling survival in forest remnants may make up for lower productivity. Tropical countryside has high potential conservation value, which can be enhanced with even modest increases in tree cover. Our findings have applicability to many human-dominated tropical areas that have the potential to conserve substantial biodiversity if appropriate restoration measures are taken.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00655.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000245438200024

    View details for PubMedID 17391198

  • Bee community shifts with landscape context in a tropical countryside ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS Brosi, B. J., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 2007; 17 (2): 418-430


    The ongoing scientific controversy over a putative "global pollination crisis" underscores the lack of understanding of the response of bees (the most important taxon of pollinators) to ongoing global land-use changes. We studied the effects of distance to forest, tree management, and floral resources on bee communities in pastures (the dominant land-use type) in southern Costa Rica. Over two years, we sampled bees and floral resources in 21 pastures at three distance classes from a large (approximately 230-ha) forest patch and of three common types: open pasture; pasture with remnant trees; and pasture with live fences. We found no consistent differences in bee diversity or abundance with respect to pasture management or floral resources. Bee community composition, however, was strikingly different at forest edges as compared to deforested countryside only a few hundred meters from forest. At forest edges, native social stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) comprised approximately 50% of the individuals sampled, while the alien honeybee Apis mellifera made up only approximately 5%. Away from forests, meliponines dropped to approximately 20% of sampled bees, whereas Apis increased to approximately 45%. Meliponine bees were also more speciose at forest edge sites than at a distance from forest, their abundance decreased with continuous distance to the nearest forest patch, and their species richness was correlated with the proportion of forest cover surrounding sample sites at scales from 200 to 1200 m. Meliponines and Apis together comprise the eusocial bee fauna of the study area and are unique in quickly recruiting foragers to high-quality resources. The diverse assemblage of native meliponine bees covers a wide range of body sizes and flower foraging behavior not found in Apis, and populations of many bee species (including Apis), are known to fluctuate considerably from year to year. Thus, the forest-related changes in eusocial bee communities we found may have important implications for: (1) sustaining a diverse bee fauna in tropical countryside; (2) ensuring the effective pollination of a diverse native plant community; and (3) the efficiency and stability of agricultural pollination, particularly for short-time-scale, mass-flowering crops such as coffee.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000245744200011

    View details for PubMedID 17489249

  • Evaluating the potential for conservation development: Biophysical, economic, and institutional perspectives CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Pejchar, L., Morgan, P. M., Caldwell, M. R., Palmer, C., Daily, G. C. 2007; 21 (1): 69-78


    The widespread conversion of rural land to low-density residential development poses an immediate threat to biodiversity and to the provision of ecosystem services. Given that development will continue and environmental stakes are high, analyzing alternative growth strategies is critical. Conservation development is one such strategy that has the potential to benefit ecosystems and diverse stakeholders including developers, homebuyers, governments, and society as a whole. Conservation development clusters homes on one part of a property to manage the most ecologically important land for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. We draw on lessons learned from landscape ecology, open-space development, and regional planning to weigh the biophysical, economic, and institutional evidence for and against conservation development. Conservation development offers many potential environmental and economic advantages: relatively high home values and appreciation rates, lower development costs, and social and ecological benefits to society including landscape connectivity, protection and active stewardship of important ecological assets, and the maintenance of ecosystem services. But this approach also has shortcomings: it may require enlightened institutional regulations and regional planning (and/or ecologically aware developers), it is not always more profitable than conventional development and thus may require subsidies or incentives, and additional research is required to fully understand its benefits and drawbacks. With more information on the effects of clustering, the development of flexible zoning laws, and effective regional planning, conservation development could be a viable strategy for sustaining biodiversity and ecosystem services in changing landscapes.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00572.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244148800015

    View details for PubMedID 17298512

  • Range occupancy and endangerment: A test with a butterfly community AMERICAN MIDLAND NATURALIST Goehring, D. M., Daily, G. C., Dasgupta, S., Ehrlich, P. R. 2007; 157 (1): 106-120
  • The nature and value of ecosystem services: An overview highlighting hydrologic services ANNUAL REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENT AND RESOURCES Brauman, K. A., Daily, G. C., Duarte, T. K., Mooney, H. A. 2007; 32: 67-98
  • Modeling biodiversity dynamics in countryside landscapes ECOLOGY Pereira, H. M., Daily, G. C. 2006; 87 (8): 1877-1885


    The future of biodiversity hinges to a great extent on the conservation value of countryside, the growing fraction of Earth's surface heavily influenced by human activities. How many species, and which species, can persist in such landscapes (and analogous seascapes) are open questions. Here we explore two complementary theoretical frameworks to address these questions: species-area relationships and demographic models. We use the terrestrial mammal fauna of Central America to illustrate the application of both frameworks. We begin by proposing a multi-habitat species-area relationship, the countryside species-area relationship, to forecast species extinction rates. To apply it, we classify the mammal fauna by affinity to native and human-dominated habitats. We show how considering the conservation value of countryside habitats changes estimates derived from the classic species-area approach We also examine how the z value of the species-area relationship affects extinction estimates. Next, we present a framework for assessing the relative vulnerability of species to extinction in the countryside, based on the Skellam model of population dynamics. This model predicts the minimum area of contiguous native habitat required for persistence of a species, which we use as an indicator of vulnerability to habitat change. To apply the model, we use our habitat affinity classification of mammals and we estimate life-history parameters by species and habitat type. The resulting ranking of vulnerabilities is significantly correlated with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List assessment.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000239833400002

    View details for PubMedID 16937624

  • Business strategies for conservation on private lands: Koa forestry as a case study PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Goldstein, J. H., Daily, G. C., Friday, J. B., Matson, P. A., Naylor, R. A. 2006; 103 (26): 10140-10145


    Innovative financial instruments are being created to reward conservation on private, working lands. Major design challenges remain, however, to make investments in biodiversity and ecosystem services economically attractive and commonplace. From a business perspective, three key financial barriers for advancing conservation land uses must frequently be addressed: high up-front costs, long time periods with no revenue, and high project risk due to long time horizons and uncertainty. We explored ways of overcoming these barriers on grazing lands in Hawaii by realizing a suite of timber and conservation revenue streams associated with their (partial) reforestation. We calculated the financial implications of alternative strategies, focusing on Acacia koa ("koa") forestry because of its high conservation and economic potential. Koa's timber value alone creates a viable investment (mean net present value = $453/acre), but its long time horizon and poor initial cash flow pose formidable challenges for landowners. At present, subsidy payments from a government conservation program targeting benefits for biodiversity, water quality, and soil erosion have the greatest potential to move landowners beyond the tipping point in favor of investments in koa forestry, particularly when combined with future timber harvest (mean net present value = $1,661/acre). Creating financial mechanisms to capture diverse ecosystem service values through time will broaden opportunities for conservation land uses. Governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private investors have roles to play in catalyzing this transition by developing new revenue streams that can reach a broad spectrum of landowners.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0600391103

    View details for Web of Science ID 000238872900070

    View details for PubMedID 16782816

  • The diversity and conservation of plant reproductive and dispersal functional traits in human-dominated tropical landscapes JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY Mayfield, M. M., Ackerly, D., Daily, G. C. 2006; 94 (3): 522-536
  • Land market feedbacks can undermine biodiversity conservation PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Armsworth, P. R., Daily, G. C., Kareiva, P., Sanchirico, J. N. 2006; 103 (14): 5403-5408


    The full or partial purchase of land has become a cornerstone of efforts to conserve biodiversity in countries with strong private property rights. Methods used to target areas for acquisition typically ignore land market dynamics. We show how conservation purchases affect land prices and generate feedbacks that can undermine conservation goals, either by displacing development toward biologically valuable areas or by accelerating its pace. The impact of these market feedbacks on the effectiveness of conservation depends on the ecological value of land outside nature reserves. Traditional, noneconomic approaches to site prioritization should perform adequately in places where land outside reserves supports little biodiversity. However, these approaches will perform poorly in locations where the countryside surrounding reserves is important for species' persistence. Conservation investments can sometimes even be counterproductive, condemning more species than they save. Conservation is most likely to be compromised in the absence of accurate information on species distributions, which provides a strong argument for improving inventories of biodiversity. Accounting for land market dynamics in conservation planning is crucial for making smart investment decisions.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0505278103

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236636400031

    View details for PubMedID 16554375

  • Diversity, natural history and conservation of mammals from San Vito de Coto Brus, Costa Rica. REVISTA DE BIOLOGIA TROPICAL Pacheco, J., Ceballos, G., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Suzan, G., Rodriguez-Herrera, B., Marce, E. 2006; 54 (1): 219-240


    Although Costa Rica has been biologically well studied, few areas have complete mammal inventories, which are essential for ecological studies and conservation. The San Vito region is considered among the most important for scientific research in the country because of the presence of the Wilson Botanical Garden and Las Cruces. However, the knowledge of its mammalian fauna is incomplete. We extensively studied the mammals of San Vito, compiled a checklist, and evaluated its composition, relative abundance, habitat distribution, and conservation status. We recorded 105 species, representing 85 genera, 29 families, and 10 orders. Non-volant mammals represented 62 species, 59 genera, 23 families, and 9 orders. Bats belonged to 6 families, 26 genera and 43 species. The extensive deforestation and hunting have caused the extinction of seven species, but the region still supports, surprisingly, a relatively high number of species, most of which are rare. Few species are common and abundant. Species richness was higher in forest, and forest fragments; fewer species were found in coffee plantations, induced grasslands, and secondary vegetation. Around 21% (13 species) are included in the IUCN red book. Three species are considered endangered (Saimiri oerstedii, Tapirus bairdii, and Sylvilagus dicei), and two threatened (Myrmecophaga trydactila and Caluromys derbianus), of which two (T. bairdii and M. trydactila) are locally extinct. The other species in IUCN are either of low risk (i.e. Chironectes minimus) or data deficient (Lontra longicaudis). Additionally, 24 species (39%) are included in CITES.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000243514100022

    View details for PubMedID 18457190

  • Species and functional diversity of native and human-dominated plant communities ECOLOGY Mayfield, M. M., Boni, M. E., Daily, G. C., Ackerly, D. 2005; 86 (9): 2365-2372
  • Global consequences of land use SCIENCE Foley, J. A., Defries, R., Asner, G. P., Barford, C., Bonan, G., Carpenter, S. R., Chapin, F. S., Coe, M. T., Daily, G. C., Gibbs, H. K., Helkowski, J. H., Holloway, T., Howard, E. A., Kucharik, C. J., Monfreda, C., Patz, J. A., Prentice, I. C., Ramankutty, N., Snyder, P. K. 2005; 309 (5734): 570-574


    Land use has generally been considered a local environmental issue, but it is becoming a force of global importance. Worldwide changes to forests, farmlands, waterways, and air are being driven by the need to provide food, fiber, water, and shelter to more than six billion people. Global croplands, pastures, plantations, and urban areas have expanded in recent decades, accompanied by large increases in energy, water, and fertilizer consumption, along with considerable losses of biodiversity. Such changes in land use have enabled humans to appropriate an increasing share of the planet's resources, but they also potentially undermine the capacity of ecosystems to sustain food production, maintain freshwater and forest resources, regulate climate and air quality, and ameliorate infectious diseases. We face the challenge of managing trade-offs between immediate human needs and maintaining the capacity of the biosphere to provide goods and services in the long term.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1111772

    View details for Web of Science ID 000230735200036

    View details for PubMedID 16040698

  • Ecosystem services of tropical dry forests: Insights from long-term ecological and social research on the Pacific Coast of Mexico ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY Maass, J. M., Balvanera, P., Castillo, A., Daily, G. C., Mooney, H. A., Ehrlich, P., Quesada, M., Miranda, A., Jaramillo, V. J., Garcia-Oliva, F., Martinez-Yrizar, A., Cotler, H., Lopez-Blanco, J., Perez-Jimenez, A., Burquez, A., Tinoco, C., Ceballos, G., Barraza, L., Ayala, R., Sarukhan, J. 2005; 10 (1)
  • Countryside biogeography of neotropical herbaceous and shrubby plants ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS Mayfield, M. M., Daily, G. C. 2005; 15 (2): 423-439
  • Ecosystem consequences of bird declines PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Sekercioglu, C. H., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 2004; 101 (52): 18042-18047


    We present a general framework for characterizing the ecological and societal consequences of biodiversity loss and applying it to the global avifauna. To investigate the potential ecological consequences of avian declines, we developed comprehensive databases of the status and functional roles of birds and a stochastic model for forecasting change. Overall, 21% of bird species are currently extinction-prone and 6.5% are functionally extinct, contributing negligibly to ecosystem processes. We show that a quarter or more of frugivorous and omnivorous species and one-third or more of herbivorous, piscivorous, and scavenger species are extinction-prone. Furthermore, our projections indicate that by 2100, 6-14% of all bird species will be extinct, and 7-25% (28-56% on oceanic islands) will be functionally extinct. Important ecosystem processes, particularly decomposition, pollination, and seed dispersal, will likely decline as a result.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0408049101

    View details for Web of Science ID 000226102700030

    View details for PubMedID 15601765

  • Economic value of tropical forest to coffee production PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Ricketts, T. H., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Michener, C. D. 2004; 101 (34): 12579-12582


    Can economic forces be harnessed for biodiversity conservation? The answer hinges on characterizing the value of nature, a tricky business from biophysical, socioeconomic, and ethical perspectives. Although the societal benefits of native ecosystems are clearly immense, they remain largely unquantified for all but a few services. Here, we estimate the value of tropical forest in supplying pollination services to agriculture. We focus on coffee because it is one of the world's most valuable export commodities and is grown in many of the world's most biodiverse regions. Using pollination experiments along replicated distance gradients, we found that forest-based pollinators increased coffee yields by 20% within approximately 1 km of forest. Pollination also improved coffee quality near forest by reducing the frequency of "peaberries" (i.e., small misshapen seeds) by 27%. During 2000-2003, pollination services from two forest fragments (46 and 111 hectares) translated into approximately 60,000 USD per year for one Costa Rican farm. This value is commensurate with expected revenues from competing land uses and far exceeds current conservation incentive payments. Conservation investments in human-dominated landscapes can therefore yield double benefits: for biodiversity and agriculture.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000223596200034

    View details for PubMedID 15306689

  • Are we consuming too much? JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES Arrow, K., Dasgupta, P., Goulder, L., Daily, G., Ehrlich, P., Heal, G., Levin, S., Maler, K. G., Schneider, S., Starrett, D., Walker, B. 2004; 18 (3): 147-172
  • Genetic diversity and interdependent crop choices in agriculture Workshop on Economics and Biodiversity Heal, G., Walker, B., Levin, S., Arrow, K., Dasgupta, P., Daily, G., Ehrlich, P., Maler, K. G., Kautsky, N., Lubchenco, J., Schneider, S., Starrett, D. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV. 2004: 175–84
  • A framework for assessing the relative vulnerability of species to land-use change ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS Pereira, H. M., Daily, G. C., Roughgarden, J. 2004; 14 (3): 730-742
  • Alleviating spatial conflict between people and biodiversity PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Luck, G. W., Ricketts, T. H., Daily, G. C., Imhoff, M. 2004; 101 (1): 182-186


    Human settlements are expanding in species-rich regions and pose a serious threat to biodiversity conservation. We quantify the degree to which this threat manifests itself in two contrasting continents, Australia and North America, and suggest how it can be substantially alleviated. Human population density has a strong positive correlation with species richness in Australia for birds, mammals, amphibians, and butterflies (but not reptiles) and in North America for all five taxa. Nevertheless, conservation investments could secure locations that harbor almost all species while greatly reducing overlap with densely populated regions. We compared two conservation-planning scenarios that each aimed to represent all species at least once in a minimum set of sampling sites. The first scenario assigned equal cost to each site (ignoring differences in human population density); the second assigned a cost proportional to the site's human population density. Under the equal-cost scenario, 13-40% of selected sites occurred where population density values were highest (in the top decile). However, this overlap was reduced to as low as 0%, and in almost all cases to <10%, under the population-cost scenario, when sites of high population density were avoided where possible. Moreover, this reduction of overlap was achieved with only small increases in the total amount of area requiring protection. As densely populated regions continue to expand rapidly and drive up land values, the strategic conservation investments of the kind highlighted in our analysis are best made now.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2237148100

    View details for Web of Science ID 000187937200035

    View details for PubMedID 14681554

  • Countryside biogeography of neotropical mammals: Conservation opportunities in agricultural landscapes of Costa Rica CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Daily, G. C., Ceballos, G., Pacheco, J., Suzan, G., Sanchez-Azofeifa, A. 2003; 17 (6): 1814-1826
  • Countryside biogeography of tropical butterflies CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Horner-Devine, M. C., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Boggs, C. L. 2003; 17 (1): 168-177
  • Tropical countryside bird assemblages: Richness, composition, and foraging differ by landscape context ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS Luck, G. W., Daily, G. C. 2003; 13 (1): 235-247
  • Effects of household dynamics on resource consumption and biodiversity NATURE Liu, J. G., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Luck, G. W. 2003; 421 (6922): 530-533


    Human population size and growth rate are often considered important drivers of biodiversity loss, whereas household dynamics are usually neglected. Aggregate demographic statistics may mask substantial changes in the size and number of households, and their effects on biodiversity. Household dynamics influence per capita consumption and thus biodiversity through, for example, consumption of wood for fuel, habitat alteration for home building and associated activities, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here we report that growth in household numbers globally, and particularly in countries with biodiversity hotspots (areas rich in endemic species and threatened by human activities), was more rapid than aggregate population growth between 1985 and 2000. Even when population size declined, the number of households increased substantially. Had the average household size (that is, the number of occupants) remained static, there would have been 155 million fewer households in hotspot countries in 2000. Reduction in average household size alone will add a projected 233 million additional households to hotspot countries during the period 2000-15. Rapid increase in household numbers, often manifested as urban sprawl, and resultant higher per capita resource consumption in smaller households pose serious challenges to biodiversity conservation.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature01359

    View details for Web of Science ID 000180670600044

    View details for PubMedID 12540852

  • Integrity and isolation of Costa Rica's national parks and biological reserves: examining the dynamics of land-cover change BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION Sanchez-Azofeifa, G. A., Daily, G. C., Pfaff, A. S., Busch, C. 2003; 109 (1): 123-135
  • Distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods in tropical countryside habitats JOURNAL OF INSECT CONSERVATION Goehring, D. M., Daily, G. C., Sekercioglu, C. H. 2002; 6 (2): 83-91
  • Does butterfly diversity predict moth diversity? Testing a popular indicator taxon at local scales BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION Ricketts, T. H., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 2002; 103 (3): 361-370
  • Disappearance of insectivorous birds from tropical forest fragments PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Sekercioglu, C. H., Ehrlich, P. R., Daily, G. C., Aygen, D., Goehring, D., Sandi, R. F. 2002; 99 (1): 263-267


    Determining the impact of forest disturbance and fragmentation on tropical biotas is a central goal of conservation biology. Among tropical forest birds, understory insectivores are particularly sensitive to habitat disturbance and fragmentation, despite their relatively small sizes and freedom from hunting pressure. Why these birds are especially vulnerable to fragmentation is not known. Our data indicate that the best determinant of the persistence of understory insectivorous birds in small fragments is the ability to disperse through deforested countryside habitats. This finding contradicts our initial hypothesis that the decline of insectivorous birds in forest fragments is caused by impoverished invertebrate prey base in fragments. Although we observed significantly fewer insectivorous birds in smaller fragments, extensive sampling of invertebrate communities (106,082 individuals) and avian diets (of 735 birds) revealed no important differences between large and small fragments. Neither habitat specificity nor drier fragment microclimates seemed critical. Bird species that were less affected by forest fragmentation were, in general, those that used the deforested countryside more, and we suggest that the key to their conservation will be found there.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000173233300049

    View details for PubMedID 11782549

  • Conservation of tropical forest birds in countryside habitats ECOLOGY LETTERS Hughes, J. B., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 2002; 5 (1): 121-129
  • Ecological forecasts NATURE Daily, G. C. 2001; 411 (6835): 245-245

    View details for Web of Science ID 000168710000024

    View details for PubMedID 11357107

  • Countryside biogeography of moths in a fragmented landscape: Biodiversity in native and agricultural habitats CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Ricketts, T. H., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Fay, J. P. 2001; 15 (2): 378-388
  • Conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services SCIENCE Balvanera, P., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Ricketts, T. H., Bailey, S. A., Kark, S., Kremen, C., Pereira, H. 2001; 291 (5511): 2047-2047

    View details for Web of Science ID 000167563800001

    View details for PubMedID 11256386

  • Countryside biogeography: Use of human-dominated habitats by the avifauna of southern Costa Rica ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Sanchez-Azofeifa, G. A. 2001; 11 (1): 1-13
  • Conservation of insect diversity: a habitat approach CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Hughes, J. B., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 2000; 14 (6): 1788-1797
  • Ecology - The value of nature and the nature of value SCIENCE Daily, G. C., Soderqvist, T., Aniyar, S., Arrow, K., Dasgupta, P., Ehrlich, P. R., Folke, C., Jansson, A., Jansson, B. O., Kautsky, N., Levin, S., Lubchenco, J., Maler, K. G., Simpson, D., Starrett, D., Tilman, D., Walker, B. 2000; 289 (5478): 395-396


    Ecosystems are capital assets: When properly managed, they yield a flow of vital goods and services. Relative to other forms of capital, however, ecosystems are poorly understood, scarcely monitored, and--in many important cases--undergoing rapid degradation. The process of economic valuation could greatly improve stewardship. This potential is now being realized with innovative financial instruments and institutional arrangements.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000088305500022

    View details for PubMedID 10939949

  • Economic incentives for rain forest conservation across scales SCIENCE Kremen, C., Niles, J. O., Dalton, M. G., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Fay, J. P., Grewal, D., Guillery, R. P. 2000; 288 (5472): 1828-1832


    Globally, tropical deforestation releases 20 to 30% of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Conserving forests could reduce emissions, but the cost-effectiveness of this mechanism for mitigation depends on the associated opportunity costs. We estimated these costs from local, national, and global perspectives using a case study from Madagascar. Conservation generated significant benefits over logging and agriculture locally and globally. Nationally, however, financial benefits from industrial logging were larger than conservation benefits. Such differing economic signals across scales may exacerbate tropical deforestation. The Kyoto Protocol could potentially overcome this obstacle to conservation by creating markets for protection of tropical forests to mitigate climate change.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000087503800051

    View details for PubMedID 10846165

  • Managing ecosystem resources ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Arrow, K., Daily, G., Dasgupta, P., Levin, S., Maler, K. G., Maskin, E., Starrett, D., Sterner, T., Tietenberg, T. 2000; 34 (8): 1401-1406
  • Seeking the great transition NATURE Daily, G. C., Walker, B. H. 2000; 403 (6767): 243-245

    View details for Web of Science ID 000084899700022

    View details for PubMedID 10659827

  • Knowledge and the environment ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS Ehrlich, P. R., Wolff, G., Daily, G. C., Hughes, J. B., Daily, S., DALTON, M., Goulder, L. 1999; 30 (2): 267-284
  • Knowledge of and attitudes toward population growth and the environment: university students in Costa Rica and the United States ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION Holl, K. D., Daily, G. C., Daily, S. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Bassin, S. 1999; 26 (1): 66-74
  • Globalization and the sustainability of human health - An ecological perspective BIOSCIENCE McMichael, A. J., Bolin, B., Costanza, R., Daily, G. C., Folke, C., Lindahl-Kiessling, K., Lindgren, E., NIKLASSON, B. 1999; 49 (3): 205-210
  • Use of fruit bait traps for monitoring of butterflies (Lepidoptera : Nymphalidae) REVISTA DE BIOLOGIA TROPICAL Hughes, J. B., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 1998; 46 (3): 697-704
  • Food production, population growth, and the environment. Science Daily, G., Dasgupta, P., Bolin, B., Crosson, P., du Guerny, J., Ehrlich, P., Folke, C., Jansson, A. M., Jansson, B., Kautsky, N., Kinzig, A., Levin, S., Mäler, K. G., Pinstrup-Andersen, P., Siniscalco, D., Walker, B. 1998; 281 (5381): 1291-1292

    View details for PubMedID 9735046

  • Population diversity: Its extent and extinction SCIENCE Hughes, J. B., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 1997; 278 (5338): 689-692


    Genetically distinct populations are an important component of biodiversity. This work estimates the number of populations per area of a sample of species from literature on population differentiation and the average range area of a species from a sample of distribution maps. This yields an estimate of about 220 populations per species, or 1.1 to 6.6 billion populations globally. Assuming that population extinction is a linear function of habitat loss, approximately 1800 populations per hour (16 million annually) are being destroyed in tropical forests alone.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997YC32300055

    View details for PubMedID 9381179

  • Socioeconomic equity, sustainability, and Earth's carrying capacity ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 1996; 6 (4): 991-1001
  • Nocturnality and species survival PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 1996; 93 (21): 11709-11712


    Surveys of butterfly and moth diversity in tropical forest fragments suggest that nocturnality confers a dispersal, and possibly a survival, advantage. The butterfly faunas of smaller fragments were depauperate; in contrast, the species richness of nocturnal moths was similar in all fragments and even in pasture. The lack of correlation between butterfly and moth species richness among fragments (r2 = 0.005) is best explained by movements of moths at night when ambient conditions in forest and pasture are most similar; butterflies face substantial daytime temperature, humidity, and solar radiation barriers. This interpretation is supported by information on birds, beetles, and bats.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996VM68100075

    View details for PubMedID 8876201

  • Challenges in the quest for keystones BIOSCIENCE Power, M. E., Tilman, D., Estes, J. A., Menge, B. A., Bond, W. J., Mills, L. S., Daily, G., CASTILLA, J. C., Lubchenco, J., Paine, R. T. 1996; 46 (8): 609-620
  • Human appropriation of renewable fresh water SCIENCE Postel, S. L., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 1996; 271 (5250): 785-788
  • Managing earth's life support systems: The came, the players, and getting everyone to play ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R., Alberti, M. 1996; 6 (1): 19-21
  • Global change and human susceptibility to disease ANNUAL REVIEW OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 1996; 21: 125-144
  • Knowledge and perceptions in Costa Rica regarding environment, population, and biodiversity issues CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Holl, K. D., Daily, G. C., Ehrlich, P. R. 1995; 9 (6): 1548-1558


    Roughly 43 percent of Earth's terrestrial vegetated surface has diminished capacity to supply benefits to humanity because of recent, direct impacts of land use. This represents an approximately 10 percent reduction in potential direct instrumental value (PDIV), defined as the potential to yield direct benefits such as agricultural, forestry, industrial, and medicinal products. If present trends continue, the global loss of PDIV could reach approximately 20 percent by 2020. From a biophysical perspective, recovery of approximately 5 percent of PDIV is feasible over the next 25 years. Capitalizing on natural recovery mechanisms is urgently needed to prevent further irreversible degradation and to retain the multiple values of productive land.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995RK42700033

    View details for PubMedID 17841252


    View details for Web of Science ID A1993MF07000006

    View details for PubMedID 27759308

  • POPULATION EXTINCTION AND SAVING BIODIVERSITY AMBIO Ehrlich, P. R., Daily, G. C. 1993; 22 (2-3): 64-68


    Species in a Colorado subalpine ecosystem show subtle interdependences. Red-naped sapsuckers play two distinct keystone roles. They excavate nest cavities in fungus-infected aspens that are required as nest sites by two species of swallows, and they drill sap wells into willows that provide abundant nourishment for themselves, hummingbirds, orange-crowned warblers, chipmunks, and an array of other sap robbers. The swallows thus depend on, and the sap robbers benefit from, a keystone species complex comprised of sapsuckers, willows, aspens, and a heartwood fungus. Disappearance of any element of the complex could cause an unanticipated unraveling of the community.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993KH51600048

    View details for PubMedID 11607351


    View details for Web of Science ID A1993NG62200008

    View details for PubMedID 12290839



    A simple, globally aggregated, stochastic-simulation model was constructed to examine the effects of rapid climatic change on agriculture and the human population. The model calculates population size and the production, consumption and storage of grain under different climate scenarios over a 20-year projection time. In most scenarios, either an optimistic baseline annual increase of agricultural output of 1.7% or a more pessimistic appraisal of 0.9% was used. The rate of natural increase of the human population exclusive of excess hunger-related deaths was set as 1.7% per year and climatic changes with both negative and positive impacts on agriculture were assessed. Analysis of the model suggests that the number of hunger-related deaths could double (with reference to an estimated 200 million deaths in the past two decades) if grain production keeps pace with population growth but climatic conditions are unfavourable. If the rate of increase in grain production is about half that of population growth, the number of hunger-related deaths could increase about fivefold (over past levels); the impact of climatic change is relatively small under this imbalance. Even favourable climatic changes that enhance agricultural production may not prevent a fourfold increase in deaths (over past levels) under scenarios where population growth outpaces production by about 0.8% per annum. These results may foreshadow a fundamental change where, for the first time, absolute global food deficits compound inequities in food production and distribution in causing famine. The model also highlights the effectiveness of reducing population growth rates as a strategy for minimizing the impact of global climate change and maintaining food supplies for everyone.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1990ED14900012

    View details for PubMedID 1979448