Tim Newbold

Tim Newbold
University College London | UCL · Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment (GEE)

About

145
Publications
90,035
Reads
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9,726
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2016 - September 2021
University College London
Position
  • Royal Society University Research Fellow
September 2015 - present
University College London
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2010 - September 2015
UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (145)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The multiple climate tipping points potential (MCTP) is a novel metric in life-cycle assessment (LCA). It addresses the contribution of greenhouse gas emissions to disturb those processes in the Earth system, which could pass a tipping point and thereby trigger large, abrupt and potentially irreversible changes. The MCTP, however, does not...
Article
Despite substantial progress in understanding global biodiversity loss, major taxonomic and geographic knowledge gaps remain. Decision makers often rely on expert judgement to fill knowledge gaps, but are rarely able to engage with sufficiently large and diverse groups of specialists. To improve understanding of the perspectives of thousands of bio...
Article
Full-text available
Agriculture is one of the greatest pressures on biodiversity. Regional studies have shown that the presence of natural habitat and landscape heterogeneity are beneficial for biodiversity in agriculture, but it remains unclear whether their importance varies geographically. Here, we use local biodiversity data to determine which local and landscape...
Article
Full-text available
Several previous studies have investigated changes in insect biodiversity, with some highlighting declines and others showing turnover in species composition without net declines1–5. Although research has shown that biodiversity changes are driven primarily by land-use change and increasingly by climate change6,7, the potential for interaction betw...
Article
Full-text available
As agricultural land use and climate change continue to pose increasing threats to biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa, efforts are being made to identify areas where trade-offs between future agricultural development and terrestrial biodiversity conservation are expected to be greatest. However, little research so far has focused on freshwater biod...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Scenario analysis is a powerful tool that allows policymakers to explore plausible futures in a systematic manner. This technical briefing describes the process to translate the ‘storylines’ that emerged from a stakeholder workshop in Zambia in 2018, into maps of projected land cover change to 2050.
Article
Full-text available
Land-use change is the leading driver of global biodiversity loss thus characterising its impacts on the functional structure of ecological communities is an urgent challenge. Using a database describing vertebrate assemblages in different land uses, we assess how the type and intensity of land use affect the functional diversity of vertebrates glo...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic pressure has well‐documented effects on the spatial distribution of biodiversity but it can also have more subtle effects on wildlife, influencing the time of the day and for how long animals are active. These temporal effects have not received much attention from the scientific and conservation community, despite activity being intri...
Article
Rapid human-driven environmental changes are impacting animal populations around the world. Currently, land-use and climate change are two of the biggest pressures facing biodiversity. However, studies investigating the impacts of these pressures on population trends often do not consider potential interactions between climate and land-use change....
Article
Full-text available
Feedbacks are an essential feature of resilient socio-economic systems, yet the feedbacks between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are not fully accounted for in global policy efforts that consider future scenarios for human activities and their consequences for nature. Failure to integrate feedbacks in our knowledge frameworks...
Article
Full-text available
Few biodiversity indicators are available that reflect the state of broad-sense biodiversity—rather than of particular taxa—at fine spatial and temporal resolution. One such indicator, the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII), estimates how the average abundance of the native terrestrial species in a region compares with their abundances in the abse...
Article
Full-text available
Correction to: Nature Ecology & Evolution https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01454-8, published online 17 May 2021.
Article
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Aim: Land-use change leads to local climatic changes, which can induce shifts in community composition. Indeed, human-altered land uses favour species able to tolerate greater temperature and precipitation extremes. However, environmental changes do not impact species uniformly across their distributions, and most research exploring the impacts of...
Article
Full-text available
The global impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change are interlinked, but the feedbacks between them are rarely assessed. Areas with greater tree diversity tend to be more productive, providing a greater carbon sink, and biodiversity loss could reduce these natural carbon sinks. Here, we quantify how tree and shrub species richness could affe...
Article
Full-text available
Pollinating species are in decline globally, with land use an important driver. However, most of the evidence on which these claims are made is patchy, based on studies with low taxonomic and geographic representativeness. Here, we model the effect of land-use type and intensity on global pollinator biodiversity, using a local-scale database coveri...
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly intimate associations between human society and the natural environment are driving the emergence of novel pathogens, with devastating consequences for humans and animals alike. Prior to emergence, these pathogens exist within complex ecological systems that are characterized by trophic interactions between parasites, their hosts and t...
Article
Striving to feed a population set to reach almost 10 billion people by 2050 in a sustainable way is high on the research and policy agendas. Further intensification and expansion of agricultural lands would be of major concern for the environment and biodiversity. There is, therefore, a need to understand better the impacts on biodiversity from the...
Article
Full-text available
Global biodiversity is undergoing rapid declines, driven in large part by changes to land use and climate. Global models help us to understand the consequences of environmental changes for biodiversity, but tend to neglect important geographical variation in the sensitivity of biodiversity to these changes. Here we test whether biodiversity respons...
Article
Full-text available
Link to PDF: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1bj9-_9CgRSfa Assessing protected area (PA) effectiveness is key to ensure the objectives of habitat protection are being achieved. There is strong evidence that legal protection reduces loss of natural vegetation, but biodiversity loss can still happen without significant changes in vegetation cover. He...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Trait data are increasingly being used in studies investigating the impacts of global changes on the structure and functioning of ecological communities. Despite a growing number of trait data collations for terrestrial vertebrates, there is to date no global assessment of the gaps and biases the data present. Here, we assess whether terrestria...
Article
Full-text available
Increased efforts are required to prevent further losses to terrestrial biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it provides1,2. Ambitious targets have been proposed, such as reversing the declining trends in biodiversity³; however, just feeding the growing human population will make this a challenge⁴. Here we use an ensemble of land-use and bi...
Article
Full-text available
Land use change—for example, the conversion of natural habitats to agricultural or urban ecosystems—is widely recognized to influence the risk and emergence of zoonotic disease in humans1,2. However, whether such changes in risk are underpinned by predictable ecological changes remains unclear. It has been suggested that habitat disturbance might c...
Article
Full-text available
Perturbed ecosystems may undergo rapid and non-linear changes, resulting in ‘regime shifts’ to an entirely different ecological state. The need to understand the extent, nature, magnitude and reversibility of these changes is urgent given the profound effects that humans are having on the natural world. General ecosystem models, which simulate the...
Conference Paper
Land-use change – cropland expansion or intensification – is necessary to meet the food demand of an increasingly large and wealthy population, and it is one of the largest threats to biodiversity. Agricultural systems are dependent on the ecosystem services that biodiversity provides, including pollination, natural pest control and nutrient cyclin...
Article
A single target comparable to the 2°C climate target may help galvanize biodiversity policy
Article
Full-text available
Supplementary Materials for Climate change contributes to widespread declines among bumble bees across continents. Includes: Materials and Methods Supplementary Text Supplementary Acknowledgements Figures S1-S13 Tables S1-S8 References (22 - 59)
Article
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Increasing temperatures and declines One aspect of climate change is an increasing number of days with extreme heat. Soroye et al. analyzed a large dataset of bumble bee occurrences across North America and Europe and found that an increasing frequency of unusually hot days is increasing local extinction rates, reducing colonization and site occupa...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity models make an important contribution to our understanding of global biodiversity changes. The effects of different land uses vary across ecosystem types, yet most broad-scale models have failed to account for this variation. The effects of land use may be different in systems characterized by low water availability because of the unus...
Article
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The planetary boundary framework presents a ‘planetary dashboard’ of humanity’s globally aggregated performance on a set of environmental issues that endanger the Earth system’s capacity to support humanity. While this framework has been highly influential, a critical shortcoming for its application in sustainability governance is that it currently...
Article
Human land use has caused substantial declines in global species richness. Evidence from different taxonomic groups and geographic regions suggests that land use does not equally impact all organisms within terrestrial ecological communities, and that different functional groups of species may respond differently. In particular, we expect large car...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Climate and land‐use change, the greatest pressures on biodiversity, can directly influence each other. One key case is the impact land‐use change has on local climatic conditions: human‐altered areas are often warmer and drier than natural habitats. This can have multiple impacts on biodiversity and is a rapidly developing field of research. H...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid human population growth has driven conversion of land for uses such as agriculture, transportation and buildings. The removal of natural vegetation changes local climate, with human‐dominated land uses often warmer and drier than natural habitats. Yet, it remains an open question whether land‐use changes influence the composition of ecologica...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological systematic reviews and meta‐analyses have significantly increased our understanding of global biodiversity decline. However, for some ecological groups, incomplete and biased datasets have hindered our ability to construct robust, predictive models. One such group consists of the animal pollinators. Approximately 88% of wild plant specie...
Article
Anthropogenic land-use change causes substantial changes in local and global biodiversity. Rare and common species can differ in sensitivity to land-use change; rare species are expected to be affected more negatively. Rarity may be defined in terms of geographic range size, population density, or breadth of habitat requirements. How these 3 forms...
Preprint
Full-text available
This is the submitted version of a manuscript, submitted to Nature Ecology and Evolution, regarding the Biodiversity Intactness Index.
Article
Biodiversity continues to decline under the effect of multiple human pressures. We give a brief overview of the main pressures on biodiversity, before focusing on the two that have a predominant effect: land-use and climate change. We discuss how interactions between land-use and climate change in terrestrial systems are likely to have greater impa...
Article
Most current research on land‐use intensification addresses its potential to either threaten biodiversity or to boost agricultural production. However, little is known about the simultaneous effects of intensification on biodiversity and yield. To determine the responses of species richness and yield to conventional intensification, we conducted a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Tracking progress towards biodiversity targets requires indicators that are sensitive to changes at policy-relevant scales, can easily be aggregated to any spatial scale and are simple to understand. The Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII), which estimates the average abundance of a diverse set of organisms in a given area relative to their referen...
Article
A study of habitat loss associated with global trade reveals growing impacts on bird biodiversity and carbon sequestration. Overall increases in impacts are driven by changing consumption patterns and human population increases — and may be even greater if land-use intensification is considered.
Chapter
A growing human population coupled with increasing per capita consumption, changing diets, increasing food waste, and ineffective regulation, have led to rising demands on ecosystems for the services they supply [1].
Article
Full-text available
Human use of the land (for agriculture and settlements) has a substantial negative effect on biodiversity globally. However, not all species are adversely affected by land use, and indeed, some benefit from the creation of novel habitat. Geographically rare species may be more negatively affected by land use than widespread species, but data limita...
Data
Sensitivity of the estimated effect of land use on the abundance of widely and narrowly distributed species to variation in quality of underlying range-size estimates. Because sample size was much reduced in the most stringent subsets of the data, land use in these models was classified more coarsely than in the main models, into primary vegetation...
Data
Effects of proximity to roads, human population density, and length of landscape use by humans on RCAR. Separate effects are shown for each land use because interaction terms were significant (all P < 0.05). For clarity, shading shows ±0.5 × standard error rather than the 95% confidence interval. Distance to the nearest road is shown here as the ra...
Data
Locations of sites for subsets of the data of increasing stringency in terms of the quality of underlying range-size estimates. Data quality reflected variation in the quality of species’ range-size estimates and was measured as the estimated inventory completeness of GBIF records for each of 4 taxonomic groups (trachaeophytes, amphibians, mammals,...
Data
Effects of land use on RCAR, estimated based on GBIF-based measures of range size gridded at different resolutions. Effects of land use and land-use intensity using RCAR based on range occupancy using GBIF records, gridded at a spatial resolution of 110 km × 110 km (A), 55 km × 55 km (B), and 11 km × 11 km (C). Based on range extent using GBIF reco...
Data
Spatial autocorrelation in the model residuals. A Moran’s I test was applied to the residuals from the final models, dividing the residuals into the individual underlying surveys. The distribution of P values across the tests for each of the surveys is shown here, for measures of RCAR and RAR based on different underlying estimates of range size—ra...
Data
List of all references for underlying community data. These references are a subset of those in the PREDICTS database [21]. (DOCX)
Data
Spatial patterns in the residuals of the final model of RCAR as a function of human pressures. A map of each site included in the final model, where point colours represent the value of the model residuals for each site (blue = low; red = high), showing no discernible spatial pattern (A). The outline map is based on the World Bank map of river basi...
Data
Statistics explaining geographical variation in the strength of the response of RCAR to human land use. Linear models were used to explain the strength of the response of RCAR as a function of variables hypothesized to drive observed tropical-temperate differences. Variables considered were geographic zone (tropical versus temperate) itself, and 3...
Data
Definitions of the major land-use classes. Each site was classified into one of these classes based on the description of the habitat where the biodiversity sample was taken, as given in the underlying papers from which the biodiversity data were obtained (see S1 Text). (DOCX)
Data
Locations of surveys, and taxonomic and geographic representativeness of the data. The location of each survey whose data were included in the analysis (A), shown in the Lambert cylindrical equal area projection. Point diameters are proportional to the (loge) number of sites sampled by each survey and are translucent so areas of opaque color indica...
Data
Correspondence between estimates of RCAR based on different estimates of species’ range size. Estimates of range occupancy derived from records in the GBIF database were gridded at spatial resolutions of 110 km × 110 km, 55 km × 55 km, and 11 km × 11 km (A–C). A measure of range extent (a conceptually different measure of range size compared with t...
Data
Comparison of the effects of human land use on RCAR and on species richness, for individual underlying studies. Separate models were fitted for species richness and RCAR as a function of land use. For these models, land use was classified coarsely as either natural (primary or secondary vegetation) or human (plantation forests, croplands, pastures,...
Data
Sensitivity of the estimated effect of land use on RCAR to variation in quality of underlying range-size estimates. Because sample size was much reduced in the most stringent subsets of the data, land use in these models was classified more coarsely than in the main models into primary vegetation, secondary vegetation, and human land uses (combinin...
Data
Statistics explaining geographical variation in the strength of the response of RAR to human land use. Linear models were used to explain the strength of the response of RAR as a function of variables hypothesized to drive observed tropical-temperate differences. Variables considered were geographic zone (tropical versus temperate) itself, and 3 mo...
Data
Criteria used to classify land use and land-use intensity. The classification was made based on the description of the habitat given in the underlying papers from which the data were obtained (see S1 Text). (DOCX)
Preprint
Full-text available
When perturbed ecosystems undergo rapid and non-linear changes, this can result in 'regime shifts' to an entirely different ecological state. The need to understand the extent, nature, magnitude and reversibility of these changes is urgent given the profound effects that humans are having on the natural world. It remains very challenging to empiric...
Article
Full-text available
Most land on Earth has been changed by humans and past changes of land can have lasting influences on current species assemblages. Yet few globally representative studies explicitly consider such influences even though auxiliary data, such as from remote sensing, are readily available. Time series of satellite-derived data have been commonly used t...