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In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species’ population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.
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DOI: 10.1126/science.1187512
, 1164 (2010); 328Science
et al.Stuart H. M. Butchart,
Global Biodiversity: Indicators of Recent Declines
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between ORC binding and nucleosome turnover ,
suggesting that turnover facilitates ORC binding.
In contrast, other chromatin features that would
be exp ected for open or dynamic chromatin, in-
cluding nucleosome density, mononucleosome/
oligonucleosome ratio (a measure of micrococcal
nuclease accessibility), H2Av (an H2A.Z his-
tone variant enriched in active chromatin), and
salt-soluble nucleosomes, show little if any de-
pendence on ORC abundance (Fig. 3, H to P).
Our findings support the hypothesis that repli-
cation origins are determined by chromatin, not
by sequence features (20, 21). The better quan-
titative correspondence of ORC to CATCH-IT
data than to other chromatin measurements implies
that the ORC occupies DNA that is made acces-
sible by nucleosome turnover. In support of this
interpretation, we note that very similar corre-
spondences are seen when CATCH-IT data are
aligned with GAF sites (fig. S9) and that GAF
directs nucleosome turnover in vivo (22, 23).
Our direct strategy for measuring the kinetics
of nucleosome turnover does not rely on trans-
genes or antibodies but rather uses native his-
tones and generic reagents. Thus, CATCH-IT
provides a general tool for studying activities
that influence nucleosome turnover. With use of
CA TCH-IT , we found direct evidence that epige-
ne t i c maintenance involves nucleosome turnover,
a process that erases histone modifications (10).
The fact that EZ is responsible for di- and tri-
methylation of H3K27, but the nucleosomes that
it modifies turn over faster than a cell cycle,
argues against proposals that histone modifica-
tions required for cellular memory themselves
transmit epigenetic information (24). Rather, by
simply increasing or decreasing accessibility of
DNA to sequence-specific binding proteins, regu-
la te d nucleosome turnover may perpetuate active
or silent gene expression states and facilitate ini-
tiation of replication.
References and Notes
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25. We thank T. Furuyama for suggesting this approach,
members of our lab for helpful discussions, and the
Hutchinson Center Genomics Shared Resource for
microarray processing. This work was supported by NIH
grant 1R21DA025758 to S.H. and NIH Postdoctoral
Fellowship 1F32GM083449 to R.B.D. All data sets can be
found in GEO: GSE19788.
Supporting Online Material
Materials and Methods
Figs. S1 to S9
Table S1
7 January 2010; accepted 1 April 2010
Global Biodiversity: Indicators of
Recent Declines
Stuart H. M. Butchart,
* Matt Walpole,
Ben Collen,
Arco van Strien,
rn P. W. Scharlemann,
Rosamunde E. A. Almond,
Jonathan E. M. Baillie,
Bastian Bomhard,
Claire Brown,
John Bruno,
Kent E. Carpenter,
Geneviève M. Carr,
Janice Chanson,
Anna M. Chenery,
Jorge Csirke,
Nick C. Davidson,
Frank Dentener,
Matt Foster,
Alessandro Galli,
James N. Galloway,
Piero Genovesi,
Richard D. Gregory,
Marc Hockings,
Valerie Kapos,
Jean-Francois Lamarque,
Fiona Leverington,
Jonathan Loh,
Melodie A. McGeoch,
Louise McRae,
Anahit Minasyan,
Monica Hernández Morcillo,
Thomasina E. E. Oldfield,
Daniel Pauly,
Suhel Quader,
Carmen Revenga,
John R. Sauer,
Benjamin Skolnik,
Dian Spear,
Damon Stanwell-Smith,
Simon N. Stuart,
Andy Symes,
Megan Tierney,
Tristan D. Tyrrell,
Jean-Christophe Vié,
Reg Watson
In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve
a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report
on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species
population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition)
showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures
on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution,
overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes
and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas,
sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related
aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.
n 2002 , world leaders committed, through the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),
to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of
the current rate of biodiversity loss (1), and this
2010 target has been incorporated into the
United Nations Millennium Development Goals
in recognition of the impact of biodiversity loss
on human well-being (2). The CBD created a
framework of indicators to measure biodiversity
loss at the level of genes, populations, species,
and ecosystems (3, 4). Although a minority have
been published individually (5), hitherto they have
not been synthesized to provide an integrated
outcome. Despite suggestions that the target is
unlikelytobe(68), or has not been (4, 9, 10),
met, we test this empirically using a broad suite of
biodiversity indicators.
To evaluate achievement of the 2010 tar get,
we (i) determined the trend, and timing and direction
of significant inflections in trend for individual
indicators (11) and (ii) calculated aggregated in-
dices relating to the state of biodiversity, pres-
sures upon it, policy and management responses,
and the state of benefits (ecosystem services) that
people derive from biodiversity, using the best
available sources. T o calculate aggregate indices,
we first scaled each of 24 indicators (out of 31)
with availabl e trend information to a value of 1 in
the first year with data from 1970 onward (only
eight indicators had earlier trends) and calculated
annual proportional change from this first year.
Then we used a generalized additive modeling
framework (5, 12, 13) and determined significant
inflections (12). Although absolute values are
difficult to interpret because they aggregate dif-
ferent elements of biodiversity, this approach
permits a synthetic interpretation of rate changes
across the elements measured: For example, the
aggregated state index should show positive
inflections if biodiversity loss has been signifi-
cantly reduced.
28 MAY 2010 VOL 328 SCIENCE
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Our analyses suggest that biodiversity has
continued to decline over the past four decades,
with most (8 out of 10) state indicators showing
negative trends (Fig. 1 and Table 1). There have
been declines in population trends of (i) ver-
tebrates (13) and (ii) habitat specialist birds; (iii)
shorebird populations worldwide; extent of (iv)
forest (14, 15); (v) mangroves; (vi) seagrass beds;
and (vii) the condition of coral reefs. None show
significant recent reductions in the rate of decline
(Table 1), which is either fluctuating (i), stable (ii),
based on too few data to test significance (iii to vi),
or stable after a deceleration two decades ago (vii).
Two indicators, freshwater quality and trophic in-
tegrity in the marine ecosystem, show stable and
marginally improving trends, respectively, which
are likely explained by geographic biases in data
availability for the former and spatial expansion
of fisheries for the latter (5). Aggregated trends
across state indicators have declined, with no sig-
nificant recent reduction in rate: The most recent
inflection in the index (in 1972) was negative (Fig.
2). Because there were fewer indicators with trend
data in the 1970s, we recalculated the index from
1980, which also showed accelerating biodiversity
loss: The most recent inflection (2004) was neg-
ative. Finally, aggregated species extinction risk
(i.e., biodiversity loss at the species level) has ac-
celerated: The International Union for Conservation
of Nature ( IUCN) Red List Index (RLI), measuring
rate of change (16, 17), shows negative trends.
The majority of indicators of pressures on
biodiversity show increasing trends over recent
decades (Fig. 1 and Table 1), with increases in (i)
aggregate human consumption of the planets
ecological assets, (ii) deposition of reactive nitro-
gen, (iii) number of alien species in Europe, (iv)
proportion of fish stocks overharvested, and (v)
impact of climate change on European bird pop-
ulation trends (18). In no case was there a signif-
icant reduction in the rate of increase (Table 1),
which was stable (i, iii, and v), fluctuating (iv), or
based on too few data to test significance (ii),
although g rowth in global nitrogen deposition may
have slowed, and this may explain why the most
recent inflection in aggregated trends (in 2006)
was negative (Fig. 2) (5). Global trends for
habitat fragmentation are unavailable, but it is
probably increasing; for example, 80% of remain-
ing Atlantic Forest fragments are <0.5 km
size (19), and 59% of larg e river systems are
moderately or strongly fragmented by dams and
reservoirs (20).
United Nations Environment Programme W orld Conservation
Monitoring Centre, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3
0DL, UK.
BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Cambridge
CB3 0NA, UK.
Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of
London, RegentsPark,LondonNW14RY,UK.
Netherlands, Post Office Box 24500, The Hague, 2490 HA,
Department of Marine Sciences, University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 340 Chapman Hall, CB 3300,
Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International
Global Marine Species Assessment, Biological Sciences, Old
Nations Environment Programme, Global Environment Mon-
itoring System Water, c/o National Water Research Institute,
867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario L7R 4A6, Canada.
IUCN Species Survival Commission, Conservation Interna-
tional, Biodiversity Assessment Unit, c/o Center for Applied
Biodiversity Science, Conservation International, 2011 Crystal
Drive, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22202, USA.
Fisheries and
Aquaculture Management Division, Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Terme di
Caracalla 00153, Rome, Italy.
Convention on Wetlands, Rue Mauverney 28, 1196 Gland,
European Commission Joint Research Centre,
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, TP290, Via
Enrico Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra (VA), Italy.
Center for
Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International,
2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22202, USA.
Global Footprint Network, 312 Clay Street, Suite 300,
Oakland, CA 946073510, USA.
Environmental Sciences
Department, University of Virginia, Ch arlot tesv ille, VA
22903, U SA.
Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la
Ricerca Ambientale, Via Curtatone 3, I-00185 Rome, Italy.
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, Sandy
SG19 2DL, UK, and European Bird Census Council.
School of I ntegrative Systems, University of Queensland,
St. Lucia, Brisbane, Qld 4067, Australia.
Department of
Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cam-
bridge CB2 3EJ, UK.
National Center for Atmospheric
Research, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO 80301, USA.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Internat ional, 1196 Gland,
South African National Parks, Centre for
Invasion Biology and Global Invasive Species Programme,
Post Office Box 216, Steenberg 7947, South Africa.
Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization,
7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris, France.
International, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL,
Sea Around Us Project, Fisheries Centre, University of
British Columbia, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4,
National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata
Institute of Fundamental Research, GKVK Campus, Bellary
Road, Bangalore 560 065, India.
The Nature Conservancy,
4245 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203, USA.
Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, 12100
Beech Forest Road, Laurel, MD 207084039, USA.
ican Bird Conservancy, 1731 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., 3rd
Floor, Washington, DC 20009, USA.
Centre for Invasion
Biology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland
7602, South Africa.
IUCN Species Survival Commission,
Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath,
Bath BA2 7AY, UK.
Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, Post
Office Box 45553, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Rue Mauverney 28, 1196 Gland, Switzerland.
*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
Present address: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 15
Eddy, Gatineau QC K1A 0H4, Canada.
Fig. 1. Indicator trends for (A)thestateofbiodiversity,(B) pressures upon it, (C) responses to address its
loss, and (D) the benefits humans derive from it. Data scaled to 1 in 1970 (or for first year of data if
>1970), modeled (if >13 data points; see Table 1), and plotted on a logarithmic ordinate axis. Shading
shows 95% confidence intervals except where unavailable (i.e., mangrove, seagrass, and forest extent,
nitrogen deposition, and biodiversi tyaid).WBI,WildBirdIndex;WPSI,Waterbird Population Status Index;
LPI, Living Planet Index; RLI, Red List Index; IBA, Important Bird Area; AZE, Alliance for Zero Extinction
site; IAS, invasive alien species. SCIENCE VOL 328 28 MAY 2010
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Table 1. Summary of global biodiversity indicator trends.
% Change since
Mean annual % change§
Trends in
rate of change
1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s Since 1970
Living Planet Index (LPI)
(mean population trends of vertebrates)
19702006 31* 0.2 1.4 1.4 0.9 1.0 F
Wild Bird Index [mean population trends
of habitat specialists in Europe and North
America, disaggregated for terrestrial (t)
and wetland (w) species]
19802007 2.6*
D 19822007
Waterbird Population Status Index
(% shorebird populations increasing,
stable, or decreasing)
19852005†–33 1.4 2.0 2.4 2.0 A?
Red List Index (RLI) (extinction risk of
mammals, birds, amphibians, and corals)
19862008 6.1* 0.1 0.2 0.5 0.3 A
Marine Trophic Index
(shift in fishing catch from top
predators to lower trophic levels)
19502006 +3.0* +0.1 0.1 +0.1 +0.1 +0.1 S
Forest extent 19902005†–3.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 S?
Mangrove extent 19802005†–19 1.0 0.7 0.7 0.8 S?
Seagrass extent 19302003†–20 0.4 0.5 0.5 2.4 0.7 A?
Coral reef condition
(live hard coral cover)
19802004 38* 3.9 0.3 +0.2 1.8 D 19851988
Water Quality Index
(physical/chemical quality of freshwater)
19802005 0 +0.1 +0.0 0.2 +0 S
Number of state indicators declining 2/3 8/9 8/10 7/10 8/10
Ecological footprint
(humanitys aggregate resource-consumption)
19612006 +78* +2.0 +1.3 +1.3 +2.1 +1.6 S
Nitrogen deposition rate
(annual reactive N deposited)
18502005 +35 +2.0 +1.3 0.3 +0.2 +0.9 D?
No. alien species in Europe
(Mediterranean marine, mammal, and freshwater)
19702007 +76* +2.0 +1.4 +1.6 +1.1 +1.5 S
Exploitation of fish stocks
(% overexploited, fully exploited, or depleted)
19742006 +31* +0.6 +0.6 +1.1 +1.2 +0.9 F
Climatic Impact Indicator
(degree to which European bird population trends
have responded in the direction
expected from climate change)
19802005 +23* 0.8 +3.2 +1.2 +1.2 S
Number of pressure indicators increasing 4/4 4/5 4/5 5/5 5/5
Extent of Protected Areas (PAs) 18882006 +400* +7.6 +4.5 +3.4 +2.4 +4.7 S
Coverage by PAs of Important
Bird Areas and Alliance for Zero Extinction sites
18882009 +360* +5.6 +4.6 +2.6 +0.8 +3.4 D 19992008
Area of forest under sustainable
management (FSC certified)
19952008 +12,000* +100 +20 +46 D 2006
International IAS policy adoption
(no. signatories to conventions
with provision for tackling IAS)
19522008 +2700* +10 +6.9 +14 +5.1 +9.1 S
National IAS policy adoption
(% countries with relevant legislation)
19642009 +10,000* +30 +8.7 +12 +4.1 +13 D 20042009
Official development assistance
per year provided in support of CBD)
20052007 +17 +8.4 +8.3 D?
Number of response indicators increasing 4/4 4/4 5/5 6/6 6/6
LPI for utilized vertebrate populations 19702006 15* +1.0 0.3 1.3 1.7 0.4 A 19722006
RLI for species used for food and medicine 19862008 3.5* 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 A
RLI for bird species in international trade 19882008 0.5* 0.01 0.03 0.02 0.03 A
Number of benefits indicators declining 0/1 3/3 3/3 3/3 3/3
*Significant trends (P < 0.05). Identifies indicators with insufficient data to test significance of post-1970 trends, usually because annual estimates are unavailable. Since earliest
date with data if this is post-1970. §Because the indicators measure different parameters, some comparisons of mean annual % change between indicators are less meaningful than
comparisons between decades for the same indicator. Rate of change decelerating (D), accelerating (A), stable (S, i.e., no years with significant changes), fluctuating (F, i.e., a sequence of
significant positive and negative changes), or with too few data points to test significance (?); years indicate periods in which second derivatives differed significantly from zero (P < 0.05).
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All indicators of policy and management
responses show increasing trends (Fig. 1 and
Table 1), with increases in (i) extent of protected
areas (PAs) (Table 2); (ii) coverage by PAs of two
subsets of Key Biodiversity Areas (21) [39% of
the area of 10,993 Important Bird Areas and 42%
of the area of 561 Alliance for Zero Extinction
sites (22) by 2009]; (iii) area of sustainably
managed forests [1.6 million km
under Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) certification by 2007];
(iv) proportion of eligible countries signing inter-
national agreements relevant to tackling invasive
alien species (IAS) [reaching 82% by 2008 (23)];
(v) proportion of countries with national legisla-
tion to control and/or limit the spread and impact
of IAS [reaching 55% by 2009 (23)]; and (vi)
biodiversity-related aid (reaching US$3.13 billion
in 2007). The rate of increase was stable (i and iv),
slowing (ii, iii, and v), or based on too few data to
test significance (vi) (T able 1). The last three in-
flections in aggregated trends (2002, 2004, and
2008) were all negative (Fig. 2), indicating that
the rate of improvement has slowed. T w o other
indicators have only baseline estimates: Manage-
ment effectiveness was sound for 22% of PAs
(basic for 65% and clearly inadequate for
13%), and the proportion of genetic diversity for
200 to 300 important crop species conserved ex
situ in gene banks was estimated to be 70% (24).
Only three indicators address trends in the
benefits humans derive from biodiversity (Fig.
1 and Table 1): (i) population trends of utilized
vertebrates have declined by 15% since 1970, a nd
aggregate species extinction risk has increased
Fig. 2. Aggregated indices of (A)thestateofbio-
diversity based on nine indicators of species population
trends, habitat extent and condition, and community
composition; (B) pressures on biodiversity based on five
indicators of ecological footprint, nitrogen deposition,
numbers of alien species, overexploitation, and climatic
impacts; and (C) responses for biodiversity based on six
indicators of protected area extent and biodiversity cov-
erage, policy responses to invasive alien species, sustain-
able forest management, and biodiversity- related aid.
Values in 1970 set to 1. Shading shows 95% confidence
intervals derived from 1000 bootstraps. Significant
positive/upward (open circles) and negati ve/downward
(filled circles) inflections are indicated.
Table 2. Examples of successes and positive trends relevant to the 2010 target (5).
Indicator Successes and positive trends
Living Planet Index of Palearctic
vertebrate populations
Increased by 43% since 1970 (e.g., Eurasian beaver and common buzzard)
Waterbird populations in
North America and Europe
Increased by 44% since 1980 owing to wetland protection and sustainable management
(but populations remain below historic levels).
Species downlisted on the
IUCN Red List
Species qualifying for downlisting to lower categories of extinction risk owing to successful
conservation action include 33 birds since 1988 (e.g., Lears macaw), 25 mammals since
1996 (e.g., European bison), and 5 amphibians since 1980 (e.g., Mallorcan midwife toad).
Wild Bird Index and Red List
Index for species listed on the
European Union Birds Directive
Annex 1listed species population trends have improved in EU countries (27) and
extinction risk reduced (RLI increased 0.46% during 19942004) owing to designation of
Special Protected Areas and implementation of Species Action Plans under the directive
(e.g., white-tailed eagle).
Extinctions prevented At least 16 bird species extinctions were prevented by conservation actions during 19942004,
e.g., black stilt (28).
Water Quality Index in Asia Improved by 7.4% since 1970.
Deforestation in
Amazonian Brazil
Slowed from 2.8 million ha in 20032004 to 1.3 million ha in 20072008, but it is uncertain
to what extent this was driven by improved enforcement of legislation versus reduced
demand owing to economic slowdown.
National biodiversity strategies
and action plans (NBSAPs)
87% of countries have now developed NBSAPs and therefore have outlined coherent plans
for tackling biodiversity loss at the national scale.
Protected areas (PAs) Nearly 133,000 PAs designated, now covering 25.8 million km
: 12% of the terrestrial
surface (but only 0.5% of oceans and 5.9% of territorial seas), e.g., Juruena National Park,
Brazil, designated in 2006, covering 19,700 km
of Amazon/cerrado habitat.
Invasive alien species (IAS)
policy, eradication, and control
82% of eligible countries have signed international agreements relevant to preventing the
spread and promoting the control/eradication of IAS. Successful eradications/control of IAS
include pigs on Clipperton Atoll, France (benefiting seabirds and land crabs), cats, goats and
sheep on Natividad, Mexico (benefiting black-vented shearwater), and red fox in southwest
Australia (benefiting western brush wallaby).
Official development
assistance for biodiversity
Increased to at least US$3.13 billion in 2007. SCIENCE VOL 328 28 MAY 2010 1167
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at an accelerating rate (as shown by the RLI) for
(ii) mammals, birds, and amphibian species used
for food and medicine (with 23 to 36% of such
species threatened with extinction) and (iii) birds
that are internationally traded (principally for the
pet trade; 8% threatened). T rends are not yet
available for plants and other important utilized
animal groups. Thr ee other indicators, which lack
trend data, show (iv) 21% of domesticated an-
imal breeds are at risk of extinction (and 9% are
already extinct); (v) languages spoken by fewer
than 1000 people (22% of the current 6900 lan-
guages) have lost speakers over the past 40 years
and are in danger of disappearing within th is
century (loss of linguistic diversity being a proxy
for loss of indigenous biodiversity knowled ge);
and (vi) more than 100 million poor people live
in remote areas within threatened ecoregions and
are therefore likely to be particularly dependent
upon biodiversity and the ecosystem services it
Indicator development has progressed sub-
stantially since the 2010 target was set. However,
there are considerable gaps and heterogeneity in
geographic, taxonomic, and temporal coverage
of existing indicators, with fewer data for devel-
oping countries, for nonvertebrates, and from
before 1980 and after 2005 (4, 5, 25). Interlink-
ages between indicators and the degree to which
they are representative are incompletely under-
stood. In addition, there are gaps for several key
aspects of state, pressures, responses, and espe-
cially benefits (4, 5, 7, 26).
Despite these challenges, there are sufficient
data on key dimensions of biodiversity to con-
clude that at the global scale it is highly unlikely
that the 2010 target has been met. Neither indi-
vidual nor ag gregated indicators of the state of
biodiversity showed significant reductions in their
rates of decline, apart from coral reef condition,
for which there has been no further deceleration
in decline since the mid-1980s. Furthermore, all
pressure indicators showed increasing trends, with
none significantly deceler ating. Some local syste m-
specific exceptions with positive trends for par-
ticular populations, taxa, and habitats (T ab le 2)
suggest that, with political will and adequate re-
sources, biodiversity loss can be reduced or re-
versed. More generally, individual and aggregated
response indicators showed increasing trends, albeit
at a decelerating rate (and with little direct infor-
mation on whether such actions are effective).
Overall, ef forts to stem biodiversity loss have clearly
been inadequate, with a growing mismatch between
increasing pressures and slowing responses.
Our results show that, despite a few encour-
aging achievements, efforts to address the loss of
biodiversity need to be substantially strengthened
by reversing detrimental policies, fully integrating
biodiversity into broad-scale land-use planning,
incorporating its economic value adequately into
decision making, and sufficiently tar geting, funding
and implementing policies that tackle biodiversity
loss, among other measures. Sustained investment
in coherent global biodiversity monitoring and in-
dicators is essential to track and improve the ef-
fectiveness of these responses.
References and Notes
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2010 target and integration of targets into the
thematic programmes of work, COP 8 Decision VIII/15
(, 2006).
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5. Further information is available as supporting material
on Science Online.
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29. We are grateful for comments, data, or help from
R. Akçakaya, L. Alvarez-Filip, A. Angulo, L. Bennun,
L. Coad, N. Cox, M. Dubé, C. Estreguil, M. Evans,
B. Galil, V. Gaveau, F. Gherardi, S. Goldfinger, R. Green,
A. Grigg, P. Herkenrath, C. Hilton-Taylor, M. Hoffmann,
E. Kleynhans, J. Lamoreux, S. Livingstone, E. Marais,
P. Martin, I. May, A. Milam, K. Noonan-Mooney, H. Pavese,
B. Polidoro, C. Pollock, D. Pritchard, J. Schipper,
F. Schutyser, V. Shutte, S. Simons, J. S
A. Stattersfield, P. Voříšek, R. Wright, M. Wackernagel,
and M. Waycott. We acknowledge support from the Global
Environment Facility to the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators
Partnership; Shell Foundation; European Commission; the
Sea Around Us Project (University of British Columbia/Pew
Environment Group) to D.P. and R.W.; World Wildlife
Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and the University of
Queensland to M.H. and F.L.; T. Haas and the New
Hampshire Charitable Foundation to K.E.C.; and the
National Science Foundation (NSF) to J.-F.L. Opinions
and findings expressed here do not necessarily reflect the
views of the NSF or other funding bodies.
Supporting Online Material
SOM Text
Figs. S1 and S2
Tables S1 to S4
Data File 1
26 January 2010; accepted 8 April 2010
Published online 29 April 2010;
Include this information when citing this paper.
Plectasin, a Fungal Defensin,
Targets the Bacterial Cell Wall
Precursor Lipid II
Tanja Schneider,
Thomas Kruse,
Reinhard Wimmer,
Imke Wiedemann,
Vera Sass,
Ulrike Pag,
Andrea Jansen,
Allan K. Nielsen,
Per H. Mygind,
Dorotea S. Raventós,
Søren Neve,
Birthe Ravn,
Alexandre M. J. J. Bonvin,
Leonardo De Maria,
Anders S. Andersen,
Lora K. Gammelgaard,
Hans-Georg Sahl,
Hans-Henrik Kristensen
Host defense peptides such as defensins are components of innate immunity and have retained
antibiotic activity throughout evolution. Their activity is thought to be due to amphipathic
structures, which enable binding and disruption of microbial cytoplasmic membranes. Contrary to
this, we show that plectasin, a fungal defensin, acts by directly binding the bacterial cell-wall
precursor Lipid II. A wide range of genetic and biochemical approaches identify cell-wall
biosynthesis as the pathway targeted by plectasin. In vitro assays for cell-wall synthesis identified
Lipid II as the specific cellular target. Consistently, binding studies confirmed the formation of an
equimolar stoichiometric complex between Lipid II and plectasin. Furthermore, key residues in
plectasin involved in complex formation were identified using nuclear magnetic resonance
spectroscopy and computational modeling.
lectasin is a 40amino acid residue fungal
defensin produced by the saprophytic as-
comycete Pseudoplectania nigrella (1).
Plectasin shares primary structural features with
defensins from spiders, scorpions, dragonflies and
mussels and folds into a cystine-stabilized alpha-
28 MAY 2010 VOL 328 SCIENCE
on May 27, 2010 www.sciencemag.orgDownloaded from
... The loss of biodiversity in the world due to human action is notorious (Ripple et al. 2021;Caro et al. 2022) with visible effects in many parts of the world (Butchart et al. 2010;Ceballos et al. 2017;Habel et al. 2019) including Brazil (Solar et al. 2016; Barlow et al. 2016;Bockmann et al. 2018;Gonçalves-Souza et al. 2021). These setbacks associated with sequential cuts in public funding for research (Fernandes et al. 2017;Escobar 2019;Andrade 2019;Hipólito et al. 2021;Kowaltowski 2021) have put researchers in an unfavorable situation. ...
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The effect of human activities on the suppression of biodiversity is visibly evident throughout the world. Monitoring and conservation services are usually expensive in terms of time and money, and potential savings in these areas are always welcome. The higher-taxon approach has been used as a possible alternative to overcome these impediments. However, there is little information about the effect of sample size on the effectiveness of the higher-taxon approach, mainly with empirical data. Using an extensive database, which compiles information on the distribution of ants between the years 1886 and 2020, I verified the effect of sample size on the predictive power of the higher-taxon approach in Brazil. I evaluated the effect of sample size on the predictive power of the Genus and Subfamily to represent species richness and composition at the spatial scales of State and Biomes. The associations between coarser taxonomic units and species-level are strong at both spatial scales, with metrics of richness and composition. In general, the genus has the results with the highest coefficients regardless of spatial scales. The sample size effect was sporadic and did not dramatically affect the effectiveness of the surrogates. Regardless of the possible biases that data compiled from the literature and taxonomic collections may have due to lack of standardization, coarser taxonomic units (Genus and Subfamily) were efficient predictors of species-level in Brazilian states and biomes. It reinforces the potential to save costs in monitoring and conserving ant biodiversity in a wide space-environmental gradient.
... In diversen internationalen Zusammenkünften, wie der Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), wurde und wird immer wieder über den Verlust der globalen biologischen Vielfalt diskutiert und Ziele zur Eindämmung vereinbart (vgl.Johnson et al., 2017). So verpflichteten sich beispielsweise 2002 internationale Regierungen, im Rahmen der CBD bis zum Jahr 2010 eine Verringerung der Verlustrate der biologischen Vielfalt zu erwirken, was nicht erreicht werden konnte(Butchart et al., 2010). Auf das Ziel für 2010 folgten die Aichi-Biodiversitätsziele für den Zeitraum von 2011 bis 2020, die sich auf zwanzig Ziele beschränkten, die jedoch sehr konkret an bestimmten Indikatoren messbar sein sollten(Marques et al., 2014). ...
In der hier vorgelegten Promotionsarbeit wird das Potenzial gruppenbasierter und semistrukturierter Aushandlungsprozesse analysiert. In einer entsprechenden Interventionsstudie mit Pre- und Post-Analysen wurden 146 Schüler:innen einer Gesamtschule in Niedersachsen/Deutschland aufgefordert, Begründungen zu acht selbstentwickelten Argumenten zu einem Thema über den Erhalt der lokalen Biodiversität, einem bioethischen Konflikt im Rahmen von nachhaltiger Entwicklung, vor und nach einer gruppenbasierten Aushandlung zu formulieren und diese zu gewichten. Zu diesem Zweck verwendeten die Schüler:innen in allen Phasen die Zielmat als ein Instrument zur Strukturierung des Bewertungsprozesses. Die Begründungen wurden inhaltsanalytisch hinsichtlich der Nutzung argumentativer Ressourcen analysiert. Darüber hinaus wurde die Richtung der Veränderungen der Begründungen nach der Aushandlung qualitativ verglichen und die Veränderung der Gewichtungen quantitativ berechnet. Bei diesen Analysen wurden individuelle Gewichtungen und Begründungen beider Phasen und die Veränderung der Gewichtungen mit den Gruppengewichtungen verglichen. Die Ergebnisse der Begründungen zeigen, dass die Schüler:innen bereits vor dem Aushandlungsprozess über eine Bandbreite an argumentativen Ressourcen (nämlichen faktenbasierte und normative Ressourcen) verfügen. Die Ergebnisse des Vergleichs der Begründungen von der Pre- zur Post-Phase zeigen, dass etwa ein Drittel aller Begründungen verändert wurden. Die Richtung der Veränderung ist zudem sehr divers, da die Schüler:innen die Begründungen widerlegten, revidierten, aber auch bestätigten und verstärkten. Ebenso wurde etwa ein Drittel aller Gewichtungen in der Post-Phase verändert. Ein Vergleich der Gewichtungsänderung der Pre- zu Post-Phase mit der Gruppengewichtung zeigt, dass diese der Tendenz der Gruppengewichtung entspricht. Die Ergebnisse dieser Studie machen auf das Potenzial gruppenbasierter Aushandlungsprozesse in bioethischen Konflikten aufmerksam, nämlich die Aktivierung relevanter argumentativer Ressourcen und die Initiierung tiefer und revidierender Denkprozesse. Darüber hinaus zeigen die Daten das besondere Potenzial der in der Studie verwendeten Zielmat, nämlich die Unterstützung komplexer und sonst für Schüler:innen überfordernder kompensatorischer Gewichtungsstrategien.
... Human population growth, and the resulting expansion of anthropogenic infrastructure, including roads, utility corridors, buildings and energy facilities, can pose a major threat to wildlife populations and biodiversity [1][2][3], but see [4]. In order to meet the rising energy demands of modern economies there has been a rapid development of infrastructure associated with energy production [5][6][7], much of which is taking place in ecosystems previously unfragmented by human activities [8]. ...
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Energy infrastructure is expanding at a global scale and can represent a major threat to wildlife populations. Power lines are one of the main sources of human-induced avian mortality due to electrocution or collision, but many species use electricity pylons as a structure for nesting. Pylon nesting results in human-wildlife conflict because it can cause power outages and structural damage to power lines. The white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a large-size semicolonial species that increasingly nests on pylons, causing growing operational and economic issues to power companies and energy consumers. In this study, the likelihood of problematic pylon use by nesting storks was predicted using a suite of explanatory variables related to the availability of foraging habitat and human disturbance. During a five-year period (2015–2019), we assessed the distribution of stork nests removed from the highly-risky top part of transmission pylons (220–400 kV) by power company technicians in South western Spain. A total of 839 nests were removed from 11% of the transmission pylons (n = 1196) during the study period. Pylon use intensified on pylons located near to landfills, surrounded by high proportion of grassland, and when close to freshwater sources (water body or river) and other occupied pylons. Human disturbance was unlikely to deter storks from using pylons and pylon use increased in urban areas. The approach used here to predict pylon use by nesting birds has applications for both human-wildlife conflict mitigation and conservation purposes where endangered species use human infrastructure. Power companies may use this kind of information to install anti-nesting devices (to reduce power outages and avian mortality or nesting platforms on suitable pylons (to promote pylons use by endangered species), and to account for the likelihood of conflict-prone use of pylons when siting future power lines.
... In addition, PAs frequently contain priceless landscapes, are important markers of accelerated climate change, and may be impacted by other human-caused changes (such as modifications to the climate and patterns of land use) and degradation (Gaston et al., 2008). Even though special protection is provided by conservation efforts within PAs in many parts of the world, biodiversity continues to decline (Butchart et al., 2010). Even in the most well-protected and managed ecosystems, plant invasion is anticipated to be one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss (Lindars et al., 2003). ...
Full-text available
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Global change increasingly threatens nature, endangering the ecosystem services human wellbeing depends upon. Biodiversity potentially mediates these impacts by providing resilience to ecosystems. While biodiversity has been linked to resilience and ecosystem service supply on smaller scales, we lack understanding of whether mediating interactions between biodiversity and anthropogenic drivers are global and ubiquitous, and how they might differ between systems. Here, we examine the potential for biodiversity to mediate anthropogenic driver-ecosystem service relationships using global datasets across three distinct systems: mountains, islands and deltas. We found that driver-ecosystem service relationships were stronger where biodiversity was more intact, and weaker at higher species richness, reflecting the negative correlation between intactness and richness. Mediation was most common in mountains, then islands, then deltas; reducing with anthropogenic impact. Such patterns were found across provisioning and regulating ecosystem services, and occurred most commonly with climate change and built infrastructure. Further, we investigated the contribution of biodiversity and abiotic and anthropogenic drivers to ecosystem services. Ecosystem service supply was associated with abiotic and anthropogenic drivers alongside biodiversity, but all drivers were important to different ecosystem services. Our results empirically show the importance of accounting for the different roles that biodiversity plays in mediating human relationships with nature, and reinforce the importance of maintaining intact biodiversity in ecosystem functioning.
Globally, the need for railways to adapt to the impacts of climate change is increasing rapidly. Nature-based Solutions (NbS) have been identified as potential climate change adaptation (CCA) options for rail infrastructure; however, the limited number of examples of their application on railways highlights that many factors still need to be considered to enable their wider implementation. This study identifies barriers to NbS uptake by the rail industry through a systematic literature review, categorising them into seven key themes, whilst also considering potential tools to facilitate their uptake. The ongoing development of NbS standards and guidance is confirmed as a means to resolve the barriers likely to be faced. A framework to support the uptake of NbS in the rail industry is presented and discussed in the context of the existing literature, with climate change risk assessments being recognised as the entry point for CCA in rail infrastructure management.
Full-text available
This study aimed to investigate the plant diversity, plant traits, and environmental variables along the tropical urbanization gradient in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. The study areas comprised 12 sampling plots sized 1 km2 that represented different urbanization intensities. Urbanization intensity was quantified as the percentage of the built-up area within a 1 km2 area. A total of 96 woody plant species belonging to 71 genera and 42 families were found in the study areas. In general, species diversity, richness, and evenness declined significantly as urbanization intensity increased. The number of native species reduced by 67.6% when urbanization intensity increased from wildland to suburban while the non-native species remained stable along the urbanization gradient. Regarding the plant traits, tree height decreased with increasing urbanization intensity, while no significant result was found for specific leaf areas. All environmental factors were significantly associated with urbanization where air temperature and light intensity showed a positive relationship with increasing urbanization intensity while the opposite trend was found for air humidity. This study emphasizes the importance of built-up areas as the predictor of native species in the tropics. The findings of this study may help town planners and policymakers to create more sustainable urban development in the future.
Full-text available
Trees in urban areas provide important ecosystem services and are an essential element of urban green space. The constant increase in artificial light from anthropogenic activities around the world creates photopollution that affects the phenology and physiology of plants. Here we conducted a field study to investigate the anthropogenic impacts on six urban trees (Saraca asoca, Terminalia catappa, Bauhinia variegata, Holoptelea integrifolia, Ficus benjamina and Thevetia peruviana) using chlorophyll fluorescence analysis. OJIP curve, maximum quantum yield of primary photochemistry (ΦPo), quantum yield of electron transport (ΦEo), probability that an absorbed photon will be dissipated (ΦDo), photosynthetic performance index (PIcsm) and reaction center photochemistry were assessed. According to the results, various parameters of chlorophyll fluorescence showed significant and important effects on different tree species. T. peruviana and F. benjamina were found to be tolerant to street lighting, while on the other hand, S. asoca, T. catappa, B. variegata and H. integrifolia were found to be sensitive to artificial light induced by street lamps. This study clearly indicates that chlorophyll fluorescence analysis is a potent method for screening the tolerance of tree species to photopollution induced by artificial lights.
Biodiversity describes the variety of living creatures and habitats within ecosystems. It is the basis for the functioning of ecosystems but is currently strongly influenced by human activities. Natural disturbances promote biodiversity by creating landscape heterogeneity, releasing resources, reducing the dominance of competitive species, and increasing the diversity of niches. According to the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, the positive effect on biodiversity is at its peak at intermediate disturbance intensity, size, and frequency. In detail, however, the effect of disturbances on biodiversity depends on a multitude of factors that vary greatly with type of disturbance, ecosystem productivity, and spatial as well as trophic level of observation.KeywordsBiological diversityEcosystem dynamicsIntermediate disturbance hypothesisLandscape heterogeneitySpatial context
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Protected areas play an important role in biodiversity conservation and tourism. Significant efforts have been made to increase the amount of protected lands. A problem of increasing the amount of public protected areas is that governments and other institutions face difficulties in providing the necessary resources for effective management. Accordingly, managers must be as efficient as possible but the lack of comparative methods makes the evaluation of efficiency difficult. Using Data Envelopment Analysis, a non-stochastic and non-parametric approach, information from 29 protected areas in 5 countries was analyzed to compare management efficiency amongst them. The first result found is the level of management efficiency that each park has in comparison with the others parks. The other important result is a prediction of the changes in the outputs if there is a hypothetical budget change. These results allow the generation of information for decision making.
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Nations around the world are required to measure their progress towards key biodiversity goals. One important example of this, the Convention on Biological Diversity's 2010 target, is soon approaching. The target set is to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by the year 2010. However, to what extent are the data, especially for tropical countries, available to indicate biodiversity change and to what extent is current knowledge of biodiversity change truly a global picture? While species richness is greatest in the tropics, biodiversity data richness is skewed towards the poles. This not only provides a significant challenge for global indicators to accurately represent biodiversity, but also for individual countries that are responsible under such legislation for measuring their own impact on biodiversity. We examine the coverage of biodiversity data using four global biodiversity datasets, and look at how effective current efforts are at addressing this discrepancy, and what countries might be able to do in time for 2010 and beyond. We conclude by suggesting a number of activities which might provide impetus for improved biodiversity monitoring in tropical nations.
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Site conservation is among the most effective means to reduce global biodiversity loss. Therefore, it is critical to identify those sites where unique biodiversity must be conserved immediately. To this end, the concept of key biodiversity areas (KBAs) has been developed, seeking to identify and, ultimately, ensure that networks of globally important sites are safeguarded. This methodology builds up from the identification of species conservation targets (through the IUCN Red List) and nests within larger-scale conservation approaches. Sites are selected using standardized, globally applicable, threshold-based criteria, driven by the distribution and population of species that require site-level conservation. The criteria address the two key issues for setting site conservation priorities: vulnerability and irreplaceability. We also propose quantitative thresholds for the identification of KBAs meeting each criterion, based on a review of existing approaches and ecological theory to date. However, these thresholds require extensive testing, especially in aquatic systems.
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Biodiversity indicators used by policy-makers are underdeveloped and underinvested.
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The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are designed to inspire efforts to improve people's lives by, among other priorities, halving extreme poverty by 2015 (1). Analogously, concern about global decline in biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services (2) gave rise in 1992 to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD target “to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss” was incorporated into the MDGs in 2002. Our lack of progress toward the 2010 target (3, 4) could undermine achievement of the MDGs and poverty reduction in the long term. With increasing global challenges, such as population growth, climate change, and overconsumption of ecosystem services, we need further integration of the poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation agendas.
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Many wildlife-monitoring programmes have long time series of species abundance that cannot be summarized adequately by linear trend lines. To describe long time series better, generalized additive models may be used to obtain a smooth trend line through abundance data. We describe another approach to estimate a smoothed trend line through time series consisting of one observation per time point, such as year or month. This method is based on structural time-series models in combination with the Kalman filter and is computerized in the TrendSpotter software. One of its strengths is the possibility to test changes in smoothed abundances between years, taking into account serial correlation. The trend method is applied in the Dutch Waterbird Monitoring Scheme (DWMS), a monitoring scheme for migrating and overwintering waterbirds. Taking the numbers of overwintering Greater Scaup (Aythia marila) in the Netherlands as an example, we demonstrate three applications of the method: (1) trend calculation and classification for each year in the time series, (2) assessing alerts for alarming population declines and (3) testing yearly abundance against a population threshold. We discuss the situations where TrendSpotter is to be preferred over other methods.
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The neotropical Atlantic Forest supports one of the highest degrees of species richness and rates of endemism on the planet, but has also undergone a huge forest loss. However, there exists no broad-scale information about the spatial distribution of its remnants that could guide conservation actions, especially when systematic biodiversity data are not available. In this context, our objectives were to quantify how much of the forest still remains, and analyze its spatial distribution. We considered the entire Brazilian Atlantic Forest, and eight sub-regions, defined according to species distribution. The results revealed a serious situation: more than 80% of the fragments are <50 ha, almost half the remaining forest is <100 m from its edges, the average distance between fragments is large (1440 m), and nature reserves protect only 9% of the remaining forest and 1% of the original forest. On the other hand, our estimates of existing Atlantic Forest cover were higher than previous ones (7–8%), ranging from 11.4% to 16%. The differences among estimates are mainly related to our inclusion of intermediate secondary forests and small fragments (<100 ha), which correspond to approximately 32–40% of what remains. We suggest some guidelines for conservation: (i) large mature forest fragments should be a conservation priority; (ii) smaller fragments can be managed in order to maintain functionally linked mosaics; (iii) the matrix surrounding fragments should be managed so as to minimize edge effects and improve connectivity; and (iv) restoration actions should be taken, particularly in certain key areas. The clear differences in the amount remaining and its spatial distribution within each sub-region must be considered when planning for biodiversity conservation.
Considerable resources and efforts have been directed at biodiversity conservation in recent years, but measures of the success of conservation programmes have been limited. Based on information on population sizes, trends, threatening processes and the nature and intensity of conservation actions implemented during 1994–2004, we assessed that 16 bird species would have probably become extinct during this period if conservation programmes for them had not been undertaken. The mean minimum population size of these 16 species increased from 34 to 147 breeding individuals during 1994–2004. In 1994, 63% of them had declining populations but by 2004, 81% were increasing. Most of these species (63%) are found on islands. The principal threats that led to their decline were habitat loss and degradation (88%), invasive species (50%) and exploitation (38%), a pattern similar to that for other threatened species, but with exploitation and invasive species being relatively more important. The principal actions carried out were habitat protection and management (75% of species), control of invasive species (50%), and captive breeding and release (33%). The 16 species represent only 8.9% of those currently classified as Critically Endangered, and 1.3% of those threatened with extinction. Many of these additional species slipped closer to extinction during 1994–2004, including 164 that deteriorated in status sufficiently to be uplisted to higher categories of extinction risk on the IUCN Red List (IUCN, 2006). Efforts need to be considerably scaled up to prevent many more extinctions in the coming decades. The knowledge and tools to achieve this are available, but we need to mobilize the resources and political will to apply them.
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Aim  Invasive alien species (IAS) pose a significant threat to biodiversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2010 Biodiversity Target, and the associated indicator for IAS, has stimulated globally coordinated efforts to quantify patterns in the extent of biological invasion, its impact on biodiversity and policy responses. Here, we report on the outcome of indicators of alien invasion at a global scale.Location  Global.Methods  We developed four indicators in a pressure-state-response framework, i.e. number of documented IAS (pressure), trends in the impact of IAS on biodiversity (state) and trends in international agreements and national policy adoption relevant to reducing IAS threats to biodiversity (response). These measures were considered best suited to providing globally representative, standardized and sustainable indicators by 2010.Results  We show that the number of documented IAS is a significant underestimate, because its value is negatively affected by country development status and positively by research effort and information availability. The Red List Index demonstrates that IAS pressure is driving declines in species diversity, with the overall impact apparently increasing. The policy response trend has nonetheless been positive for the last several decades, although only half of countries that are signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have IAS-relevant national legislation. Although IAS pressure has apparently driven the policy response, this has clearly not been sufficient and/or adequately implemented to reduce biodiversity impact.Main conclusions  For this indicator of threat to biodiversity, the 2010 Biodiversity Target has thus not been achieved. The results nonetheless provide clear direction for bridging the current divide between information available on IAS and that needed for policy and management for the prevention and control of IAS. It further highlights the need for measures to ensure that policy is effectively implemented, such that it translates into reduced IAS pressure and impact on biodiversity beyond 2010.