Last edited 25 Oct 2023

Degradation of ecosystems

North Ayrshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan, 2019-2031, published by North Ayrshire Council, states in relation to degradation: “An ‘ecosystem’ is considered to combine the physical characteristics of the environment with the habitats and species it supports. Where the interactions between these elements function well, with natural processes unhindered, a wide variety of species is supported. Degraded ecosystems have lost much of that function due to pressures such as pollution; land use intensification and modification – leading to fragmentation of habitat; spread of invasive species and wildlife disease; climate change – requiring adaptation in habitat management and conservation approach. Degradation has had a significant impact on biodiversity in Scotland, with reduced species diversity and declining species populations.” In relation to habitats, degradation is “a decline in species-specific habitat quality that leads to reduced survival and/or reproductive success in a population e.g. related to changes in food availability, cover or climate.”

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