- Research in desert environments has shown that ecosystems which suffer rapid and severe impacts from drought, climate, or land management decisions may not recover.
- Rapid changes to land use can reduce the opportunity for local species to adapt, and can cause local extinction.
- The effect is not necessarily that the overall richness of the area is reduced. Rather, the make-up of the areas is no longer the same, as other species will come to take their place.
- Further research may be needed to establish whether gradual land use changes could reduce the potential for local extinction in the UK.
Government may wish to consider a national policy for gradual land use alterations. For example, planners may be encouraged to ensure large-scale development occurs as part of a multi-point process wherever possible, in areas where valuable ecosystems are at risk.
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