Residential and commercial development

The negative impacts of residential and commercial development on conifers is so severe that it has led to conifer species becoming Critically Endangered. Ironically, the very system put in place to protect biodiversty, such as national parks, can have a negative impact on biodiversity. Here the most detrimental impacts can be from the visiting public by bringing an increased risk of fire and the introduction of harmful pests and diseases. As a result of an explosive growth rates in the human population over the last 50 years there has been a steady drift of people from the city centres into urban areas. It is estimated that 60% of the Earth's population will live in urban areas by 2030. Hence these increasing population densities and mounting development pressures are causing large tracks of land in the immediate surroundings of urban areas undergoing a process of what is known as urbanisation. This phenomenon directly alters forest ecosystems by removing or fragmenting forest cover. It indirectly alters forest ecosystems by modifying hydrology, altering nutrient cycling, modifying disturbance regimes, and changing atmospheric conditions. 

<em>Tetraclinis articulata</em>, Malta

Tetraclinis articulata, Malta© M.Gardner, RBGE

Taxa in the category - Residential and commercial development:

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Pinus radiata var. radiata

Endemic to central-coastal California, USA where the three remaining stands are mainly threatened by fire, pitch canker and urbanisation. Read full species entry >

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Pinus torreyana Parry ex Carrière

Distributed in California, USA with two subspecies, one on the mainland and one on Santa Rosa Island. Both have very restricted distributions and small population sizes. On the mainland, outside of the main protected area of Torrey Pines State Park it is threatened by urbanisation. Read full species entry >

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Pinus torreyana subsp. torreyana

Although afforded some protection within the Torrey State Reserve in California, USA, unprotected trees are threatened by urbanisation Read full species entry >

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Podocarpus gibbsiae N.E.Gray

Endemic to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo where extreme droughts and tourism pose a potential fire hazzard. Read full species entry >

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Podocarpus nakaii Hayata

Endemic to Taiwan where historically it has suffered greatly from general deforestation and more recently there has been removal of mature trees for horticultural use. Read full species entry >

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Podocarpus purdieanus Hook.

Endemic to central Jamaica where logging is the main threat to this valuable timber tree. Read full species entry >

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Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.

Endemic to the Pacific coast of the USA where historical logging has had significant effect of the population; present-day threats include selective logging and urbansiation Read full species entry >

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Taxus floridana Nutt. ex Chapm.

Endemic to a very small area in northern Florida, USA where historically the population was much depleted due to selective logging which has led to fragmentation and poor regeneration Read full species entry >

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