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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Taxus mairei (Lemée & H. Lév.) S.Y.Hu

Scattered throughout southern China, Taiwan and parts of the eastern Himalayas as well as southern Vietnam. Subpopulations are severely fragmented and threatened due to overexploitation for medicinal use, deforestation for agricultural purposes and urbanisation. Read full species entry >

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Tetraclinis articulata Mast.

A genus with a single species endemic to the western Mediterranean where, although not globally threatened, it is Critically Endangered in Spain and Malta due to fire  and grazing. Read full species entry >

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Thuja koraiensis Nakai

Distributed in NE China, North and South Korea where it has mainly become threatened through deforestation. Read full species entry >

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Torreya californica Torr.

Endemic to California, USA where historically it was heavily logged and today it forms small, localised subpopulations Read full species entry >

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Torreya fargesii Franch.

Endemic to southern and central China where deforestation is the mian cause of threat Read full species entry >

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Torreya fargesii var. fargesii

Endemic to south and central China where the mian cause of threat is deforestation Read full species entry >

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Torreya jackii Chun

Endemic to eastern China where it is has been in steep decline due to deforestation Read full species entry >

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Widdringtonia whytei Rendle

Endemic to Mt. Mulanje in Malawi where historical logging has had a serious effect on the population; more recently illegal logging, fire, tourism and introduced pests have become serious threats. Read full species entry >

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