Peri-urbanisation, Social Heterogeneity and Ecological Simplification
Peri-urban development pressure on and near Australian coastlines is resulting in the conversion of agricultural land for rural-residential use. The impact of larger and more diverse human populations upon the ecological assets remaining in agricultural landscapes has consequently become a policy concern. This paper contributes to these policy debates by integrating the results of parallel social and ecological research projects commissioned to improve natural resource management in peri-urbanising regions. The research was undertaken in the case study region of South East Queensland, the region supporting Australia’s most rapid population growth. Our results indicate that both social and ecological communities cross a fragmentation threshold due to peri-urban development whereby they become ecologically simple and socially heterogeneous in a coupling that cedes a poor diagnosis for biodiversity retention.
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