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Common Trends in Desert Biodiversity Change

Although there is some variation in what the different models suggest for the future, patterns nevertheless emerge which enable us to identify areas of particular concern. It appears that most of the dramatic changes take place at the desert margins. It also appears that wetlands, riparian zones and woodlands, particularly in and around sky-islands or desert montane areas, are targeted for development. The potential adverse impacts of development will be exacerbated by climate change in terms of temperature and precipitation. In concert, these factors can seriously compromise the function of desert montane areas as water towers, and thus the viability of species and human livelihoods that rely on them. There is an urgent need to increase their level and extent of protection.

© UNEP 2006