Threats to environmentally sensitive areas from peri-urban expansion in Mauritius

Hammond, David S., Gond, Valéry, Baider, Claudia, Florens, Vincent F.B., Persand, Sharveen, and Laurance, Susan G.W. (2019) Threats to environmentally sensitive areas from peri-urban expansion in Mauritius. In: Tang, Vanessa T., Shaw, Timothy M., and Holden, Merle G., (eds.) Development and Sustainable Growth of Mauritius. Contemporary African Political Economy . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 213-238.

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DOI: 10.1007%2F978-3-319-96166-8_9
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There are 60 inhabited tropical island countries covering c. 3.54 million km2 of land. Tropical islands are disproportionately rich in endemic plants, birds, molluscs, and other invertebrates (Whittaker and Fernandez-Palacios 2007) relative to similar mainland habitats (see, for example, Kier et al. 2009). The majority of global coral and seagrass diversity is located in the reefs, shoals, and lagoons of tropical islands (Spalding et al. 2001, 1997), the islands accounting for 2.4% of the global land area, but housing a much greater swathe of the Earth's biological uniqueness (Kreft et al. 2008). At the same time, the topography of most tropical islands is relatively steep, compressing their high terrestrial and coastal marine biological value into relatively small areas. This compression also reduces the average size of watersheds and shortens river main stems, in particular relative to the hydrological space of continental systems (Milliman et al. 1999). Consequently, island nations rely heavily on groundwater extraction and river impoundments to provide clean water to urban areas, particularly during periods of low rainfall.

Item ID: 61257
Item Type: Book Chapter (Scholarly Work)
ISBN: 978-3-319-96165-1
Copyright Information: © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2020 01:00
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961304 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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