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Open AccessArticle

Do Amphibians and Cash Crops Compete for Scarce Water? A Spatial Correlation Analysis

Program for Industrial Ecology, Department of Energy and Process Technology, NTNU, 7013 Trondheim, Norway
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Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1822; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061822
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

It has been argued that the trade of water intensive crops may be beneficial as it helps alleviate regional differences in water scarcity by effectively transporting moisture from humid regions to arid ones. However, the incentive to grow export crops can also intensify pressure on local water resources. Water abstraction for use in growing cash crops can affect rivers and wetlands with rich biodiversity reserves. In many macro-level environmental assessments, it is assumed that water use is a proxy for biodiversity pressure. Here we use correlation analysis to test the degree of spatial overlap between areas with high scarce-water consumption for cash crop production (i.e., crops where a majority is exported) and areas with high species richness or vulnerability of Red-Listed amphibians. We find that, globally, there is relatively little spatial overlap between areas where scarce water is used for export production and the habitat range of stressed amphibians. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity; footprint; trade; species vulnerability; blue water; export; agriculture; irrigation biodiversity; footprint; trade; species vulnerability; blue water; export; agriculture; irrigation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Moran, D.; Petersone, M.; Verones, F. Do Amphibians and Cash Crops Compete for Scarce Water? A Spatial Correlation Analysis. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1822.

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