Habitat loss and habitat degradation are the most frequent causes of biodiversity loss today, and are likely to continue to increase in the future. Climate change is expected to become a major driver of biodiversity change over the next decades. Biodiversity and ecosystems respond to global environmental change in a number of different ways, on all levels of organisation, from genetic composition to ecosystem and landscape structure and function.
Understanding how biodiversity and ecosystems respond to environmental change helps to identify how to curb biodiversity loss, and to understand which contributions biodiversity and ecosystems can make to solving global problems, for example through the mitigation of climate change, or adaptation to changing environmental conditions. This understanding can then be used to guide management and decision-making processes on national and global levels.